Packaging and Prototyping

What is a packaging prototype?

A packaging prototype is a mock-up or preliminary example of what your fully printed graphical package will look like before mass production, often made by hand or assembled by specialized prototyping machines. While potentially not technically perfect, a packaging prototype represents a unit of packaging without the expense of mass production and gives you the opportunity to request changes in the design. 

It is important to differentiate Packaging Prototypes from proofs, as proofs are the final step before signing off and giving permission to go into full production. And from samples which are examples of the mass produced packaging after production has begun. Prototyping is an important part of the package designing process. Prototypes can be created for a wide variety of reasons. Packaging prototypes are useful for presentation purposes to investors, for use by your marketing team, to display at a trade show exhibit, they can be used to confirm the structural integrity of a design, or to show retail buyers so they can decide if they will want to make a large order. You can also choose to make multiple prototypes to help make a decision on which is most visually appealing and likely to appeal to your customers.

SpeedPro is able to work with your company’s supplier or packaging manufacturer to ensure that any packaging prototypes you need to make for whatever purpose have the best printed designs possible. SpeedPro wants to help your company create custom product packaging consistent with corporate branding and appealing to customers. SpeedPro takes an individualized approach to learning about your product and helping you produce custom packaging specially designed to show off your product in the best possible light as well as protect your product from being damaged or being tampered with during shipping or on the store shelf.

Packaging prototypes can be made to order in several different materials, some popular choices are paperboard boxes, corrugated cardboard rigid boxes, or folding cartons. If you want to go with a heavier material than corrugated cardboard corrugated plastics such as the coroplasts often used in sign materials can also be used. Corrugated materials are made of a liner material that has been folded and effectively sandwiched between two flat layers. This creates an inner layer of furrows and ridges which reinforce and strengthen the material. This type of package is generally well protected from crushing and thus coroplasts are often used for packaging foods such as fruits and vegetables from farmers. Many types of storage containers and packages designed for transporting items are often made of coroplast. For example, mail carriers for the USPS often carry coroplast boxes full of packages and mail.

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Small run packaging graphic design

If you would like more than one prototype, SpeedPro can also do small run packaging graphic design. Test runs are typically a necessary part of finding the best possible packaging for your product. By producing a small run of custom packaging for perhaps a limited release, you have the opportunity to see how buyers interact with your product. You may choose to survey the customer to see what they think and based on interactions you can find out how well the packaging protects the product during transport.

SpeedPro understands the many benefits of short-run packaging, and will help you produce these short runs on request. Once you see how the packaging performs, you can refine your design as needed. Once you’ve confirmed your design decisions you can mass-produce the packaging confident that it is practically perfect in every way.

Always remember that the package your product comes in is an important part of your brand and image. The exterior package is what the majority of the general populace sees but only a confirmed customer gets to look inside and use the product.