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artwork - materials other than text prepared for reproduction, such as illustrations, diagrams and photographs.
board - the industry term used for very heavy paper used to make boxes and cartons. It is often made up of several layers bonded (laminated) together.
branded product - a distinct product which is instantly recognised by the public and linked to a manufacturer.
brief- a list of instructions and criteria to guide a designer.
bulk density - the relationship between the mass (or weight) of a given amount of material and the space it takes up.
capital investment - the money invested by a company in equipment, machinery, buildings, etc.
closure - any system used for opening and closing packaging.
commission - to appoint someone to carry out a specific job.
computer-aided design (CAD) - design created on a computer screen using special software.
consumer units - this is the name given to the individual items of a product sold to a customer.
corrugated board - two outer layers of heavy paper (board) with an inner layer of 'fluting' (a wavy layer of paper) between them.
demographic group - a particular section of a country's population; for example, women with children, or people over 60.
die - an engraved metal stamp used for impressing a design.
fillers - companies that pack products into packaging.
flexography - A rotary printing process which uses flexible rubber or plastic plates on which the print areas are raised.
ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) - a telephone network service capable of carrying data and voice information by digital means.
kilojoules - units of energy (1 kilojoule = 1000 joules)
laminate - thin sheets of different materials, which can be intermixed, indivisibly sandwiched together.
lamination - the bonding of two or more thin layers of plastic, paper or metal. Thin layers of plastic foils are often used to protect a printed surface or to improve the protection properties of the package.
lithography - (also known as offset lithographic printing) a printing process by which the image areas of the printing plate attract ink while the non-images do not. The image is transferred to an 'impression blanket' which places the ink onto the paper or board.
metallised polyester - plastic (PET) film with a very thin coating of aluminium.
mock-up - a hand-made version to show what the final version will look like.
mood boards - research technique involving the use of colours or images to give a rough idea of how a product and its packaging may eventually look.
multi-pack - a system for holding several products of the same type together.
net - the shape formed by a package when opened out flat.
own label product - product created and designed by a supermarket chain as competition to the more established branded products.
polyethylene or polythene (PE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polystyrene (PS), expanded polystyrene foam (EPS), and polypropylene (PP) - all types of plastic used in packaging.
primary packaging - this is the name given to the packaging handled by the customer.
print run - the number of copies printed continuously for an order.
process colours - the four colours cyan, yellow, magenta and black (CYMK) used in printing to produce a full colour effect.
polymer - a compound composed of many repeated units or one or more basic molecules.
programmable logic controller - an electronic chip with a memory which can store and give instructions to monitor and control machines automatically.
prototype - an early version of a product made for testing and evaluating purposes, and not sold to the public.
qualitative research - research designed to establish the attitudes of people to a particular product or service.
quality assurance - a system used by industry to make sure that products meet the correct standards.
quantitative research - research which measures people's reaction to products, attitudes, buying behaviour, etc. Results are primarily in the form of figures or percentages.
return loops - a process in which packaging is reused by a filler repeatedly for the same purpose.
rotogravure - (gravure printing) a process in which the printed image is engraved onto a cylinder. Ink is held in the engraved recesses until it comes into contact with the paper. Used for long print runs such as magazines or catalogues.
sales forecast - an estimate of the number of items a particular product will sell in a given period.
secondary packaging - larger cases or boxes used to carry quantities of primary packaged goods for distribution and for displaying them in shops.
slip index - a measure of the amount of force needed to make an object slide or slip when it is resting against another material.
special colours - colours outside of the standard CYMK split that will need to be specially created by the printer from a set colour mix.
tachiscope - a type of projector which shows an image on-screen for a specific but adjustable period of time.
target consumers - the specific section of the population at which a particular product is aimed. For example, the target consumers for soft toys are young children.
3-D artwork - a three-dimensional dummy or model of the proposed final product or packaging.
transport packaging - packaging used specifically to help distribute primary and secondary packaging in bulk.
unique selling point - a distinctive characteristic which makes a product stand out from its competitors.
virgin materials - materials which have not been through the manufacturing process or previously used.