There are a plethora of questions to keep in mind, too. According to Tim Cain, president, Breit Technologies, brand owners or designers should ask which special effect will most likely engage the target market, what enhancements are being used by their competitors, and will the enhancement engage their target audience or just confuse them?
Just because these labels feature illuminating graphics does not mean that they sacrifice in ways important to brands and consumers. For example, Kurz has ensured that its products promote sustainability.
“In today’s market, there is a heavy focus on creating these effects with sustainable processes and products,” explains Quimby. “Kurz’s finishes match all of these requirements perfectly with our thin transfers that have no impact on the recyclability of the product. We give the brand and creatives freedom of design while being environmentally conscious with the decoration technology selected. Kurz doesn’t use laminates, as these products are generally not sustainable. Kurz only specializes in transfer technologies/foils that meet our sustainability standards.”
“If the brand owner has a limited budget and it’s important that the label be recyclable, such as with beverage and liquor labels, then Cast and Cure is an excellent choice,” adds Cain. “Since Cast and Cure film can be reused up to a dozen times – and sometimes even more – there is a significant cost savings in terms of the amount of film needed for any given job. Less film means less spent on shipping fees and warehousing. Moreover, the cast and cure process does not use any adhesives or metals, so it won’t affect the recyclability of the label substrate used. That’s great news for brand owners that follow a corporate sustainability strategy.”
Metallics and special effects also serve another vital need: product protection. The use of these technologies can help promote anti-counterfeiting. For example, K Laser boasts numerous proprietary patterns designed to safeguard products. Plus, K Laser can develop custom holograms.
“We have the ability to provide custom hologram brand protection labels,” notes Bibler. “We can create proprietary protection and brand recognition with techniques such as stereo relief, 3D true color, two-channel effect, color lens and nano text, to name a few.”
Transfer technologies are often used for product enhancement and security in today’s marketplaces. “Covert, overt and forensic features can be designed and built into a custom Optically Variable Device (OVD), or the brand/customer has the option of selecting from a number of readily available products,” remarks Quimby. “The technology is very difficult, if not impossible in many cases to counterfeit and reproduce.”