Darts brand Target uses a range of effects and finishes to make its carton packaging stand out in retail environments. David Pittman speaks to designer David Morgan about packaging that hits the bullseye.
Target is a leading international manufacturer of equipment for the darts market, offering a range of products for amateurs through to professional players.
The company’s player portfolio includes double PDC world champion Adrian Lewis, Tony O’Shea and Dave Chisnall, as well as pros from around the world, such as Japanese female player Jun Yamaoto, Tom Sawyer from the US and South Africa’s Shawn Hogan
However, its products are not only for the elite, and are available through sports retailers worldwide for amateur players to purchase as they aspire to play like their heroes.
From steel tip and soft tip barrels, to flights, boards and mats, the product line is varied. Target is not the only dart brand to have such a portfolio, with Unicorn and Winmau offering similar products.
Darts continues to grow in popularity around the world, with amateur and professional competitions taking place from around northern Europe to the Middle East, and darts bars across Asia offering soft tip play as a leisure activity.
To capitalize on this interest, products as offered by brands like Target must stand out from the competition, with packaging a key tool to maximize their potential.
The carton packaging Target darts are retailed in is a key example of this, whether using images of its brand ambassadors, such as Adrian Lewis, or sleek designs that mimic the look and feel of the darts themselves to capture the darts player’s eye.
Target’s Carrera darts are made from 90 percent tungsten with a titanium coated grip, and feature axial and radial precision milled cuts to produce a bi-directional grip form.
This unique design has provided a basis for cartons that takes these product aesthetics and extends them to the packaging.
Using embossing, metallic inks and foils, the Carrera packaging replicates the look and feel of the darts.
David Morgan is the designer at Target who worked on the Carrera packaging, as well as other series, and says the company’s aim is to create an experience for consumers, both through the product and the packaging.
‘Our philosophy has always been to raise the bar, break it and raise it again. Target's aim is to produce the full sensory experience of quality in both product and packaging.
‘As the designer here at Target my goal has always been to “produce the best to stand out from the rest”.’
To achieve this, Target takes a keen interest in the processes and finishes available for its packaging.
‘We have been furthering our expertise in print and exploring new and innovative ways to showcase our products large and small,’ says Morgan.
‘In most cases I will use foil, spot UV, embossments and special colors like metallic pantones and spot colors.
‘The birth of Carrera as a brand is about the journey and transforming the once “stuffy pub game” market, into the lush vibrant excited sport that it is today.
'I want my packaging, brands and general design to reflect that in all aspects.
‘Since joining Target back in early 2010 redesigning the brands, packaging and marketing collateral has been my priority; Carrera is just the tip of the iceberg of what’s to come.’
Morgan adds: ‘No other brand in the darts market globally produces packaging with the attention to detail like we do.’
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