Prior to launching branded packaging into the market, artwork needs to be created, approved, and released. This process needs to be carefully monitored to ensure quality and compliance.
Tired of getting lost in space with e-mails, loose attachments, and manual Excel status overviews? Squareflow keeps the overview and includes a powerful online validation toolkit to approve the content and technical specifications of your artworks. Our built-in comparison technology also allows to automatically compare files, or even native text in any language or alphabet.
SquareFlow is an online global platform that streamlines and facilitates the briefing, approval and delivery process of new artworks and changes to existing artworks. We implement your personalized “design to print” SquareFlow setup after careful analysis of the different steps of your process. By doing so we set up a centralized process for all packaging artwork changes and ensure full traceability for each validation step.
- Simultaneous validation: every user is looking at the same artwork
- Shortens time to market
- Clear and unambiguous process
- SquareFlow manages the approval flow automatically
- No distribution of PDF files or paper proofs necessary
- Less time consuming and fewer errors
- Gathering of KPI’s and Business Intelligence
As a brand, your proprietary assets are the most valuable currency you have. But do you give access for your team? Is everyone using the latest version? Are you sure these valuable data are protected and stored in a safe place?
The answer is Digital Asset Management (DAM).
DAM simplifies everyday processes such as searching for files and sharing them without hassle. All your assets are nicely stored in one location, directly available for sharing with users across the world. And you get piece of mind knowing they are in a safe place.
But there’s more: ask us to connect your DAM to customer endpoints, such as your website, an e-commerce site or digital product catalogue. Square helps connect the dots and has the savoir-faire to link all technology into 1 ecosystem that boosts your brand.
Online print quality : Your pack design took blood, sweat and often a lot of money. You plough through the graphic chain and validate the design on its print feasibility. Colour proofs are validated, and printing data is sent to the printers. And what happens next? Suddenly you seem to lose control, at the worst possible time – when a digital file is replicated thousands of times on costly packaging material.
You could do a live press attendance; however, this comes with significant cost, offers no sustainable solution, is highly subjective and only evaluates print quality of the first print run that took place there & then. Working with printed colour standards doesn’t solve the problem either because visual comparison is bound to be subjective. Yet, the cost of bad print quality is huge: it damages the reputation of your brand; in some cases, it may lead to scrapping of materials or even out of stock situations.
How do you control print quality? Not just for the first print run, but every single time? For third party printers or overseas printers that don’t speak your language? For every print technique and substrate?
Square offers you online print quality control. Anytime, anywhere, for any print run!
How do we do it?
- We define your brand colours objectively as numerical values, together with a predefined acceptable tolerance. From colour to substrate!
- We identify and mark your most important design elements on the artwork file. From quality to printing expectations: instructions for printers were never so clear!
- The online platform automatically calibrates the printer’s spectrophotometer to guarantee reliable print measurements.
- The platform automatically sends a job report as soon as the print run is completed. All data is stored and gathered in period reports for ongoing printer benchmarking.
- No need for costly press attendances across the globe
- Any print run can be controlled, not just the first one
- Objective monitoring of print quality
- Crystal clear instructions for printers
- Helping printers to improve print results. Easy to use and self-explanatory.
- Allows for printer benchmarking
- Automated print reports and dynamic dashboards
Content and data management : Your brand and product information is managed through various “systems of record” (ERP, PIM, PLM, DAM). This is where you create and store your master data, product codes, product information, images and assets, instructions for use, logistic information, …
Al lot of the product information needs to be translated, localized or adapted “in context” for specific purposes. For example, a PIM system may refer to “rosemary, thyme, and oregano” whereas the ingredient list on pack could simply say “Provencal herbs”…
Localization or translation is often depending on the context in which the terms are used. For example, how about the difference between “zero sugars” and “no sugar”?
But then, the complex part: how do you keep track of data that is altered during the artwork or publication process? How do you guarantee consistency across all your media and communication channels at once? If packaging artwork is changed, who takes care of updating the digital data in e.g. e-commerce platforms as well?
Square helps by organizing customer data and developing qualitative briefs for the graphic process, as such facilitating the content management and localization process.
We have advanced ways of doing so (e.g. automatic import/export to and from PIM, DAM, ERP and PLM systems) but also a simple exchange of an intelligent Square form via e-mail is perfectly possible.
Square uploads the data to our intermediate “SquareLinks” database. SquareLinks allows to synchronize content and data across packaging and other communication channels automatically.
SquareLinks automatically pushes pack shots and hero images together with product and logistic data to GS1 data pools and retail organizations. This eliminates manual data distribution and avoids inconsistency.
Central graphic chain or local responsibility? Your corporate culture, historic development and brand portfolio are just a few of the many influencing factors that will determine the graphic chain model that really suits your needs. Square does not work with “one size fits all” solutions, but of course we have blueprints and best practices that can be tailored to your exact needs.
Artwork development: creative activity or technical?
Most brand owners understand that design adaptation and final artwork are managed more efficiently by their premedia partner instead of their creative agency. At Square we help you to organize this process properly, without loose ends nor overlaps. Defining the good cut off point and smooth handover together, helps to reduce cost, improve compliance, and ensure brand consistency.
Primary and secondary prepress.
Who does what? What is the difference between primary prepress and secondary prepress and here do I make the split between agency and printer? Is fingerprinting always needed? How about trapping, adding printer marks, file ripping and toolmaking? The answer to those questions should be tailor-made, not one-size-fits-all. A well-organized prepress process comes with clear split of responsibilities, transparent costs, and maximum efficiency.
Square starts from the needs of brands, with a tailor-made approach. Early involvement of our brand teams ensures print feasibility. Our central workflow provides economy of scale and traceability. Our graphic engineers automate what deserves to be automated. We propose hybrid prepress models: mindful of sourcing flexibility, supply chain dynamics, and the latest developments in the printing industry. But also with maximum brand efficiency: packaging is more than a printed container, and we ensure seamless integration with e-commerce and other distribution channels.
Curious to know more? Contact us.
You know what you want but need help in getting things organised? You need someone with experience in change management? Or do you seek independent advice on workflow technology? Square is a group of graphic chain enthusiasts. We strongly believe that a meticulous organization of the graphic chain is the key to brand performance and position ourselves as your partners along the way. Our teams and senior experts are ready to provide technical assistance, support for innovation, global project architecture engineering, and graphic chain coordination.
(Onsite) Artwork coordination
The right support for artwork coordination: near-site, offsite, onsite, temporary, or long term. Coordination of planning, activity management, master data management, project creation and follow-up and overall artwork management.
The graphic chain is a complex collaboration of many stakeholders – from legal to marketing, from procurement to supply chain. And many external partners like agencies, printers, or regulatory bodies. Our project managers help animating the graphic chain: complexity made easy!
We listen to your business challenges and organizational ambitions: CO² reduction, cost efficiencies, brand performance, changing consumer behaviour, retail
windows, … the impact of the graphic chain organisation has a large contribution. After thorough analysis of current state, ambitions and challenges we make comprehensive recommendations for resources, process, and technology – and we help implement as well.
Square is technology independent and has the benefit of working with an impressive network of technology providers. Our technology experts help search, select, configure, and support the right technology for your needs. We look for synergies and redundancies, and support integration where possible. Automate the bulk, focus on the exceptions!