No matter what the industry and no matter what the product, standing out under the spotlight of the consumers' gaze is always at the forefront of a brand's thoughts when it comes to packaging. The shelf is a products last opportunity to snare the consumers' attention and preference, and this can often come down to a visual perception of what product looks the most glamorous, the most sophisticated, or simply appeals to what the consumer wants.
So how do you go about creating a product that is a peacock among pigeons?
Indeed, structure, performance and size all have an input into the success of packaging, but when it comes down to the raw visual impact provided by beautiful colors and design, it may be the finishes that set a product apart from its competition on the shelf.
The world of finishes is one that is wide and varied, with brand and packaging managers being up to their ears in different options. From UV gloss and satin emulsion to soft touch and pearlescent finishes, each finish tells a story about your product. Here, an assembled list showcases some of the finishes that have achieved the best results for the Benson Group in the beauty and personal care industry.
The Soft Touch
This finish provides an understated and luxurious aesthetic, and a flat, matte effect finish is not only soft on the eye but quite literally soft to touch, adding a tactile depth to a product's packaging. It also offers the ability to interact with the potential consumer through a sense other than sight.
It invariably gives the experience of a sophisticated, velvety texture for quality beauty products.
The old adage goes, "Why have cotton when you can have silk?" Satin is silk's synthetic cousin, and a satin emulsion finish gives a silky, luxurious and sensuous texture that is immediately associated with a luxury, high-quality product. A satin emulsion is a water-based product that creates a soft sheen finish, striking the perfect balance between a matte and a gloss.
Satin emulsion finishes work well with smoldering dark colors and metallic tones, as it does not overtly affect shades.
A special finish that creates a spot gloss and textured matte effect in very fine detail, a drip-off matte/gloss finish allows the creation of complicated and intricate patterns. The bold combination of two classic finishes helps a beauty product maintain a sleek and understated appeal while also retaining the glamour of gloss through choice detailing and intricate design.
Helping create a symbol of luxury and sophisticated glamour, a pearlescent finish creates many different shimmering varnish effects by dispersing iridescent material into either UV or water-based varnishes. Best suited for use on a dark background, a combination of a subtle, rich luminous shimmer and gloss is sure to lift a luxury beauty product into new heights of appreciation.
Feeling the Finishes
Beauty and personal care products cover a broad range of sensory appeals and therefore reflect a broad range of company ethos and imagery. Usually, a beauty product that is positioned toward the high end of the price range will want to echo this glamorous status with packaging that responds in kind.
However, that's not to say that only the finished listed here are suitable for such sensory appeal. Brands are constantly innovating with creative new approaches to finishes. For example, an eco-friendly brand may prefer to shun a glitzy appearance in favor of earthier tones and matte colors. What these finishes can achieve, when used in tandem with excellent design, is an eye-catching X factor and the type of aesthetic effect that has consumers swivel on the spot to check out your product.
Nikki Clark is the marketing manager at the Benson Group, part of Graphic Packaging International.