Braille – a timeless classic

– Braille is added to paperboard using the embossing process and must be a certain height before it is approved. The tricky thing is that you must ensure that the Braille height is still acceptable after the final production stage. You need a good technique and a high-quality paperboard to pull this off. 

Braille transcript embossed on paperboard

Prescription medicines gain shelf appeal

– On over-the-counter (OTC) products you see a lot of bling like hot foil and bold colours. Prescription medicines that a pharmacist just takes from the carousel are, of course, duller and more scientific looking. But in the States, some of them also do have more colourful packaging. We’re now seeing this American trend coming to the EU. When I started at August Faller five years ago, we mainly had four colour constructions. Now it’s six or more colours. Major pharmaceutical companies work worldwide and if they see something working in the States it often spreads. 

The Internet of Things

– The Internet of Things is still in its early days but we’ve already developed samples of smart packages that “think for themselves”. For example, a box that can tell the patient when to take the next pill, when a non-transparent bottle of liquid is running dry, or when it’s time to go out and buy new medicine.

QR codes

– We also work a lot with QR codes, which are helpful for the user’s guide – the package insert. Instead of reprinting the insert in new versions, pharma companies can update it digitally and make it available online for easy consumer access via a smart phone app. In the future, we may not even have an insert any more. Instead, consumers will access the information online. 

The future is personalised

– One mega-trend is that medicine will become more and more personalised. Hospitals will map and analyse your genes and produce medicine that is perfectly individualised for you. Of course, since the batches will go from e.g. one million packages to, say, 20 packages, these personalised medicines will cost more but will also be far more precise and efficient. They will target the places where you – and only you – really need them.