Think of how many times in our lives recently we’ve come across or heard about things that have been redesigned. In the consumer world, the list is almost endless: electronic devices like phones and tablets, home appliances, cars and trucks, entertainment systems, even toothbrushes and razor blades. Mostly, the redesign has been initiated to add some feature or functionality, or change the size, or just to spiff up the product in question. In the world of design, if you’re not a step ahead, you’re probably two steps behind.
We see these phenomena regularly in the world of plastics processing as well. Look at the products you make; compare them to what you were churning out 10 or even five years ago. I’ll admit, I still have my share of one-sided arguments with the blister pack that requires virtually my entire toolbox to pry open; but by and large, packages today use less material and possess a slew of other features that facilitate product placement, storage, shipping, display, use, and even reuse. We’ve seen similar innovations in molding, where singular molded parts are replacing what had been assemblies. We’re seeing thermoplastics and composites united in new and exciting ways in automotive part design.
We also can’t help notice design innovations on the machine side as well, in presses or extruders modified to save energy or make things easier to the personnel who operate them. This is perhaps no more evident than in controls, where HMI technology is permitting processors to set machine parameters and troubleshoot with the same ease as one navigates from one screen to another on a smart phone or tablet.
So it’s with these thoughts in mind that we’d like to introduce you to the redesigned Plastics Technology magazine. You’ll see it about a month from now when the July issue is published. Soon thereafter, you’ll see this design implemented in all of our electronic products that you regularly interact with, including our website, the digital version of our publication, our various monthly e-newsletters, and weekly blog.
I’ll spare you the internal discussions we’ve had during this process about color palettes, font types, and other widgety things. They are important, but only in as much as they support what we hope to accomplish with the redesign: to make the publication more visually appealing and easier to navigate from section to section so that you can more readily use the content to do your job better; and to make the publication more distinctive than any of the other plastics titles that might come across your desk every month (granted, there are fewer than there used to be).
We realize that changes in type font, color, and layout are not terribly important to you. We hope and trust that you come to Plastics Technology for the type of content it has delivered every month for 60 years. That content will not change, because we believe content is king. But we believe with this new “packaging” that content will be more enjoyable and easier to consume.