Opinion: Win the Battle at Retail with Embellishments

As part of the Dieline's Opinion Series, Bert-Co will share their manufacturing know-how and POV with our readers, addressing your packaging-related manufacturing questions. Today Bert-Co presents how to win the battle at retail with embellishments! 

Just take a trip to any retail environment and you'll see it's truly a phenomenon how every box on the shelf can stand out in its own right. Grabbing our attention, maybe educating, while protecting whatever is inside. These boxes steal a millisecond of our consciousness through the use of color, words, and graphics, wrapped around a paperboard structure. It's a small victory whenever a package accomplishes its mission. But let's face it; the competition on the retail shelf is fierce.

Color, good typography, and great graphics are one way to gear up for the battle on shelf. But there is an entire arsenal of things that can be added to folding cartons and rigid boxes to help win attention at retail. Enhancements such as: Foil Stamping, tactile finishes, unusual materials, flocking and glitter, shape, refined edges, Ribbons, bows, plaques, and more!

If it’s your job to create packaging that sells, you can drive home the brand message, make an emotional connection with the consumer, or just get noticed by adding trimmings that beg to be examined closer. Read on to learn more about the stash of weapons in the packaging designer’s toolbox. 

 

Sell more with Foil Stamping

Did you know that studies show that foil stamping increases sales?  And consumers expect to pay more when the package is foil stamped. It is sometimes called “hot stamping” since heat is used to adhere the foil to the packaging material. Foil stamping material comes in a huge number of stock colors from a variety of suppliers. While gold and silver colors are still the most popular, foil stamping material also comes in other metallic colors, solid pigment colors, pearls, and lots of holographic patterns. Custom colors can be made as well, but often require large minimums.

Above is a good example of an underutilized foil material.  It’s a "transparent holographic" material that is stamped over the printing in the title treatment, and still allows the graphics to show through for a glittery holographic effect. 

Dies for foil stamping can be made from magnesium, copper or brass. While brass is the most expensive, it gives the best results for fine detail. Dies are generally made from a digital file.
To learn more about foil stamping see the Foil and Specialty Effects Association web site for more details. FSEA.com.

 

Texture is the next big thing at retail

Want the shopper to reach out and touch your package? Add a tactile element to your package with special coatings or embossing . Recent surveys show adding a tactile feeling to packaging is another way to engage shoppers and that they are willing to pay more for packages with a tactile feeling. Soft Touch coating gives a nice suede feeling to standard paperboard material, and often connects with consumers as a luxury product. One client reported a 30% increase in sales by simply changing the packaging art that included a textured coating on a foil board. 

There are other tactile finishes. Standard all overall embossed patterns are one way. But coatings like high rise UV can give a nice texture without the cost of embossing dies. Embossing can be done with fine detail, extra deep patterns and sculptured looks – all good ways to get shoppers to notice. The packages above have some great sculptured embossing to grab attention and invite touching. The flower petals require a “sculptor” to make the embossing tooling. 

 

Make it Touchable

This DVD package adds an extra level to a tactile feeling with "flocking". The black stripes have a fuzzy velvety material that mimics real fur. Flocking is generally applied with pattern of glue down first, and then the flocking material is applied over the glue. Flocking comes in lots of colors and bits of glitter can be added as well.

 

Make it “Covetable” with Glitter

Glitter works well to really add glamour to a package or an element of fun. Glitter comes in different colors, different sizes, and different shapes. It comes in metallic colors, solid colors and holographic colors. For extra pop, the colors, sizes and shapes can be mixed together. Glitter can be applied over the top of a spot glue pattern, or mixed into coating. Glitter that is mixed into coating has an advantage that there is no glitter that falls off onto the retail shelf or comes off on the shoppers hands.

 

Have them stop and say “what’s that?” 

There is an endless array of unique and cool materials to make into packaging.  Lots of colored and embossed paperboards and paperboard laminated with foil and other laminates.  New materials are created regularly. If you plan to print four color process art on your project, you might think twice about using a stock that is already colored. Often, white will need to be printed first, so that the four color process printed image looks right. These materials do generally cost more than standard white clay coated paperboard. But you can just foil stamp or print type and avoid printing a solid color, which can be cost effective for small runs.

The above packages are printed on what’s commonly referred to as “foil board”. Most foil boards are metalized polyester laminated to paperboard. The Simpson’s piece is printed on a holographic wavy pattern that really stands out. Most of the foil boards require white ink applied first, so that titles read and the art stands out where it should. If you are not completely sure how the white ink should work, your vendor should be able to help you with where the white goes and how it should be gradated so that the metallic effect also shows where it should.

This third carton really shows off the beautiful orchid photos printed on solid black paperboard, in four color process. It was a challenge since white ink needed to be applied first with enough opacity to have the photos print with all the detail that made them great.  A gloss coating was applied over the flower images only, and the brand logo was foil stamped in a copper color.

 

Shape

The use of shape can really help a product standout at retail. This collection from Glamglow does it well. Expect your folding carton supplier to help you to design shapes that are efficient on automated gluing equipment and assemble easily. 

Above is a good example of a unique shape, the last image uses lots of curved edges to get noticed, along with fine detail foil stamping and red “refined edges”. “Refined edges” use color to be a design element, or make white edges recede. Refined edges are often used on black packaging, but can be produced in a wide variety of colors. 

Add Other Adornments, Like A Ribbon Or Bow Or Metal Plaque.       

Bows are a great way to give a package a more upscale feeling or drive home the message that it works well as a gift. There is an endless selection of bows, in all kinds of materials and colors, and new ones are introduced regularly.

 

Take it to the next level…

If you think there is more that can be done, there is! Lots more in fact. We’ve produced packaging with:

Lenticulars (one is called a “4 second video capture), Gel packs (that look like blood or water that float over the graphics), Dome stickers, Distortion printed thermoforming (like the Simpsons piece above), LED’s Sounds, Metal studs affixed to the package, Wood veneers. and Injection molded pieces affixed to the packaging

And finally, we know what’s new sells. Your packaging vendors can help you on the journey to create something fresh that consumers just have to have. You have a partner in this development, your supplier. The manufacturer of the carton has a deep staff of knowledgeable people with many decades of experience to help you through all of your needs. You can ask them anything. You can even ask us a question here.


By Suzan Kerston

Suzan Kerston is a packaging Geek. She attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, completing her studies in graphic communications. She is Executive Vice President at Bert-Co where she has worked for 31 years.
 
Since 1930. Bert-Co creates and manufactures specialty and innovative packaging to luxury markets including beauty, distilled beverage, fancy food, and entertainment. Bert-Co excels at unusual coatings, unique substrates, sophisticated structures, and high-degree-of-difficulty folding cartons. Domestic manufacturing and global sourcing. 

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