Design Concepts After Hours on Thursday, June 28: VBL is Dead

It was the best of packaging, it was the worst of packaging

July 26, 2012

In the 8 years that I’ve been at Design Concepts, I’ve been asked one question an awful lot: “When can we get a new plotter? This one is really old and slow.”

So after the better part of a decade, we purchased a brand new, very shiny HP Design Jet Z6200! This thing, in one word, is a beast. It is gorgeous, fast, accurate and amazing… But when it got here, it was possibly the most intimidating box I’d ever seen. It was up to my chest, eight feet wide, and three feet deep. It arrived via special shipment, no FedEx or UPS for this bad boy.

I’ve got quite a bit of assembly experience under my belt, so I was excited to see what was inside this thing and get it put together. What awaited me was a marvel of packaging! I easily removed the top and then lifted up the outer shell of the box to reveal the "guts." Against my better judgment, I located the directions to see what they wanted me to do.

​Now I have never in my life gone through assembly instructions and marveled at how easy to follow they were, but that’s what happened here!

Now I have never in my life gone through assembly instructions and marveled at how easy to follow they were, but that’s what happened here! The packaging of the plotter not only protected the precious electronics inside, but it also served as tools in the assembly process. Certain packing boxes went on to the ground so that I could assemble the legs without scratching them, then after attaching the legs, the boxes holding the inks and power cables were placed on the ground and used as fulcrums to pivot the plotter right side up. It was pretty amazing! I can tell a ton of thought and brain power went into the packaging and instructions of this plotter, and for that, I will salute HP. Job well done!

Along with the plotter, we ordered the Postscript upgrade. It was a box about two feet wide and deep, and about a foot tall. I’m thinking that I’m going to have to open up this plotter and install some kind of crazy hardware here.

Upon opening the box, I am greeted by another box inside. Super dense foam surrounds all four sides of the inner box, and I’m wondering if I am going to need some kind of hazmat suit to get this thing out without breaking anything. I slowly open up the inner box, wade through the air bubbles and find an oversized DVD case in the bottom of this box. Not the huge hardware install I was expecting.

After cracking open the DVD case I am face to face with the Postscript install – it’s a USB stick! That’s right, to send me a USB stick, they used up a ton of plastic for a case, lots of air-pack, lots of foam and 2 huge boxes. It was the antithesis of the plotter packaging, that’s for sure!