Increase Your Odds
Last month’s stamping and embossing feature established that employing such techniques allows for cost-effective value enhancements that will grab consumers’ attention—perhaps even the most cost-effective way to give packages the eye-catching appeal brand owners demand.
Foil decoration is one effect stamping and embossing affords. It can be done inline on the press or treated as an off-press finishing effect. Either way, metallic effects continue to improve.
“Foil and metallic effects have continued to be a popular choice for packaging applications due to the eye-catching appeal they evoke,” says Jeff Peterson, executive director of the Foil Stamping and Embossing Association (FSEA). “One of the best examples of how foil-stamped and embossed images work to draw in the consumer is with the wine industry.” According to Peterson, a very large percentage of wine labels includes metallic hot stamping foil and embossing to entice the consumer. One study he cites shows that greater than 70 percent of the time when consumers purchase wine, they don’t know the specific brand or type they are going to choose until they reach the aisle. “Foil helps a product or package stand apart and because of that, it continues to be a very popular choice,” he adds. Additionally, foil and embossing create a perceived value that the product inside the bottle or package is of the highest quality.
By the numbers
Foil stamping is very popular in consumer product categories. According to Dave Ziemba, director of research and development for Diamond Packaging (Rochester, N.Y.), foil decorating is most useful and practical on packaging for high-end cosmetics, hair care, and holiday gift sets. Peterson adds, “Foil stamping has found specific niches within the packaging arena, but still has a great deal of potential for other markets.” It’s prevalent in the wine label market, the software game market, toothpaste packaging, and the cosmetics/health and beauty markets. “We continue to see growth with other consumer products as well,” he says, “where brand packagers look for ways to set their package apart from the competition.”
Studies have shown why this package enhancement is so popular. Peterson cites a study by an independent research firm on the effects of foil-stamped/embossed products. Results of the study showed that packaging with foil rated greater than 80 percent stronger than packaging without foil in terms of overall appeal, quality, value, and brand awareness. Foil-enhanced product perceptions translated to an increased purchase interest in more than 70 percent of the cases studied. And, the study claimed that 26.7 percent of consumers will choose a foil-stamped product over one with a plain label.
Add to these statistics additional alternatives for using foil, including the cold-foil process and applying foil (both cold- and hot-stamped) inline on narrow-web flexo presses and, “more feasible opportunities exist than ever before to add foil to consumer packaging,” suggests Peterson.
Peterson states that there are many options available today for adding metallic foil effects to labels and cartons. Besides traditional foil stamping, applying foil through a cold-foil process is gaining momentum. “With this process, the foil can be applied inline on a sheetfed printing press or a narrow-web flexo press,” he says. Applications for cold foil include those where the entire label features foil or if the foiled area is going to be overprinted. “If only certain areas of the carton or label call for a metallic look,” Peterson adds, “standard foil stamping is still usually the best choice.”
According to Ziemba, “Foil manufacturers are developing shimless holographic foils to eliminate the need for special equipment to skip the shim line. Also, more pigment foils are coming into play in place of inks where very opaque coverage is needed.”
In Diamond Packaging’s case, Ziemba says the company “continues to specialize in the overprint process, giving customers a cost-saving alternative to foil board. More matte and gloss pigment foils are being used for decorating.”
Diamond Packaging recently won an FSEA Gold Leaf Award for “Most Creative Use of Foil Stamping/Embossing on a Folding Carton” and a Paperboard Packaging Council -Excellence Award in the cosmetics category for its “Nautica My Voyage For Her” packaging. Ziemba cites heavy coverage with white pigment foil and pink/red metallic as some of the special effects used on this carton. According to -Dennis -Bacchetta, director of marketing at Diamond Packaging, “Coty Inc. sought to capture the essence of its prestige brand in the packaging for its new product launch.”
The company turned to Diamond “to create a family of cartons as beautiful as the products themselves.” Diamond’s task was to design a family of packaging for -Nautica Voyage’s Eau de Parfum sprays and marine-enriched body wash that -“radiates the brand’s personality and instantly attracts consumers’ attention in the retail environment,” says Bacchetta.
Diamond used special techniques to “elevate a standard reverse carton to an unprecedented level,” says Bacchetta. All of the cartons feature a 0.018 SBS holographic foilboard complemented by foil stamping and embossing techniques. The graphics were achieved by offset printing UV black, UV white, and one PMS color inline with a UV gloss coating over the holographic portion of the carton. A dull stampable varnish was used on the lower white portion of the carton. -Bacchetta states, “Overprinting the holographic foil with transparent blue ink creates a stunning visual effect that captures the essence of ocean waves and warm summer breezes.”
The Nautica logo was stamped with pink foil, connecting the product to the brand. Blue and pink foil stamped accents added further detail. The bottom portion of the carton was stamped with opaque white foil and embossed with a crosshatch pattern, creating a tactile and visual effect, “reminiscent of sandy white beaches,” according to Bacchetta.
The resultant package, asserts Bacchetta, “clearly differentiates itself from the competition by employing a unique combination of graphics and textures.”
From the finish line to the checkout line
Bob Waddington, general manager at UVitec Printing Ink and frequent judge for the packagePRINTING Excellence Awards, commented in our August 2008 issue that “When I saw the entries for the Excellence Awards, I was impressed by the stellar quality and attention to detail that most of the entries displayed, but I am also concerned that we are not paying attention to what is new and available. For instance, using cold foil is a fantastic way printers can save money and time. But, there were relatively few cold foil entries.” He added later, “Many processes (cold foil, thermochromatic inks, etc.) are within the reach of even older presses and could be produced with just a little learning and patience.”
The Diamond Packaging Nautica package is only one example of the varied effects printers can achieve by employing foil. Will the packaging you print make it from your finish line to the checkout line? With more and more printers bringing foil decorating into their pressrooms, statistics showing how foil appeals to consumers when they choose their products, and Waddington’s comments, it makes good business sense for package printers to get to know and employ these techniques. pP