Note: PackMojo provides a standard matte varnish for all of its boxes. If you're looking for something different, let us know!
Common Retail Box Coatings
Coatings that help protect your product or add visuals to your box.
Adding your brand to your packaging helps get your product noticed on store shelves. Lithographic printing and laminated options can help you add colourful (and glossy) finishes to your boxes.
Lithographic Printing: Good for high-quality colour-print branding.
Here, printing is done from a stone (lithographic limestone) or a metal plate with a grained surface; using oil-based inks. Lithography provides exceptional value in the case of large volume printing. Usually, litho printing is used to create a high-end feel, and is ideal for companies that are concerned about the clarity of their graphics.
Lamination refers to the process of bonding a clear plastic film onto printed matter. Printed pieces are laminated to protect them from stains, smudges, moisture, wrinkles, tears or anything else that might shorten their useful life. Common types of laminate are gloss, matt and silk. Lamination is often used for packaging, book covers, brochures, or business cards.
Litho Laminated Print: Good for high-quality colour-print branding with a gloss finish. Avoids a "wavy, corrugated" look.
Here, oil-based inks are first printed onto a flat sheet instead of directly on box cardboard. Since litho-lam prints to a sheet before it is attached to the corrugated fluting on a box, it has the advantage of printing on a smooth surface.
Corrugated material, while excellent for product protection, creates a challenge when attempting to achieve great detail and can struggle to remain effective when doing a full-color print. For high-volume print runs, litho lam can be a cost-effective way to produce retail-ready packaging at a large scale.
Spot UV: Used to highlight letters with a glossy shine.
Spot UV refers to the application of this UV Coating to a specific area (or areas) of a printed piece rather than coating the entire surface. It is common to highlight letters with spot UV.
Specialty Coatings and Varnishes
Specialty coatings are used to help get your product noticed. Certain coatings (aka varnishes) can help add a glossy or metallic look to your custom prints. These premium print addons use varnish. Varnish is a clear ink which can be either gloss, satin or matte which can be used for protection or to improve aesthetic appearance. Varnish is typically added to a finished printed piece either for aesthetic reasons (i.e., to increase gloss and provide a better overall look) or to protect the printing from wear and tear.
Depending on the complexity of your order and your branding requrements, you may be able to produce a high-quality packaging box without any gloss varnish or coating at all.
We've provided an example of a Gloss UV varnish, a common varnish used to provide shine.
Matte Finishes: Good for a minimal, high-end look.
This is referred to as a "flat finish," meaning the surface is coated in a way where it displays no gloss or shine. Matte finishes are often used in luxury boxes, like those from Holt Renfrew or Sephora.
PC: Bridgeport National Bindery, Inc.
UV Shine: High gloss coatings that are eco-friendly.
UV shines produce a bright, resilient look to a print. This method is popular on deep, rich colors, like blues and rich blacks- the result is an almost wet appearance. UV coatings are free of solvents and do not emit volatile organic compounds, this makes them environmentally friendly.
This is also known as a Spot UV Shine.
PC: Bali Print Shop
Foil Stamping: For adding a metallic "gold" or "copper" look.
Foil stamping is a versatile printing technique that involves applying a metallic or pigmented foil to a surface in order to create a decorative finish. Foil stamping can give a "gold-foil" look to a business card or package.
PC: First in Print
Emboss: Raised lettering with a great feel.
This form of imprinting stamps a raised lettering or design on your packaging.
PC: Kwik Kopy
Deboss: Indentations that make an impact.
Debossing creates an indented pattern. Debossing is similar to embossing, but recesses the design rather than raising it. The bottom picture is an example of debossing whereas the top picture is an example of embossing..
PC: Dolce Press