MPS Helps Video Game Packaging Evolve to the Next Level
by Brittany Willes
The video game industry has evolved dramatically since iconic plumbers Mario and Luigi first battled their way through the sewers of New York. Just as the games themselves have become more complex and detailed, so have their packaging. When it came to creating the packaging for Evolve, the latest video game from Take-Two Interactive Software, the creative team for Multi Packaging Solutions, New York, New York, knew it would need to push designs to the next level by turning the standard o-sleeve into a work of art.
Led by Bob Kelly, MPS’ art director, the creative team presented several design options with a footprint theme. In the end, Impressions™ brand packaging was selected. The unique packaging technology allows designers to add deep embossing to graphics in order to create sculpted effects. "With our Impressions technology, we’ve crated many distinctive new shapes that simply are not possible using conventional board, achieving depths in the range of eight to 10 times that of standard embossing," said Kelly. "In addition to more dramatic depth, we also can hold more detail than normally possible."
Kelly went on to explain, "The final result depends in part on the contours and complexity of the artwork, with smooth shapes more conducive to deeper embossing. To achieve the best results, we work with customers to test the artwork to assess how to best combine graphics and embossing."
According to Erin Willigan, vice president of global marketing for MPS, "As competition for the consumer’s attention intensifies across markets, packaging increasingly plays a central role." As a result, MSP consistently strives to "help customers gain a competitive edge with materials, structures and decorative technologies that make lasting brand impressions."
Appropriately named, Impressions™ packaging made its US debut when Paramount Studios approached MPS to create the Transformers: Age of Extinction packaging. Paramount wanted a package that pushed the boundaries of technology, simultaneously creating a lasting impression and appealing to its science fiction fan base. The concept for the Transformers’ franchise called for dramatically sculpted artwork in order to accentuate the engineering complexity of the Transformer’s Bots.
With the success of the Transformers: Age of Extinction packaging, the Evolve packaging had a lot to live up to. "We’re currently developing uniquely shaped styles where previously plastics would have been the only packaging option," Kelly stated. With a more moldable substrate than the standard embossing, developing and maintaining a greater depth during Evolve’s manufacturing process proved to be challenge during production. Luckily, the Impressions™ packaging technology allows for design flexibility. "Impressions can be formed into a pod to hold a liquid, granules or past and impregnated with barrier coatings," said Kelly. MPS spent numerous hours in the Dallas, Texas, facility, re-engineering production lines and reorganizing to create a more efficient workflow. Additionally, experienced technicians pushed their abilities to the max. The final result is a ruggedly embossed footprint motif in shades of steely grey contrasted with the bright red of the boxy title pattern.
According to MSP, curiosity starts with the packaging. Utilizing the Impressions™ technology, the company was able to create the striking footprint design. With its eccentric embossing, Evolve is sure to catch – and hold – consumer attention.
Long before the Foil and Specialty Effects Association’s annual Sourcebook begins making appearances at tradeshows and conferences, the association’s directors are hard at work designing each year’s cover. Every year, a new theme is selected, highlighting various aspects of the foil industry. Previous years have included such memorable themes as the 2014 award-winning "Add Bite" Sourcebook, which featured an engraving of a great white shark that literally jumped off of the page with the help of detailed embossing.