Building a Comp Old-School

If there are a few things I don’t miss about the early days of my design career, it was that icky feeling of spray adhesive landing in the hairs of my arms and the dangers of Xacto blade cuts… but I do enjoy the “craft” of getting down and physical with my design work now and then. I hope I never get to the point in my career where I think building a comp is “beneath me”, though I do know how time consuming it can be…

For example, here’s a box I’m working on. It will hold salad dressing packets on grocery store shelves, should the stores choose to use the box rather than putting the dressing mix in their spring-loaded shelf doohickies. First, I had it printed out and spray mounted to card stock.


Then I cut the dieline out with my Xacto and straight-edge, and scored it with my “homemade scoring tool” I learned to build back at HL2 (it’s a paperclip wrapped with electrical tape on one end).

Once I could fold it and assemble it, I added in some mockups of the Dressing Mix envelopes. My client wanted to see how the design would look peeking out of the box.


Voila! Now for another trick I learned back at HL2 (back then it was Horton Lantz Marocco) – I took a few photos in the grocery store where the product would be displayed. (This is a LOT easier now that cell-phones have cameras build in!) I later took a head-on shot of the box with the packets in it, and photoshopped it into an area on the store shelf photo to give an idea of how the product will look in the actual retail environment… And here you have it! BACON RANCH STRAIGHT FROM THE FUTURE!



What do you think? (My lesson learned is that I need to pick a brighter PMS color for the red of the box – it’s just too dark on the shelf, though it does pop the illustration!)



One Reply to “Building a Comp Old-School”

  1. That’s a good trick, Rob! We often do the same thing in children’s books, where we’ll take the cover mock-up to the bookstore or Photoshop it next to similar books on Amazon.

    P.S: I’m now following you on Twitter! :)

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