Sunday, February 3, 2019

High Stakes in Food Packaging Requires Right Ink for Printing

When ink is applied to food packaging as a printing material, it must be non-transferable. Prints in food packaging should not use conventional inks. The printing company must ensure that all the solvents in the ink are completely volatilized after printing. The ink needs thorough curing and meet the corresponding industry standards.

::Phasing out of Hazardous Benzene-solvent Inks::
In current printing for plastic food packaging, benzene-soluble chlorinated polypropylene inks are the most widely used, both the manufacture and use of which are in good practice. Such inks are mainly used in the printing of BOPP (biaxially oriented polypropylene) materials, and through gravure. Despite the benefits of good printing suitability & post-press processing performance and fast drying, they also have as big disadvantages. Firstly, the solvent residual in prints from such inks is high and toluene is toxic. Secondly, as the thermal stability of the chlorinated polypropylene is poor, the solvents tend to release chlorine to form hydrogen chloride during the production and storage, which makes the ink more acidic, causing severe corrosion to the printing plate roller. Also, the benzene-soluble ink can destroy the ozone layer and cause harm to workers' health and safety during use. And the residue remaining in the packaged product will cause a certain degree of contamination of the food in the package. This type of inks are phasing out, and regulations for prohibiting or controlling the use of this ink have already been developed in Europe and some other countries.
Because of the problems of benzene-soluble inks, environmentally friendly inks came into being. The use of environmentally-friendly inks does not pollute the environment, nor cause physical harm to the operator, nor incur contamination to the contents.

::Environmentally friendly inks in the Supply::
(1) Water-based Ink
Water-based ink is the ink used in most of the flexographic packaging printing at home and abroad. It is mainly processed by composite grinding of water-soluble resin, organic pigment, solvent and related additives. Water-soluble resin is a joint of water-based ink. Water-soluble acrylic resin is often used as a binder in China. It has significant advantages in heat resistance, weather resistance, chemical resistance, pollution resistance and gloss, regardless of direct dispersion. Dissolved or synthetic polymer emulsions, all exhibit excellent performance. Water-based inks do not contain volatile organic solvents, which not only reduce the toxicity of printed residues, but also prevent fires caused by contact with static electricity and flammable solvents. Water-based inks are not only a new type of "green" printing ink, but also the best alternative to benzene-soluble inks.

(2) UV-curable Inks
UV-curable ink refers to a type of ink that dries or cures under a certain wavelength of ultraviolet light. It involves a cross-linking photochemical reaction, where a solid-state ink is converted from liquid. UV-curable inks are primarily used for flexo printing over flexible substrates. They consist of prepolymers, reactive diluents, pigments, additives, photoinitiators/compositions. The choice of reactive diluent has an bearing on the migration reaction in the ink formulation; the additives would regulate the ink performances (printability, ink migration, substrate wetting, friction coefficient, abrasion resistance, pigment dispersion and stability) and the odor of the prints. the spectral range of the pigments’ absorption of ultraviolet light should be kept minimum The ideal pigment should have good dispersibility, good leveling property, strong coloring power, and low UV absorption under light irradiation, and not harmful to the polymerization reaction. When printing with UV-curable inks, attention should be paid to the inhibition of polymerization, surface tension and wetting, the correlation between viscosity and humidity of the ink, and the expansion of the printing plate. Because of the poor adhesion of ink to plastic, it’s necessary to perform flame treatment or corona discharge treatment on the printed plastic.

(3) Electron-Beam Curable Inks
EB-curable ink refers to a type of ink that can be quickly converted from liquid to solid under the irradiation of a high-energy electron beam. Since electron beam has high energy, and has strong penetrating power for solid components such as pigments and fillers, thus pigment or filler won’t block the drying.

Friday, February 1, 2019

How to Design Cosmetic Cardboard Gift Boxes

Clothes make the man, that’s also true to products, especially vanity products like cosmetics. Somehow, packaging is vital to commercial success of cosmetics. Humans are visual "animals", we all like beautiful things. Furthermore, if a product does not make any change in packaging for years, then we have good reason to doubt the cosmetics brand. Of course, gift packaging styles vary largely in different target markets. There’s not a single standard that fits everywhere. Below are some opinions based on China markets only.
Round Paper Gift Boxes for Cosmetics Packaging
Therefore, the pattern of the cosmetic packaging boxes must be clear, soft, elegant and beautiful. Don't stuff too many pictures, otherwise it will not highlight the key messages you want to convey. And the color matching of the box is very important, for example, most women like white, red and pink, which are called women's colors, women's products packaged in such color boxes may easily appeal to them. However, most men seem to like serious & solemn black, therefore, black is also called men’s color. Thus men's commodities packaged in black can be favored by men.

Cosmetic color box packaging should accurately convey product information, as well as the shape, color, and pattern used in packaging. Do not violate people's normal habits. After all, the good feeling comes directly from the feeling of the shape, color, pattern and material of the package.

The most important thing is the box design of the cosmetic color packaging box. They can be specially designed according to the shape and size of the cosmetics. Different packaging materials, shapes and patterns are employed based on the cosmetics classification of being high-end of mid-grade. The packaging position of class goes a long way in cosmetics brand image and sales.

While luxury packaging is advisable for cosmetics in China, simple & green packaging is popular in some other countries. There’s no one-for-all packaging solution. All the packaging companies can do is to design and make custom gift packaging boxes that fit the customer’s specific brand positions and market segments.

Innove supplies various cardboard gift boxes for cosmetic packaging: custom round fragrance gift boxesrose gold round skincare boxes with telescopic lidshandmade personalized perfume gift boxeshexagonal shaped explosion boxeseye primer small cosmetic boxes, small makeup brush gift packaging tubesskincare packaging boxes with clear lidsbulk lip balm containers and kraft paper push-up lipstick containers etc..

What is spot color printing in cardboard gift boxes?

Spot color printing(专色印刷) is a printing process involved in offset printing, using a spot color ink (pure or mixed) specifically formulated according Pantone code. It’s a single and extra run other than the general CMYK 4C printing process, and thus requires its own lithographic film.

Then on what occasions is spot color printing necessary? (1) When the cardboard gift boxes designs involve gold or silver color. Golden and silvery colors differs greatly from rest colors and are extremely opaque. Thus they are impossible to realize on the print by regular CMYK offset printing process. In this case, spot color printing can be used to achieve golden or silvery tones (An alternative method to foil stamping).

(2)The prints often comprise uniform color areas of varying gradient colors and text. These color areas and texts can be achieved either by the process of registering in offset printing or by spot color printing. With comprehensive trade-off between improving print quality and saving the runs of registering, it is sometimes necessary to use spot color printing (An alternative method to registering).

Spot color printing uses a non-standard offset ink such as metallic, fluorescent, or hand-mixed ink. Every color needs one lithographic film and an extra printing run. Also, the potential for problems will generally increase. All these will be factored into the total cost of the final gift boxes.

[Innove Packaging designs and manufactures window gift boxesrigid shoulder boxes, decorative drawer gift boxeshexagon explosion cardboard boxes, luxury nesting apparel gift boxes of 3, and custom odd shaped boxes, etc.]