Brand owners know that their packaging needs to be on point in order to stand out on shelves and online. But with so many products fighting for attention, bold color choices or unique container shapes may not be enough. That’s why, over the last few years, the break-out stars in the packaging world have been tactile labels.
Seeing is believing.
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Tempted to Touch
In the past, textured elements were prevalent in luxury goods especially within cosmetics, wine and spirit offerings. In fact, in a 2014 study, researchers found that consumers were more inclined to purchase an item with a tactile finish and pay extra for it. Since then, this embellishment has made a mark in other CPG industries including food, beverage, and supplements.
An Array of Options
This year, tactile labels were included on many packaging design trend lists. Adding this textured dimension to a label opens up an array of design options that range from strong to subtle and soft to scratchy. Here is a breakdown of some of the most popular possibilities:
- Soft Touch is a type of coating that gives the label a velvet-like texture and enhances its look. It also serves as fingerprint-resistant barrier.
- Embossing produces a raised area very often used in the type, logo or patterned background. This aesthetic provides a rich depth that instantly signals an expensive feel.
- Glitter Coating amps up the glam by adding glitter particles to spot UV coating. Consumers can’t help but reach out and touch when they see packaging with this eye-catching decoration.
- Pearlescent Coating is glitter coating’s more subtle counterpart. It produces a shimmering, reflective effect that feels lush to the touch.
- Spot UV Coating brings a unique element by emphasizing specific areas of the label. Using a thicker coating has a 3D effect and can be used quite effectively in the overall design.
- Sandy Finishes offer a slightly coarse feel similar to fine sandpaper and adds a small surprise to consumers when they check out the goods.
How Does It Happen?
Tactile labels are produced using a variety of techniques with varnishes, laminations, and equipment such as a UV Rotary Silk Screen unit. Some converters like Overnight Labels have an expertise in specialty finishes and have actually created their own proprietary textures that feel similar to leather and snakeskin.
“Sometimes the industry has not caught up to packaging designer’s imagination, so we like to do our own new product development,” said Don Earl, president of Overnight Labels. It’s almost like being a chemist, experimenting with different formulas to find right combination of elements to produce a unique sensory experience just by holding a packaged good in your hand.”