Unit_20_-_Labels__Printing__and_Graphics - Unit 20 Labels,...

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20. 1 Unit 20 Labels, Printing, and Graphics When we discussed the communication function of packaging, we talked about labels a bit. Now we are going to look at labeling and decorating - at packaging graphics - in a bit more detail. We certainly will not be able to cover the whole subject in depth, but if you are interested in this area, PKG 330, Packaging Printing, is the course to investigate. Packaging graphics has been defined as “the design and decoration of the exterior surface of a package plus the use of related equipment. Packaging graphics include illustrations, symbols, colors and words.” (D. Abbott, Packaging Perspectives, Kendall/Hunt, 1989.) Abbott estimated that graphics can cost as much as 35% of the overall package costs, but are essential in selling the product in a competitive market-oriented society. If you recall the discussion on how packages compete with one another on the shelves, this really is not too surprising. Usually, when we think about packaging graphics, we think about printed words, pictures, or designs that are applied to packages as part of its communication function. There are two basic ways to get this printed information onto a package: we can print directly onto the package, or we can print on another substrate that then is applied to the package. In the latter case, the item that we apply to the package is a label; however, there are other ways to apply decoration, including words and colors, to packages. For example, remember the SPI coding system for plastics, which is molded into the bottom of containers, not printed onto them. Authorities differentiate between “printing” and “decorating” in different ways. For example, Walter Soroka (Fundamentals of Packaging Technology, IoPP, 1995) uses “printing” to refer to flexography, lithography, and gravure, which are the most common methods to apply “graphic art” to packaging, and uses “decorating” to refer to “a number of special methods such as screen printing, hot foil stamping, embossing, and pad printing,” which account for a much smaller proportion of graphic art used in packaging. For the purposes of our discussion, we wil l use “printing” to include all methods of applying words or images to packages that involve the use of ink, and “decorating” to mean those methods (such as coloring the base material and embossing) that do not involve the use of inks. 20.1 Decorating of Packages As stated above, we are using the term “decorating” to mean the ways of applying graphics to packages that do not involve the use of ink. Let’s take a brief look at some of the methods that can be used. If we start with color, an obvious way to impart color is to incorporate the coloring agent into the material. This is so basic that we often do not even think of the color as a graphic element, but certainly color is an important part of the look of a package. Steel and aluminum cannot be colored in this fashion, but we can
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This note was uploaded on 10/17/2011 for the course PKG 101 taught by Professor Haroldhughes during the Spring '08 term at Michigan State University.

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Unit_20_-_Labels__Printing__and_Graphics - Unit 20 Labels,...

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