An eye-catching hologram that's hot-stamped to a colorful carton is making an impressive debut for African Pride Products Ltd. New Rochelle NY. Dream Kids(TM) No-Lye Creme Relaxer System marks the company's first hair care product for children and its first use of a hologram on packaging. Referring to itself as a "maker of hair and skin care products for women and men of color" APP introduced the product nationwide in March '95. It is marketed to girls ages 8 to 14 and retails for about $5 in beauty and barber supply outlets salons and at mass merchandisers. APP art director Ollie Johnson was instrumental in creating the packaging design. The hologram appears on the front panel of the setup carton. It shows a sophisticated young lady with flowing hair and sunglasses along with the words "Dreams come True." As the carton is turned light contacts the material to create realistic skin tones on her face. An array of colorful stars twinkle in the background. The hologram extends from a larger image of a younger girl that's printed onto the carton. This girl is wearing a pair of glasses. The holographic image of just the stars appears within the two lenses of the glasses. "This is our first package that uses a hologram" notes Johnson. "It's designed to provide an aspirational theme in that young girls can become whoever they want to be." To that end APP continues the "stars in her eyes/Dreams come True" concept on the back panel and on one carton side. Three African-American females are shown posing as a singer doctor and astronaut. All three naturally sport attractive hairdos. White clouds and pink sky background include copy detailing kit ingredients and usage warnings. Multi-step manufacturing APP enlisted the help of an illustrator to create artwork for the Dream Kids package. A color print of the artwork was sent to Blue Ridge Holographics (Charlottesville VA) for scanning and color separations. Blue Ridge uses these to develop a first-generation composite hologram visible only under laser light. To make the image visible under typical lighting conditions Blue Ridge makes a second master hologram on a glass plate coated with photoresist emulsion that consists of a series of grooves and ridges. This master plate is sent to Transfer Print Foils (East Brunswick NJ). TPF microembosses the image 12-up on a 75-ga web of metallized polyester. It then ships slit rolls of the embossed rollstock to Creative Label (Elk Grove Village IL). Creative Label hot-stamps the material to 18-pt sheetstock printed offset in four colors and three-up by Field Container (Chicago IL). The areas on the sheet that will be hot-stamped with the hologram are not printed. The entire sheet however is coated with lacquer to provide a glossy appearance. Fun and interactive "We wanted to use a hologram for this package because it's fun and interactive for kids in that they can play with the carton" adds marketing director Gia Clinkscales. "We sell the product nationwide as a line addition to three other recently introduced children's items that don't use holograms. The hologram has a wonderful in-store presence on the shelf and it's provided strong sell-through. We're experiencing the same success with this item as we have with some of our adult hair care products that took off a couple of years ago and now are at the top of their market segments."