iC3D’s Shrink and Shrink Correction features were game-changers for the development of innovative ideas

Sun Branding Solutions wanted a solution for producing fast, accurate packaging mockups that would also enable the company to innovate and fully explore all the creative options for blue-chip clients in food, drink and household goods.

Sun Branding Solutions, headquartered in Bradford, UK, are experts in brand and packaging design. Working with some of the biggest names in retail, FMCG and pharmaceuticals all over the world, the
company provides expert advice and end to end support across the whole brand development, design and print process. Its vast client list is a who’s who of household names including Unilever, Asda, Tesco, Pizza Express and Jordan’s.

The Sun Branding Pack Science division offers a team of structural packaging experts with a corporate philosophy of striking “the perfect balance between form, function and performance”. The team covers every packaging material and application, from all things flexible to glass, carton and POS/POP.

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Arguably, the key to Sun Branding’s longstanding successful relationships with many clients is its continual process of reinvention. The company is rightfully proud of its track record of innovation and, to this end, passionate about exploring and investing in new technology that will keep it one step ahead, driving the future of packaging. It is with this purpose that Sun Branding came across Creative Edge Software, while investigating the market to find a better solution for producing fast, accurate packaging mockups.

Creative Edge Software’s flagship product, iC3D, is an all-in-one packaging application that allows designers to generate 3D digital prototypes in real-time for all types of packaging, including cartons, labels, flexibles, bottles, POS/POP and shrink wraps.

For Sun Branding, it was one specific feature of iC3D that impressed the company most of all: Tackling a notoriously challenging procedure, iC3D SmartShrink was developed to quickly and accurately visualize how shrink film artwork will distort when applied to 3D models. The technique requires no specialist structural design skills from the packaging professional and no technical production knowledge of how
the shrink will ultimately be applied. Working with flat Illustrator or PDF artwork, it allows the operator to predict where distortions will occur, automatically eliminating warp or deformation.

“The crucial difference with iC3D is its astonishing speed,” explains Martin Hawkins, Group Operations Director at Sun Branding. “We trialed other plug-ins and standalone products for this kind of work but the quickest turnaround we achieved was little under eight hours. iC3D rendered the same job in a matter of seconds, literally.”

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It was the specialized Shrink and Shrink Correction features of iC3D that made the difference for Sun Branding when embarking on the project to improve Comfort’s packaging. The high speed and ease-of-use of iC3D’s Shrink and Shrink Correction features were game-changers, according to Sun Branding, ensuring that development of innovative ideas was viable and allowing the company to fully
explore its creative options for Comfort’s new ultra-concentrated fabric conditioner.

“We wanted to use bright color in a big way, as well as other finishing effects, while leaving our options open for development on newgeneration product variants further down the line. But consistency across the range had to be guaranteed,” comments Hawkins. “The fact that iC3D is an affordable all-in-one solution meant that we could deliver packaging that is innovative, efficient, cost-effective and above all stands out from the competition!”

Including Fresh Sky, Fuchsia Passion, Ocean Pearl and Sunburst in the UK, Passion Gourmande, Coup de Soleil and Tourbillon de Fraîcheur in France and Fresh Sky, Fuchsia Passion, Ocean Pearl and Sunburst in The Netherlands, the designs for the Comfort Intense range were rolled out successfully – and in record time – across Europe.

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