Design Best Practices Explored at PPC’s Technical and Production Design Summit

Participants of the 2013 Technical and Production Design Summit shared design know-how during an energetic roundtable discussion.

June 26, 2013 - During an animated roundtable discussion at the Paperboard Packaging Council's Technical and Production Design Summit in Springfield, Massachusetts (USA) on June 4-5, 2013, best practices in design, creativity, and production were discussed.

Some of the ideas presented included:

  • Keep rejected carton designs on file because in the future, they may solve another customer’s design challenge.
  • Foster creativity by taking your design team on regular field trips to stores or other locations where packaging is displayed. They will be able to visualize their package in real-life situations and compare it against competitors’ displays.
  • Sometimes collaboration can dampen creativity so on occasion, ask your team to independently come up with a design solution to the same project.
  • What a customer requests is not always the solution they are really looking for. So always try to discover their underlying goal.
  • Maintain order in your production department by developing a database of package designs that utilizes standardized design codes, such as those in the Ideas & Innovation Handbook.
  • Train your sales staff in packaging design basics so they know what questions to ask of your clients and understand your plant’s technical and design limitations.
  • An initial presentation of pencil sketches provides a customer with more design options without the expense of detailed CAD illustrations.
  • If you do not have the in-house resources to provide the best design solution for your client, then outsource what you cannot do or create.
  • To survive in this competitive industry, budget for your creative team to make mistakes in their efforts to find innovate solutions.
  • Celebrate your team’s wins and take the time to review not only what went wrong but also what went “right.”

“The roundtable process was a huge success,” remarked Ben Markens, President of PPC. “I was overwhelmed by how many ideas our attendees offered to solve nagging production problems and solve technical obstacles.”

For more information on the Technical and Production Forum, visit

Now in its 84th year, PPC is the leading industry association serving suppliers and converters of all forms of paperboard packaging. PPC works to grow, promote, and protect the paperboard packaging industry while providing its members with resources and tools to compete effectively and successfully in the marketplace. For more information, call 413.686.9191 or visit

SOURCE: Paperboard Packaging Council