Packaging has to protect products, but it also has to sell them. Seems like a tall task for a bit of paperboard, right? That’s why designers have to get creative. Sometimes, creativity looks like innovative folding or cutting techniques, other times it can be achieved through methods like lenticular printing (or, similarly, the use of Fresnel Lens technology). Creativity can also take the form of artful design and alluring laminates that transform the packaging into something special.
In this article, we wanted to highlight one particular category of laminates that has become a staple for packaging designers looking for something extra: Holographic Laminates. Holographic laminated paperboard (or holographic board, as it’s sometimes called) imparts a colorful, metallic sheen to packaging that changes as the light hits it, creating a remarkable visual effect. There are a wide range of holographic patterns, and holography has other security uses as well. Below, we take a look at 5 creative uses of holographic film—check ‘em out!
1. HUNGRY JACKS’ HOLOGRAPHIC FILM FRY BOXES
For its new thick-cut French fries released in 2016 (yum!), Hungry Jack’s (the Australian brand of Burger King) designed shiny, new boxes. The boxes feature a dazzling array of colors, and a great-looking, custom branded holographic pattern overprinted with some fun text, but the holographic film also serves an important, though perhaps tongue-in-cheek function: keeping away seagulls. Hungry Jack’s designed the holographic packaging in gull-prone areas to prevent the pesky birds from swooping in to snag one’s precious “chips” (as they’re known down under.) The packaging’s shiny holography reflects light such that hungry gulls get confused, deterring them from diving for the fry boxes. According to research from National Geographic, using reflective materials can be quite an effective bird deterrent, not to mention a powerful lure for hungry humans.
2. SCHREINER MEDIPHARM’S COVERT-HOLOGRAM SEAL
If the holographic aesthetic isn’t quite what you’re going for, you may still consider using holograms for security purposes. After all, recent intelligence predicts that the global market for anti-counterfeiting packaging will reach $240.90 bn by 2026—with holography as a key player in tamper and piracy protection. One of the most innovative of these technologies is the hologram security seal by Schreiner MediPharm. When opened, the discreet white seal on the box’s edge irreversibly turns holographic—ensuring that the box hasn’t been previously opened.
3. KOLA PREMIUM’S SUBTLE HOLOGRAPHIC FOIL
In the nascent marketplace for cannabis-derived products like CBD capsules, packaging is playing a major role in carving out shelf space and market share for new products. One brand, Kola Premium, cuts through the noise with simple, minimalist design and subtle typographic references to hemp plants. However, what really helps the type and the logo shine (literally and figuratively), is a holographic effect. Depending on the angle, the holographic areas of the packaging bloom in varying shades of orange, pink, and purple. For new buyers looking for something new, that subtle design feature can be the first step to purchase.
4. K11 MOONCAKES’ HOLIDAY HOLOGRAPHIC PACKAGING
At the mid-autumn festival celebrated in many Asian cultures on the 15th day of the 8th month in the lunar calendar, families gather to appreciate the moon at its brightest and roundest and share mooncakes with one another. To celebrate the lunar holiday, the packaging of K11’s mooncake gift set brings together tradition and modernity in a stunningly unique way. With shiny holographic foil atop contemporary pastel backgrounds, the patterns are at once soft, intricate, and mesmerizing. And if you look carefully, you’ll notice that the different silver patterns on each mooncake’s box represent different phases of the moon. This packaging is a perfect example of using holographic foils to celebrate a familiar holiday in a special way.
5. MAC COSMETICS’ UNIQUE RAINBOW DOT HOLOGRAPHIC PATTERN
One of the best things about holographic technology today is that there are countless customizable patterns to choose from. Not only does a unique pattern increase your chances of standing out, it also makes it harder for counterfeiters to replicate. The rainbow dot holographic finish for MAC’s Lightful skincare line really makes the packaging shine (just like its products promise to do). As a product promoting luminous skin, the luminous packaging is sure to stand out on shelves.
THE POWER OF HOLOGRAPHIC PACKAGING
First impressions matter. While plain paperboard can be employed to great effect, adding lustrous laminates can help an otherwise lackluster package reach its full potential and make a great first impression. On crowded shelves or packed e-commerce site galleries, packaging that attracts customers’ eyes is effective packaging—packaging that sells. Holographic laminates are an underutilized medium in packaging and have the potential to play a bigger role in many industries. Hopefully, these examples of holographic packages have provided a bit of inspiration and demonstrate the transformative potential that laminates have.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Holographic packaging is aesthetically appealing without sacrificing functionality. With dimension and shine, holographic films are eye-catching and unique. Holography provides a wide range of colors and patterns to choose from—giving you a wide range of choices, from dazzling to refined. Plus, its techniques allow you to customize packaging in ways that are difficult for others to counterfeit. Holograms as authentication features, for example, have served the pharmaceutical industry very well.
Absolutely. There are infinite possibilities, making holographic laminates an extremely versatile product. Brands can select patterns from bold (e.g. glitzy, sparkling dots) to subtle (e.g. soft, embossed rainbow).
Lenticular printing is a specialized form of printing that prints on alternating, vertical ridges so that, when tilted, two different images/finishes can appear. Fresnel lenses offer a similar effect; printing with a lens pattern adds an element of dimension to a holographic laminate.