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.
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 IntelligenceTired of getting lost in space with e-mails, loose attachments and manual Excel status overviews? Squareflow includes a powerful online validation toolkit to approve the content and technical specifications of the artwork.You are working from home; your boss is on business travel and you need a final file validation? No worries, keep working together teamwork thanks to simultaneous online viewing. Forward the link and you’re all set. Teamwork made easy!Don’t understand Arabic and can’t read barcodes? Trust SquareFlow: the built-in comparison technology not only allows to make graphics comparison (pixel by pixel comparison) but also compares native text, braille and codes. In any language, even braille!
Digital assets management
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 ecommerce 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 and features intelligent anti-tampering algorithms 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 “SquareMax” database. SquareMax allows to synchronize content and data across packaging and other communication channels automatically.
SquareMax 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.
Graphic chain consultancy
Central graphic chain or local sourcing?
Fully centralized graphic chain with central budget and coordination? Central facilitation and sourcing with local flexibility? Local brand management with central platform? Your corporate culture, historic development and brand portfolio are just a few of the many influencing factors to build the model that suits your needs.
Artwork development: creative activity or technical?
Most brand owners nowadays understand the benefit of allocating creative adaptation and final artwork to their premedia agency, for reasons of efficiency, cost reduction, technical compliance and omnichannel brand consistency. But how is this organised properly, without loose ends nor overlaps? Where is the “cut-off point”?
Ready to print? Or print-ready?
Can my agency do prepress, or is this a printer responsibility? These questions are touching the tip of an important iceberg. Some brands turn to reprographic agencies to control their brand colours and print quality but get frustrated with the resource-heavy mediation between design agency, repro agency and printer. Brand teams don’t feel they get an appropriate return for the significant cost and time associated with printer profiling and repro file development. Too often they feel it’s overpromising and underdelivering.
Square starts from the needs of brands and offers a tailor-made approach towards graphic chain. Early involvement of the Square brand teams helps to cover print feasibility and ensures a smooth handover from creative phase into technical phase. Our central artwork production and workflow management provides economy of scale, transparency and traceability, without losing flexibility. We standardise and automate where possible and offer hybrid prepress models that consider print sourcing flexibility, supply chain dynamics, and the latest developments in the printing industry. We propose full-fledged prepress services where useful and recommend a lean standardised model where possible. Furthermore, Square helps focus on overall brand efficiency: after all, packaging is more than a printed container – it contains your product data and brand assets! So why not consider connected packaging and e-commerce at once, while we’re at it?
Curious to know more? Contact us.
You know what you want but need help in getting things organised? Someone who has 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
Temporary or outsourced support for artwork coordination, near-site, offsite or onsite. 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 and interacts with almost every aspect of a brand owner’s organisation – from legal to marketing, from procurement to supply chain. And let’s not forget all external agencies, printers, manufacturers and regulatory bodies. This is the core competence of Square: complexity made easy!
Our senior experts listen to your business challenges and organizational ambitions e.g. CO2 reduction, cost efficiencies, brand performance, changing consumer behaviour, retail windows, … the impact of the graphic chain organisation has a large contribution here. After thorough analysis of current state, ambitions and challenges we make comprehensive recommendations for resources, process and technology – and help implement as well.
Square is technology independent and has the benefit of working with a large suite 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 system integration where possible. After all, nobody likes the burden of repetitive administration or the risk of manually passing on information from one source to the other. Automate the bulk, focus on the exceptions!