December 2016

Inspiring the Possible with Digital Print

Doris Brown-McNally, WW Brands Business Development Manager of Graphic Solutions at Hewlett Packard, has a straightforward message to brands either inexperienced in or weighing the possibilities of digital print — just try it.

How can brands “just try” digital print? Start with a small project that’s easy to replicate, build a team made up of diverse backgrounds and disciplines, and keep authentic engagement the primary goal can lead to success. During a lively discussion at Phototype, Brown-McNally shared the “art of the possible” with digital print:

Doris Brown-McNally
Doris Brown-McNally presents to Phototype employees,
clients and guests about digital print.

Break the sponsorship mold. Bud Light used a Mosaic algorithm design and produced 200,000 unique 16-ounce cans exclusively for the Mad Decent Block party music festival, for which they were a presenting sponsor. The result? Significant increased sales in a market that perceived the Bud Light brand as “stale.” Presenting sponsors typically get the static treatment at music festivals —plastered logo on stage and big signage, screens, tablecloths, flags, and more. Thanks to digital print, Bud Light’s sponsorship was dynamic, to the point that festival goers wanted to bring their empty can home as a keepsake.

Extend the life of a package, create a collectible. La Catrina wine pulled off Pokémon-style “collect them all” packaging that encouraged sampling of all wine varieties with digital print. First, artists who had themes around Day of the Dead created custom artwork for each variety of wine. These designs were printed on shrink-wrapped plastic for the bottle. Wine drinkers loyal to chardonnay were willing to try merlot, if not buy a case of all wine varieties, and vice versa. Once the bottle was emptied, restaurant owners and fans of the brand put decorative lights in the bottle to create their own ambiance.

Enable customizable gift-giving. Just in time for the holidays, Mondelez’s OREO launched OREO Colorfilled, where available designs allowed consumers to channel their inner artist and create custom packaging for their OREO cookies. Not only was it a digital printing success, but part of a larger e-commerce strategy that paid off.

At the end of the day, digital print is one tool of many that can help packaging create a unique experience for the user. If you’re at a loss for how digital print can be relevant to your brand packaging, or if you have an idea and just don’t know how to make it happen, call us. We’d love to partner with you on all of the possibilities for your brand to better engage your target audiences, create memorable experiences for repeat purchases, and boost your brand.


Phototype is a 4th-generation, family-owned company that provides fully integrated graphic solutions to the consumer packaged goods (CPG), medical/pharma, retail, printing and converting industries. To learn more, contact us.