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Recyclable holographic effect puts the 'wow' in Gillette razor

The "trifecta" in package design today is a package that delivers sales results for a brand while also being environmentally friendly and reducing materials use and costs.
FILED IN:  Package design  > Graphic
Gillette scores on all three counts in launching its premium Fusion ProGlide razor.

• Gillette meets the design objective of a package with pickup power on the store shelf by achieving a metallized, holographic effect and using a special coating that offers increased shelf presence of the packaging graphics.

• The package components as a whole are recyclable. The coating, cut precisely to reduce waste, replaces film and foil laminates, which are difficult to recycle. The process of applying it to the razor cartons reduces energy use.

• Costs were reduced through efforts such as shortening material lead time by up to 12 weeks and introducing production efficiencies, including the printer's elimination of multiple steps with other vendors.

"The darker colors are more premium-looking. The package has a definite 'wow' factor," says Michael Marcinkowski, Senior Engineer R&D, in Gillette's Global Package Development area.

From a marketing perspective, the foremost objective was achieving a metallized holographic effect so shoppers could easily distinguish Fusion ProGlide from competitors on shelf. Fusion ProGlide is Gillette's most technologically advanced razor, and the carton graphics' hologram-like appearance enhances perceptions of shaving comfort and performance.

Gillette achieved the eye-catching design in part with MiraFoil®, a UV metallic coating that provides the decorative effect of hot-foil stamping. The coating is supplied by Henkel Corp.

During package printing, Diamond Packaging implemented a process that combined the metallic coating with its own proprietary cast-and-cure holography technology, which is performed in-line.

The inks are printed on paperboard cartons. Marcinkowski explains that board selection was important during Gillette's trials to optimize the package's smooth appearance.

Beyond on-pack presentation benefits, Gillette also noted sustainability advantages. Drummond explains that the metallic coating replaces film- and foil-laminated board stock, which is difficult to recycle. In creating package graphics, the MiraFoil coating can be applied to specific areas only, to avoid waste. After a ProGlide carton has been discarded for recycling, for example, the metallic coating can be removed during de-inking.

Gillette reduced material lead-time for the ProGlide razor packages by six to 12 weeks.

Besides the advantages of a design with marketing, sustainability, and cost-reduction benefits, Gillette's new Fusion ProGlide packages also deliver on security. The MiraFoil coating used on the cartons enables Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) tags to be completely readable, preventing product theft.

 "It was a win/win/win," Marcinkowski concludes. "The package is sustainable, the costs are lower, and there are marketing benefits. And all of this was done at no loss to the consumer." 
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