Packaging is your first impression. Unless you are in a pop-up and sampling your product, your packaging is actually more important than what is inside (for a first time buyer anyway). It communicates your brand, explains and sells what is inside and gets the consumer jazzed to try it. That is a lot to accomplish with a tiny bit of real estate on a crowded shelf, each package saying ‘look at me, look at me’.
My first package was a tiny cellophane bag stapled closed with a hand-printed card featuring the brand name and flavor. Cute - in a lemonade stand sort of way: childish, folksy and adorable. My second package was a clear stand up pouch with a printed label – magical at Farmer’s Markets where people are sampling and less concerned with nutritionals, barcodes or expiry dates. My third package made me look WAY bigger than I was: consistent with the brand, nutritionals and met every single requirement of the Canadian packaging and label laws. Yes. That’s a thing.
Here’s why I crush on digital printing:
Standard doesn’t exist in the digital printing world. There are ways to most efficiently use film to minimize waste, maximize output. But anything goes. Dream your dream.
There are literally no limits to how you use colour in digital printing. Traditional printing charges PER colour so has always made a strong case for one colour design on a solid, pre-printed background. Anything goes with digital and no extra expense.
The design bit can definitely take time but the actually printing happens pretty quickly. Under two weeks. Nice.
Well .Yes and no. The affordability comes from being able to do smaller runs than with traditional plate printing and zero set up expense. But as with traditional printing, the real price breaks don’t exist until you are ordering lots and lots.
Because there aren’t any set up fees (you do need to pay for proofs which I HIGHLY recommend), you can make adjustments from run to run without bleeding money. I had to change the manufacturing address because the commercial kitchen I was using closed. Would have been a double whammy with traditional printing: first, I would have had 100000 units to work through before being able to do a second run. And second, I would have had to pay for a second set up.