Midcomp and HP, along with The Institute of Packaging South Africa Northern Region, hosted an informative breakfast, educating attendees on opening the digital doorway to packaging. The event featured guest speaker Silas Amos, Creative Director for jkr UK, who has has over 25 years’ experience as a designer and strategic partner for global FMCG companies
The packaging industry has been traditionally ruled by analogue printing equipment, with only seven percent of these materials currently printed with digital technology. However, shorter product life cycles, a demand for faster time to market and a decline in average run length have accelerated the need for digital print in recent years.
Brand owners are seeking the versioning, short runs and reduced environmental impact that are only available with digital printing technology. After leading the shift to digital in-label printing, HP is again driving an unstoppable analogue-to-digital transformation in the package printing industry.
Amos addressed the topic ‘Why digital printing matters?’, touching on the technology’s benefits such as precision and variation. He said brands value being unique, because those that stand out get noticed, and digital printing offers customers unique products with unique packaging. With digital, packaging can also be very specific and localised, for example, instead of targeting products at an entire country, digital printing allows you to produce smaller runs so you can target a town, or province with specific packaging.
He also explained that the speed of digital printing gives brands the opportunity to be topical and produce ‘real-time’ packaging where they take advantage of trends. An example of this is a company which sells sausages taking advantage of the soaring Summer temperatures. They did a short campaign promoting their products as a perfect complement for a Summer braai.
He emphasised that packaging is a very important part of media communication because it’s the main thing people see when they buy a product. ‘Digital printing makes packaging resonant, impactful and helps build brands,’ he said.