Up-scale Your Next Packaging Project with Soft-Touch Coating

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It was several years ago, while book shopping at a Barnes & Noble,  when first I noticed that book covers enhanced by foil stamping or embossing seemed to be targeting a mass consumer audience, while books with a distinctive dull or matte coating were intended for a more discerning reader. The subject matter for the latter category was mostly non-fiction, and more specifically on topics that would be unknown to the general reader. These non-fiction subjects weren’t autobiographies by the latest presidential candidate or a well documented WWII battle campaign. Rather, the books using a dull coat on there covers were on obscure historical topics such as the ability to measure longitude for the purpose of trans-oceanic navigation, or on how cloistered Irish monks saved written Roman and Greek transcripts from threat the barbarian rulers in control at the time. While the subject matter alone for these books may have appealed to a very small audience of history fanatics, the stunning cover graphics combined with a dull coating made them attractive enough to draw interest from the broader population at whole, helping them to fairly decent sales. Good graphics along with the right coating helps sell product.

For many years, dull, satin and matte coatings or varnishes have been used in the printing process to enhance the finished piece and make it easier on the intended reader’s eyes. This category of coating both up-scales the look and feel of the printed product, and reduces glare which makes it easier to read – both very desirable attributes. The problem has always been that these coatings are more liable to scuff or scratch, in both the production and transport process. The beauty of the printed piece can be negatively impacted by visible marks. Over time, properly formulated and applied over coatings have become more scuff resistant to prevent marking after the printing has been completed.

All of the amazing attributes of dull coatings are enhanced even more with the silkier more tactile soft-touch coatings in vogue today. Soft-touch coatings are now being specified on cartons to add perceived value to all sorts of high-end consumer products. Again, although highly desirable, soft-touch coatings present a potential scuffing or marking problem, especially on darker colors. We saw this problem time and time again in our earliest attempts to master this coating process, but over time we learned by adding the right amount of cross-linkers add the right time to the coating we can prevent the problem entirely.

Impressions Inc. is excited to provide soft-touch coating capabilities to those discerning customers who wish to upgrade the look and feel of their product, and the desire for their products to stand out from the rest raising its perceived value on the retail shelf.


Author: Nicole Hannover

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