Automatically create thousands of unique variations from one original design with this Illustrator plugin

HP has released its free beta software – the SmartStream Designer for Designers (D4D) – for a limited time to help designers create as many as thousands of bespoke designs for packaging from just one design.

HP’s SmartStream D4D is a simplified version of HP SmartStream Designer for Adobe Illustrator CC 2018. The three-month long pilot has officially opened up as a beta phase, available for 500 creatives. Sign-up here to request to join the beta programme, of which fifteen “super-users” will then be selected to provide feedback, says HP.

Designers can use the beta software to create packaging campaigns for global brands. You can create up to 20 variations on any design, helping to speed up your creative process. You can create as many 20-session tests as you like, and if you need more than that and want to take your work to production, HP says to get in touch. You’ll also be able to continue to use the software or download an updated version for free.

HP SmartStream D4D is able to produce limitless variations from one concept, says Eva Yarza from design duo the Yarza Twins, who used the beta software to create bold and bright limited edition Smirnoff packaging.

The Yarza Twins designs for Smirnoff using HP’s SmartStream D4D

The design duo in London designed 21 characters, 21 hats and 21 bodies for Smirnoff, inspired by its classic No. 21 brand and diversity.

The design elements were “shuffled” using HP SmartStream D4D so each design outcome was totally unique. Take an in-depth look at how this was done in the tutorial below.

For further information, you can watch a click-by-click video series to understand how to use SmartStream D4D – such as how to load and manipulate a single image, swap colours, and vary text – or you can register to take part in a explanatory webinar on November 15.

The Yarza Twins created more than 900 bodies and hats that would swap 9 colours, 21 different faces that represent diversity and 21 patterns made entirely from the shape of Smirnoff’s iconic eyebrow logo.

The Yarza Twins designs for Smirnoff using HP’s SmartStream D4D

The HP software was used to take one single design that celebrates the eyebrow silhouette of the Smirnoff label and adapt it by using the Mosaic format for zooming, rotating, switching colours to create endless unique designs.

The video below explains how to use Mosaic to zoom in, rotate and create different outcomes, such as what you may have seen with the Diet Coke campaign. 

The basics when creating a design for SmartStream D4D include using a square design, vector files only (no photographs) less than 5MB and putting colours in your seed files, of which you can use multiple.

The Yarza Twins designs for Smirnoff using HP’s SmartStream D4D

The Yarza Twins designs for Smirnoff using HP’s SmartStream D4D