Posts Tagged ‘ andy tergis ’

The Basics of Package Design

Creating packaging for a client isn’t always easy, especially if you are creating a package for a product that you’re not familiar with or have never used. Below are some of evok’s best practices for creating award-winning packaging, along with a few of my own personal tips for success.

Take a field trip. Start with shopping around the competition to see what is out there. Check out your client’s retail environment to see how other products are presented on the shelf. Make sure you take your handy-dandy camera with you to take pictures of the competitors’ packaging. That way, you can go back and work on how you’re going to differentiate you client’s packaging from their competitors’ packaging. To take your research a step farther, look at other packaging that’s not within your client’s realm. This approach can help you come up with and an idea that could be a little more unconventional.

Contact your printer before you design. In addition to providing you with a die line for your job, your printer is a valuable resource for advice on paper or other material options. If you’re unclear about the kind of printer or process that’s appropriate for your packaging project, contact a printer with whom you have a working relationship. Remember to involve your printer at every stage of the design process to be sure that your concept is achievable.

Know the quality and production budget. Think about the quality of the paper, inks, spot varnish, emboss, metallic or a custom die. All those things will affect you client’s overall budget. When money is the bottom line, you must be flexible with the elements of your design. Set realistic goals that stay on target with your client’s budget.

Make the purchase. As a designer, your goal is to create a design that stimulates the consumer to make the purchase. Your design should increase product recognition, in other words, it should act as a “stand-in salesman”. It needs to do this quickly and concisely.

Create mock-ups. I’m a pretty visual person and I make mock-ups all the time. Sometimes when you design something flat that is going to end up being folded, you overlook certain things. You might be experience something along the lines of, “Oooh, I didn’t see that this color bar doesn’t align with this one on the other panel,” or “Yikes, this looks odd since the package lays on its side.” Create several packages so you can see what the shelf presence will be like. Ask your printer if they will run a couple mock-ups for you so you can see how the design works on the shelf.

Bar Codes 101

  • Bar codes must be placed in a spot that is highly visible and easy to scan.
  • A bar code must be printed at a scale between 85% and 120% of its original size.
  • Bar codes must be printed in a dark color against a solid light colored background. The contrast between a bar code and its background must be high enough to allow the bar code to be scanned.
  • Make sure your client provides you with their bar code number. A program like Bar Code Pro will enable you to generate an EPS file to place in your file.

Indesign Tip: How to create a “Book”

I had a big project for a client that consisted of over 60 rack brochures. When I laid them out, I didn’t lay them out in one Indesign file – they were all separate files. Although all the files were separate, if I needed to make a change, the last thing I wanted to do was open each file individually. Indesign has an option for you to create a “Book”. A Book creates an Indesign file that will house all my separate rack brochure files and combine them into one Book file. This is how it works:


A new palette will appear, and once it does, click the “plus” icon in the lower right hand corner of the palette.

Next, a window will appear asking you to locate your files. Once located, click Open. Note: The way you link graphics in your traditional Indesign files, applies the same way to the Book files.

Now that you have all you files selected into your Book, it’s time to save your Book. You can open any of your linked Indesign files via the Book, just select the file from the Book palette and your ready to go. You can print an individual file if needed and you can export individual PDFs from the book, just option click the files you want. If you want to print the selected files, click the print icon in the palette. If you want to export the files as a PDF, click the carrot icon in the upper left hand corner of the palette and select “Export selected documents to PDF”.

Creating packaging for clients can be challenging, but with sound research, clear objectives, a few mock-ups and using these organizational tips, you’ll be on the path to success in no time.

How to Get the Creative Juices Flowing…from the mind of a seasoned art director


If you’re a designer, there are going to be some days when you don’t feel like you can get the creative juices to flow. So, what do you do if something that you used to enjoy has become inundated with crazy deadlines, design criteria and the ever-popular “design block”? Here are my suggestions on how to get the juice to flow.

Sleep On It

A good night’s sleep can have great impact on your ability to problem-solve your creative block. In addition, many creative people say that they will ponder a problem or creative roadblock as they drift off to sleep and then turn it over to their subconscious mind to review as they snooze.

Mother Nature Might Hold The Key

When you allow yourself to step away from the workspace that you occupy each day, you should remind yourself of what Mother Nature has of offer. Among this amazing diversity in nature, you can explore new colors, textures, sounds, sizes, shapes and composition. Allowing your mind to explore, creative juices will (in theory) become more focused, your mind will be cleared and solutions and inspiration will begin to flow far more freely.

FUN FACT: Velcro was inspired by nature. The Swiss Georges de Mestral, inventor of Velcro, noticed how the sticky seed heads of burdock plants attached themselves to his pants and to his dog after walks in the woods. This observation led him to invent the product now called Velcro in 1948.

Just Do It

I have uttered these three, short words to myself many times in order to draw inspiration from somewhere to get something done. More often than not, it’s not that you’ve run out of ideas, it’s just that you’ve forgotten what it feels like to create designs based on how you’re feeling at the time. Give yourself the time to enjoy your craft.

Remind yourself why you love to design so much. Think of this as revving up your engine and giving it time to warm up. Somewhere down the line, you will have the momentum to get started and get things rolling.

Work It Out With A Workout

In addition to keeping your backside from spreading, a good workout is one of the best ways to gain inspiration. Think of it as “inspiration through perspiration”. An exercise session can take your mind off the issue at hand and allow that subconscious problem-solving to kick in. It also increases oxygen flow to the brain, upping your ability to think and problem-solve more effectively. You feel better and your creative blocks don’t seem so difficult to overcome.

Hopefully these juicy ideas will shake off that sluggish design state of mind and get you back on the creative track.

BONUS: Illustrator: Design Tip

Ever want to add a gradient to text in Illustrator without converting the text to outline? Here is how.

Step One

Using the Type tool, type out some text.

Step Two

Using the Selection Tool, click on your text to select it. Now go to your Appearance palette. If you don’t see it, go to Window > Appearance. Click the little arrow in the top right of the palette and choose the following> add new fill.

In the Appearance palette you’ll see a new layer for a Fill.

Step Three

Now You Can Apply Your Gradient! Click On A Gradient Swatch Or Create Your Own. If You Don’t See Your Gradient palette, go to Window > Gradient.

The best thing about it is that you can still edit the text!

The Appearance palette also has the option to add additional strokes. That’s how you can create text with multiple strokes. The cool thing is you can move the strokes and fills around in the Appearance palette just like layers in Photoshop. Use some Illustrator filters on top of that and you can do some pretty fun stuff.