iC3D achieves shrink with comfort for Sun Branding

The design and prototyping of innovative shrink sleeve packaging

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Comfort’s packaging using Shrink Correction features of iC3D
Comfort’s packaging using Shrink Correction features of iC3D

The Sun Branding case study reveals that iC3D’s Shrink and Shrink Correction features were game-changers for developing innovative ideas. 

Sun Branding Solutions, headquartered in Bradford, UK, is an expert in brand and packaging design. Working with some of the biggest names in retail, FMCG, and pharmaceuticals worldwide, the company provides expert advice and end-to-end support across the whole brand development, design, and print process. Its vast client list is a who’s who of household names, including Unilever, Asda, Tesco, Pizza Express, and Jordan’s.

The Sun Branding Pack Science division offers a team of structural packaging experts with a corporate philosophy of striking ‘the perfect balance between form, function, and performance.’ The team covers every packaging material and application, from all things flexible to glass, carton, and POS/POP.

Arguably, the key to Sun Branding’s longstanding successful relationships with many clients is its continual process of reinvention. 

The company is rightfully proud of its track record of innovation and, to this end, passionate about exploring and investing in new technology that will keep it one step ahead, driving the future of packaging. With this purpose, Sun Branding came across Creative Edge Software while investigating the market to find a better solution for producing fast, accurate packaging mockups.

Creative Edge Software’s flagship product, iC3D, is an all-in-one packaging application that allows designers to generate 3D digital prototypes in real-time for all types of packaging, including cartons, labels, flexibles, bottles, POS/POP, and shrink wraps.

Sun Branding Solutions wanted a solution for producing fast, accurate packaging mockups that would also enable the company to innovate and fully explore all the creative options for blue-chip clients in the food, drink, and household goods.

For Sun Branding, it was one specific feature of iC3D that impressed the company most of all. Tackling a notoriously challenging procedure, iC3D SmartShrink was developed to quickly and accurately visualize how to shrink film artwork will distort when applied to 3D models. The technique requires no specialist structural design skills from the packaging professional and no technical production knowledge of how the shrink will ultimately be applied. Working with flat Illustrator or PDF artwork allows the operator to predict where distortions will occur, automatically eliminating warp or deformation.

“We trialed other plug-ins and standalone products for this kind of work, but the quickest turnaround we achieved was little under eight hours. iC3D rendered the same job in a matter of seconds, literally.” – Martin Hawkins, Group Operations Director, Sun Branding.

“The crucial difference with iC3D is its astonishing speed,” explains Martin Hawkins, Group Operations Director at Sun Branding. “We trialed other plug-ins and standalone products for this kind of work, but the quickest turnaround we achieved was little under eight hours. iC3D rendered the same job in a matter of seconds, literally.”

The specialized Shrink and Shrink Correction features of iC3D made the difference for Sun Branding when embarking on the project to improve Comfort’s packaging. According to Sun Branding, the high speed and ease-of-use of iC3D’s Shrink and Shrink Correction features were game-changers, ensuring that the development of innovative ideas was viable and allowing the company to fully explore its creative options for Comfort’s new ultra-concentrated fabric conditioner.

“We wanted to use bright color in a big way, as well as other finishing effects while leaving our options open for development on new-generation product variants further down the line. But consistency across the range had to be guaranteed,” comments Hawkins. “The fact that iC3D is an affordable all-in-one solution meant that we could deliver packaging that is innovative, efficient, cost-effective, and above all stands out from the competition!”

Including Fresh Sky, Fuchsia Passion, Ocean Pearl and Sunburst in the UK, Passion Gourmande, Coup de Soleil and Tourbillon de Fraîcheur in France and Fresh Sky, Fuchsia Passion, Ocean Pearl and Sunburst in The Netherlands, the designs for the Intense Comfort range were rolled out successfully – and in record time – across Europe.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Packaging South Asia’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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