Think of your next trip to the supermarket and the deluge of brands that will attract you because of their visual packaging presentation. We continually browse through new and alternative products and simply by viewing the labels, our impression of the contents is formed; long before we get to try the product. In a world where competition is fierce and consumer brand loyalty can change in an instant, a product's ability to cost effectively innovate and evolve through brand presentation is critical.
Traditionally, for a brand to change its appearance through packaging and labelling has been difficult and expensive because of the high cost of long run printing and the inability to quickly change presentation. It was very difficult to test the effectiveness of branding and subsequently change image if required; the costs and timeframes were just too great.
Having a vision for the possibilities, and understanding the need to supply their clients with fast, flexible printing solutions, Graphix Labels & Packaging embraced digital printing technology during its infancy, back in 1997.
Grant Taylor and John Sinosich, owners and directors, started with the company over 30 years ago. It was a time when the industry almost exclusively used conventional printing equipment. Graphix are still leaders and at the forefront of this technology but as Grant says, "We recognised that products in the retail environment were, and still are, under continual pressure on a multitude of fronts including product and range extensions and faster time to market. We saw the possibilities that digital printing presented in the labels and flexible packaging market and we needed to be at the cutting edge. Since then of course, we have continued with significant technology investments making us the largest digital label and packaging manufacturer in Australasia."
Digital labels - Endless possibilities
Conventional printing, to be economically viable, supplies high volume runs of labels or packaging, all with exactly the same image. Digital printing has revolutionised what is possible.
Prototyping: Digital printing has no economic print run limitations. Combined with clever programming, it can produce significant variations in a print run's images and the order in which they are produced. This enables Graphix to produce a prototype (short run) of actual labels which their clients can then use to package a small number of products, giving them certainty how it will present when placed on the shelf for sale.
Personalisation: Variable data printing is a form of digital printing in which elements such as text, graphics and images may be changed from one print piece to the next without stopping or slowing the printing process. Coca-Cola had great success with names on their bottle campaign. Products can therefore have different labels placed on each item, in a required sequence, at the time of manufacture. With traditional techniques this is not possible.
Quick change: With no restrictions on print volume and the ability to quickly change designs, manufactures are able to release their product with altered labels or packaging to suit changes in a marketing campaign. The cost to the manufacturer is minimal yet they have full control over the visual presentation changes and how often they change.
An example of creativity
A local wine company wished to create a six-pack of wine with a continuous design story. The artwork was to include a hand drawn style label and be presented across each consecutive bottle, so that when they were presented in the pack they would display the full image. This scenario would have been impossible with conventional printing methods.
The Graphix team conceived a plan that would enable this to be done with some clever programming. Embracing the flexibility of digital technology, the print run was easy to achieve and consecutive sets of six labels were supplied on rolls for application.
Graphix and Saward Dawson
The leadership team and owners of Graphix Labels have been involved in the business for many years and have seen the business and customer needs change over time. A recent change in the structure of the organisation created some new opportunities and challenges.
Over the past 18 months, Saward Dawson has assisted Graphix with the change process and provided key advice at the right time to ensure that the changes went smoothly. The key areas of assistance included cash flow budgeting & forecasting, business valuation and liaising with various banks on a range of matters. Grant Taylor comments, "Matthew Stokes and the team at Saward Dawson really helped us through an exciting time with changes that will set us up well for the future. Ours is a dynamic business environment and we need an advisor and partner who can react quickly and bring creative solutions in areas that enable us to get on with running our business."
Going forward we will be providing further assistance with Graphix's ongoing accounting and reporting needs to ensure that all the users of financial information can make timely and informed decisions.
Graphix are located on two sites and have 85 employees. Quality of customer experience and product is paramount in their philosophy as demonstrated by their ISO9001 Certified Quality Management System. Their ISO 14001 Environmental Management System also testifies to their commitment to having the greenest print process on the planet, continually seeking new ways to improve their environmental custodianship.
Have a look at their website at www.graphixlabels.com.au. You may be surprised to see how many household brands you have in your cupboards that utilise Graphix Labels.