The Real Pet Food
Company needed a fresh approach to improve the quality of their printed packaging.
Task’s streamlined design execution process resulted in...
> Colour consistency across 20 local and overseas printers
> High quality printed packaging to match their premium image
> Use of high-res photography and intricate designs that previously weren’t achievable
> 60% faster delivery of artwork rollout and prepress than other suppliers
> 100% error free designs and seamless handoff with printers
Problem 1: INCONSISTENT PACKAGING DESIGN TO PRINT PROCESS RESULTING IN LONG LEAD TIMES.
At Task, we know that streamlining the design to print process improves the speed to market, controls quality and reduces costs.
Before working with us, the brand managers at the Real Pet Food Company didn’t have established processes to take a master packaging design through to a printed product. Files would frequently require correction late in the process, resulting in delays and costly rounds of changes.
Drawing on many years of experience, our account manager worked with the Real Pet Food Company to map out the best design to print process and apply it to all projects and brands.
Problem 2: CREATIVITY OF MASTER DESIGNS RESTRICTED BY LIMITATIONS OF PRINTING.
Pet food is a highly competitive market, and consumer expectations are changing. Today, customers not only expect a high-quality product, they demand packaging that accurately shows the look of the pet food.
The Real Pet Food Company saw an opportunity to use high-quality photography and sophisticated designs to stand out from competitors and better address consumer preferences. Before working with Task, these sort of designs were unachievable in print.
Task drew on their expertise with print presses and colour accuracy to push printing boundaries, resulting in the use of designs and packaging quality that the Real Pet Food Company never thought possible.
Problem 3: TIME WASTED FIXING ARTWORK ERRORS.
Before Task got involved, the design agency was responsible for both master design and artwork rollout.
While the agency was skilled at creating design concepts, they lacked the technical print knowledge required to set up files for the press. They routinely delivered faulty files that resulted in colour inconsistencies and errors. This also resulted in escalated costs, as the agencies charged high hourly rates to fix the problems they created.
Now Task is responsible for the design rollout. We know the best way to layout the design assets and copy within the dielines, avoiding costly errors and ensuring that files are set up correctly for printing the first time. Any last minute changes can be made on the spot by our onsite account manager without having to rebrief the agency and incur expensive hourly fees. Our artwork files are 100% accurate, and turned around in just days instead of weeks.
Problem 4: COMMUNICATION ISSUES BETWEEN SUPPLIERS.
A clear understanding of how design translates into print is key to delivering a successful packaging project.
Before Task got involved, there were frequent communication issues between the design agency and printers. The design agency wasn't familiar with the printer’s terminology, and the printers were unsure how to get designs printed to match the master concept. On top of that, printing feasibility wasn’t considered when creating master designs. It was only when the files were delivered that the printer would work out how it would be printed.
This broken process caused costly and time-consuming changes at late stages. It also resulted in designs that didn't work on press and packaging that didn’t meet expectations.
Now that we work with the Real Pet Food Company, we take a different approach. We get involved at the very beginning, advising the design agency if the master concept is achievable and give input on how the designs will look printed. We also understand the capabilities and limitations of each print press used by the 20 local and overseas printers and plan accordingly.
We ensure clear communication between all suppliers in the process - translating printer requirements effectively for the agency and working directly with the printers to ensure the packaging meets the design vision. This saves re-working designs at later stages, reduces timelines and costs.
Problem 5: INCONSISTENT PRINTED PACKAGING AND QUALITY BELOW EXPECTATIONS.
The Real Pet Food Company was getting inconsistent print quality across the entire product range. They were unhappy with the printed results and worried that their packaging didn’t live up to their premium brand image.
Before working with Task, no one understood why the results from each printer were different or how to resolve the issue. The solution Task developed was in 2 parts:
Prepress file setup
We know that every printer has a different way of printing and the best way to ensure a consistent result is to customise files for each print press used. We uncovered that the design agency was supplying the same file to every printer.
We fixed the problem by reaching out to each of the Real Pet Food Company’s printers to obtain their unique press specifications. Then we customised each file accordingly. This approach guaranteed that all artwork files would be 100% press ready and saved significant time. Now takes only 1 week for prepress once artwork is approved.
Before we got involved, each printer was generating their own type of proof from the files provided by the design agency and getting the Real Pet Food Company to sign-off. These proofs varied widely from each printer and often didn’t match the colours from the original design.
Task uses predictive proofing. We do this by incorporating individual printer specifications to generate colour accurate, press-ready proofs. Our new proofing technique ensured consistent quality across all their printers. The printers now use our trusted proof as the benchmark for how the colours should look printed.
An added issue with the old method was that proofs from overseas printers would take 7 days to produce and deliver to the team in Sydney. Task’s proofs are turned around in 1 day, helping to improve speed to market for the Real Pet Food Company.