Employee Spotlight: Dino Parisi
At the SGK office in Sydney, the team is lucky enough to have a mock-up artist producing premium pack replicas and prototypes for clients. A Sneakerhead and passionate Italian, Dino, more formally known as Placido Parisi, has transformed and evolved the mock-up capability for the Australian account teams.
He started as a designer and prepress operator in 1993, where he learnt everything he knows about colour and print for packaging. In 2010 a job opportunity came up which provided the stepping stone to start learning the art of making mock-ups. He joined us in early 2018 and has been on a mock-up mission for SGK clients ever since.
Recently, we sat down with Dino to share his experience in the packaging mock-ups world and address how the industry has changed.
Q: There is both art and science behind the production of mock-ups — how did you get started in this area?
Making things is something that I've always had a quiet passion for since I was young. As a kid, I was pretty good at drawing and assembling items that involved cutting, sanding, painting and gluing.
My true calling came a few years ago when I applied for a job which required Illustrator and Photoshop skills, but also involved building physical prototypes. That's where my passion for modelling and assembling kits clicked with my job requirements; and here I am.
Q: From your perspective, why do brands commission the creation of packaging mock-ups? What are some of the best ways that brands have used them?
I believe brands use the mock-ups as a way to visualise a design which they can feel and touch. In most cases, it serves as a trophy of the final product for their innovation process.
Most of our clients are accustomed to viewing their products as flat proof. However, it does not provide them with accurate representation of the original product. A physical mock-up helps to visually illustrate the look of a finished product which could help expedite the approval process of an artwork.
Also, a mock-up is created to be viewed in the environment and surroundings in which it's going to be displayed and viewed by the buying public.
Q: What are some of the ways mock-ups have supported brands in their NPD process? Would mock-ups be useful in figuring out the right colour and finishing?
Mocks ups are beneficial for identifying minor elements that may require additional attention for improvement. Firstly, it is useful in exposing various features that make up the finished product, such as colours, special effects (like spot gloss, metallic finishes, matte finishes), sealable strips, gussets, print, distortions and alignment issues.
Secondly, mock-ups enable the finalisation of minute details, such as adding or removing specific elements and final touch-ups before mass print production of the actual product.
Q: Getting mock-ups delivered quickly enough is one of the key challenges our clients face — how do we mitigate this?
We work closely with clients to retrieve updated and detailed information before the job begins. Following that, a realistic timeline is scheduled to meet the client's deadline as well as the timeframe needed to source for unique substrates.
Q: Could you give us any interesting examples of projects we've delivered? For example, projects that have seen us go the extra mile to ensure success, or where the final deliverable has been particularly innovative/creative?
There are several occasions where we've delivered unique mock-ups with the use of basic or limited resources. Recently, we developed a confectionary mock-up using only render images (i.e. without the availability of final artwork files). The outcome was very positive, and the client was pleased with the result.
On another project, we created a flexible carry handle to test a concept. The handle had artwork on it and is designed to work in combination with a shrink sleeve to support the weight of the product. In this case we were able to combine our print capability with some filament web packing tape which is very supportive and enabled the mock-up to be a functional prototype.
For jobs involving boxes, we have delivered a better-quality product by cutting the box first and printing it later. This way the knife has less chance to scratch the print when it cuts.
Q: Many brands have made a commitment to have their packaging be fully recyclable in the next 10 years. Would you consider physical mock-ups to be a good tool for brands to pilot new sustainable packaging materials? What are your thoughts on how to capitalise on it?
I believe that mock-ups will be highly beneficial for projects that are switching existing packaging to sustainable packaging. Mock-ups will be able to define the areas that could work well for the project and identify potential errors that arise.
To address issues pertaining to sustainability, it would be good for us to start reducing all of the plastic-based media that we use for bags, pouches and wraps and replace it with an eco-friendly option. The use of various colours could be minimised or replaced with alternative options that could still successfully deliver product image across embossing, debossing, cut-outs or natural-based varnishes.
With our expertise in this field, we could advise our clients and work with them to innovate and avoid the use of elements that increases complexity towards achieving a sustainable product.
About Dino Parisi: Dino produces mock-up boxes, labels, shrinks, pouches, bags, tubs and wraps (and will gladly get stuck in to work out a way to produce other items) for Australian clients such as Woolworths, Mondelez, Mars, Coca-Cola and more. He has also been using the large format print capability to produce colourful, full-height graphics to liven up the Sydney office.
If you are producing mock-ups and feel you could benefit from Dino’s wealth of experience, call the Sydney office on +61 2 9463 6700.