Four underrated print effects for packaging

While the value additions to be offered has broadened in the world of print, these snazzy effects remain largely unknown to the end customers.

Taking a cue from this disconnect, we pick four packages to showcase how brand managers and marketers can benefit from special inks, varnishes, substrates and advanced printing techniques

13 Oct 2017 | By Rushikesh Aravkar

“Proustian phenomenon” proposes that a distinct smell is all that one needs to recall distant memories.
When Colgate Palmolive launched its black orchid range of liquid handwash it targeted, rather pleasantly, the olfactory receptors of the end users to take notice of the product. A fragrance card visualised and conceptualised by Mumbai-based Viraj Prints carried the lavender scent of the product.
In the past, ‘scratch-n-sniff’ was the only way the sense of smell was addressed to in the print world. But it had its limitations. A patch containing tiny bubbles encapsulating aroma chemical was stuck as an additional operation. Also, when one scratches the patch, a very small quantity of aroma is released lasting for a very short time.
Today, screen printing techniques have been developed to effectively deliver the fragrance, without having to scratch. Viraj Prints deploys this technique and assigns each product a scent of its own.
Glow in the dark
While a stunning packaging makes an excellent sales pitch on a supermarket shelf, this silent salesman stands helpless in the dark environment of clubs and bars – until the innovative idea and use of specialised glow-in-the-dark ink came to the rescue.
United Spirits implemented this for McDowell’s No 1, its flagship brand of whisky. Accomplished by ITC’s Packaging and Printing Division, the carton is printed on a KBA Rapida 106 press. The metallic base of MetPET laminated 3-ply micro-fluted board is adorned with an artwork of six special colours including two golds, red, silver, black, and white. Then a glow-in-the-dark varnish is applied over the dot pattern and the logo using offline screen printing process. 
According to ITC, a larger portion of the pack is covered with textured shimmery varnish, which gives an embossed effect and glows in the dark; plus the micro fluted structure provides sturdiness and durability. A collectors’ edition indeed.
Metal finish
Another popular way for brands to achieve shelf stand-out is to use metallic effects. There are several ways for achieving metal finish that have been used effectively in the past, be it with metallic inks or MetPET laminated board or foil stamping etc. However, the recent technology advances of inline cold foiling on offset press, converters like Parksons Packaging, TCPL and Rave Scan are achieving wonders for brands with this. The USP is that cold foiling enables printing on the foil.
A great example is Wildstone Code Deo carton produced by TCPL for McNroe Consumer Products. The carton adorns a classy look with inline cold foil, two Pantone shades and black. The carton also uses matt UV and embossing. This was TCPL’s first cold foil carton.
An artful application of cold foil followed by CMYK plus one special colour printing to get a multicolour foil effect is successfully implemented on Fybros micro-fluted carton produced for Balar Marketing by Parksons Packaging.
Fresnel lens
Achieving 3D effect through the use of Fresnel lens technology providing instant shelf has been successfully implemented by Any Graphics on Sensodyne and Henko cartons with offset printing.
The technology is a bit complex in terms of achieving perfect registration on the Fresnel lens structures, which are placed behind specific areas of a graphic to add depth and ‘movement’ to the artwork and holographic patterns are added to areas where a rainbow colour and sparkle are desired.
A similar effect has been successfully achieved by Mudrika Labels, first time on a flexo press in India, for Colgate’s 3X Buy 2 Get 1 Free label. Not only does it serve as an anti counterfeiting measure, the pre-embossed lens adds uniqueness to the product with aesthetic superiority. Registering CMYK plus two Pantones on a pre-embossed lens accurately was a technical feat that Mudrika has efficiently achieved.