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Esko DeskPack 3-dX receives InterTech Technology Award

Press release from the issuing company

Gent (Belgium), August 3, 2007 -- Esko, the market leader in packaging pre-production solutions, is proud to announce that Esko DeskPack 3-dX has received a 2007 Printing Industries of America/Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (PIA/GATF) InterTech Technology Award. This is the second year in a row that an Esko product has received such an honor: last year Esko WebCenter received a similar distinction. Esko DeskPack 3-dX, part of the Esko Software Suite 7 package of pre-press software, is a new plug-in for Adobe Illustrator that supports virtual three-dimensional views and navigation for packaging design, within the most popular packaging design application. Esko DeskPack 3-dX assists graphic designers by intuitively navigating through complex structural designs, facilitating a virtual view while creating the graphic design, literally as if designers were holding the three-dimensional package in their hands.
The Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF), now known as The Printing Industries of America/Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (PIA/GATF) created the InterTech Technology Award as an industry service to promote an understanding of advanced technology in the graphic arts, honoring innovative excellence. The criteria for nomination stress that the technology be recently developed, proven in an industrial application, but not yet in widespread use. For over a quarter of a century, the recipients of this prestigious award have not only proven to have a major impact on the graphic communications industry, but they have also consistently been commercially successful in the marketplace. Of the prior award recipients, 80 percent have proven commercially successful in the marketplace.
By its very nature, packaging requires conceptual work in the 3D world, but the production of packaging is a flat, two-dimensional process. This requires packaging designers to “think in 3D” but translate their vision into a 2D graphic design file that is suitable for production. In the creative process of packaging design, 3D visualization of a package early in the design phase is a major advantage for design efficiency, testing and proofing. By making the creation of packaging extremely intuitive, 3-dX takes away mind-boggling 2D-to-3D translations. The plug-in automatically maintains a live link between 3D design visualization and the unfolded 2D structure. Repetitive design aspects, such as repeating elements on panels or flaps, are efficiently handled by 3-dX's ‘Distribute’ function to create effortlessly perfect crossovers.
“One feature that we particularly appreciate is that the 2D design remembers the packaging’s folding angles and displays a direct 3D picture in Adobe Illustrator. It is just fantastic. It makes life so much easier while, when creating graphics, you always have the opportunity to look at a 3D image of the packaging and turn it around. With just a small amount of knowledge of Adobe Illustrator, any designer is able to create a very nice graphic in a very short period of time. We would like to thank Esko’s developers for the excellent work they have delivered,” commented Gust Artois, Training & Support Manager Design, SCA Packaging Innovation Centre, in his testimonial letter that accompanied the Esko 3-dX award application.
In addition, package designs created by 3-dX can be exported to realistic product shots for communication and collaboration. 3-dX exports PDF files with embedded 3D models that can be directly viewed by anyone with the free Acrobat Reader. The 3D features of Acrobat Reader allow users to interact with the 3D model by rotating, panning around and zooming in on the packaging design. Furthermore, 3-dX can export high-resolution images of the 3D model to be used in presentations or even further enhanced with image editing software.
“From our point of view, the value of DeskPack 3-dX is that it allows us to show clients visuals of our designs quickly, and in great perspective. In the past, we had used Adobe Photoshop to give some 3D perspective to our designs. We would take a snapshot of the look of a package on a shelf, model and paste each panel together in Photoshop, and distort the resulting image to give some perspective. Unfortunately, it was difficult to achieve; and rarely correctly. The process could take 6 hours. DeskPack 3-dX in Adobe Illustrator takes about five minutes and looks perfect. For us, using DeskPack 3-dX means that the number of physical mock-ups is also reduced. When a design was close, and we were not quite sure what it would look like, we would print it, cut it out, crease and put it together. Now we can see it on the screen. We still create mock-ups when we think the design is ready, but we create one or two rather than four or five. With some tight deadlines, we have been able to create half a dozen initial designs with a 3D view in a day rather than a week,” remarked Crawford Weir, Realization Director of Landor Associates Pty Limited in the testimonial letter.
“It is indeed an privilege that Esko products in two successive years have received a PIA/GATF InterTech Technology Award,” remarks Arjen Maarleveld, Senior Vice President Packaging Solution. It is also validation that packaging prepress is considered by the judges as an important area of process innovation, where improved design and production can impact the bottom line for trade shops, converters and print/packaging buyers. Reduced packaging costs and faster time to market can significantly impact the success of a new product introduction.