Published on the Packaging World Web site
| January 31, 1996
Litho laminating grows up
Two corrugated packages display a highly graphic impact through design and print quality on preprinted linerboard.
While litho-laminated preprinted linerboard has always been considered a quality process for corrugated advances in printing and coating technology have elevated the process to an even higher level. Two recent packages--for applications as diverse as water filters and fresh fruit--make good use of design color registration and photo-realistic representation that the litho process can yield. Both containers consist of offset-printed paperboard laminated to single-wall corrugated to form the final package. Image purity Brita Canada in Brampton Ontario maker of water filtration appliances introduced three packages last year that adopt what Brita's print & packaging consultant Ed Mayled calls a "corporate water background." The design conceived by Y&S Studio (Toronto Ontario Canada) consists of a rich blue backdrop imbued with images of crystal clear water sloshing across the front panel. Superior print quality gives the water an ultra-pure clarity that amply defines the product. The 14-pt. paperboard laminated to E-flute single-wall corrugated and formed into finished boxes all by Hung Hing (Hong Kong) is printed in four colors plus a high-gloss coating. It recently won a gold award in the Packaging Association of Canada competition for print design and structure. A structural extra that impressed the judges: one set of flaps on the water cooler box doubles as protective fitments. They're die-cut and formed to hold the filter as well as provide a nest for additional components eliminating the need for separate fitments. Flexo alternative At Warmerdam Packing Hanford CA another high-quality litho-printed corrugated case is used to differentiate the grower's peaches and cherries from the competition. Fruit growers typically don't spend a lot of money in decorating their corrugated packaging often relying on one- or two-color flexo. But Warmerdam felt better packaging was crucial to the sales effort. Last summer the Hanford CA fruit grower began using boxes from Georgia-Pacific (Atlanta GA) printed by that company's Coralure® litho-laminated preprint process. "We had to find a way to stand out from the competition" owner Bill Warmerdam says. "This is especially important for exporting our product. We wanted our boxes to look sharp." Debuting this past summer and under the Sun Tree brand the boxes use simple icons--a sun a tree and a peach--to visually represent the brand helpful for Far East customers who may not be able to read the English-language label on the side. Interestingly Warmerdam still offers the old post-print corrugated box to his customers. "Our customers outside of the U.S. compete in very small markets" says Warmerdam. "By offering two different boxes we're helping them differentiate the products to their own customers." The elegant design executed by Solutions by Design (Fresno CA) features photographs of actual peaches from Warmerdam's orchards. A similar box was designed for cherries. Liners for both Coralure boxes are printed offset in four colors plus an aqueous coating. The single-layer bliss-style wrap case is made of 44 ECT C-flute with a 38# high-grade medium with water-resistant adhesives. While Warmerdam says he can't point to hard sales increases he's had favorable comments from customers. "The design of the box really sets off the black plastic tray inside a combination which makes a real attractive package."