Friday 12th August 2022

Holography Adds Colorful Dimension To Packaging


Holography’s accessibility, relative low-cost and versatility lends itself to integration with various substrates and print and conversion technologies, driving new products and innovative commercial applications. Advanced film coating and manufacturing technologies are pushing new application boundaries, while a wide variety of specialist origination techniques offer an almost endless variety of colorful 3D visual effects, ranging from the iridescent and visually striking to more subtle, muted tones and graphic features.  Indeed, the holographic foil market will continue to see high CAGR growth between the period 2021-2027, driven by the increasing interest of packaging converters and suppliers in the technology.
A new generation of optical structures is in progress, featuring distinct visual effects that are easy to identify, yet even more difficult to simulate, while new techniques in film coating and production technology are seeing the boundaries for the use of holographic materials pushed ever further: a wide variety of specialist origination techniques offer an almost infinite variety of colorful 3D visual effects, ranging from the bright and stunning, to subtle graphic features and tones. 
The eye-catching appeal of contemporary holograms makes them an extremely beneficial packaging accoutrement. Indeed, surveys undertaken over the year have established that the technology grabs the attention of global consumers browsing the product shelves in a store or supermarket. This is the one single property that all brand owners look for in their packaging – maximum brand appeal.

Holography also imparts a premium look to the package, which is why more and more companies are using holographic films and foils in their packaging. Toothpastes, premium cosmetics and personal care products are among the big users of holographic elements in their packaging. In this application, the security that is naturally provided by a hologram is of peripheral benefit as any custom-designed holographic pattern offers the option of including security features to make the package secure against counterfeiting.
Innovation in holographic films is ideal for a wide variety of flexible eye-catching applications, further increasing the creative visual opportunities for packaging and print designers to reinforce brand identities, catch the customer’s eye and reinvigorate mature or aging designs. Indeed, holography’s ability to refresh and reinvigorate brands continues apace, highlighted by the recent Excellence in Holography Awards, where a holographic calendar from USA’s Hazen Paper Company, which included lenses set behind the date and month windows, a grey motion background sky and a color variant for the dragon’s body, and dual lenses to create a flame effect, reflected a significant step forward in the ongoing development of innovative holography solutions for commercial packaging and decorative finishes and applications.
Attractive packaging plays a huge role in boosting product sales and good holographic design can add real value, capturing the message and essence of a product, defining its premium qualities. Holographic effects create reflective accents on selected areas of the packaging in order to enhance the overall visual impact—for instance, a flat surface is dramatically transformed into a stylish 3D concept.
This radiating finishing design can also be tailored to individual packaging requirements to ensure products stand out in the retail environment and catch the eye of the consumer on crowded retail shelves. AR Packaging offers many different technologies to cover packaging with a luminous holographic finishing and the company’s design for Nivea’s “Make Up Expert” carton shows the power of holography to radiate the individual character of product.

Elsewhere, Holography Industry CJSC’s (Belarus) next generation of labels use a combination of polygraphic printing and holographic images to enable the implementation of new visual effects for anti-counterfeit protection. The cold embossed hologram integrated into the labels enables bespoke designs to be produced for brand enhancement and shelf appeal.
Featuring advanced proprietary 3D holographic imagery and created from advanced print and design materials, the Poseidon box from foil and visual effects specialists, Fresnels Innovations, can feature as the centrepiece of a luxury brand strategy, build around sophisticated, elegant and environmentally sensitive cutting-edge packaging that delivers enhanced appeal and added value in the retail environment. The development reflects advances in nanostructure print technology to create designs reflecting a product’s essence as part of packaging incorporating state-of-the-art anti-counterfeiting measures for additional brand protection.
In India, Holostik’s work for Afxigra has led to the introduction of a holographic packaging product that not only protects the brand but also enhances shelf appeal. The packaging includes a non-printed metallic effect, a platinum relief image which contains an embossed 3D effect, a dome lens effect, a brush stroke effect and a heart outline. Holostik’s Magnum is a secure yet eye-catching hologram that incorporates a portfolio of optical features including: full visible dynamic effects, emboss effects producing depth, kinetic effect, a Fresnel effects, 2D/3D effects, 3D text, a gradient effect, animated flower and text, and an animated covert laser readable effect together with many other features.
Advancements in new imaging techniques and combinations of other technologies with holograms will continue to ensure holography’s success. Moreover, with the ceaseless march of technology, there’s no reason why holography shouldn’t continue to evolve as packaging designers search for ever more vibrant, creative and dynamic materials to work with and discover the vitality and flexibility it offers.

Dr. Paul Dunn is chair of the International Hologram Manufacturers Association. The IHMA is made up of more than 90 of the world’s leading hologram companies.


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