Printing and packaging trends focus on innovation says Colourtone Aries

Printing and packaging trends focus on innovation says Colourtone Aries

As the world strives for a paperless environment, printing and packaging is playing an ever-increasing role in influencing purchasing decisions.  There is no doubt that technology has had a significant impact on our ability to control printing, but this is restricted to an administration environment. The influence point-of-sale, marketing material and packaging has on the decision-making process cannot be ignored as brands compete for customers and their loyalty.

According to printing and packaging professionals, Colourtone Aries, quality of packaging and its ability to attract buyers is a crucial element in the marketing mix. “Consumer decision-making is a complex process,” says managing director John Bywater. “Brand managers and thought leaders constantly seek to understand this process better and their creative solutions manifest through design in print and packaging. There are little, if any, products that are not affected by design and print.”

Packaging, labels and marketing materials consist of myriad applications including food packs, beverages, agricultural and gardening products and materials, pharmaceutical goods, hygiene and health and beauty products, decorations, magazines and product packaging. The production of these applications on a range of substrates, from plastics, paper and board to vinyls, glass and aluminium, has significantly improved as technology offers more sophisticated methodologies. On top of this, security features are becoming increasingly complex that often stretch the capabilities of printers.

The complexities of print requirements has seen the printing and packaging industry evolve significantly to adapt to current trends. It is largely graphic and product designers and creative marketers who drive trends. Creative thinking that has as its core the drive to conceptualise innovation, forces production to provide solutions to change leadership. Printing and packaging provides the creative outlet for design and if the industry is to be sustainable, it has to design solutions that embrace innovation.

Bywater highlights some trends emerging in the printing and packaging industry:

  • Efficiency. Producing more with less. Production methodologies are under the spotlight as we seek to provide clients with rapid output without compromising on quality.
  • Value. In tough market conditions, clients demand added value in both cost effectiveness and quality. Simply put, solutions have to be affordable.
  • Sustainability. A big challenge is how to develop sustainable solutions. The industry is constantly striving to achieve innovative solutions that are ecologically balanced. Partnering with clients, we need to provide environmentally friendly choices that protect our planet’s natural resources.
  • Innovative design. In keeping with the advances made in graphic and product design, the industry has to offer expert advice and solutions to match innovation emerging across the globe.
  • Uncompromised brand value. Clients are increasingly relying on the industry to drive innovation that will push their brand value to new highs. The intrinsic and extrinsic values of the brand has to be reflected in print and packaging.
  • Open innovation. A way to do more with less is by collaborating through open innovation. This allows for common technology platforms to integrate in different areas of printing and packaging providing clients with exceptional solutions that are cost effective.

“An important trend that has helped our business model is our adoption of a philosophy of open innovation,” continues Bywater, “The merging of Colourtone Press and Aries Packaging resulted in a paradigm that two innovators can combine external and internal concepts to advance their technology offering and service delivery. We realised that the synergies of both companies add significantly more value for clients than the sum of their individual parts. We have leveraged the expertise of both companies and brought both sets of skills in-house.”

Business is increasingly looking beyond its offices for innovation. The boundaries between businesses and even industries are becoming more permeable. Innovative concepts, design and products are easily transferred inward and outward. Companies no longer only rely on their own research and may adopt a principle of purchasing licenses or patents to bring to the market a valuable, innovative product or solution.