In the fast-moving world of luxury consumer goods, it is essential that label companies and brands continually develop their products to stay ahead of the game – and the same applies to their packaging suppliers, such as API; writes Richard Burhouse, commercial director at API.
Foils, laminates, and holographics can all work as part of the design to provide labels with the 'wow factor' that gives them an edge. These products by their nature beguile us – and when their impact is linked to an understanding of the specific brand’s values, the effect can be extremely powerful.
Our recent work with SnowFox vodka is an example of this. Tasked with creating a stunning visual identity for the award-winning vodka drink, we provided it with our 1000 TA foil, which was used to depict the piercing gaze of the iconic Canadian snow fox on its bottle’s shrink label. The foil produced a striking glow-in-the-dark effect, causing the electric-blue eyes of the snow fox to illuminate in low-lit areas such as nightclubs, thus drawing the attention of consumers.
SnowFox and the label applicator wanted to create an effect that wasn’t already available on the shelf, and the result more than achieves this. The foil on the label was flawlessly matched to the ice-cool essence of the SnowFox brand, and in this way, a powerfully unique effect was produced that contributed to the drink’s success.
Meeting the latest trends
Another vital element in delivering maximum impact for luxury labels is a strong awareness of the latest industry trends. One way we cultivate this is through our annual API Trends Folio, which outlines the latest styles in a convenient reference book, and enables us to provide brands with the latest trend information that will give their products an edge on the retail shelf.
Newly updated for 2018/19, the API Trends Folio explores four key trends in detail: from Neon Storm, which takes inspiration from natural phenomena such as sunbursts and comet flashes, to Diamond Luxe, whose dark lusters and glitters create a sense of night-time gothic that powerfully conveys high-end luxury.
Ultimately, of course, the foiling must provide real, measurable value to the brand. There is one obvious way it does this: by attracting more customers and therefore driving more sales. But there are also other ways that foils, laminates, and holographic effects can deliver extra value to customers, and one of these is highlighted by our work with Olympus Print Group.
Besides simply acting as a visual enhancement to substrates on the Olympus digital converting line, our TA cold foil also enabled an increase in output by over 50 percent, with application speeds rocketing from the 8-10 meters per minute of its predecessor to a phenomenal 25-30 meters per minute. Not only has it helped drive efficiencies, it has also significantly improved the quality of the final product.
Service and technical support were also central to this development and this is another key element that the best foil providers can deliver for label companies – and is often as important as the need to create dazzling visual effects for brands.
In the ever-changing world of labels, it is key for every foil supplier to focus on three things: working closely with brands to better convey their unique essence, keeping on top of the upcoming industry trends and how these can enhance brands, and ensuring they provide real value not just in terms of visual appeal, but also efficiency and ease-of-use.
On top of this, new product innovation is also essential. Launched at Labelexpo Europe 2017, the new generation of our TA cold foil range, TA-Plus, offers pack designers and printers exceptionally fine detail and the capability to cover large solid areas, as well as outstanding over-printability, meaning there is no limit to the range of colors and effects they can produce. This is just one example of how – across our wide range of foils, laminates, and holographic solutions – we are constantly striving to develop our products and ensure we provide customers with maximum value through their chosen labels and packaging.