Perfume packaging and soft touch

People often ask if we detect trends in the design of brands.
The answer is yes… and no!
Brands express their codes and creativity in their own way: they tell their story, play on colours, sheens, materials, stiffness, format and volume. They thus convey their own vision of all these facets. That’s luxury: what is “shiny” to one will not be shiny enough for another.

It is our role to fully understand what they expect and present a process capable of achieving the desired result. We must therefore capture the desire, interpret it on a technical level to plan the end result, and then obtain it in “industrial” mode, integrating the “cost, quality and time” constraints.

Brands sometimes have their own idea for the process, or they may prefer to be guided. We always strive to provide advice, to improve the result or make it more unique, while guaranteeing feasibility and optimising costs.
We often need to experiment, as this is the best way for the brand to make a choice and for us to share our ideas and our vision of the appropriate technical approach.

This year, soft touch crops up regularly in briefs. Although the boxes are film-wrapped for shelf display, brands are investing in the customer experience, i.e. what they feel on discovering their product, to subtly create the relationship and increase the impact already produced by the visual. This soft-to-touch varnish can support several visions of the sensory experience.

A brief academic recap

Soft touch results from the application:

  • of a specific varnish
    Its application by an in-line flexographic group on our offset machines allows it to be combined with a glossy varnish, while avoiding any rerun to guarantee quality and optimise costs.
    The advantage:  possibility of reserve, and load flexibility to accentuate the rubberlike effect
  • and a film coating
    The advantage: a very smooth finish, protection of printing

Now let’s look at two practical cases we recently had the chance to work on, with different technical solutions and results

On the right, Prada Luna Rossa Carbon.

The soft touch is designed to reinforce the deep black, add density thanks to the matter, and express the full sense of the edition’s “Carbon” name.
The challenge? The contrast with the shiny lower part of the packaging featuring ultra-fine and extra-glossy reserve areas.
The solution? Applications of soft touch matt varnish and glossy varnish on shiny silver polyester. This very sophisticated packaging demands five transformation steps in total.
A little aside: The most attentive of you will have noticed the partial painting on the sides, done with our new, fully automated equipment

On the left, Jimmy Choo Man Ice.

The soft touch was chosen to accompany the visual snake skin appearance.
The challenge? Visually speaking, avoid altering the radiant white of the box, to preserve the glow and freshness forming the very baseline of the “Ice” product concept. In terms of product quality and shelf life, guarantee good abrasion resistance and hold of the silver stamping and glossy varnish; as these two finishes are placed over the soft-touch film, adhesion can be a critical issue.
The solution? The right choice of varnish and paperboard compatibility, tests for resistance to light and good quality hot stamping release.

So, even if a “packaging trend” does emerge, the brand’s interpretation will give it a personal dimension and our solution will always be tailor-made.

The Wauters and B.Pack Teams

To learn more about our know-how in packaging for perfume : click here
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