I spend a lot of time working with customers to make sure that their design meet expectations for function, aesthetic appeal and cost. Sometimes these elements conflict with each other and failure to insist on a pre-production sample results in unintended consequences. It’s a label, right? How hard could this possibly be?
Pre-production prototypes are recommended when making a decision on the look for your product identification takes more attention than simply reviewing an electronic proof or similar samples.
Following are the three benefits of that pre-production samples.
Fit and Function Review
Tooling – Low cost cutting and embossing tooling are budget-friendly options. If you have a tight fit and need precise embossing more expensive hard tooling and steel engraving dies should be quoted. Prototypes help you confirm the nameplate fits as it should.
Adhesives - Many products are able to have secure attachment with standard peel and stick adhesive. Some surfaces present more of a challenge and it is beneficial to try out adhesive to identify the best solution.
Color – The PMS 185 red you chose from your Pantone book can look substantially different when printed on metal compared to plastic or vinyl. Limitations posed by pigments and underlying material color can substantially shift colors.
Gloss – Similar to color, gloss level can sometimes be better evaluated with physical samples.
Pattern – Patterns and finishes add interest to product branding. A prototype offers in-hand examples to evaluate for the right structure.
Image resolution – 100-line screen count can look very good on a 10” X 10” part but when printed on a 1” X 2” part can look atrocious. The same holds true when looking to take a graphic from a small size business card and turn it into a larger nameplate or label. The resolution of the artwork provided may need to be revised for clarity.
First article evaluation - Some applications or companies may need pre-production approval of samples along with various reports to satisfy quality systems or other requirements.
Testing - From confirmation of adhesive for attachment to exposure to specific chemicals, it is beneficial to be able to order prototype quantities of your nameplate before releasing to production.
Cost of Pre-Production Samples
It’s true that a pre-production sample will cost you some money. But when your brand and reputation are on the line, taking the extra step can save you aggravation and disappointment in the end. Projects are reviewed on a case by case scenario, so costs involved are unique and subject to each specific requirement.
Don't let branding your product be a source of frustration. Production quality prototypes and samples allow you to fine tune designs and ensure the right look for your product identification.
How Can We Help?
No matter if you are just starting out in defining a nameplate or label or you are looking for ways to improve your presence in the market, we can help. We will work with you to identify the most cost effective and durable solution to make a positive impact in your brand strategy.
How Prototypes Help with Supply Chain Decisions for Product Identification
Common Metal Nameplate Attachment Options
3 Considerations for Design of Nameplates and Labels
Understanding the Importance of Pre-Production Proofs