Skip to main content

At Create8 we take packaging seriously. If there’s anything our years in the design sector have taught us, it’s that the right packaging will help carry a product into a consumer’s heart. Whether your product has to capture the attention of a passer-by while it sits on the shelves at Tesco, or if your brand is environmentally conscious and champions reusable materials at every turn, your packaging is pivotal.

In this blog, we will look at the various finishes available for your packaging. Addressing the strengths and weaknesses of each and helping you think outside the box when it comes to packaging design.

Coatings

When giving your packaging a helping hand, the easiest way for it to stand out from the crowd is with a coated finish. There are various types of coatings available and they can all be applied during the printing process. When applying even the most basic form of coating to a packaging design, it elevates the package and gives a premium look and finish. Coatings also prevent your packaging from being easily marked or scuffed whilst keeping the design intact.

Matte

Having a matte finish coating added to your packaging design allows for key elements to stand out from the package itself. This will often be used if large sections of the packaging design are block colour. If your packaging is covered in images or a complex graphics, it’s unlikely you will go with matte. It’s a safe option, but when paired with the right design it can produce flawless outcomes.

Gloss

A high gloss finish on packaging design is an incredibly popular choice within the health and beauty sector. This is because the gloss finish provides more shine to image-heavy packaging. For example, a box of a hair-dye, for the hair and model advertising the product to stand out from the box itself, a gloss finish will be applied to just them.

A downside to gloss finishes is that when used on dark packaging they reflect the light. Which means the design on the package can become difficult to see with the glare. But gloss is a winner, in the right sector and with the right design it can really drive your product home.

Laminate

A laminate finish has a similar effect as gloss. But, the laminate foil on the package design adds a little extra durability to help avoid those nasty bumps and scuffs.

Foiling

When it comes to giving your product some extra bling, foiling is the way to go. By hot-stamping foil onto your packaging design, your product has one of the most premium touches available in the world of packaging. The foil often comes in luxurious colours such as gold, silver and copper, but also comes in a varied option of neon shades to make that foil work pop from a blank canvas.

To make the most of foiling, hot stamping your logo or main elements of the package design in foil against a matte black background looks amazing. As a premium option, foiling can often be difficult to go with at the price. But, a premium appearance can also drive sales and catch the eye of customers.

Spot colours

Spot colouring or spot glossing as it’s also known offers you the opportunity to highlight certain aspects of your packaging design with a glossy eye-catching effect. In contrast with a full gloss finish, spot glossing picks out certain pivotal sectors of the design and pulls them to the forefront. When paired with a matte background the light will reflect from the spot gloss and easily catch the attention of passers-by. This is a premium style finish with brilliant results, but as with normal gloss, if the packaging design is too light in terms of colour, it can cause glare and make your product avoidable.

Neon Inks

As is often the case in the design world, as the wheel reinvents itself we are gifted classic approaches and colour schemes with a modern touch. Neon is very much now, as it was in the ’80s. Neon inks appear to glow and produce a brilliant eye-catching effect when used on packaging. The neon colour spectrum is vast and can offer plenty of options. However, tread lightly, too much neon can be off-putting, it can overpower your design and appear cheap (maybe not that much like the ’80s then).

Embossing

OK, so here’s a curveball. You’ve chosen the package design that suits your product. You’ve highlighted elements and it looks fantastic, but how does it feel? In the age of aesthetics, there is far more to ‘premium’ than the way things look. They have to appeal to our senses and touch is another sense that your package could and should invigorate.

Embossing can be used alongside many of the above coatings to add the feel of extra luxury. You can use embossing to accentuate your logo/key elements or you can emboss all the background pattern, that’s entirely up to you. It’s important to remember with embossing, as with colours, certain options will excite some but they will turn-away others, so be careful with your decisions and make sure you appeal to your demographic.

Soft-touch

In comparison to the rough feel of embossed packaging, soft-touch varnish does as it says on the tin. It creates a silky-smooth feel to your product, elevating how premium and luxury it feels. Soft-touch finishes are popular in the cosmetics sector as people will often handle the product to read its description. If your product requires this kind of treatment, think about how it would feel.

free tips subscribe

Packaging design is one of our specialities at Create8. We love any job that has challenging elements. The thought process which goes into creating a brilliant package certainly falls into that bracket. Packaging design requires varied skills and a lot of long term planning. Where your product is going to be sold, how it stands out against the competition and how it photographs for an eCommerce website are all considerations. We have countless examples of packaging design jobs we have completed and would love to share any knowledge with you and potentially work on your next project.

Take a look at some more of our blogs for helpful tips, tricks and advice: