Archive for December 14th, 2009

Counterfeiting? Protecting your customers’ brands through packaging

Posted in Branding, Cosmetics & Toiletries, Design, Healthcare & Pharma, Innovation, Marketing, Materials, Product News, Technology on December 14th, 2009 by Chris Penfold – 8 Comments

The dangers of counterfeiting drive the need for package and brand security. The following is an extract from a recent Converting Magazine event in the US, detailed by Natalie Hasselbacher, Converting Magazine, 3rd June 2009, which provides some useful insights into successful anti-counterfeiting and security techniques and technologies.

Three speakers presented during an anti-counterfeiting session on the importance of product security and possible ways for its implementation among capable converting facilities. Discussions highlighted a desperate need for package security to save a company’s brand whilst also ensuring safety to consumers.

Jim Reiman, Sales Director at Sun Chemical Security, said once anti-counterfeiting technology is applied to a package or label, the most important thing for brand owners to consider is a strategy and who will authenticate. “Articulating a high-level strategy and defining the problem is important,” he said. “Clearly articulating requirements with metrics and an internal agreement among company employees for proper implementation is a must. You have to question whether consumers, customs, investigators or retail will authenticate.”

Reiman also discussed Sun Chemical’s newest technologies that reportedly fight counterfeiting. The Verigard is a low level taggant that is said to work in any ink or adhesive while printing using most methods including flexo, gravure and offset.

A second speaker, Jim Colby, a Consultant for ExPev Solutions, referred to interdiction, authentication and a secure supply chain as the three ways to stop counterfeiting.

Thirdly, Juliet Midlik, Sales Manager for Prime UV Systems, mentioned that most of the company’s customers purchasing UV drying systems are applying anti-counterfeiting coatings and inks on food packaging.

The full article can be read here:

You can find further information on counterfeiting and evolving technologies, via Design Cognition’s sister site The Pharma Gateway‘. Also, if you are interested in our forthcoming counterfeiting workshops – let us know.

Chartered Environmentalist + WRAP Technical Advisors x 2 = Good News

Posted in Associations, Awards, Design, Design Cognition News, Drinks Packaging, Environmental Issues, Food Packaging, Gift Packaging, Healthcare & Pharma, Opinion, Recycling, cost-optimisation on December 14th, 2009 by Chris Penfold – 17 Comments

Just a quick note to confirm that both Annie and myself have been honoured with the title of Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) by the Society for the Environment, through our membership of the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining (IOM3) and because of our life-long commitment to developing sustainable packaging solutions in our day-to-day projects. It’s nice to have it recognised and, by implication, recognition of the fact that packaging actually provides a beneficial (environmental) role in society.

This also sits nicely with our appointment last year as Technical Advisors to WRAP (the UK government-run Waste Resources & Action Programme) in ‘Waste Minimisation – Packaging Product Waste’. I feel that a key component of this has been our understanding of the requirements of present environmental legislation, in particular the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging waste) and Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations, which have been key in a number of recent environmental & sustainability assessments

‘Sustainable development’ to me is all about taking a ‘helicopter’ view of any product development to understand:

  • environmental impacts throughout the whole supply chain (from raw material extraction, through use & disposal, to reuse and recovery) whilst
  • attempting to meet consumer convenience needs,
  • BUT minimising the overall environmental impact through intelligent design of pack (primary, secondary & tertiary), using the optimum material specifications & most economical footprint possible.

I believe that key to our CEnv award was our continued application of the principles of sustainable environmental management and development in our work. Over my 30 year career ‘the environment’ has become ever-more prominent on everybody’s agenda, evolving from the early days of the ‘Topfer Decree’ to the more recent ‘Plan A’. We have endeavoured throughout to apply the principles of sustainable environmental management and development in all of our work as ‘environmental packaging champions’:

  • Acting as an internal consultants for marketers & other business stakeholders – advising on ‘fitness for purpose’ and ‘environmental best-practice’.
  • Highlighting issues with existing packaging to our work colleagues
  • Applying ‘sustainable principles in the hundreds of packaging developments on which We’ve worked

Moving forwards, I pledge that Design Cognition will continue applying the principles of sustainable development and environmental responsibility in all of our work. As CEO of a company that not only develops packaging but also acts in a consultancy capacity (advising on packaging ‘sustainability’ & ‘the environment’) I carry the mantle with a great deal of pride and self-fulfilment – enjoying making a ‘real difference’ in the world.

  • Our initial discussions with clients always encompass sustainable aspects – and that will continue
  • One of our ‘values’ (shown on our website) is to be ‘environmentally aware’:
  • “bearing in mind our impact on the environment and eco-systems in all that we develop and in our day-to-day business”
  • Through this ethos I will encourage all in Design Cognition to ‘live’ our environmental policy as a holistic approach to encompass not only work we do for clients but also in our day-to-day business activities.

We look forward to working with you :-)


Bamboo to replace corrugated packaging @ Dell

Posted in Design, Environmental Issues, Innovation, Materials, Opinion on December 14th, 2009 by Chris Penfold – 1 Comment

Following on from an article we ran earlier in the year on a bicycle made from bamboo, this demonstrates another interesting use of bamboo, which is evidently a strong, sustainable and cost-effective solution. As long as good ‘Forest Stewardship’ is demonstrated to avoid local bamboo depletion, this has the ‘thumbs-up’ from us!  Chris

Via Simeon Goldstein,, 18 November 2009 Computer giant Dell has selected packaging made from bamboo as an alternative to the paper pulp, corrugated and expanded plastic packs to ship its laptops. The China-sourced bamboo is being used for the cushions that cradle the Dell Inspiron Mini 10 and 10v netbooks inside an outer box made from 25% post-consumer material.

You can read the full article in Packaging News here: