What Makes a Good Design Department?

Cardboard box design studio

Talented, experienced and enthusiastic designers, the right equipment and the right environment. Well, that’s the opinion of our team at Manor Packaging in Whittlesey anyway.

Following the recent arrival of our new design manager, Anthony Burton, who brought with him a fresh perspective and ideas, as well as a host of experience, we decided to review two of the three elements as part of our programme of constant improvement – namely, the equipment and the environment.

We didn’t review the existing team as they’ve proven themselves to be talented, experienced and enthusiastic and they are always coming up with solutions to complex packaging problems and ‘wowing’ us with fabulous designs.

So, we focused on the other two areas to see what could be improved and how.

The environment was an easy one as the space available proved to be just right, not just for the moment but for future growth. The office equipment, such as the desks and chairs, were all comfortable and in good condition so that just left the décor. It’s amazing how new paint and graphics on the wall can change the feel and improve the energy of a place  The team chose what they wanted, they designed the simple graphics and away they went. A few days later they had a fresh, bright and, seemingly, new environment.

With that done, our attention turned to the cutting room, where all our mock ups and samples are cut and tested. It was decided that a new cutting table would dramatically speed things up and give our customers far greater flexibility, such as quickly producing short runs, perhaps 30 or 40 boxes, for trials and testing. Cutter for cardboard box design samplesSo, a new AGCAD KM7 series digital cutter was specified and ordered. It was chosen primarily for its accurate cutting, fast speed, agility and flexibility. The old AGCAD it replaced was a decent enough tool but this new one is incredible. It delivers far superior capacity and speed to complete ever more complex design samples, quicker and in a number of different substrates. When combined with the recent installation of the new Vega Gluer, the two really leverage and complement each other to give our customers better flexibility and more opportunities to create improved designs and challenge existing thinking.

As one of our design team said “Everything is focused on making life easier and better for our clients” … and that is just as it should be.

Neil Farrow