Part 6 – Print and Packaging


One of the most exciting and interesting parts of making the model kits is the creation of the packaging and associated print materials. With the Hostile Realms™ products, we wanted to ensure that our material stood out on the shelf when it sat alongside other products, so we had to carefully think about the impact and attention to detail that would allow the modeller to choose our kit as they browsed a store.

Read how we went about this and created the colourful packaging and designs for the kits….

DecalsA model kit requires an awful amount of printed material to accompany it. The most important items needed of course are the instruction leaflet and the Decals. These are crucial and we wanted both to have impact so we opted to print these in full colour rather than black and white (B&W).

Working in Adobe Illustrator, we had to take careful measurements of the Kit in order to create the Decals. We wanted a simple set of Decal designs but colourful and ended up printing these using Wessex Transfers to print out the final 8 colour decals sets. When you are designing a kit, you also need to pay attention to the way the final kit will be lit, painted and how these decals will enhance the finished model.

The most involved process really was to create the instructions. This went through many different changes as we did not have the CAD models finished and had to wait for the technical diagrams to be generated from the Solidworks3D CAD software before we could add these into Adobe Illustrator. Thankfully, it has an export feature so a matter of selecting the right angles and exporting the multitude of files read for the designer to create the instruction leaflet design. As you can see below, we chose minimal text in case we wanted to translate this into other languages and used iconography for the panels to help the modeller.

Full Colour Instructions

Access ID CardThe model kit also had its own custom LED Lighting Set so we knew that we wanted to carry the branding across and so part of what we worked on was the ID Card that contains a strong magnet for activating the model as well as a design on the actual circuit board!

We created a range of 4 different ID Cards which are Business Card size. They are printed on both sides and laminated so the magnet inside is contained safely and will operate the LED and controller board when you touch it on the outside of the kit!

Printed ID Cards have arrived

Lastly, the box artwork was important to get right. We knew that the box has to stand up to being on shelves in Retail outlets, being shipped globally and look good while doing it!

Woody Stables, our resident artist and illustrator had provided a lot of high quality images and illustrations already for our website and promotional video so we worked with these high resolution images to place around the box. Our printer here in the UK provided us with a custom template for the Cutter Guide – a guide that will allow the final printed box to be cut using a specialist trimming tool.

Using this guide we then were able to prepare and design the artwork in Adobe Illustrator. We included ‘bleed’ around the edge of the cutter guide so that the print would appear to cover the box completely. Many iterations later and we evolved the artwork as you can see below adding in photo’s of the kit, 3D diagrams, Limited Edition logos and of course, some information crucial for the modeller to know what they were buying!

Packaging Design

Some last items had to be added – a EAN Barcode for retail scanning and a Recycle logo on the flaps – and then it was a matter of having the artwork prepared and a proof produced. This is important to see a physical version before going to ‘Press’ as its an expensive process getting it wrong! One reason we do this is to ensure that the colours on screen will print on as a screen is RGB and a print works in CMYK (4 colours including Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) so the differences can be noticeable unless you go through this stage.

Thankfully, using colour-corrected printing and monitor has meant we didn’t need to adjust the final version much and then it was simply a matter of saving the file in high resolution (300 dpi) for print and sending the file across to the printer.


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