What are common issues and technical matters to be aware of when designing for flexible materials?

For example, a plastic poultry wrap package like this example....

Are there any best practices to ensure the warping of the packaging conveys the desired design?

Are there methods for calculating any distortion which may occur?

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    I would try googling the suppliers/manufacturers of the bags to see the sizes they offer (and if they give the dimensions of the bag rather than simply the size of poultry it would hold). The suppliers may even provide templates. – Voxwoman Feb 9 '15 at 13:16
  • Do not google anything. You need to ask the vendor directly. This is something you need clarity on and can only get that from the company that is going to be producing the bags for you. – DA01 Apr 22 '15 at 21:06
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is overly narrow (only specific to a particular vendor). – DA01 Apr 22 '15 at 21:06
  • Welcome CallmeVe! I've edited your question to be a bit more general in terms of seeking overall guidance rather than being overly specific to one particular package. If you feel my edit is inappropriate, please feel free to click the EDIT link and reword things yourself. Thanks! – Scott Apr 22 '15 at 23:39

and welcome to the GD StackExchange site.

Package design is always an interesting, challenging task. Let's break down your requirements into two separate answers:

1. How do I know how many inches the bag should be?

Generally this should be provided by someone to you. Most likely the person/company that will be manufacturing the product would provide this information. If you were to try and determine the size yourself, you could come up with a large range of numbers. The size will generally be determined by the largest chicken that could also weigh the set amount.

2. If I am designing for a plastic bag, what are some things I need to keep in count?

Let's start with the most general and work our way to the most specific:

  • just like when you print on a flat, paper surface with special inks, plastic almost always require special inks to print correctly, and you may be responsible for determining where they should be applied (very similar to how you would define what should be spot glossed, by using a spot colour)
  • the bag will stretch, therefore putting small, intricate details in some areas will not be effective. For example, the script writing and brand label have been printed in a place that will normally be "stretched" across the product inside, making it easy to read. If this text had been near a pinch in the plastic, it would have been illegible
  • specific to your product, generally the center of the printing surface will represent the "resting" side of the product (the bottom) and the outside edges represent the top. In this way, the plastic is wrapped around the chicken and the outside edges are tied together to form a seal at the top. With this in mind, you can plan for where the graphics will go. Inner center = bottom of bag, outer edges = top of bag, middle ring = main graphical area

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