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Insights: Articles & Resources by Oliver Inc.


The Decorative Carton Touches You May Not Think Of

There’s a chance your competitors may be overlooking interior printing, die-cut sleeves, peek-a-boo windows, embossing/debossing, UV spotting, and reticulated varnishes. That doesn’t mean you have to.

    4 minute read

When it comes to the design of folding cartons, there are many options available for enhancing both the visual and tactile appeal of your secondary packaging.

From adding messages to the interior of the box, to embossing and debossing, incorporating peek-a-boo windows, die cutting, and spot UV patterns—there are a multitude of touches to elevate your brand and make a lasting impression on consumers.

Let’s delve into the various decorative folding carton elements that are sometimes overlooked but can add significant value to your packaging (and products).

Messages Printed on Box Interiors

Interior printing is one of the more oft-forgotten aspects of folding cartons. The inside of a box is regularly left blank, but can be a valuable opportunity to showcase your brand and convey important information.

For instance, it can be used to print product details, instructions, or your brand's tagline or mission statement. You might even consider adding a special message or greeting.

You can magnify its effect with the personalization potential made possible by variable data printing. Have fun with it!

This surprise feature of interior printing helps build brand recognition and differentiate your products from the competition.

Embossing & Debossing the Same Carton

Embossing and debossing are both decorative effects that can add texture and depth to your folding cartons. Embossing involves pressing a design into the surface of the carton to create a raised effect, while debossing involves imprinting a design into the substrate to create a recessed effect.

Either can be used to create a variety of textures and patterns, from simple geometric shapes to intricate designs.

Combining both embossing and debossing on the same folding carton produces a unique and eye-catching design that will stand out on retail shelves. Together, these are powerful tools for leaving a tactile and visual impact, drawing the customer's eye to specific areas of your packaging.

Don’t underestimate how much consumer appeal you can add with a restrained touch of sophistication.

Peek-a-Boo Window Cutouts

Window cutouts are a popular decorative touch in folding cartons, but also serve a practical purpose.

A peek-a-boo window cutout provides customers a glimpse of the product inside, creating further excitement and anticipation. Leverage that emotional response. This can increase the perceived value of your product and encourage customers to make a purchase.

It really contributes to a memorable unboxing experience.

Window cutouts can be forged in various shapes and sizes for custom boxes, and used to easily showcase specific features of your product, something very effective for electronic products, for instance.

Die Cutting on Sleeved Packaging

Sleeved packaging is another smart option for many products, but you can also enhance it with die cutting. Used to highlight the product inside, this involves cutting the packaging into a specific shape or design.

Die cutting can add a touch of creativity and uniqueness to sleeved packaging, making it demand more attention on store shelves. Die cutting can also be used to create a convenient opening or dispensing mechanism for your product, as well. It certainly helps consumer appeal when you improve the unboxing experience.

Spot UV Patterns

Spot UV is a favored technique used in printing to add a glossy, high-shine effect to specific areas of a design.

This technique can be used to implement intricate patterns or highlight certain aspects of your design. Spot UV can add a touch of elegance to your folding cartons, making them more appealing to consumers.

Additionally, the glossy finish can help further protect your design from wear and tear and abrasions.

For example, beauty brand Tint and Tighten employs spot UV patterns and embossing to deliver a refined quality to their folding cartons.

Reticulation to Add Tactile & Visual Effects

Reticulation is a technique that creates a raised and textured effect on folding cartons. This can be used to create a tactile experience for customers and add an extra layer of interest to your packaging.

Reticulation can also create a striking visual effect, such as the illusion of a three-dimensional object. This adds an extra touch of creativity and uniqueness to your packaging.

You can also varnish different coatings already applied over preprinted graphics, to give cartons additional protection, while amplifying visual features.

For example, Evolved uses UV gloss and matte reticulating varnish to give its innovative chocolate products a sleek, modern look.

Whether you're getting creative with interior printing, die-cut sleeves, or peek-a-boo windows, or considering specialty elements such as embossing/debossing, UV spotting, and reticulated varnishes, there’s no shortage of decorative effects many of your competitors are likely overlooking—achievable with the right design process.

Keep in mind: Even the smallest decorative touch can change the course of your product.

Oliver is a printing and packaging manufacturer with experience in nearly every commercial industry, with an emphasis on sustainability. Contact us today to learn more about decorative touches that can get your packaging noticed by consumers.

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