The luminous glow of metallic effects, gleaming metal finishes, and gilded components instantly elevate all types of packaging.
Metal is luxurious—and metallic effects make a package sparkle, shine and attract attention. Beauty and fragrance brands are using metals and metallic effects on all types of packaging, from lipstick and jars to labels and boxes, in a multitude of ways.
“Consumers like the ‘eye appeal’,” says Anthony Di Maio, chief operating officer, Cameo Metal Products. “Metals and metallics stand out on shelf. There is no comparison to a plain color versus metallic, in terms of appeal,” he says, adding, “Metallic looks are associated with luxury goods—and convey ‘high value’ to consumers.”
“Metallics give a product a high-end look—it’s that ‘something extra’ that the consumer notices and equates with value,” comments Diane Pannizzo, sales, Overnight Labels.
Pannizzo credits the printing industry with being very responsive to trends in the market. “Printing technologies have advanced in recent years,” she says. “Not too long ago, we saw lots of basic laminations and soft-touch finishes, but there are many new developments now. We can do labels that feel like velvet, or have a sand-like texture—some of the latest options are pretty incredible,” she says.
As beauty brands fuel the need for packaging that shines with metallic features, suppliers are offering new solutions. One of Amfora’s specialties is metallizing glass, which is no easy task, the supplier says. Anomatic can now metallize a plastic hinge closure, which is an industry-wide innovation, the team says. Cameo Metal has the equipment to color-match “better than most,” says Di Maio.
Achieving a consistent metallic look across a range of materials and substrates is one of Overnight Labels’ specialties, and Pannizzo says she often works with brands to develop custom solutions.
A Toned-Down Metallic Look
Using foils doesn’t always mean ‘flashy’ looks. Overnight Labels’ Pannizzo says that when metallic foils are used on packaging, such as a label, applying a varnish or special finish over the foil will completely change its look—and can mute its ‘sparkle.’ “More brands are using metallics with softer finishes. This creates a more high-end look,” says Pannizzo. “I see a move away from super glossy shine,” she says.
Pannizzo says a toned-down look can be achieved by mixing matte finishes with foils. “Indie brands are using this style, successfully. Larger, established brands won’t change their look too often, no matter what the trends are,” she says.
Overnight Labels recently worked with Eden BodyWorks to produce labels for its hair care line. The labels feature a soft metallic finish. “We ‘matted’ the foil’s shine, for an understated elegance. A metallic foil label doesn’t always have to scream from the mountaintops,” she says. “I also see more brands choose brush foils, in place of highly reflective metallics,” Pannizzo adds.
“There are also new options in varnishes. Motion designs imprint a pattern into the varnish. And glitter varnishes add sparkle to a top coating,” she explains.
Color-Matching and Compatibility
The package development process is not often simple and glitch-free—and using metals and metallics requires planning for new sets of issues. “The biggest problem when working with metallics is trying to match a non-metallic substrate with an actual metal part. The backing on the substrate isn’t the same as raw metal, so the finishes are hard to match up,” says Cameo’s Di Maio.
When working with foils on labels, Overnight Labels’ Pannizzo says each project is unique, but various decorating processes can be combined in different ways and every combination will result in a different look. “We have to consider each case one-by-one,” Pannizzo says.
She offers a final tip, “Choose a supplier that is up to the challenge of knowing which route to take, to best achieve the desired result.”
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