Promoting expert communication among designers, strengthening networks, and staying up to date on all matters concerning packaging design: Last October, the ‘Experience Design Craft’ design workshop at LEONHARD KURZ in Fürth brought together people from the creative industry to show them the possibilities of different finishing techniques. Practical and with a high learning effect, participants were even able to lend a hand with embossing.
Whether hot stamping, cold transfer, or digital finishing, the more designers know about the functions and possible uses of different finishing methods, the more specifically they can create designs. This is exactly what the ‘Experience Design Craft’ design workshop, which KURZ organized and hosted together with the European Brand & Packaging Design Association (epda), was all about.
“What made the workshop so special was that the focus was on hands-on experience and that it was individually tailored to the epda Group. It was less about product-specific information and presentations than is usually the case at in-house events,” says Julia König, Senior Designer at KURZ and point of contact for the epda. Instead, there were entertaining specialist presentations and a lot of practical relevance, with sustainability always playing a part.
“We planned the workshop together with the epda Board and worked for a long time on the planning and implementation, especially for our own topics. Our goals were to be able to offer visitors an ideal day, which they should not only keep in good memory, but which was meant to provide them with an anchor and point of contact when considering finishing with KURZ in the future,” says Elke Andersch, Marketing Manager at KURZ. The efforts put into preparation have paid off: All participants showed great interest, both in the technical background and in the custom embossing of the notebooks prepared for the workshop.
The international group also enjoyed a positive and inspiring exchange during their visit to the Faber Castell Castle and joint lunch. “It was a great day, and we received consistently positive feedback. The workshop strengthened our connection to epda long-term,” says Julia König. Claudia Josephs, epda General Manager, and Uwe Melichar, epda Vice-President, agree: “LEONHARD KURZ’s very well-prepared experts were able to provide a lot of information, so that many design creators can now better advise their customers with more comprehensive knowledge. The most important thing to convey was that no film is applied for finishing, but only a wafer-thin varnish layer remains on the substrate, and recycling in the paper stream is not affected.”
KURZ has been an industry partner of epda for seven years and is represented at the twice-yearly congresses with innovations, samples, and expert presentations. The epda network brings designers, brand owners, and industrial companies together, with a focus on personal contact and open exchange on an equal footing. “epda members come from all over Europe and are comprised of both small and very large agencies. But they all concentrate on packaging design. Guided by the theme ‘We share. We dare. We shine.’ the focus is on an exchange of experiences with international colleagues. Addressing the business challenges and sharpening one’s own profile through joint learning, while eliminating the idea of competition - that’s what characterizes the epda,” explain Claudia Josephs and Uwe Melichar in an interview with the KURZ editorial team.
When asked whether further collaborative projects with epda are planned for the future, all participants respond with a clear yes. epda offers an excellent platform from which KURZ will continue to benefit going forward. And what is the design trend for the coming period? A neuromarketing study by KURZ and UPM Raflatac has shown that packaging finishing can enhance and reinforce the subjective perception of a product’s value. Glossy, full-surface metallizations are increasingly moving into the background. The international trend in the packaging industry is moving towards selective finishing and minimalism.
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