Create 3D Metallic Effects On Your Packaging With illoom. Visualizer (Plus, It's FREE)
by Bill McCool on 06/17/2020 | 4 Minute Read
Say you want to add some metallic effects to a piece of packaging you’re working on for a client—maybe a touch of golden shine to a wordmark or a lustrous purple for a special-edition craft beer. Whatever, the sky's the limit, right? You know it’s a great way to signal that a product is high-end, and it creates something memorable for consumers.
But sometimes 3D rendering can be time-consuming and costly, and pulling together a physical mockup can present a challenge. Plus, a designer doesn’t always know what the production or manufacturing process entails, and you could end up with a metallic effect on your packaging that looks more gray or brown than silver or gold. Overall, you want your client to know what they’re getting, and you need to approximate how that will look.
ECKART, a leading provider of metallic and pearlescent pigments, just launched the illoom. Visualizer, a tool for those that want to create or experiment with 3D packaging visualizations that have metallic effects and inks. Whether you’re a freelance designer or part of a global agency, you can actualize metallic details in your packaging just by uploading your designs from programs like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop or PNG. Now, you can bring your design to the next level with various metallic effects and colors that you can apply to a variety of adjustable packaging shapes like boxes and bottles. Additionally, you can upload your own bespoke 3D structure, allowing brands to bring their exact packaging shapes to the platform.
So, why is this something you should carry around in your designer utility belt?
First off, you need your client to be able to envision how a project will look, and when it comes to metallic effects, you need to know how light will interact with a label—you can’t just use a static image or a 2D asset, you need to see how it will live in the world.
Plus, some 3D software is financially out of reach for freelance designers, and the illoom. Visualizer can serve as a quick fix for creatives that need to incorporate metallic details. Not only is it free, but it’s also incredibly easy to use, even if you don’t have experience with 3D programs. ECKART spent the better part of 18 months developing the tool, bringing in actual packaging designers to help fine-tune the visualizer. You don’t need special software or expensive licenses to operate it, and you can start designing in real-time without limitation in performance or function. Plus, you can save all of your designs in one place, can access them at any time, or make changes and present them to clients.
They have also baked sustainability into the program, and as this continues to remain critical for brands, it will ultimately give designers the upper hand. The illoom. Visualizer can help guide a packaging project to the most sustainable methods of production. Production with metalized substrates, as well as hot & cold foil stamping, can be time and energy-consuming, creating lots of waste and can leave you with materials that are notoriously difficult to recycle. However, the metallic inks promoted via the Visualizer only get printed where they are needed, meaning less waste, using less energy, and remaining easy to recycle.
Designers also need to keep in mind that no one is having a face-to-face meeting right now due to the global pandemic. Creatives spread out across multiple teams that touch numerous brand stakeholders are working from home, and you need a tool that’s readily accessible so you can share assets easily. As a bonus, there's minimal time commitment whenever you’re working on a mock-up and you're under a tight deadline for a client.
Most importantly, ECKART wants to be an asset to designers. Once you’ve finished a design, if you have technical questions you're unable to answer for a client, perhaps whether or not a metallic ink is safe for food packaging or if it will be sustainable, they can step in and provide consultation through every step to the final production process.
Creatives need their work to come across for their clients so that they can better understand and visualize their projects, especially if it’s packaging that requires metallic effects and lustrous details. Because in the end, you want to do your best work, and if you can find a tool that takes the confusion out of envisioning some of the principal components of your 3D design, you’ll be well on your way.
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