Creative News . Personalisation

11 Apr 2019

A tool that will sharpen your edge

HP Mosaic software can revolutionise the way you look at packaging. More importantly, it can transform how potential customers see your products. The combination of variable data printing and the latest digital printing presses – such as the HP Indigo 10000 – have greatly expanded the possibilities available to brands that are prepared to be more creative. Imagine every single example of a product appearing in a different wrapper or pouch, whilst still being recognisable to consumers.

HP Mosaic makes it easy to give consumers that ‘wow’ moment, and ensure they reach for the product that promises them a better experience.

Outstanding brands need to stand out

Personalisation is one of the hottest marketing trends around. Previously, brands were very reluctant to make any changes to their packaging (for fear of alienating or confusing consumers). This position has been reversed, however, with demand for more personal brand interactions being driven by digitally empowered consumers.

There is comfort in homogeneity, to be sure, but today’s shoppers are so media-savvy that they don’t need to be spoon-fed with unaltered brand images. Even more so, the rise of the experientialist consumer and of social media means that people want the products they buy to be aligned with their values and personal style.

Perceived authenticity is a key driver in purchasing decisions, but so too is standing out. People don’t want to be the same as everybody else. Rather, they prefer the products they buy to mark them out as individuals.

Same-same but different?

The challenge for creative professionals is to ensure that brands are aligned with these shifts in public opinion, but also not to depart so far from recognised elements of branding that recognition and traction are lost.

This is where HP Mosaic can help. It is able to create almost infinite variations on themes, without the need for thousands of hours of design work. So-called ‘seed designs’ (often created by collaborative visual artists commissioned by brands) can be endlessly and instantaneously manipulated in a process known as hyper-variability.

Often, seed designs incorporate aspects of the brand logo or iconography, but these can be combined with new graphic elements to create designs that can be applied to packaging. In this way – and especially combined with well-know packaging formats and shapes – the brand can make a statement and appeal to new (or jaded) consumers without getting lost in the retail clutter.

HP Mosaic is a dynamic application of HP SmartStream Designer for Adobe Creative Cloud. The graphic designs it produces can easily be reproduced on not just packaging, but also merchandise and other consumer touchpoints, thereby enabling more coherent campaigns and promotions. It has been successfully used by major global brands including Smirnoff and Coca-Cola. A recent rebrand by an Israeli chocolate manufacturer saw more than a million unique designs derived from just 17 seed designs – that’s over 50 000 variations on each design.

How does it actually work?

All that HP Mosaic requires is a vector PDF file as the input. The software then creates a never-ending stream of variations on a theme. Once these have been randomly transformed (by scaling, transposition, combination and rotation), they can be embedded into a variable data printing (VDP) job as variable image assets.

These output files can be generated in very high volumes and printed at high speed with excellent reproduction by the latest generation of HP digital printing machines.

Benefit from being different

The benefits of using HP Mosaic software are clear. It allows you to deliver a better customer experience and influence purchasing behaviour. It can breathe new life into existing brands, or help start-ups make a splash. HP Mosaic can work especially well in conjunction with social media and other digital marketing campaigns by making collectable items even more desirable.

Your creative team already has potential seed designs – so put them to work, and put them in the hands of consumers.