7 New Packaging Design Technologies

graphic designer at work

In this article from www.thedieline.com,  Danielle Sauvé discusses seven new emerging technologies that can help improve your efficiency and transform your packaging value chain right now. Below we have summarised the article.

What Can Packaging Technology Do For You?

If your carton and sleeve design process is the same as ten years ago, it’s time to look at emerging technologies that are available, which can help improve your efficiency. In this article, we looked at seven technologies that can transform your printed carton design process right now.

Computer Vision

Soon, computer vision—a computer’s ability to identify information from images, video and the real world—will drive autonomous cars.
For printed cartons, computer vision’s main benefit is its ability to ensure an error-free finished carton or sleeve. It can catch errors in the text, logo or colour. Therefore, you can avoid printing thousands of cartons with the wrong artwork.

Virtual Reality in Packaging Design

Previously, it took months to test and design new carton/sleeve structures. Structural designers would spend hours designing, printing, cutting and folding mockups; if the mockup was not approved, they’d go back to the drawing board, the carton redesigned and the process started over again.

Now, packaging designers can use virtual reality (VR) software to create a 3-D, virtual mockup. Consumers can view a VR mockup on a screen or through a headset, allowing them to view the concept from all angles. If change is required, it can be done almost instantly. After a carton or sleeve design is approved, these digital mockups can be sent to consumer panels anywhere for VR testing, allowing managers to quickly learn how likely potential customers would be to purchase the new packaging.

Augmented Reality in Packaging Design

In augmented reality (AR), consumers see digital objects as they would appear in the real world. AR allows consumers to utilise their phones in store to see what a carton or sleeve, which has yet to be created, would look like.
While consumer adoption of AR is just beginning, companies should consider experimenting with the technology, as it provides a lot of contextual evidence as to how the printed carton will look in the appropriate environment. AR saves brand leaders time, as there is no longer a need to shoot product photos at in-situ locations


Connectivity changed how consumers shop and how the packaging industry works. It has given companies a better idea of who their customers and competition are, allowed employees to communicate easily and connected brand leaders with suppliers in real time.
Senior leadership have time to send messages, share files and see who has completed which tasks through workflow software replacing time, consuming, face-to-face meetings. Connectivity allows everyone to communicate more easily. This means greater speed and a higher quality of work.

Automation Tools for Carton and Sleeve Design

To take advantage of automation, two questions need to be asked. First: what is delaying your process? Look for any snags to find problems, then look for ways to automate. It will be both quicker and cheaper, saving you hours of your day.
Second, what is most frustrating? Many say that they get incomplete information at the start of the process. But you can automate information gathering and let the computer deal with the frustration. When you have adopted the right tools, your carton design process will become easier to use, more seamless and transparent.


Brand leaders, packaging engineers, marketers and designers always keep track of printed carton changes throughout the process, but it can be difficult to remember the context of those changes. Traceability makes it easier to remember the details by keeping a record of the changes, why they were made and by whom. With automated workflow software and connectivity between teams and with suppliers, it’s easier to track the process.
Traceability also helps designers and marketers understand the status of projects, wherever they are in the value chain, and the feedback that has been given by management.

Social Media

By 2019, Statista predicts that 2.77 billion people across the world will be on social media – more than a third of the world’s population.
This has enabled the testing of designs. If we create two images; one performs well on social media and the other flops, we have sufficient data about both images. Previously this data would take weeks of focus group testing to gather from multiple regions.
Now, we no longer need to bring lots papers to team meetings, because everyone’s connected through social messaging apps. ideas and inspiration can be shared from the start of the design process and throughout.

These new technologies won’t change what brands do, beautiful cartons will continue to be created but using new emerging technologies make processes better, quicker and cheaper.