Several years ago when I started writing blog posts for a printer offering an e-commerce solution for short-run dimensional mailers, one of their claims to fame was the online 3D preview. Create the pop-up mailer then view a 3D animation immediately, allowing you to examine the mailer front and back, watch it fold up and fold down, and rotate the view to make sure you got it all right.
Today what used to be a truly standout offering has become far more common. This is notable, not just for dimensional mailers, but also for packaging, where the ability to catch alignment (and other) mistakes using 3D animation can prevent a lot of heartache.
If you haven’t seen the sample animations online, they are pretty incredible.
- Using 3D proofing, you can view and rotate the box to ensure that you’ve properly aligned the graphics so that, once the box is folded, everything is in the right place.
- You can doublecheck that the text didn’t end up upside-down on one of the panels or that the right images end up next to one another across the fold.
- Animations allow you to actually watch the box being folded and unfolded, rotated, and manipulated as if it were right in front of you.
- Some solutions will ensure that the right regulatory copy, font sizes, brand colors, and other elements are in place so that mistakes don’t get made.
- Hard copy proofs can be minimized, saving days or weeks of time.
These are tremendous time- and mistake-savers.
3D previews are available from companies like CHILI Publish, Esko, and Dalim and have been added into the solutions of a variety of other DAM, press, and MIS suppliers. The comfort, brand control, and QA offered by such animations can be game-changers for printers wanting to get into these markets.