Packaging Finishes

Packaging Finishes

When creating bespoke packaging you usually start with the construction to ensure the structure protects your product. This post focuses on the next stage of the process, going from plain white board to the print stage and how best to present your packaging and make it stand out.

Coatings

The simplest add-on to your packaging are coatings. This can be done during the printing process to apply an all over coat at the same time as printing. On most jobs we would allow for coating in order to prevent marking and provide a premium finish to the packaging. Where there is no preference a neutral silk coating is a good starting point, but you have the option to change this to matt, gloss or soft-touch varnish.

Matt finish can increase the contrast for other elements of your design, such as embossing or foiling and is more commonly used for artwork without images.

Gloss coating is normally used for packaging with artwork containing a lot of images, such as hair care products and cosmetics. Adding a gloss finish can make your artwork appear shinier than when on silk but this does depend on the colour of your artwork as darker colours will reflect the light more, especially when the packaging is moved around.

Laminates will have a similar effect although as it is a film that is applied over the top of the board, an added benefit is that it can add a bit more durability.

Spot gloss

Where a gloss coating as standard is an overall flood of gloss over the packaging, spot gloss is where gloss is applied to specific areas only to create a contrast that stands out from the background. Usually on a matt background, spot gloss draws the eye to a particular area (such as the logo). The areas of your design which have had gloss applied will catch and reflect the light, making them more eye-catching.

Custom drinks carton with spot gloss

Custom drinks carton with spot gloss

Foiling

To make a part of your artwork stand out, hot foil stamping can be a good option to add a premium feel.

Using foil, you can introduce a contrasting substrate that can’t be achieved by printing. Popular in metallics such as gold, silver and copper it is also available in holographic and neon shades, security foils and even clear foils (this can look great on a textured uncoated board to make one area glossy).

Matt base and lid with silver foil

Matt base and lid with silver foil

Tactile

Soft-touch varnish

Previously mentioned in coating; soft-touch is a varnish which oozes luxury and creates a tactile connection when customers pick it up. It works well for presentation packs, influencer packs and cosmetics cartons, giving them a high-end feel.

Embossing

All aforementioned finishes can be combined with embossing to accentuate the visual effects and provide a tactile element to your packaging. You can read more about embossing here.

Custom embossed and debossed design

Custom embossed and debossed design

If you have a project in mind but are not sure which finish would best suit your packaging, why not ask our experts for their advice? Send us your project details and ask us which finish we would recommend.