Packlane Serves Creative Entrepreneurs Who Want Custom Packaging

If you sell your own branded products online, consider custom packaging. It can set you apart from competitors and make a big impression on your customers.

According to a 2016 eCommerce Packaging Study by Dotcom Distribution, the quality of your packaging can play a role in fostering customer loyalty. In their survey, 40 percent of the respondents said they would be more likely to purchase from an online retailer again if the product they ordered came in gift-like or premium package.

Thanks to companies such as Packlane, you no longer have to be a high-volume seller of products to afford great-looking packaging.

Packlane custom boxes

Whether you need a few small cartons or large printed shipping boxes, Packlane can help you create full-color, customized packaging that will get your customers excited about what’s inside.

In addition to ordering as few as 10 boxes, you can choose the graphics, the size and type of box, and the type of materials used.

When it’s time to re-order new boxes, you can adjust the design to include seasonal messaging or update your branding. You won’t risk being stuck with hundreds of boxes with outdated graphics.

Types of Boxes

Packlane offers three main styles of boxes: a classic carton, a mailer box, a shipping box. Each type can be sized to snugly fit your products. You won’t have to stuff a box that is too big with extra material to keep the contents from shifting around.

Types of Materials

When you place your order, you can choose to print the graphics printed on stocks ranging from thin, flat paperboard to thick corrugated graphics. You can specify whether you want your graphics printed on brown Kraft paper or a crisp white paper. The brown paper is fine for simple graphics with muted colors. The white paper is ideal for bright colors and designs that include images.

packlane_blue_v2

Design Tools

The website includes tools that make it easy for you to create and preview your design in 3 dimensions.

Or, you can request a 2D dieline for the box style and size you choose. A dieline is flattened outline of the box design that shows where the folds and cutlines will go. Just follow the Artwork Guidelines, and Packlane will take care of the rest.

For quantities from 10 to 2,000, you can get an instant quote. (If you need larger quantities, you can request a quote.)

Design Training

To help creative entrepreneurs get the best results from their packaging, Packlane has developed a free 36-minute Skillshare course: Packaging Design for Creatives and Entrepreneurs.

The video series discusses  box styles, design considerations, production and finishing techniques, dielines, RGB vs. CMYK color, how to use Illustrator, and tips for creating or uploading your design on the Packlane website.

Additional Insights

On the Packlane blog, you’ll find interviews with some of the entrepreneurs who have ordered boxes from Packlane. Michael Kushner, of Stefans Head explains why he is using custom-designed boxes to ship his company’s limited-edition T-shirts.

Another Packlane customer is a start-up that sends a curated selection of Paleo-friendly snacks to subscribers every month. He says, “A professional image is extremely important to start-ups. Custom packaging sets us up for success from the very beginning.”

The Packlane blog also contains tips such as How to Choose the Right Packaging for Your Product.

 

Design Interactive Uses Canon MREAL System for Mixed Reality Training

Canon U.S.A. has selected Design Interactive in Orlando, Florida as the first value-added reseller of Canon MREAL system for Mixed Reality in the United States. The MREAL System for Mixed Reality is a visualization tool that seamlessly combines the real and virtual worlds for a powerful immersive experience.

Design Interactive is a leading provider of training system development and experts in human-machine interaction. Design Interactive will sell the MREAL system as part of the specialized training they develop for government and industry clients who have employees in high-risk situations.

Canon MREAL Headset
Head-mounted display for Canon MREAL System for Mixed Reality

“We are pleased to welcome Design Interactive as a Canon MREAL reseller,” said Toyotsugu Kuwamura, executive vice president and general manager, BISG, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “Through Canon’s MREAL System for Mixed Reality and integrated Training Management System, users in high-risk industries will be able to visualize a potentially dangerous scenario before they have to encounter it in the real world.”

Preparing for Dangerous Situations

High risk training is a specialized form of training for tasks that involve a high degree of risks related to safety or costs. High risk training is provided to professionals who are asked to work in environments that are normally dangerous or inaccessible.

The MREAL system is uniquely suited for high risk training because it can immerse users in virtual scenarios while allowing them to still see the real world – including their hands, tools, colleagues, and instructors.

Eileen Smith, Director, E2i Creative Studio at the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Simulation & Training, said “High risk environments are multi-layered, and involve understanding how events put in motion will resolve themselves. Context is key in training, and the MREAL system allows the context to be altered easily and frequently to challenge a trainee throughout their journey toward excellence.”

Dr. Kay Stanney, CEO at Design Interactive said “The MREAL system provides a truly seamless and compelling blend between the virtual and real worlds. We are confident that it will help us deliver effective, engaging and value-added training solutions to government and industry clients.”

The integrated solution that Design Interactive will provide to its clients includes three key parts:

MREAL Display MD-10: Released in the U.S. in July 2016, the MREAL Display MD-10 features an expanded field of view and higher resolution than earlier models. The MD-10 enables trainees to immerse themselves in the virtual training scenario while still seeing real objects clearly and precisely.

MREAL Training Management System (MREAL TMS): The MREAL TMS acts as a central dashboard to collect and measure key performance metrics.  Instructors can review key data points and benchmarks to assess the trainee’s overall performance and retention. The MREAL TMS also integrates with select Learning Management Systems so instructors can incorporate the data into a broader curriculum.

MREAL Plug-In for Unity 3D: This tool enables instructors to leverage existing 3D content for training scenarios. The 3D content can easily be launched as part of an immersive experience within the MREAL system.

With these combined solutions, Canon and Design Interactive will bring next-generation capabilities enabling clients to reach mastery on complex tasks that can later be used in life-threatening situations in the field.

Mountainside Rescuers under Fire

In a post on the Design Interactive blog, Design Interactive experts discuss a mixed reality experience they developed to demonstrate the power of Canon’s Mixed Reality platform at the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) Conference.

Design Interactive Canon MREAL
In a Design Interactive demonstration of the type of training that’s possible with Canon’s MREAL mixed-reality system I/ITSEC attendees could handle physical objects while visualizing the high-risk environment.

With Design Interactive’s mixed-reality experience, conference attendees visualized what it would be like to stand at the precipice of a bottomless void in the snow and be required to harness themselves to an icy rock wall so they could repel to help an injured warfighter. In the middle of the experience, the trainee takes fire. Another warfighter takes a bullet and the attendee must spring into action, applying a tourniquet under fire.

The Design Interactive blog post clarifies the differences between augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality systems. Unlike virtual reality systems like the Oculus Rift, MREAL provides the flexibility to couple virtual and physical elements. For example, your hands disappear from view if you lift your hands to your eyes while wearing an Oculus product. With MREAL, trainees can always see their hands, instructors, and the tools they need to accomplish the task.

Like augmented reality, the MREAL allows trainers to provide visualizations of instructions that can help trainees navigate or perform the task.

Designers of MREAL training exercises can choose to make the experience fully virtual or customize the amount of virtual content that is required for the job.

In addition to high-risk training, Canon is promoting the MREAL system for use in education, research, and manufacturing.

 

Master Surface Design Skills at Philadelphia University

Surface design is a fast-growing career niche because the definition of “printing” today extends well beyond ink on paper. Today, digital printing and finishing equipment can be used to custom decorate the surfaces of all sorts of 2D and 3D products, including displays, packaging, textiles, glass, ceramics, garments, signs, objects, and wallcoverings. Plus, 2D documents, photographs, and artwork can be digitally embellished with coatings that add surface textures.

The accelerating adoption of “fabrication printing” equipment within industries, commercial printing firms, and surface design studios will create new career paths in interior design, apparel design, experiential graphic design, and related fields.

To meet the growing demand for surface designers and creative technologists who understand what’s possible with fabrication printing technologies, Philadelphia University has created an M.S. in Surface Imaging degree. The M.S. in Surface Imaging program at Philadelphia University is now accepting new degree candidates for 2017-2018. This one-year program will start May 16 2017. Successful students graduate the following summer, 2017.

PhilaU-SurfaceImaging

The Surface Imaging program at Philadelphia University uses a variety of state-of-the-art digital printing technologies at the Center for Excellence in Surface Imaging. By applying your existing skills in painting, drawing, photography and printmaking skills, you will learn how to create new types of products through “fabrication printing” technologies including additive material deposition and laser engraving.

To learn more about the program, you can visit the Center for Excellence in Surface Imaging and see the types of projects that students have completed in previous year.

Curriculum

The curriculum includes courses in surface imaging design, printing technology, and material and polymer science. Coursework also focuses on entrepreneurship and business plan creation so you can integrate design, applied engineering, and business skills as a “TechCreative” in the fast-changing printing business.

As a student in the Surfacing Imaging program, you will gain professional  experience through  research-based projects with industry partners. These projects stress critical thinking and problem-solving skills through teamwork and collaboration. You will also gain extensive experience working on interdisciplinary projects using advanced technology and design solutions.

Students also will have access to the Center for Excellence in Surface Imaging, which has been supported by international imaging industries, including printer manufacturers, ink formulators and software developers.

The deadline for applications is February 1, 2017. For more information, visit www.philau.edu/mssurfaceimaging and download the program information sheet.

 

 

Fast Large-Format 3D Printer Produces Displays, Props, Objects up to 6 ft. Tall

A super-fast, large format 3D printer is set to transform the creation of high-level marketing, advertising, and themed-environment projects. The Massivit 1800 large format 3D printer can produce high-quality 3D pieces up to 6 ft. high at build speed of up to 1 ft. per hour.  It is being promoted to large-format graphics providers that specialize in creating eye-catching signs and displays.

Adding ‘the next dimension’ to visual communications, the Massivit 1800 is expected to change how creative directors, product designers, and marketers think about what’s possible with 3D models, displays, and brand promotion.

The Massivit 1800

The Massivit 1800 system is the fastest large format 3D printer on the market. It was developed by people who have dedicated their careers to delivering large-format digital printing equipment. As a group, the founders and managers have well over 100 years of experience in large-format digital printing and over 50 years of experience in 3D printing. They come from a variety of disciplines (management, engineering, printing, chemistry, and software) and have a substantial track record in R&D for companies such as Objet, HP Scitex, Idanit, and Scitex Vision.

At the heart of the Massivit 1800 system is a proprietary Gel Dispensing Printing (GDP) technology that enables instant solidification and high-speed printing. The gel is sensitive to UV light and solidifies into a hard polymer when it exposed to the LED UV light unit onboard the printer. The material is non-flammable and has a structural strength similar to the ABS materials commonly used in 3D printing.

Many objects designed for temporary promotional and decorative displays, movie sets, and themed environments don’t need to totally solid. Thus, they can be printed as only a “shell.” The Massivit 1800 printer saves production time and materials by printing non-vertical walls and ceilings without a solid or elaborate support structure.

Massivit-Tomato

“For print providers, the Massivit 1800 dramatically enhances the ability to create eye-catching visual communications that better engage target audiences,” said Avner Israeli, CEO, Massivit 3D.  Recent studies suggest that 3D advertising has five times the stopping power and four times the staying power of 2D advertising.

“Our products will enable marketing/brand managers to maximize the impact of their campaigns with a never-before-seen ‘wow factor.'” said Israeli.

Carisma Operates First Massivit 1800 in U.S.

The first Massivit 1800 in the United States is currently in operation at Carisma, a large-format printing company based in Brooklyn, New York.

Carisma-EasterIsland1

Carisma helps companies execute one-of-a-kind advertising campaigns, many of which are on double-decker buses across America. Carisma plans to put the Massivit 1800 to work for some of these campaigns.

“As always, I was looking for the next big thing — a technology edge — that can help me bring something different to my customers,” said Moshe Gil, Carisma owner and CEO. To help customers create memorable and noticeable advertising, “We were the first to put LED screens on buses for advertising, and we are one of the first who printed lenticular lenses and placed them on buses. Now will be the first to have 3D-printed elements on buses.”

“We are happy to see how a print-service provider such as Carisma is putting the Massivit 1800 to work in the advertising world,” said Israeli. “As their name suggests, the team at Crarisma has a lot of charisma, and is driving the industry to great heights. 3-dimensional advertisments on buses are going to be a big hit.”

This retail display for a watch was created on a Massivit 1800 in Israel by ES Digital.
This retail display for a watch was created on a Massivit 1800 by ES Digital in Israel (www.esdigital.co.il/en).

 

Creative Group Survey Reveals Hiring Trends through End of 2016

In a recent hiring trends survey by The Creative Group staffing firm, 13 percent of advertising and marketing executives said they plan to expand their teams in the second half of 2016. This is up from 11 percent in the first half of the year.

The majority (59 percent) of respondents said they expect to maintain staffing levels and hire primarily to fill  vacated positions in the next six months.

In addition, 20 percent of the advertising executives and 10 percent of the marketing executives anticipate increasing the number of freelance staff during the remainder of the year.

“Many companies are adding to their bench of marketing talent, particularly within the digital space,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group. “Employers seek professionals who can help build their businesses’ online presence, support year-end campaigns, and strategize for the future.”

Creative Specialties in Demand

When executives were asked in which areas they plan to add staff in the second half of 2016, they reported a variety of specialties. Topping the list (at 18 percent each) were content marketing, brand/product management, digital marketing, and web design/production.

When advertising and marketing executives were asked, “In which of the following areas do you expect to hire in the second half of 2016?” Their responses were:

  • Content marketing: 18%
  • Brand/product management: 18%
  • Digital marketing: 18%
  • Web design/production: 18%
  • Marketing research: 17%
  • Creative/art direction: 17%
  • Print design/production: 17%
  • Customer experience: 17%
  • Social media: 16%
  • Media services: 15%
  • Public relations: 14%
  • Copywriting: 14%
  • Account services: 13%
  • Interactive media: 10%
  • Mobile design/development: 10%

(Multiple responses were permitted; Top responses shown.)

Recruiting Challenges

Forty-one percent of advertising and marketing executives said it is difficult to find skilled creative professionals today. Hiring managers at small advertising agencies (20-49 employees) and large advertising agencies (100+ employees) expect the greatest difficulty, with 50 percent of respondents in each group reporting that it is somewhat or very challenging to find the talent they seek.

When asked which types of roles were most difficult to fill, the top responses were web design/production, customer experience, and brand/product management.

About the Research

The national study was developed by The Creative Group and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on 400 telephone interviews — with 200 marketing executives randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees and 100 advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees.

About The Creative Group

The Creative Group (TCG) specializes in connecting interactive, design, marketing, advertising, and public relations talent with the best companies on a project, contract-to-hire, and full-time basis.

TCG Infographic

 

Photographer Creates Single-Image Art Photography Wallcoverings

In late 2014, celebrity photographer and designer Don Flood launched his first collection of FLIEPAPER art photography wallcoverings produced by Astek Wallcoverings. He followed that with the Palm Springs collection earlier this year.

Graphic and sophisticated, each FLIEPAPER art photography wallcovering is symphony of color, texture, and design with an emphasis on scale. Designs range from immense florals and bold textures to quirky, unexpected found objects. FLIEPAPER designs are digitally printed using an eco-friendly process and can be customized in color and design.

FLIEPAPER by Don Flood (www.fliepaper.com)
FLIEPAPER by Don Flood (www.fliepaper.com)

Flood’s FLIEPAPER designs have appeared in environments as varied as a high-end café in Santa Monica to a private elevator in a Redondo Beach luxury home.

Quartz art wallcovering
FLIEPAPER by Don Flood (www.fliepaper.com)

At the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in May, Flood introduced his newest line of art photography wallcoverings called BIGS. Images in the BIGS collection include amethysts, minerals, crystals, sea coral, abalone, roses, sunflowers and butterflies.

FLIEPAPER art wallcovering
Crystal is part of the new BIGS collection of FLIEPAPER (www.fliepaper.com)

Inspired by the single-image wallcoverings of 1960s and 1970s interiors, Flood devised a proprietary process for shooting each subject in ultra-high-resolution and at very close range. He then had the images printed on a variety of new digitally printable wallcovering materials, including mylar. The results lend themselves to nearly any interior application from residential living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms to commercial environments such as restaurants, office lobbies, and hotel public areas.

art wallcovering
This close-up photo of coral is part of the BIGS collection of FLIEPAPER. (www.fliepaper.com)

“We are very excited by what Don has created in BIGS,” said Aaron Kirsch, founder and CEO of Astek. “FLIEPAPER has proven popular with retail customers, interior designers, art directors and architects. It combines highly artistic, high-resolution images of beautiful things combined with the practical applications allowed by the material itself. We love partnering with Don, and we think BIGS will prove highly successful with both the residential and commercial marketplace.”

“When single image installations were in vogue some decades ago, the subject matter was usually a sunset or treescape, and the resolution was incredibly low,” notes Flood. “Inspired by an interiors shot I came across from the late ‘60s, I began to experiment with various images at extremely high resolution. Given the printing technology and materials available to us today, BIGS became a reality very quickly. I am excited to show how beautifully a high-resolution, single-image wallcovering transforms a space.”

art wallcovering of butterfly wing
This extreme close-up of a butterfly wing can be produced as an art wallcovering through FLIEPAPER (www.fliepaper.com)

3D Color Printing Is Simplified with Stratasys Creative Colors Software

DESIGNERS. Stratasys Ltd. is taking color 3D printing to a new level of realism and accessibility with the release of Stratasys Creative Colors Software, powered by the Adobe 3D Color Print Engine.

Available for use with Stratasys’ Objet Connex3 3D Printing solutions, the Creative Colors Software combines advanced color management with a direct design-to-3D print workflow. Stratasys and Adobe are both working to make 3D printing easier to use while increasing creativity.

Stratasys Creative Colors Software

Because Objet Connex 3 printers can combine a range of materials in every print job, designers can use the printers to make realistic prototypes that don’t require extra assembly and post-processing.

By forming a direct bridge between Adobe Photoshop CC and Objet Connex3, Creative Colors Software enables designers to 3D print their most imaginative creations without cumbersome 3D printing workflows.

1_Typical_3D_Printing_Workflow

2_Streamlined_Design_to_3D_Print_WorkflowStratasys Creative Colors empowers designers to use enhanced color tools such as vibrant gradient color palettes with expanded color spectrums, improved textures and patterns support, and time-saving color previews.

By incorporating multiple gradient colors, patterns, and textures, a model produced on the Objet Connex3 can have the same look and feel as the final intended product, vastly reducing product development times while increasing product quality.

3D color printing speaker model
Speaker model designed with Stratsys Creative Color Software

One company that has tried the Stratasys Creative Colors software is Saflio, a world leader in high-end and luxury eyewear.

“Safilo has recently improved its prototype development process thanks to the adoption of Stratasys Creative Colors Software,” said Vladimiro Baldin, Chief Product Design and Creation Officer at Safilo. “The ability to print prototypes with the same color and texture as the finished product, has significantly increased our speed in developing new eyeglass frames. Now, we can push the creative boundaries even further, quickly responding to market trends and reducing our prototyping cycle from three days to just three hours.”

Making Design for 3D Printing More Accessible

“Partnering with Adobe, a world leader in creative software products, aligns with Stratasys’ vision to make the color 3D printing experience as simple, powerful and rewarding as possible,” said Dan Yalon, EVP Business Development, Strategy and Vertical Solutions, Stratasys.

Stratasys has also introduced a new direct color workflow from Photoshop CC to the Stratasys Direct Manufacturing parts-on-demand service. Photoshop CC users can send colorful 3D files directly to Stratasys Direct Manufacturing for Objet Connex3 3D printing.

Features such as direct quoting, validation and previewing can help ensure that the printed design won’t exceed your budget.

“Adobe Photoshop CC users can now directly access Stratasys Objet Connex3 3D printers – whether locally or through Stratasys Direct Manufacturing – and easily produce their designs with gorgeous gradient color and fine details,” said Adil Munshi, VP and GM, Print and Publishing Business Unit, Adobe. “The combination of Adobe’s unmatched color expertise with Stratasys’ multi-color, multi-material 3D printing is a true game-changer for the creative design industry,”

Stratasys Creative Colors is now bundled with all new Objet Connex3 3D Printers and can also be purchased for existing Objet Connex3 systems.