Abigail Bruce

Marketing Director EMEA, Pantone

1. What brought you as a company to this event?

The Packaged Summit provides an ideal environment and forum to share and to exchange ideas regarding the profound effect that color choices have across brand categories and the materials used in production.
Pantone is the world’s most powerful and influential brand in color. Pantone Color Systems are the de facto language that inspires over 10 million creatives around the world with the leading color trends, helping keep designs and brands fresh. The depth and breadth of its role in color have also placed it top of mind with consumers around the world, who depend on Pantone to empower them with beautiful, evocative color choices. Across the spectrum of design, including brand, product, fashion, industry, and of course, packaging, color influences not only design decisions, but also purchasing decisions. Together with our parent company, X-Rite, we are leading the color digitisation for creatives and the supply chain, ensuring that color intent is accurately portrayed, prepared and produced.

2. Can you give us a few insights into some of the issues you’ll be covering in your presentation in June?

We will talk about how to get the right color and how to get the color right on consumer packaging. By this, we mean to share a few examples of color projects we have partnered on with our customers to achieve impressive results on the shelf. More areas of focus will include the psychology of color thinking for better design, the science and emotion of color, how color influences product purchasing decisions, brand color in production, and how to “level up” the color maturity model. This all leads to enabling brands to take back control on their color.

3. What role does colour have to play in developing a successful packaging design?

The world’s most prominent products are recognized by their brand colours, and according to Kissmetrics, 85% of people say color is the primary reason they buy a certain product*. Keeping that in mind, it is essential for brands to define their colours and maintain quality on a global scale. But for designers, communicating and defining color isn’t easy. In fact, the journey from the original product color that starts in design often gets lost or altered enroute to production.

4. Where is the sweet spot between the design and technical elements of packaging? How should the 2 sides of the coin be working together to create a truly great product that speaks to the customer?

The sweet spot is the place where designers are enabled to make design decisions in real-time with access and integration to technologies driven by production knowledge. This cuts down on traditional design cycle time associated with proto-typing and proofing while bolstering creativity. You see the beginnings of this in virtual reality solutions like Esko’s Storefront Visualizer that allows designers to see more than just a 3D rendering of their design. They can see it in the context of a retail environment that is dynamic. The same can apply to color. A lot of time in the design process, color is a placeholder until that magic moment when it is sent to a supplier to get the “color proof”. We see the sweet spot as being able to skip that step and access production color as early as the inception of color when the design is being conceptualized. This is especially important when a design needs to crossover many different materials and production processes. This is an advantage of applying technology solutions, like PantoneLIVE, to traditionally physical-only workflows.
In an ideal world, a designer should specify a color once for each target substrate and printing technology. Seamless execution should occur from pre-press to production based on those specifications, and the color should remain consistent across the entire product life cycle, regardless of the substrate or printing technology, even in a complex global supply chain that includes multiple converting plants.
Sound impossible? It’s not. Pantone X-Rite can guide and support designers and their print production counterparts to align in providing achievable color that can be produced efficiently and consistently, every time.

5. A key theme within the packaging industry at the moment is the issue of carbon footprints and sustainability. Do you believe companies are finally starting to take the issue seriously? Is there still resistance where the ‘green’ way of doing things is not the most cost-efficient way?

We know the packaging industry has been taking the issue of sustainability very seriously for a long time. In fact, many of the innovations you see in packaging materials and structures are driven by a sustainability initiative. We see consumer goods companies, like Dell, working in collaboration with their suppliers to innovate and implement these greener solutions by approaching packaging design with a focus on right sized packaging, correct material selection and recyclability of plastics.

6. What do you foresee as being the biggest game changers in the packaging world over the next 5-10 years?

The “digital shelf” is by far the biggest game changer for the retail packaging space. You could call it the Amazon effect. The consumer is engaging with products digitally more now than ever before and the trend only seems to be increasing. We have seen the rapid growth of delivery services like Instacart, DoorDash, Amazon Pantry or Amazon Fresh. Grocery stores are jumping on the band wagon and offering an online ordering option, too. There is a lot of movement in this space and it radically changes how consumers interact with a brand in the food and beverage space. The packaging on the shelf used to be the “First Moment of Truth” and that is changing. Now that the experience can be completed with the click of a button, we need to reconsider some of the fundamentals of packaging design like the “wall of color” on the retail shelf or use of color in product placement. You will see an evolution in color strategies for attracting the attention of the consumer.

7. What do you hope delegates will walk away with from your session at Packaged 2018?

In 2015, the Pantone Color Institute survey found that 86% percent of designers had little to no knowledge of the manufacturability of color in their workflow. This could mean that most designers surveyed had never asked their production counterparts what is needed in terms of color specification to produce the desired outcome.
We wish to start a new conversation between the design and production worlds. One that facilitates collaboration, improves the design cycle time to market for new designs, and provides insights into how assets are performing in production related to design intent. We see these as the next improvement vectors for many consumer goods companies and their suppliers. The pressure to deliver more in less time is only increasing. When we apply technology solutions, we can open the door to more creativity in design and better results in production. We hope that delegates will walk about knowing that there is more to be considered about color and we are here to help.