Directions for use: Full implementation of Twona NeXT Artwork Management System is recommended for all stakeholders in your organization.
For optimal results, it is recommended that you fully implement Twona NeXT as your Artwork Management System. This means integrating Twona NeXT into all your processes, training all stakeholders in its use, and utilizing its features to streamline and optimize your artwork management processes.
Risks of not using Twona NeXT
Continuing to work in the traditional way can result in sub-optimal processes, prolonged time-to-market, excessive working hours, messy file folders, untraceable processes, non-compliant systems, and a lack of preparedness for external audits. These risks can lead to decreased efficiency, reduced productivity, and increased risk for your organization.
Failing to implement a digital Artwork Management System such as Twona NeXT can result in a lack of visibility and control over your artwork management processes, leading to decreased efficiency and increased risk. By fully integrating Twona NeXT into your organization, you can streamline and optimize your processes, improve collaboration, and ensure compliance.
It is important to carefully follow the recommended dosage and to fully integrate Twona NeXT into your organization for optimal results. If you have any questions or concerns about the use of Twona NeXT, please consult with your Artwork Management System specialist.
Electrical goods often come with warranties and usage instructions in multiple languages. You know what I’m talking about, the multiple booklets of instructions in 10 different languages or the warranty document to complete and return by post! (remember postage stamps anyone?!), that often fall straight into the recycling bin.
But, there are valid and important reasons for having these. One, being the safety of the consumer and their new product, or information on how to put your new piece of furniture together; but also, one SKU with as many languages included as possible, means a reduction in the overall number of SKUs in production. The more languages you can include, the more countries you can sell that same product in.
So, how do you go about making these important and (sometimes) required pieces of information available while considering packaging reduction and carbon footprint for example? How to squeeze 10 languages on less paper? Do we really need to print out 5 different warranty cards?
A picture is worth 1000 words: Pictures are a universal language and can help convey information without the need for words. This is particularly useful for showing how to use a product or for highlighting specific parts of the product. For example, IKEA provides assembly instructions for their furniture with clear and concise illustrations and no words.
Words: Words are necessary for more detailed instructions and for legal information such as warranties and safety warnings. They also allow for specific language nuances and cultural references that may not be conveyed through pictures alone. Samsung provides detailed instructions in multiple languages for their products, including safety warnings, to ensure that customers fully understand the products they purchase.
Pictures: Using pictures can make the information easier to understand and remember, especially for customers who are not fluent in the language in which the instructions are written. It also saves space, making it easier to include multiple languages in the single document. Apple Inc. uses pictures and diagrams to explain the functions of their products in multiple languages, making the same information accessible to a wide range of customers.
Environmental Impact: Printing documents in multiple languages can have a significant environmental impact, particularly if they are rarely read and often thrown away. Consider providing instructions and warranties in electronic format (online) where possible, to reduce waste. This aligns with companies’ efforts to reduce their carbon footprint and meet overall packaging reduction targets. For instance, Tesla provides electronic versions of their warranties and usage instructions, reducing the amount of paper waste generated by their products.
In conclusion, handling multiple languages in FMCG warranties and usage instructions requires careful consideration of the most effective way to convey information. A combination of pictures and words can be an effective solution, while also reducing the environmental impact of printing (less paper required) or by providing electronic versions where possible. This supports companies’ efforts to reduce their carbon footprint and meet overall packaging reduction targets.
What are you doing to reduce the amount of packaging and unread booklets in your product?
Design briefs are essential for creative projects as they help set clear expectations and define the scope of work. However, working with a design brief that has missing (or useless) information such as low-quality images can be a significant challenge. Below you will find the key challenges faced when working with an incomplete design brief and obtain tips on how to create a clear and comprehensive brief.
You must read this if you are a customer
Every designer in the world
The classical challenges
One of the major challenges of working with a design brief that has missing information is the lack of clear guidelines. This often leads to confusion and misinterpretation, resulting in a final product that does not meet the client’s expectations. For example, if the brief does not include all the reference files or text documents, the designer may struggle to understand the client’s request and produce an artwork that is not in line with their requirements.
Another common mistake is the use of low-quality (or low-resolution) images. When the final design needs to be printed, such as packaging materials for like…..everything that is sold, the images provided to the design team need to have sufficient resolution for the required printing size and method (SPOT and Digital Printing can be different). This not only affects the quality of the final product but also the reputation of the designer and the company they work for. Although, in all likelihood, your designer will probably have to reject the job and ask for better images.
5 things you need to do as a customer
It is of the outmost importance to create a clear and comprehensive design brief that includes all relevant information. Here are five tips to help make the brief clear:
Include clear brief information: The brief should include a clear and concise description of the project’s goals, technical specifications and in general the desired outcome. This will help the designer understand the client’s vision and ensure that they are on the same page. Do not make it more difficult that it needs to be….more is not always better.
Add up-to-scale dielines: Dielines are essential for product design, as they provide a template for the designer to follow when creating the final product. This is particularly critical for packaging materials since it will most likely be the input of a packaging machine when mistakes can be very costly. By including up-to-scale, clean and usable dielines in the brief, the designer can ensure that the final product will meet the client’s technical specifications. If you think a blurry scan of a dieline is good enough…..think again.
Include all text documents: The brief should include all text documents that are relevant to the project, such as product descriptions, marketing materials, regulatory texts, and any other content that will be used in the final product. The designers cannot read your mind, they cannot possibly know all the details of the regulatory bodies of the many countries where you are releasing and have no insight on your company’s strategies. Don’t make it difficult, make it nice. If a text needs to be included, please add a readable document that can be copy-pasted (designers do not type).
Add clear and precise annotations: Sometimes the best way to convey an idea is by annotating an existing document indicating any specific requirements or requests that the client has. Be like water, be clear.
Include all relevant references of essential information: The brief should include references to any essential information that the client feels is important, such as brand guidelines or examples of similar products. If it takes time to find those documents, better do it before hand.
Working with an incomplete design brief can be a significant challenge for designers, but with the right tools and tips, it can be overcome. Remember, too much information is just as bad as too little information, so be sure to strike the right balance and keep the brief concise, yet comprehensive. And always remember, a good design brief is like a GPS – it helps you reach your destination with ease!
The European beauty, personal care, and cosmetics industry is being challenged at the moment, with multiple regulations and changes to earlier ones taking effect during this and coming years.
One major change happened in April 2022, with the amendment to the cosmetics regulation that affected product labelling. This change was made to ensure the safety and well-being of consumers, improve market surveillance and create a level playing field for cosmetics companies within the EU. The new regulation has set several deadlines that companies must meet by 2023.
The cosmetics regulation requires companies to provide detailed information on the ingredients used in their products. Companies must list the ingredients on the product label in descending order of concentration, and provide a full list of ingredients on their websites or through a consumer hotline. This information must be available by July 2023, and will help consumers make informed decisions about the products they purchase, including any potential allergens or harmful ingredients.
In relation to this, the list of allergenic chemicals that need to appear in the label if found in fragrancesor essential oils at levels greater than 0.001% for leave-on products or 0.01% for rinse-off products, was increased to 81.
Another major change to the cosmetics regulation is the requirement for companies to provide warning and precautionary statements on their product labels. This includes information on the safe use of the product, such as the recommended usage, and any potential risks associated with the use of the product. Companies were required to provide this information by January already, and it will help consumers make informed decisions about the use of cosmetic products and reduce the risk of adverse reactions.
In addition to the new labelling requirements, the EU has increased its resources for market surveillance to ensure that companies are complying with the new regulations. This includes unannounced inspections, random sampling, and regular monitoring of companies. The EU is expected to take enforcement action against companies that fail to comply.
There is no doubt that the recent amendment to the cosmetics regulation is a significant step forward in ensuring the safety, transparency and sustainability of the cosmetics industry in the EU. However, the changes come hand in hand with other regulations that even if not specifically crafted for it, also affect this sector. Examples of such are the European restriction on microplastics, or the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste directive – which we may address at a later time.
The amount of changes and the need to adhere to new regulations is making it essential for people in the industry to closely monitor all information around these topics and connect with key sources in order to avoid fines, and other penalties due to non compliance. In many cases, this is also leading to re-labelling/re-packaging of certain lines of products for cosmetics manufacturers.
How are you keeping up to date with all these regulations?
Are you struggling to meet deadlines when it comes to re-packaging /relabelling your products?
Do you find it difficult to confirm if your products are compliant?
If that is the case, these links may be interesting for you:
The use of barcodes has become ubiquitous in the pharmaceutical industry, providing a crucial means of identification and tracking for products in the supply chain. Accurate creation of barcodes is essential to ensure reliable digital reading and to prevent failures that can cause significant disruptions and potentially pose risks to patients, not to mention the costly and feared product recall. In this article, we will explore the importance of creating barcodes accurately and explain why the size of the barcode and the color used in the design are crucial factors to consider. We will also provide two tips to help ensure that barcodes are created correctly for packaging design.
Poorly printed or sized barcodes can cause digital readers to fail, leading to incorrect identification of products, misdirected deliveries, and even recalls. This does not only pose a danger for the patient but also a significant risk for the brand in terms of reputation and costs.
The size matters
One of the key factors to consider when creating barcodes is the size of the code. The size of the barcode needs to be large enough to be easily read by digital readers, but also small enough to fit on the limited space available on the packaging. The size of the barcode must also be consistent across all packaging to ensure reliable digital reading and to prevent confusion. However, the most important aspect of barcode sizing is following the regulated standards for the selected barcode. Some barcode types allow for more flexibility in terms for size and color while others (like the Pharmacode) are very strict in their technical specifications.
Pharmaceutical Binary Code – The Pharmacode
The pharmaceutical binary code, commonly known as the pharmacode, was first introduced in the 1970s as a means of providing a fast and efficient way to identify and track products in the supply chain. The barcode system was originally based on the Universal Product Code (UPC) developed by the grocery industry. The pharmaceutical barcode, also known as the GS1 barcode, was developed to meet the specific requirements of the pharmaceutical industry and is based on international standards established by the Global Standards One (GS1) organization. The technical specifications of the pharmaceutical barcode include a specific number of digits, with the first three digits identifying the company that manufactured the product, the next two digits identifying the product, and the last digit used as a check digit for error detection. The barcode is also required to meet certain size and printing quality standards to ensure reliable digital reading.
You should NEVER resize the width of a pharmacode.
Rafael Cruz, Studio Manager
Color also matters
The color used to create the barcode is also an important factor to consider. Barcodes must be printed in high contrast colors to ensure that they are easily readable by digital readers. The color of the background and the barcode must be carefully chosen to ensure that the barcode is clearly visible and easily distinguishable from the background. The use of low contrast colors, such as light blue on white, can make barcodes difficult to read and can cause digital readers to fail.
2 Tips to help you out
To ensure that barcodes are created accurately, there are two important tips to keep in mind. Firstly, it is crucial to use high-quality printing materials and equipment to create the barcodes. This will ensure that the barcodes are clearly visible and easily readable, and will help prevent digital reading failures. Secondly, it is important to regularly test the barcodes to ensure that they are accurately readable by digital readers. This can be done by using a barcode scanner to test the barcodes and to confirm that they are being accurately read.
In summary, to ensure accurate barcode creation for pharmaceutical packaging design, it’s crucial to:
Consider the size of the barcode to ensure it is easily readable by digital readers and fits the packaging space
Choose high-contrast colors for printing to improve barcode visibility and readability
Use high-quality printing materials and equipment
Regularly test barcodes for accurate digital reading with a barcode scanner
Creating and managing packaging materials for the food industry can be a complex and challenging task, especially when the products are going to be commercialised in many countries. Two of the main challenges include compliance with regulations and cultural differences. Not to mention the complexity in managing multiple packaging materials in the factory.
Compliance with regulations is a major challenge when creating and managing packaging materials for the food industry. Different countries have different regulations regarding food packaging, including labelling requirements, food safety standards, and environmental regulations. This can make it difficult for companies to create packaging that meets the requirements of all the countries where their products will be sold. Additionally, these regulations are constantly evolving and companies need to stay up-to-date with the latest changes in order to remain compliant.
Cultural differences are another major challenge when creating and managing packaging materials for the food industry.
Different cultures have different tastes and preferences when it comes to food, and this can impact the design and messaging of the packaging. Companies need to take these cultural differences into account when creating packaging that will appeal to customers in different countries. For example, a packaging design that is popular in one country may not be well-received in another country due to cultural differences.
The multi-language setup also influences the complexity of creating and managing packaging materials for the food industry. Companies need to create packaging that includes translations of all the text, which can be a time-consuming and costly process. Additionally, the translations need to be accurate and culturally appropriate in order to avoid any misunderstandings or offence. Consistency in look, message and tone should also be considered when selling across borders.
How can you improve this?
One key advice to improve this process is to work with a professional translation agency that specialises in the food industry. These agencies have experience translating food packaging and can ensure that the translations are accurate, culturally appropriate, and compliant with regulations. Additionally, they can help companies stay up-to-date with the latest changes in regulations and cultural trends in different countries.
Another advice is to work with an agency or studio, or independent artwork designer, who is experienced in the production of multi-language packaging materials. These professionals would be able to create, edit, and review materials in different languages, as well as different alphabets before they reach your internal review teams.
Ideally, these two are working together or at least, are in contact, to speed the final delivery of correct packaging information and its formatted result for printing purposes.
And you, how do you manage your multilingual packaging projects?
Illustrations are a fundamental tool for communicating information about medical devices to patients and healthcare professionals. In order for these illustrations to be effective, they must be relevant, accurate, and well-thought-out.
The illustrations should be directly related to the device in question and should provide information that is useful and relevant to the intended audience. For example, an illustration of a medical device used for a specific condition should be included in the documentation for that condition.
Accuracy is another crucial aspect of illustrations depicting medical devices. Inaccurate illustrations can lead to confusion and even errors in use, which can be dangerous for patients. Therefore, it is essential that illustrations are based on accurate, up-to-date information and are reviewed and approved by experts in the field. Additionally, the illustrations need to be easy to understand by the appropriate audience. A healthcare professional might have received appropriate training, but in many occasions the intended user might not have received any training at all.
The third important aspect of relevant, accurate and well thought through illustrations is that they should be well-designed to effectively communicate the intended message. The illustrations should be clear, concise, and easy to understand. They should also be visually appealing, as this can help to engage the reader and make the information more memorable. The illustrations should be placed in a logical and meaningful way in the leaflet or other medical documentation to make it easy for the reader to follow and understand.
Medical illustrations are essential when it comes to communicating information about medical devices to patients and healthcare professionals. They can greatly enhance the effectiveness of instructional materials by making complex information easy to understand, and by ensuring correct application and treatment.
If you need to improve your medical devices illustrations, reach out to our Studio and we will be happy to chat with you.
Releasing a new product at a specific time can be very important for the results,the time factor will always be something to consider. If we are dealing with a deviation that implies a withdrawal from the market, speeding up the changes will be even more critical and always with several departments involved.
The approvals of our packaging materials have been traditionally managed via email in two different ways:
Serial process: in sequence you ask for feedback to different stakeholders and when one material is approved the next step can begin consecutively.
Parallel process: we ask for feedback to different stakeholders in different departments at the same time.
When we talk about approvals there are usually at least 3 departments involved, for example regulatory affairs, marketing, quality or your technical colleagues. As many people we need feedback from,the more difficult the email process becomes.
It is not impossible, but it certainly takes a lot more effort to find, trace and control the process, not to mention the increased probability of errors and the delay it can cause.
How does your company manage approvals among departments? What about when there are external stakeholders involved in the process like a printer?
This is how we handle approvals within our artwork management software (AMS), Twona:
Select the file: we select in our system the file from which we need feedback from. The file with unique identifier associated with a single project:
Fill in the form: where we specify the permissions that you can see below, the subject, the recipients and we include our comments to give it context.
Receive email: stakeholders, within our organisation or external users, will receive an email to access the approval screen and give their feedback.
Review file (s): here we can leave comments in the text field or leave sticky notes in the file itself, we can also add files if necessary as well as give our approval or rejection eventually.
Control approvals: in Twona (AMS) there is a direct access in the upper menu to the approvals with the necessary indications to know the status of the process.
Once you work this way, there comes a time when you wonder how you were able to manage so many approvals without making mistakes.
This is how we manage the packaging materials together with the comparisons tool (X-RAY) and everything offered by the artwork management software, Twona, but that’s another story.
I wonder how you resolve this process today and I invite you to leave us your comments.
Do you miss any relevant information or step for your approvals?
Homogeneize/Standardize is the process to harmonize or confer homogeneity or unity to the elements of a set or an area. When it comes to our packaging, it has many other implications:
Identification & communication of attributes and visibility.
Item Distribution Strategy.
Increase in perceived value of the product.
With the term defined and considering the high strategic importance of standardizing our packaging, we are going to focus on how to deal with the production of (standardize) materials.
What is the best way to guarantee that our team of designers produce homogeneous materials?
Without a doubt, it is the use of templates. These templates, which are expected to be a shared resource, must be unique and protected to avoid changes and therefore generate unwanted deviations.
It is important to develop as many templates as types of products are in our portfolio. These types or groups of products have similar content, form and distribution:
Using a Folding Box as an example, our template must contain: logos and corporate identity signs, road safety or photosensitivity icon, recycling symbol(s), dosage chart and a long etcetera depending on the complexity of our design.
In order to complete our template, we are currently still missing a fundamental element. It is of vital importance to have a mockup in our template so that designers can use the elements that compose it when building new products.
Back to our example of a Folding Box. In our mock-up there will be a set of elements in the front face such as the name of the product/component in the correct corporate font, size and formatting that would help the designer create the final material. Very important is to make sure that these elements are not to be specific and refer to a real product/component. These should contain a generic text, such to avoid human errors by not replacing the correct text from the Medicines Agency.
For example: Molecule Brand 00 xx xxxxxxx xxxxxx EFG – all these in the correct font and sizes/styling.
Besides reducing risk of mistakes, another benefit of using templates is to exponentially speed up the design process. The template is expected to already solve many questions when starting producing a material: What font should I use? Where are the logos and icons? What were these products like that I haven’t worked on lately?…
To finish with our recommendations to standardize your designs with the use of templates, it is important to highlight that a template is subject to real and common cases. What does this mean? The template should be simplified as much as possible so that its use is agile and efficient, therefore, they should not include exceptions or extreme cases when creating the template.
Our template must encompass the common elements of at least 90% of our materials, as well as our guide or procedure for a material that you can see in a previous article: Facing a Rebranding without stress.
Having an effective process is a major goal of most organizations. We know to reach that goal, you use other systems that support or extend your design management processes. And that is fine! Twona AMS ticks many boxes towards achieving effectiveness, and if you implement some of these tips you may be able to reach that goal even faster.
Transferring data within the system or across systems without having to manually do so – sounds good, does it not?
1. Automatic version status update when project stages changes
Imagine that your team has reviewed a document version and has added comments to it. This actually means that the version reviewed is rejected, and a new one will need to be created. You can decide to manually mark it as such before you move the project to the team responsible for the needed changes, or better yet you can build a rule in Twona AMS that will do this for you.
Here is an example of a similar rule.
You may need to adjust this to your internal naming, and you may have a specific use case for a different action. If you need some help to build this, just make sure to contact us!
2. Create a Trello/Monday/Asana card/task when a project reaches a specific milestone
Does your company use some of these popular project management systems ? Then it may be clever to automate the creation of a card when a design is completed and ready to launch so that marketing can start creating their campaigns, or so that the design team can receive the feedback on the design and create a new version (if we want to follow the previous example).
Using the power of Zapier, we are able to integrate Twona AMS with these tools and connect two worlds with just a few clicks.
You can use the predefined workflow for Trello (or other tool you use), or create your own.
3. Notify users when a project reaches a specific status
Some users may need to be alerted when a project is ready for them to take action, such as creating a design based on the briefing, reviewing and approving, or collecting extra information.
If the user does not keep Twona AMS open at all times, you may want to create a notification to inform them that there is an action for them to complete. Notify your users where THEY are most likely to see it. You can choose to do it to a Slack channel, a Google Chat (Room) and/or a good old email.
These are just a few ideas of how you can automate your process and become more efficient. If you have any other ideas, or suggestions, make sure to share those with me!