Need for standardization and G7 methodology in packaging


Founded in 2009, USA Legwear (a division of Basic Resources) is in many ways a typical clothing brand, focused on creating high-quality products—with in-store packaging that draws attention and encourages consumers to buy. When it comes to their use of color, however, this particular brand has an advantage it likes to brag about.

Like many brands, USA Legwear has its packaging for multiple products produced in many different locations around the world—typically at or near the respective factory for each item. Color decisions for packaging materials—mostly made from white paperboard—are made by developers like Carina Zhong, who work with Basic Resources marketing staff and major retailers to create products with the greatest shelf appeal. “Our approval process starts with the evaluation of substrates and the Pantones for each packaging category,” she said. “Once we have completed the evaluation, we report the fi ndings to our domestic and international vendors.”

The problem with color reproduction at multiple locations results in consistency issues, having negative results for the brand. Prior to implementing standardized color, “all colors and substrates were evaluated by the naked eye,” Zhong said. “Some of the challenges we faced with evaluating by eye were color variation and poor substrate qualities. This caused us to have concerns with the overall packaging life cycle.”

Two years ago, the company retained G7 Expert Ron Ellis to help establish uniform color standards, and to apply measurement and control processes based on G7 methodology. “In the last two years, our company has implemented Color Management Guidelines for all print vendors that we work with domestically and internationally,” Zhong said. “This has successfully enhanced the quality and consistency in our packaging across all brands.” Although a few suppliers pushed back initially, Zhong and her team have seen substantial improvement in color quality and consistency.

Improved color control has had a positive effect throughout the USA Legwear supply chain. “After implementing G7 standards and color management, our licensors looked to us for quality packaging that will meet the brands’ expectation,” she said. “We have seen a consistent improvement in substrates and print colors as it has elevated our packaging at retail.”

Ultimately, color consistency has had a positive impact on the brand itself. “Since we’ve been using G7 standards, there has been an increase in the quantity of buys in existing brands, as well as success in the introduction of new brands.”

In the highly competitive arena of the retail store shelf, that’s an important advantage. – Naresh Khanna

Editors note: Since the G7 Expert training held in Mumbai by Idealliance India in September 2016, a number of local color technicians have become G7 Experts who can assist both brands and printerconverters in adopting G7 methodology, calibration, best practices and standard operating procedures. These SOPs are needed to improve the communication of specifi cations and desired results across packaging vendors, substrates and processes.

The G7 Experts in the region include –
Delhi NCR: Naresh Khanna,Venkat Raman Rotti, Shekhar Singh
Mumbai: Aniket Rane aniket@, Manish Sonar, Ashish Kathar, Milind Waghmare
Dubai: JayakrishnaV, I Sebastian


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