Specialty finishes can be the icing on the cake. Arjun Ramachandran writes.
Readers of Packaging magazine will have noticed some attractive enhancements to the front cover in recent months.
A glossy, raised masthead has appeared on some issues, while last month’s November issue featured an idyllic beachfront with a realistic sandy feel.
These eye-catching enhancements are just some examples of the attractive coatings and finishing possible in today’s printing and packaging environment.
The glossy masthead is achieved using Allkotes’ Matte-Kote and Ultra-Kote products, while the tactile sandy beach is made possible using the company’s Bubble-Kote.
According to Allkotes national sales and marketing manager Tony Colella, the capabilities of coatings and finishings continue to take people by surprise.
“When people see a special finishing on a product they are amazed at the quality of finishes that are possible, and also how easily it can be achieved,” he said.
Specialty finishing now includes a range of products including holographic films, coated screen materials and various laminations. Colella says it is important that manufacturers understand what these finishes can achieve.
“For example, confectionery applications need very good appearance to stand out from the shelf and be noticed by either a child or a parent - so there’s a trend towards holographic materials,” he said.
However, misconceptions about cost still potentially limit adoption.
“A problem we have is that the first thing people ask [about special finishes] is ‘What’s the cost?’” Colella said.
“But the question should be ‘What can my product look like, and can a much higher quality appearance increase exposure and add to sales?’
“Additionally, if our products are carefully thought about and incorporated into design, they can actually help reduce cost by replacing a more expensive product.
“For example, bubble coating can give a product the appearance of looking leather-bound without the same costs.”
Colella says special finishings are suitable for a range of products, including printed magazines, packaged products, and even items such as DVD covers.
“Time is not always abundant in packaging or printing, but we have a technical department that can work with clients to develop products suited to their processes for the effects that they want to get.”