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Collaborating to Create Award-Winning Displays

By Jessica Buck

September 13, 2023

Creating successful retail packaging and displays requires a collaborative effort that involves multiple individuals and departments. From initial concept development to production, supply chain management, and delivery, the process is complex and time-consuming. Every project requires a team of experts who work together to design and manufacture unique, visually appealing, and environmentally friendly point-of-purchase displays and packaging.

A chain of effective communication is a critical element during any project life cycle, especially when timelines can vary from immediate turnarounds to long-term planning. Time and action calendars are essential to staying on track through each department, and innovative technology automates various actions to save crucial time prepping files and workflows. Breaking down the creative process, we’ve captured firsthand how our structure, graphics, and 3D departments play an integral role in executing successful programs that help your favorite brands shine on the shelf—and online.

Design Process

Our team of 3D designers start with an initial concept using 3D Studio Max. Next, the structure team gets started on a line drawing that is presented to the client for approval. This provides a clear understanding of product capacity and display footprint. We carefully consider the number of pieces and types of corrugated and non-corrugated components needed to bring the project to life. Throughout phase one of the design process, our 3D and structure departments maintain constant communication with the graphics team who create production art and ensure everything is optimized and ready for printing.

Using state-of-the-art automation software, our team develops tailored workflows that streamline various tasks typically handled manually by designers, resulting in significant time savings in the long term. We efficiently convert and prepare files in multiple formats by consolidating all of the necessary details for the printer’s comprehension.

During phases two and three, we focus on meticulously crafting and perfecting the project’s structure. This includes conducting thorough International Safe Transit Association testing with the product to guarantee that the board grade and shipping materials are highly effective for transportation. Once final, detailed step-by-step assembly instructions are created for our packout team, who will fold up each piece, load product according to a planogram, and palletize for shipment. To streamline the process, we utilize innovative software that maps out the precise placement of each pallet on the appropriately sized delivery truck once it is ready for shipment. Think of it as a strategic game of Tetris, where each pallet is strategically positioned to secure the others on board, reducing the risk of damage during transit.

Importance of Collaboration

Collaborating across departments guarantees seamless communication throughout the entire project journey and opens up numerous opportunities for creative input based on each team’s expertise—from ensuring the artwork complies with print specifications and branding to providing recommendations on structure engineering to optimize it within retail guidelines. The absence of information, assets, or products can hinder and delay the production process when it is communicated through unofficial channels. Therefore, we provide best-practice sheets to ensure all assets and necessary information are obtained and confirmed.

As an employee-owned company, we actively foster and promote our core values of creativity, passion, integrity, responsibility, safety, and fun on a daily basis. These values not only enhance the well-being and satisfaction of our employees but also foster a positive and thriving work culture. Additionally, they enable us to deliver comprehensive and integrated packaging and logistics solutions, which have been proven to drive sales and exceed client expectations.


Jessica Buck is associate marketing manager of content and research at Bay Cities.

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