An Unclear Solution?

API Foils

There is still a common misconception in the marketplace that laminates must be clear.

However, advances in manufacturing technology in the laminating industry are allowing a far wider choice of non-transparent films to be developed. David Jarvis, Applications Project Manager at API Foils explains how holographic laminates are growing rapidly in popularity.

Manufacturers are constantly seeking to deliver functional laminates that offer the end user the dual benefits of performance and aesthetics to enable their products to stand out from the rest. Holographic laminates are increasingly being used in packaging as a visually powerful medium of advertising. The immediate impact upon the eye of holographs draws attention to the product and makes it desirable to the customer.

This relatively new innovation is borne from a number of disparate elements that have become commonplace in today’s retail culture - continuing pressure to reduce costs, more aggressive buying by the customer, reduced order sizes and alternative finishes such as metallic foils. As a high value, added service with good profitability potential, laminates offer considerable impact to a product and work well with other finishing processes including foil stamping and die cutting. Lamination also provides a product with a combination of high gloss, durability and protection of the printed image.

The cost of holographic laminates has decreased enough over recent years to make it a feasible option for a number of applications, from book covers, folding cartons and gifts bags to menus, posters and greeting cards. Holographic laminates are normally non-transparent, rather silver or other reflective colours that incorporate state of the art dot matrix and other holographic effects that play with reflective light. The process gives the impression of depth and reflects a rainbow of colours.

Holographic laminatesThe use of products such as Holofoil from API Foils is increasing as designers recognise the value that these prismatic colours lend to consumer goods. There are a variety of colour tints to go with the standard silver pattern, including gold, blue, magenta and burnt orange. The coloured Holofoils are tinted with dyes in the lacquer, which act as a filter so that the metallised layer reflects a colour. The whole pattern then takes on a different dynamic, changing the overall colour spectrum of the hologram.

Printers have two options - they can either buy ready laminated carton board from recognised and respected suppliers such as Henry and Leigh Slater, or they can laminate their own substrates using API Holofoil™ polyester laminates on dedicated machinery. Bespoke holographic effects, tailored to specific projects or brands can be specially originated through API’s holographic mastering laboratories, Chromagem.

Film lamination continues to be a medium to which graphic finishers are turning in order to offer expanded services to their customers. Presently, the luxury packaging market is the most common user of reflective holographic laminates, using the eye-catching characteristics of holograms to reflect the quality of the product inside. However, the current climate of less volume orders and shorter product runs means that other industries can also benefit significantly from this technology, for example, new products with a limited production run that can be highlighted with holographs to entice the customer to impulse buy.

The emergence of new films and faster printing equipment is continuing to push the laminating market forward. Suppliers need to be innovative and competitive with their manufacturing techniques to ensure enhanced end product quality and holographic lamination is a contemporary marketing option that is advancing rapidly.

For further information on API Foils products or services please contact: 0161 789 8131

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