During the Paperboard Packaging Council’s (PPC) Folding Carton Boot Camp on June 9-10, 2015, top-rated presenter Susie Stitzel, Solution Manager at Esko, instructed industry newcomers that efficient, successful carton design occurs when structural designers, graphic designers and brand owners understand the dependencies between their tasks and treat design as a holistic process.

During her 45-minute presentation, Stitzel first illustrated how structural and graphic design often proceed as two independent workflows that require information from each other, and that this is further complicated by the fact that various design tasks are generally carried out by different departments or even by different companies. The challenge is to ensure communication between the various parties so that package designs arrive at pre-press with minimal errors or needs for revision.

For example, it’s paramount that brand owners communicate the weight, fragility, shelf life and other important features of the product to the designers so they can create a structure that addresses all these factors while still taking into account material reduction and make sure that the final design can run through the filling equipment efficiently.

“No part of the folding carton design process should be performed in isolation,” says Stitzel. “By thinking in terms of the whole process, designers can create outstanding cartons while avoiding common pitfalls.”

According to Stitzel, one common pitfall occurs when graphic designers do not have the most up-to-date dieline or when all panels do not face the appropriate direction on a dieline. Another pitfall that can hold up a job occurs when designers fail to consider how many colors a press can reproduce or do not request all the supporting artwork and logos prior to the start of a project.

Stitzel’s presentation was only one of many made over the two-day workshop. Other topics discussed during the intensive session included papermaking, recycling, sheeting, traditional and digital printing, diecutting, folding and gluing, inks and finishings, widowing and rigid box production.

The next Folding Carton Boot Camp takes place on November 17-18, 2015, and is open to PPC members, brand-owners, and non-members. To register or for more information, visit paperbox.org/bootcamp.