Your packaging bears a heavy burden. It has to catch a consumer’s eye, educate him about your product, and make a case for why to pick your product over a competitor’s. This is no easy task, particularly when your product has multiple competitors all vying for the attention of the same shopper. Fortunately, you can make your product stand out on the shelf by getting creative with printing effects that add pizzazz to your package:
Available in both UV and aqueous varieties, gloss coatings are a common way to finish consumer products. Aqueous gloss is one of the most inexpensive coatings available and produces a clean, subdued appearance. UV gloss (named for the UV drying lamps used to produce it) produces a bolder, richer coating that tends to be more scratch resistant. Though slightly more expensive, UV gloss can be a great choice for products that will be handled extensively.
> Matte & Soft Touch
Matte finishes are the opposite of gloss: Subtle and muted. Matte packaging may lack the “pop” of glossy coats, but offers a more understated appearance perfect for higher-end products. Many packaging designers combine these printing options for added effect; for example, a jewelry box may feature a matte base with glossy lettering. Soft touch, on the other hand, is also a matte effect that also has coating that creates a soft, almost velvety texture on products. This type of finish is great for encouraging consumers to pick up the packaging and interact with the product. Plus, soft touch coatings don’t diminish the color and is more affordable than similar printing options, such as velvet lamination.
> Embossing & Debossing
Embossing is the practice of raising specific elements in a design to draw attention to them. We tend to associate embossed designs with feelings of luxury and refinement, making embossing an easy way to infuse your product with a touch of elegance. The same is true for the reverse effect: Debossing. Debossing involves stamping designs into a substrate to create depth and texture. When used in coordination with other printing techniques, embossing and debossing are great ways to add character to an otherwise flat design.
> Foil Stamping
Foil stamping involves the use of a stamping machine that presses heated foil into a metallic plate, which is then applied to the printing surface. This technique produces unique designs with highly reflective surfaces that are often used in conjunction with embossing and debossing applications.
Give Your Packaging Some Character
The packaging design process isn’t over when it hits the printer—it’s only just begun. Packaging designers should consider the virtues of each of these commercial printing techniques and how they can be applied to support packaging goals. Some options highlight the packaging; others downplay it. But regardless of which option you choose, printed effects are an easy way to add some serious character to your product design.
brandHEAVY is a strategic creative studio specializing in branding, packaging design, and product marketing. Our mission is to take your product and create personalized branding solutions that create instant brand recognition. Contact us for more information about how we can help you build a design your customers will love!