"Multi-Sensory Properties Are Nowhere Near Exhausted"
The packaging market is booming. But what distinguishes a
successful folding box from others? Steffen Schnizer, Head of
Marketing at CD CARTONDRUCK AG, provides answers. The Southern
German business specializes in high-quality folding boxes and has
won several packaging awards for them.
Mr. Schnizer, you have won a lot of international awards with
your folding boxes. What determines packaging worthy of an award?
Schnizer: We have to offer something really new and not
just produce things that already exist more elaborately. This can
be an innovative packaging material, for example an environmentally
friendly cardboard to replace plastic. Or, it could be a new
coating technique, like partial flock coating, which we used on a
perfume packaging for the first time worldwide in order to create a
Folding Box "Red Door Velvet" - Coating: Hologram laminated on cardboard, foil color printed in UV offset, front partially flocked, hot embossing silver.
What are the customer advantages of such elaborate effects?
Schnizer: Even though some innovations are more
expensive to implement, the fundamental question has to be asked:
what does our customer want to accomplish with the packaging?
Particularly with products like perfume, with multitudes of brands
that cannot all be sampled by the consumer, unique packaging is
essential for a perfume to be distinguishable and to sell well. The
customer achieved this goal with innovative packaging. The design
caused a sensation. For ideas like this, we win an award now and
What about the consumer? Is functionality neglected in the
Schnizer: Successful packaging has to fascinate and to
work. Nothing is more annoying than packaging which cannot be
opened and closed easily by the consumer, regardless of whether it
is used for cosmetics, food or medicine. That is why functionality
is growing increasingly important, especially when considering the
demographic development. Here I mean primarily age-appropriate
packaging, for example for older people who cannot see or move
their hands and fingers so well anymore. Our hinge packaging proves
that innovative design and user friendliness are not mutually
exclusive: here the content, in this case a bottle, is simply
pulled out from the side.
Folding Box "Michael Kors Island" - Coating: Folding box laminated with book binding linen, printed offset with white ink, embossing foil printing.
Matt-gloss effects, Iriodin, lamination - everywhere you
look things are shining and glittering. Does that not lead to an
overkill of sensory impressions?
Schnizer: No, on the contrary. The multiple sensory
properties are an instrument of differentiation which is nowhere
near exhausted. We are therefore developing this area very
strongly. For example, we laminated a folding box with original
book binding linen for the surface feel. The customer wanted a very
special natural effect for their perfume packaging. And not just
from the look alone - the material is blue - but also through a
surface with an original fabric structure. The challenge was to
laminate the linen without bubbles and then to print the text
precisely in a small-dot size using offset.
What other trends do you see?
Schnizer: For one, even more can be done with scent. For
example, we can print encapsulated aromas from which scent unfolds
by rubbing. This technique can be used for perfume samples in
magazines or promotion packaging. Sound is also really interesting
with folding boxes. Especially on luxury items, a full sounding
click when opening or closing the packaging gives the consumer a
feeling of quality. A solid sound, which the customer actually does
not associate with cardboard at all, can be created with invisible
magnets embedded in the cardboard or with a special fastening
construction with snaps.
Hinge Folding Box - The packaging is made up of two parts - a sliding part and an insert which can be tilted out at the side as shown.
What role does sustainability play?
Schnizer: Sustainability and environmental protection are
a basic responsibility of society and industry today. We use
cardboard as the primary product for our folding boxes. This is
almost exclusively made of new fiber material, since our customers
have very high expectations for the look and processability. We
were recently FSC certified. The fresh fibers of some types of
cardboard that we use stem from sustainable foresting, which allows
us to print the FSC logo on packaging upon the customer's request.
More and more customers are asking for this. In addition, we are
working on using inks with binding agents made from renewable
resources or laminating foil made of starch. In this way, luxury
packaging is produced from sustainable resources.
You work very closely with your clients - usually already during
the development phase. How do you make yourself indispensable?
Schnizer: We increasingly try to put ourselves in our
customers' shoes. We want to understand what their needs are in
order to be able to sell their products successfully. For this
purpose, we also work with trend researchers so that we can
anticipate future developments. Then, if the customer has a clear
concept for the packaging or puts a dummy on the table for us, we
advise them how their ideas can best be realized technically and
economically. So, in other words, we explain which materials,
effects and technologies are suitable. In theory, almost everything
is possible, but alongside aesthetics, profits and processing are
also important. That is why we also produce pre-series runs for
"fill" or market tests. Packaging must not just look
good, it also has to meet the customers' technical requirements on