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Design of the Month – The Benefits of Transparent Tubes are Clear

November 19, 2020

As an ongoing feature, Velox will spotlight a Design of the Month that exemplifies the capabilities that exist today in digital direct-to-shape printing. The goal is to inspire and educate designers and brand owners to think beyond analog decoration to an exciting spectrum of colors, textures, finishes, and precise detail never before achieved. Enjoy!

Transparent containers in the cosmetic industry are an interesting medium for design-material interaction. They are both functional (show the exact amount of material left inside the tube), and a beautiful container design can be enhanced by what’s inside. For example, a blue-tinted soap in a transparent tube can look like ocean water or the sky with other design elements like white caps or clouds.

The transparent tube on the left was decorated with digitally printed embossed fine lines designed to look like a distinctive wood grain pattern. This beautiful tube was further enhanced by the color of the product inside.

The tube is made of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and the cap is a white polypropylene material. Although made of two different materials, the cap (that looks like actual wood) and the tube were printed at the same time – one of the features unique to the Velox IDS 250 direct-to-shape digital printing process.

The ability to print a design on the cap replaces the additional master batching process where raw polymer is tinted during manufacturing.  This greatly improves operational agility by eliminating master batching. That means only white or transparent caps need to be produced because they can then be printed in any color, texture, or design desired.

The vivid 360-degree decoration enabled by the digital, non-plate technology, works well in this design since the continuous lines create a natural-looking wood-grain texture. The branding is printed using Velox’s opaque digital ink that completely blocks the transparent substrate of the tube (and the material inside) in the text areas where opacity is required for functionality.

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