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A prototype says far more than a thousand words

At 4packaging, prototyping plays a critical role in the multilayered process of rotogravure cylinder and embossing die manufacturing. Whether analog or digital, it is an important tool for quality assurance and serves as a valuable basis for making decisions. Our customers make use of digital mock-ups already during the design development stage in order to evaluate the effects of various embossing dies. In the barrel proof, the graphics are printed under real conditions. The effects of sophisticated finishing methods such as metallic inks, complex embossing dies or textured lacquers can be tested in advance in this way. The process reliability of the production print run is improved by authentic use of the defined substrates and inks for these real proofs. All product-specific influences are documented at this stage and optimized as needed. In order to ensure a perfect result, the barrel proof is produced in our facility in close cooperation between the brand manufacturer, printing company and 4packaging.

The 4packaging customer lounge offers a relaxed environment for color matching and design discussions.

At 4packaging, we differentiate between the following types of prototyping:

Photorealistic 3D mock-up

How do various finishing techniques such as embossing, hot foil or special lacquers affect the design elements, and what influence does this have on the overall appearance of the packaging? Virtual simulations are particularly recommended for elaborate printing projects with special finishing techniques or unusual tactile properties. This allows various embossing variants to be realistically depicted without the need to produce expensive printing tools for this purpose. The 3D mock-ups also serve as a quality control instrument since they depict the physical effect of various details, such as the execution of a folded seam. Images or animated video sequences with 360° views are generated as needed.


Barrel proofs

Printing, embossing, creasing and cutting of the packaging are performed under production conditions on original material in order to create a barrel proof. All essential parameters for a reliable and efficient printing process can be checked and optimized in this way. With the barrel proof serving as a clearly defined and approved color template, time-consuming color matching on the printing machine can be avoided. In addition, this 1:1 sample offers an initial impression of the result under production conditions already before the full-scale production run, which can prevent unpleasant surprises. The creation of barrel proofs is therefore recommended as a decision-making aid during the design selection processes and also as a basis for market testing.


Embossing tests

Because embossing tools used for finishing techniques are expensive, we produce a preliminary sample on original material to determine whether the implementation meets the customer’s expectations. The embossing is applied at 4packaging to the finished barrel proof. As a result, you receive the very first printed article that not only matches the original in terms of color but is also cut and embossed. After approval, the relief is applied 1:1 to the production tool.


Real mock-ups

With or without embossing, we also produce mock-ups that are so realistically executed and filled that they can be used for trade fairs and product presentations.

Left: Photograph, right: 4packaging 3D mock-up

Additional information



Color Management