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Responsible and Luxurious – Sustainable Embellishment
The September issue of the trade journal creativ verpacken revolves around the subject of luxury to accompany the themes and content of the autumn trade fairs LUXEPACK in Monaco and PCD in Paris.
The subject of sustainability has long since taken hold in the luxury goods industry, and is increasingly shaping decisions made not only by brand owners, but also by customers at the point of sale. The challenge is to reconcile these two aspects, which on the surface appear to be so contradictory — to show how packaging can look and feel luxurious, but still be produced by sustainable and eco-friendly means. In other words: LUXURY – sustainably and responsibly produced.
The members and project partners of the PrintCity Alliance designed and produced the cover for this issue. The environment has been on the Alliance’s agenda for some time, and in 2019 it launched a new, broad-based project to address related issues. For the fictitious brand Better Human, the Alliance has been developing premium packaging with a special focus on sustainability to demonstrate the possibilities: from a structural design based on a single material, to material selection, production and of course recycling. Better Human provided the technological foundation for the cover.
The illustrative image chosen for the cover is a sea turtle. Designer Martin Appoldt explains: “Sea turtles, like no other animal, symbolize the vulnerability of our ecosystems and the threat to them, despite – or perhaps because of – their hard shells, which were sufficient protection for millions of years, up until a few decades ago. The sea turtle’s hard shell is like a shield against external influences and therefore fulfils a function similar to that of product packaging. This comparison is what links the sea turtle to our cover design. The varying surfaces on a turtle’s shell serve here as canvases for different finishes. There is no limit to the design possibilities in this context, and any variety of finishing techniques and effects can be seamlessly integrated into the graphic design.”
The luxurious look results from the printed artwork, the detailed floral elements representing the solid bony structure of the shell, tactile effects such as a soft-touch coating and blind embossing, as well as diffractive effects achieved by means of hot foil stamping and pigment varnish.
Print production is based on UV-LED offset printing, using the UVALUX LED U540 commercial ink series in the Euroscale colour space. To protect the inside front cover (U2) and the full-format ads on U3 and U4, an embossable and block-proof SENOLITH® UV LED print lacquer is applied on both sides in the fifth printing unit.
Also used here: a tactile soft-touch coating, a mat finish ink, a pigment varnish and a total of three different types of hot foil stamping, micro and blind embossing.
All details, from design to finishing, are also summarized in a tutorial (see below for downloading).
Production in detail and machine configuration
MetsäBoard Pro FBB Bright is a fully coated, bleached board with white reverse side, high whiteness on the front and back and excellent sensory properties make it ideal for special effects and for sensitive premium products. It is light and stable and can be used in direct contact with food. Available in a basis weight range of 180-350 g/m2 for offset, gravure, flexo and digital printing.
Print cover outside
Print cover outside: Offset printing 5c with UVALUX® LED U540 Commercial ink series and SENOLITH® UV LED print lacquer as well as full-surface applied tactile SENOSOFT® WB matt coating.
Offline finishing cover outside
Hot stamping transfer plano with LUXOR® blue metallic of the Creativ Verpacken lettering and the lettering line in the header. In a further hot stamping pass, the contours in the shell are finished with a diffractive LIGHT LINE® decor as plano and partly as prismatic relief stamping. The tactile SENOSOFT® matt lacquer applied over the entire surface is embossable and does not have to be cut out. This eliminates the need for a coating plate, which in turn saves costs and resources.
Print cover inside
Offset printing 5c with UVALUX LED U540 Commercial colour series with SENOLITH® UV LED protective coating and partially applied SPECTRAVAL™ pigment coating.
Offline finishing cover inside
Hot stamping transfer of the entire silhouette of the turtle with a light blue, transparent décor, whereby the fine structures are additionally incorporated in the shell as micro-embossing within the embossing tool.
Multi-level blind embossing
Multi-level blind embossing of the structures in the yellow coloured areas and the circular structures in the dark areas are deeply debossed from the outside of the cover. As a special feature, the effect is mirrored on both sides by countering the motif to the reverse and the use of counter embossing dies.
Offsetdruck mit LED-UV, Heiß & Blindprägung, Softlack, Effektpigmente
Tutorial & Environmental flyer
- IST Metz (UV curing systems)
- KAMA (embossing, cutting, gluing)
- LEONHARD KURZ (hot stamping, cold and digital transfer applications, holograms)
- Merck (special effect pigments)
- Metsä Board (premium lightweight folding boxboard, food service paperboard and white kraftliner made from fresh fibre)
- WEILBURGER Graphics (varnishes, adhesives and water-based flexo inks)
- Zeller+Gmelin (UV inks and coatings)