Material Monday on Beauty Packaging: Differentiating Surfaces

Material Monday on Beauty Packaging: Differentiating Surfaces

Posted 18 September 2017 by Katie Kubrak

Being at the heart of luxury beauty industry, in order to bring surfaces to life, we continually challenge creative production through merging surprising effects with inspirational materials. On the grounds of an e-commerce beauty experience being heavily focused on a visual aesthetic, this week in “Material Monday: Series 1”, we explore how packaging, the only physical touch point between customer and brand, could be differentiated through the process of paper laser etching.

Laser etching is an inkless process of surface decoration where shaping agent cuts into the substrate to transfer a silhouette of designed relief. When considering this technique for your beauty packaging it is important to envisage how selected paper will affect the graphic and tactility of the outer shell.

The finest papers will complement, enhance and bring the most surprising storytelling opportunities alive. Papers, applicable for this production process, need to be dimensionally stable and extremely durable. Suitable ranges include coated and uncoated products with cotton or cellulose based fibre composition. Coloured alternatives, which were not dyed through or were dyed unevenly, open up a spectrum of surprising aesthetic and tactile opportunities that can bring out the best out of the vivid beauty-branding image.

With this method, Grafiche dell’Artiere, an established print supplier, combines Italian craftsmanship with sophisticated Latin artisanry to successfully convert two-dimensional elements as font, logos, patterns, graphics and pictures into an eye-catching, three-dimensional etchings. In result, their unrivalled attention to detail drives tests and trials behind pushing the boundaries of this highly skilled process. These establish a precise calculation of concentration of light that is required per specific surface and depth of relief.

In this notion, laser paper etching, solely relying on the use of light, can directly help to avoid the use of environmentally harmful chemical solvents used in some surface finishing techniques, at the same time, making it a fitting choice for an environmentally conscious brands. If, however, brand aesthetic requires experimenting with other processes, it is possible to explore the following additions:

  • special color varnish (metallic, pearlescent, fluorescent)
  • artistic foiling with microetched clichés
  • embossing and debossing with multilevel clichés

Whether mixing above-mentioned techniques with the laser etching or using the technique just on its own, both routes can lead to striking results. Limitless opportunities that could benefit beauty packaging include, but are not limited to:

  • customisation
  • conveying a feel of dignified heritage and bespoke luxury
  • unrestrained small run production as in this case you don’t need a cliché, a die or a printing launch
  • mimicking patterns associated with the brand or one of the ingredients as leaves, petals, peels etc.

If you are interested in opening a dialogue about opportunities that could differentiate the surface of your beauty packaging, or you would simply like to participate in our event concluding “Material Monday: Series 1” this Thursday, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Above: Laser etched graphic on paper.

Above: Paper surface printed with silver inks and laser etched graphic that appears to shift and change colour as the light catches the filigree relief. (Design & Photo credit: Studio Marianne Guely for Neuflize OBC Bank)

Above: Paper laser etching being used instead of printing/embossing/debossing brand name.

Above: Paper surface printed with gold inks, foiled, laser etched and laser cut.

Above: Laser etched pattern on paper.

Above: Possible design complexity of laser etched paper.

Above: Opportunity to scale up the branded visual storyline across multiple boxes.