Packaging Prototype Process


  • The Packaging Prototype (also called mockups or white comps) Process is a critical phase where the tangible representation of your product's packaging comes to life. It's a period of exploration and validation, where you can physically touch, see, and feel how your packaging will interact with consumers. This phase is crucial, especially when changing vendors, redesigning existing packaging, or launching a new product line. It serves as the ultimate test, a moment of truth that can significantly influence your brand's market perception.
  • For the Brand, prototypes allow them to test the quality of the packaging and its ability to keep the product safe during transport and handling. It ensures that the functional requirements are met. It also helps to finetune the visual and even emotional impact of the packaging design, ensuring that the design and branding requirements are executed. For suppliers, packaging prototypes help them define, evaluate, and align on every nuance of the requirement including materials, adhesives, threads, tags/labeling, shipping, and more. In essence, a prototype serves as the supplier’s “unboxing” moment with the client or prospect. For Production, prototypes ensure feasibility that that packaging can be manufactured to the client’s specification and the materials are compatible with the manufacturing processes.


  • Creating the perfect packaging prototype is a complex journey. It involves meticulous attention to detail, from size and color to materials, textures, and copy. The process demands a precise translation of design concepts into physical samples, often requiring several iterations to address design challenges, especially for intricate packaging designs.

How ManageArtworks Addresses These Challenges?

Using ManageArtworks the entire Prototype process can be mapped as a workflow within ManageArtworks. A high-level workflow may look something like this

  • Request for prototype: A request for a prototype needs to include as much detail as possible for the vendor to start their work. It should include the dieline, artwork, packaging and printing specifications among other things.
  • Detailing by vendor and sign-off: The vendor will start breaking down the details into specifications that may require tweaks, adjustments, and a few consultations to complete the request. You sign off on all the technical drawings, data files, and tooling requirements if needed.
  • Prototype building: The vendor might have in-house equipment of outsource the making of the prototype and will share the physical samples once they are done. There could be an intermediate step for creating a 3D prototype before the physical sample is created.
  • Feedback and refinement: This step will require multiple rounds, as each stakeholder gives feedback on the prototype which can be captured in a structured way online. ManageArtworks streamlines the feedback process, enabling real-time collaboration between your team and suppliers, ensuring that every prototype iteration moves you closer to the perfect packaging solution.

Benefits of using ManageArtworks for Packaging Prototype process:

  • Spot design challenges: Prototyping brings out any design challenges or mistakes that are not obvious in a digital form. Spotting these problems and fixing them early on can save a lot of money and brand reputation.
  • Unboxing experience: Prototyping allows for the consideration of everything from how the product will be shipped to the feel of the material and the consumer experience, ensuring that your brand is fully represented in the quality of the final product.
  • Examine quality: A product in a low-quality package is less likely to sell than one in high-quality packaging. A benefit of packaging prototypes and samples is that you can examine the quality of the material and design before approving anything.

Packaging prototypes in the real world:

  • “From very unfortunate translations to packaging filled with the wrong contents, there are some pretty hilarious packaging fails out there. Some of these fails could (and should) have been caught in the dielines. Others have failure points that might not have been obvious until assembly into full prototypes.”
  • Checkout the these 8 packaging fails which could have been caught if they built a prototype.

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