The Finishing Touch: Texture on Packaging

Many companies are challenged with the goal of designing a package that stands apart on shelf, attracts consumers, and gives off a premium or high-quality feel. The world of packaging is constantly evolving and there are so many innovative structures and substrates to chose from.

However, as I was thinking about this, I realized that there is a very underutilized packaging trend that rises to the challenge: textured elements.

Tactile finishes encourage consumers to literally reach out and touch the product and spend more time engaging with it, which will (hopefully) lead to final purchase. Adding textural elements can be fairly affordable and effective when done right. There have even been several studies done that test the effectiveness of packaging and whether or not it influences a shopper’s evaluation and decision. (Hint – it does.)

A few years ago, we worked with one of our clients, Kum and Go convenience stores, to utilize tactile printing on an energy beverage. At first glance, you could not tell there was anything extra added, but upon touching the product, you could feel the raised pattern and it added another level of nuance and interest. Prior to that, we noticed a trend in the organic category that companies were leaning toward matte finishes to speak to or allude to a more natural, less glossy package.

Today there are many options. Textural finishes can be added to the package, or act as secondary packaging that covers or encloses the product packaging. A few examples of tactile elements in packaging are:

  • Textured fabrics
  • Embossed wraps
  • Suede-like coating
  • UV coating
  • Engraving
  • Etching
  • Matte color
  • Ribbon
  • Dots/raised patterns

By integrating any of these elements into your existing design, you are creating a more proprietary and unique or “ownable” design. The packaging appears to be more custom, which in turn gives off a very high-quality feel. Using textural elements is a great option for products in the luxury or gifting categories, such as beauty/skin care and spirits.

What packages or textural elements stand out to you? Do you think that including “finishing touches” elevates your brand experience or affects your decision-making as a consumer? Share your thoughts with me in the comment box below.