Packaging is not only about aesthetics. Increasingly, designers are concentrating on the sensory qualities of the packaging, which has been the inspiration for Sleever International’s new ink. The Skinsleever tactile varnish is described by the company as a ‘revolution’ to the sensory aspect of packaging and an innovation that is also claimed to give a new dimension to a range of personal care and cosmetics products. The effect is centred on the company’s Helloflex printing process, a technology that has been developed by the company to combine several different printing techniques in one go. A single line combining three different printing styles This means that a single line is sufficient to provide rotogravure – a type of printing that involves engraving, flexography – for typing letters on any surface, together with seriography – a form of colour printing that relies on stencils. The three techniques combine to provide a high quality finish using up to 14 colours that relies on a special varnish to give the printed product a 3-D effect for greater shelf impact. The company says that the effect can be achieved on all types of film and that the precision at which the method is applied allows for an extremely subtle effect that helps to enhance finer details. Enhancing colour cosmetics and fragrances The first application for the technique has been a lighter produced for the Swedish Match Group, helping to give a tactile effect as well as added impact to a highly decorative and eye-catching product. However, the ink is likely to bring added impetus to the packaging of a range of high-end cosmetic and personal care products, particularly for brands that are seeking to differentiate themselves in highly competitive segments. In particular the effect is likely to be targeted at fragrance and colour cosmetic products, two categories where individuality and sharp design are of the utmost importance to a product’s success.