Branding & Packaging Designer
We were lucky to recently be introduced to Andrew Purchase and the work he has done using Strata Enfold 3D and the Strata 3D CX Suite, in conjunction with Adobe's design applications. In this Enfold 3D packaging design case study, Andrew fills us in on his work and the process of getting from concept, to 3D visualization, to finished product.
Who is Andrew Purchase?
I'm a freelance creative working under the banner of APDesign. Some weeks you'll find me working on graphic branding, other weeks I'll be working on 3d pack designs (Structural branding). All my work is on FMCG branding and packaging. I'm originally from the UK but I live in Sydney, Australia. About 70% of my work comes from local clients but I also travel and work for UK, European, Middle East and SE Asian clients.
I started out as a product designer in the mid-90s but felt more at home with fast turn-around projects. I admit I was a Mac-addict too, so the whole notion of becoming a "PC based" product design engineer was a real turn-off. I got my first real break with Design Bridge (see Dove bottle), a well-known design consultancy in the UK working across some very recognisable brands.
I moved to Australia for the lifestyle. I love sailing and surfing and if I wasn't a designer I think I'd be out there on the water (or in it) and trying to get paid to do that.
Describe your current job or design role
I'm self-employed, usually contracting to design consultancies, but I also have my own clients I work for directly. Through implementation of on-pack graphic design, integrated structural branding (encapsulating brand equities into 3D shape and packaging form) or by other brand communication strategies I find the majority of my work is in helping brands develop new products, packaging and brand communications with consumers.
I'm extending my creative experience into business and brand innovation. I love working on brand strategies, developing innovation directions with clients, running ideation workshops and coming up with new ideas (and visualising them for clients) for products that help companies make money.
My background includes working as a visualiser and illustrator. As a freelancer you need to be versatile and flexible in what you do. You also need to be good at managing your own time and creativity. And above all, never drop the ball. Be a perfectionist but be a perfectionist who gets the job done on time and to budget. "You are only as good as your last project".
Tell us a little about the projects in this Case Study and how Strata Enfold 3D factored into your work
Pack design visualisation
Whilst working on pack designs and product innovation, in the past I would have presented to clients flat, front-face graphics or 3D pack shots made up from a combination of Illustrator and Photoshop. Or, I would have used 3D CAD software to build a model and then surface render. This process was time-consuming and not always 100% accurate. Enfold is great because you can fold the pack and graphics very quickly AND it remains editable in Illustrator until you are ready to develop final 3D visuals.
When ready, I export the Enfold box file as a 3D file that can be displayed directly on a layer in Photoshop Extended. Time and again this allows me the flexibility to place the box file how I want in a 3D environment, adjust the position and perspective for dramatic presentation effect and to do this accurately as many times as I like.
At first the model has a low resolution image/texture map at 72dpi. But the secret to adding realism is to increase the resolution of the 3D model's texture map to 300dpi and then copy the flat-artwork from Illustrator into the texture map (without any keylines/foldlines/dlielines). I've been able to produce far better photorealistic composite images this way. It is also possible to add presentation enhancements such as perspective reflections easily by turning a box file upside down and positioning it lower on the Y axis.
Woolworths Select Green Tea
Woolworths is an Australian supermarket chain. "Select" is one of their own-brand product ranges. Whilst working for a design consultancy called Marque I was undertaking a design project to develop packaging alternatives for their range of teas.
Often these type of projects are very fast turn-around and there is not always an opportunity to present concept designs in person to the client. I used Enfold 3D to great effect to develop the final presentation boards that would enable Marque to sell-in the design to the Woolworths marketing team simply through sending jpegs and pdfs by email.
Panadeine is an Australian brand of pain-killer owned by GlaxoSmithKlein. Globally, the best known GSK brand of pain-killer is Panadol, but in Australia Panadeine has a strong heritage. Many consumers are loyal to the efficacious Australian label that is sold in pharmacies only.
As a freelance creative for Perks Design I was heavily involved in the creative pitch win and design development of 4 new pack designs that refresh the brand. As described above, I've used Enfold 3D as a stepping stone from flat graphics to photorealistic visuals in a very quick time with all the accuracy of more dedicated 3D programmes.
Several brands fall under the banner of GSK Macleans. I've used Enfold 3D here again for the final presentation of Perks Design concepts to our client. Though we would have also shown flat art for discussion, the ability to turn around 3D visuals accurately and easily enables the designs to speak for themselves.
The client gets to visualise the real thing quickly and early in a project without incurring fees for masses of CAD development.
Tommee Tippee produces early learning toys for babies and children. The range of toys includes cuddly toys with a range of functions to interest, entertain and stimulate understanding of the world around babies from 0 to 12 months and older. Having worked on range innovation, my client (Depot Design) developed the key brand communication principles so consumers can identify the age group the toys are aimed at through colour, pattern and shape.
Whilst the focus of the design roll-out included physical mock-ups for the client to pick-up and handle, Enfold and Adobe came into their own as a way of presenting the products in a photorealistic manner. Within all the visuals in this case study the products have been professionally photographed, then masked in Photoshop.
The pack designs themselves start off as graphic elements and dielines in Illustrator. The Enfold 3D box files were brought directly into the toy Photoshop files as a layer around the masked photograph. Shadows and highlights were added and the resolution of the Enfold file increased. Presentation files were then created for client interaction and feedback. All the images shown here are therefore a combination of real product and accurately 3D visualised pack.
Design & Innovation
As my career progresses I am involved less with graphic design and pack design methods that fit into client development stage-gates. Now I'm utilising my skills and experience in brand and business innovation, the pre-process before pack designs begin, enabling brands to come up with big ideas that will connect and resonate with consumers.
This process of early idea generation involves brand strategy, innovation direction and consumer insights. Throughout these initiatives I'm still having to produce concepts that may go into consumer research of some kind, or are shown by marketing to business leaders for finance and project approval. As such, quick turn-around and accurate 3D renders are very important to the process. They help to capture the essence of an idea.
Any suite of software that enables me to capture the essence of an idea creatively, quickly and with ease is going to be of benefit to me and my clients and in summary without a doubt the Strata suite of software continues to enable me to do just that.
Which Strata products did you use in these projects? What other design tools were used?
For years I've been using the standard Adobe products - Illustrator, Photoshop etc. Whilst studying for my product design degree I learnt the old-school way of visualising things using markers, perspective grids etc. As CAD software has enabled designers to explore and visualise ideas quickly I had to find something that worked 1) on a Mac and 2) integrated with Adobe. There was only 1 answer. The Strata range of software suited me to the ground.
I use Enfold 3D a lot as the majority of projects over the past few years have been cardboard packaging based. It is quick and simple but with Adobe integration I can produce photoreal perspective visuals in a quick turn-around time.
Do you have any upcoming projects using Strata products?
Now that I have the full suite of software from Strata I'm forever learning new tricks and applying them to projects.
Well, you certainly are great at what you do and we hope you have inspired designers to experience Enfold 3D and the Strata 3D CX Suite for themselves. Thanks Andrew Purchase!
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