What’s in a Printing Technique?

While it's true that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, the adage doesn't quite extend to product packaging. Packaging makes a first impression and a lasting one at that. It's what might draw someone to your product, and draw them back again. Choosing the right printing technique plays a key part in making an impression (pun slightly intended).  

At Sunrise Packaging, the printing techniques which you can use include:

Printing techniques not only enhance design, but lend a tactile quality to packaging. Who can see an embossed design and not run their fingers over it? By appealing to multiple senses, it enhances the user's experience with your product before they've even opened it up.

Debossing printing technique example

Embossing and Debossing Printing Technique

Embossing and debossing are similar processes with opposite effects.  While both involve a mounted plate making impressions, embossing produces a raised impression while debossing creates a depressed impression.  Both techniques give the final product some texture, making the packaging irresistible to fingers running over the design.  The example to the left shows debossing; note that either can be used in conjunction with foil printing.

Foil Stamping Printing Technique

As noted above, both embossing or debossing can be used with foil stamping for an impactful, striking image.  Known as hot foil stampers, foil stamping machines use heat to transfer metallic foil to a solid surface. As a permanent process, it's popular for products with longevity: luxury keepsakes, like the Minnesota Vikings package to the right, branded items for photographers, or any business which needs to make their mark.

Foil stamping printing technique
Silk screening printing technique

Silk Screening / Screen Printing Technique

In silk screening or screen printing, a stencil forms open areas of mesh that allow ink to transfer to the material. A roller then rolls across the stencil, forcing ink into the desired space. This method, possibly familiar to you from custom t-shirt designs, is usually employed on boxes (like the Kentucky Derby example) or binders. 

Print Coating Printing Technique

Print coatings not only enhance but also help protect the design. The coating can protect against the effects of repeated use, extreme temperatures, moisture, things that threaten the integrity and longevity of a box, binder, or other type of packaging.  There are several types of print coatings. Each come with their own pros and cons; check out some of the options below, or chat with an expert for recommendations based on your needs!

  • Overprint varnish is the most cost efficient type of print coating.  It provides a mild shine and some protection. 
  • Aqueous contains protective sealants yet is environmentally-friendly as it is water-based. It's fairly glossy, per the example, and won't yellow over time.
  • Laminates has two options: film and liquid based. They're very effective in protecting from water and provide wipe-able surfaces. 
  • UV Coating is liquid-based and applied/cured by UV lamps. Its main advantages include the highest gloss out of these options, better clarity and higher abrasion/rub resistance. 

Contact a representative to find out which options fit your product and your budget!

Goodbye High School, Hello Welcome Kit

Springtime is more than a season of new beginnings. For those completing high school, it’s the season of gowns, tassels, and warm cheese at graduation parties.  As the class of 2016 leaves high school behind with literal ‘Pomp and Circumstance,’ college becomes the next new frontier. Things just got real, so to speak. The excitement of getting accepted to a university might be slowly replaced with fear of the unknown. After all, for many kids, this is the first time they’ve left home for a sustained period of time. They might not know anybody, and they’ve just said goodbye to the friends and classmates with whom their entire social circle has comprised of up to this point. This is the perfect time for the freshman student experience folks to kick in, and send the welcome kit.

welcome kit from the University of NebraskaWhat’s a welcome kit?

Glad you asked. A welcome kit is the introduction to the institution. It might be sent all at one time, like opening a giant, college-themed gift, or it adopt a more just-in-time model where accepted students learn more gradually, and at times which it makes sense to perform actions like completing the FAFSA, registering for classes, things like that. However, while the materials should be helpful and informative, they should also impart the core values of the institution.

 

In this example (recently created for the University of Nebraska – Omaha), newly-accepted students received a small, pocket sized folder, welcoming them to the institution. Note that it identifies them as a student by associating them with the university’s mascot and iconic red and black. The die cut cavity inside is a key-shaped USB drive. On the USB drive are materials that might have formerly been printed out. A new student guide, checklist, things that previously cost the institution a pretty penny in paper, ink and postage, now condensed into a keepsake package.

gp-front-back

welcome kit from the University of Nebraska

This folder kit not allows the institution to save money (and not a few trees in reducing paper), but also helps guide the new Maverick a bit more. By placing materials on the USB drive, you can highlight certain things digitally where, in paper, it wouldn’t be possible. As the incoming class are also digital natives, this way of accessing information is more natural to them. It also provides the institution the opportunity to share things with the student in a way that meets their preferred learning style: reading, listening, and/or watching.

Some might feel like the tangible element of receiving a packet in the mail is lost, and that valuable real estate for information-sharing is cut down. I would counter that argument by looking at how Nebraska optimized the back of the folder kit with all the different ways to keep in touch with the institution (social channels figure prominently).  The design is done in such a way to enhance the presentation of the package, and not detract from it. Sunrise takes pride in crafting a box design that fits the needs of the customer.  This style–a trifold–could hold a variety of things.  Coins, gift cards, USBs are just the tip of the iceberg.

And isn’t that what going to the university should be – just the tip of the iceberg?

Seasonal Packaging Goes Green

Christmas is still months away, but Nestle is already thinking about their seasonal packaging and going green for the holidays. In the past, chocolate makers have often been known for wasteful and unnecessary packaging, especially for special seasonal promotions. This is the new target to work on, and Nestle is going at it.

Custom-Packaging-Boxes-Nestle-Seasonal-Green-Eco-FriendlyAccording to Food Production Daily, Nestle will be making all of its Christmas selection custom boxes fully recyclable. One change they made was removing the plastic inserts that held the chocolate bars in place and replacing them with a card presentation tray. This way, the chocolate can still be nicely displayed in the custom box and be easily recycled when you are finished with it. This is one step for Nestle to be more environmentally-friendly in their packaging to reduce waste and address the concerns of their environmentally-conscious customers.

Stand Out with Creative Packaging

When you walk into a store, what is it that makes you want to buy a product?  Is it the actual product itself or the presentation of the product with custom packaging that grabs your attention?  It is usually a combination of both.  Consumers typically have at least somewhat of a need or want for the actual product itself if they are going to buy it, but the creative packaging is really what makes it stand out on the shelf over the competition.

So what is it about creative packaging that draws us in?  The bright colors, the different shapes and sizes, the unique design.  It’s not something we see everyday, it’s new and exciting, our curiosity wants to see more.  The packaging is such a huge part of marketing, because products are so similar and the packaging could be the slight differentiation from the competition.  Meterdown displayed some creative packaging designs that they found:

Creative Packaging Shoes

Box designed to custom-fit the shoes.

Coca-Cola holiday bottles look like ornaments.

Coca-Cola holiday bottles look like ornaments.

See your dream sports field as you open your new athletic shoes.

See your dream sports field as you open your new athletic shoes.

Workout with your sports drink custom packaged bottle

Workout with your sports drink.

Eco-friendly paper water bottles.

Eco-friendly paper water bottles.

Unique shoe box.

Unique shoe box.

Innovative milk carton.

Innovative milk carton.

Banana case to protect from bruising.

Banana case to protect from bruising.

Make sure no one eats your sandwich.

Make sure no one eats your sandwich.

Creative juice boxes that look like the texture of fruit.

Creative juice boxes that look like the texture of fruit.

Custom packaging can truly turn your product into a creative masterpiece that gets consumers to stop and stare.  It adds value to your product with an exceptional look that is fit to meet your needs.  Consider getting an eye-appealing customized package for your product or your next project and you could see the results that a quality product presentation gives.