Printing in a soccer state of mind

In this summer issue we welcome a new author, Shaun McNaughton, and his article about competitive packaging. As a fellow educator, I had the pleasure of meeting Shaun through a competition that we both had students participating in. It is exciting that he is sharing some of his innovative ideas about packaging with us. In the lead article this month you can read about projects that set themselves apart, and in doing so make a name for the products they carry. Of course no innovative packaging article would be complete without at least one example for the alcoholic beverage sector. It is always fun to see a new technology being used to promote a marketing message. It seems that the beer industry in particular likes to use the package as a brand tool, whether it’s temperature sensitive ink to indicate that your beer is at an optimal temperature or the microprocessors and LED lights to turn your bottle into a nightclub party beacon. After all, the beer bottle in and of itself is known to be the most green package of them all due to the high level of reuse. The article also addresses the use of 3D printing in packaging. The obvious application is prototyping, quickly and inexpensively allowing the package designer to verify that labels will fit exactly as intended and to achieve much faster approvals from clients.
These days it seems like a rapidly increasing number of products have had some connection to 3D printing. For those who caught the opening ceremonies of the World Cup you saw that the kick off was performed by paraplegic man, Juliano Pinto. This was made possible by an exoskeleton of which some parts had been 3D printed. In other soccer-related print trivia you may find the sticker business statistics for collectable Panini stickers and albums astonishing. Over 65 million albums released, with factories in Europe and South America pumping out an average of 10 million stickers per day! That is a lot of printing. And while creating albums online and playing with digital games is also available, it’s wonderful to see people become excited about a small printed piece of paper with some stick.