Small Run Press Kits

Over the past couple of months at WAYPOINT, we’ve been working daily on a press kit for one of our clients. This project has helped us mix our creative services in graphic design with manufacturing and merchandise by challenging us to pull in various vendors to work with us and make it all happen. We’ve taken on press kits in the past, however, this one requires us to be more careful and detail-oriented than usual.

Normally, press kits run in large quantities – we’re talking thousands of thousands of units. The challenge we’ve faced with this current project, is the small quantity and the rounds of approvals necessary for graphic design and product quality in order to reach the production phase. When you have a small quantity, such as 100 units or less in total, it is very expensive to have every piece fully custom-made. So in this case, the most affordable option is to use existing items, brand them with artwork, and make a press kit with those items. At this point we’re approaching the final approval round, and after that we will go into production. Below is a breakdown of the process, so you can have an idea of the steps that go into making a branded press kit!

Finding the right items to include in the press kits

This is one of the most time consuming steps. As a creative agency, we give direction to projects and although we can do design work in-house, we are not manufacturers. For this project, we’ve worked with various vendors who either make or sell the type of items that our client requested us to include in the press kits. Finding those items requires hours of research and reaching out to those vendors. We had to find out first if they could brand the items, whether that be through digital printing, laser engraving, etc. Also, we needed quotes for the specific quantities to see if the budget was enough, and we also needed to know how long it would take to make all units. Then, when we felt that we had found what we needed for each item on the list, we needed approval of the look and quality of those items. This is where graphic design comes in with the mockup phase.

Creating digital mockups to submit for approval 

The client provided assets in order for our graphic designer to make the necessary branding. Then digital mockups were created for each item that would go in the press kits. What this means is that we took images of the plain products and photoshopped the designs that would be branded on them during production, to give a visual representation of what the press kits would look like. These mockups, along with an accompanying beauty shot of all the items spread out in one image were sent to the client for approval. Upon review, the client provided feedback on the artwork, approved some prices, requested samples, and made some changes to the list. Based on that information, we had to remove some items, add other items, and look for better options for some. Once our client was satisfied with the items we had found to brand with artwork, it was time to begin the full graphic design phase.

Measurements, designs, logos, alignment, and much more!

As of right now, we are in the last round of the full graphic design phase. This means that we’ve taken our client’s comments about the look of the artwork we put on the mockups and in this phase it is more about adding detail from the brand to the artwork, such as links, copyrights, corporate logos, etc., as well as tweaking some pieces. In this phase, we’ve been working a lot with measurements as we have to ensure that each art file we make matches the exact dimensions of the products for branding. Along with that, we also have to make sure that we meet all of the brand’s criteria and guidelines in terms of where the logos and legal information should be placed on each item’s artwork. With large brands especially, the placement of corporate logos and legal lines goes according to the size of the item. Sometimes, even the outline color on the logos may change depending on what you’re branding. Once all graphic design has been fully approved by our client, we will be ready to make the press kits.

Production at last!

Although we have yet to enter the production phase with this project, we’ve had our fair share of experiences with production of press kits in the past. We know that delays may occur and a production proof is crucial for approval before the entire order is made, in case there are any defects. This is why we are planning in advance. We have to take into consideration the lead time for each item to be made in total quantities and add a few days to that in order to be safe. We also have to add a few days or a whole week even for shipping to our office, that way we can take a look and do some quality control before sending the press kits off to our client. We know this phase is the real deal so we’re going into this knowing that it will require some great attention. We’re excited to see how everything turns out!

 

So there you have it in a nutshell, that’s pretty much the process we’ve been going through with this project. It’s rewarding when our projects wrap and we’re able to see what we made. Check out the following images to see some of our previous work!

 

Mortal Kombat Press Kit

 

Batman Press Kit

 

Battlefield Press Kit