Dassault teams up with EskoArtwork to optimise packaging design

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News just in from Dassault and it’s fascinating. It revolves around Dassault announcing that EskoArtwork (formerly known as EskoGraphics I think) has joined the joined the DS Software Community Program. For those that aren’t familiar with the company, it describes itself as a global supplier and integrator of innovative solutions for packaging, commercial printing and professional publishing. To put it another way, Esko is a company that has, for many years, specialised in supporting the packaging design industry – providing a range of tools that cover everything from signage and point of sales, through to all manner of packaging, covering both its design and its production.According to the release:

Dassault Systemes’ Enovia V6 CPG Accelerator will be integrated with EskoArtwork’s Dynamic Content module for Adobe Illustrator, enabling users to edit and maintain label copy outside of Illustrator.  By joining these two solutions, users can now create a single version of the truth, helping them to collaboratively manage all aspects of a label, from language and artwork copy management through to mapping and compliance.  Users can auto populate  and publish label content directly to Adobe Illustrator, slashing the time required for artwork creation from months down to as little as a day. Companies will also be able to manage brand artwork on a global basis, providing greater flexibility for regional & local changes to be incorporated more efficiently.

The Dynamic Content module is fairly basic in terms of technology, but potentially revolutionary when you look at the Consumer Packaging industry. What it allows is the separation of the Design from the Text within those Designs. Basically, you define the text for the packaging separately, using a form-based approach. This is then intelligently linked (via an XML file) to Adobe Illustrator to provide the text for specific areas of an item’s packaging. When you consider that much of the text is common across many company’s packaging scheme, often in multiple languages, the benefits for reuse are huge.

Consider this: A shampoo range. Multiple container sizes, for argument’s sake, let’s say there are four sizes (Travel, Small, Medium and Bulk). Those sizes are then made available across the globe, requiring the same text in 12 languages and some with regional variation. Now, initially generating the text for each label, in each size, in each language is going to be problematic. Making a change is going to be even more so, then you’ve got the sign-off and approval process to go through too.

Using a system like this you would make changes to a single XML file and the rest would propagate out.By integrating that into a data and version management system such as Enovia, makes perfect sense. Changes are tracked, the labels can be visualised and managed through an approval process – it’s worth noting that there’s also work in this agreement pertaining to integration of Enovia with EskoArtwork’s web-based proofing tool, Web Center Viewer. And of course, if you’re mixing labelling and artwork design with 3D-based structural packaging design (for containers, bottles, boxes etc), then having everything managed and accessible to a pretty diverse team, then you’re onto a winner.

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