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  • Jason Mills

Soft Touch Coating and Laminate: What You Need to Know

Soft touch coating is one of the most common finishing methods in product packaging. And for good reason. The versatility, durability, and pleasant feel of soft touch lamination can enhance any product design, creating a more appealing look and enhanced unboxing experience. It can be especially useful when the original material is either drab or off-putting to the customer.

But since soft touch printing is actually an umbrella term, it's important to understand the differences between soft touch laminate and coating, as well as the types of products that could benefit from using it. Let's explore the topic of soft touch material in packaging below.

What is Soft Touch Coating?

As the name implies, soft touch coating is a way to enhance the feel of a product's packaging, making it smoother and more pleasant to handle. In many ways, the soft touch finish feels almost velvety, which can greatly enhance the sensory experience for your customers and make your product stand out from competitors.

When it comes to product packaging, a tactile experience can be just as important as the visual one, so having the right coating might become a vital part of how your product is evaluated when the customer first touches it. Besides enhancing the sensory experience, a soft touch UV coating also adds a layer of protection that helps the product stay in good shape, protecting it from scuff marks and fingertips that could make the packaging look less appealing.

In many ways, soft touch coating provides a similar look as a matte finish but with an enhanced silk-like touch experience. And when it comes to lamination, it can actually be used on certain matte soft coat packaging options, providing additional protection for the packaging against scratching.

Soft Touch Coating vs. Soft Touch Lamination Process

To better understand the soft touch finish technology, let’s look at soft touch laminate vs. coating processes, and explore their differences.

Soft touch coating is a technique that's applied during the printing process itself. Using ultraviolet light, the soft touch coat is applied and then quickly dries, creating a smooth finish. Soft touch UV coating creates a solid resistance against rubbing or fingerprints that can be useful for packaging that will be handled a lot in a product lifecycle.

There are two main methods for applying soft touch coating to your product packaging. One process involves applying a film that's bonded to your printed product packaging to create a smooth, durable, and soft finish. Another is applied just after the printing, with a liquid being coated on the packaging, creating a velvety feel that the soft coating finish is known for.

In terms of differences between the two processes, the most notable are price and durability. Coating tends to be a bit cheaper, but soft touch laminate provides extra protection for your packaging. Soft touch laminate uses a similar process as matte or gloss lamination, but it uses a unique film to create a more tactile finish with an appearance that has a lot in common with matte finishing.

The Benefits of Soft Touch Coating and Soft Touch Lamination

There's a reason why many companies choose soft touch laminate and coating for their product packaging. It comes with a variety of powerful benefits that make it a pleasant sensory and visual experience and provides a positive and practical experience for the company.

The biggest advantage of using laminate or UV soft touch coating is to improve the customer experience. As mentioned before, touch is a vital part of how the product is perceived, and having a smooth and pleasant package to touch can go a long way in reflecting positively on your brand.

Another reason why opting for soft touch coating printing makes sense is that it can increase durability. If you want durability but don't want to make your packaging too shiny with gloss lamination, then soft touch is a great option to consider for your product packaging.

Finally, the finishing process is protected from scuffing or other imperfections with soft touch packaging, which is important if you want your packaging to look its best.

What Types of Packaging Products Use Soft Touch Coating?

The good news about soft touch coating is that almost any type of product can benefit from it. Since it provides a beautifully soft finish that's both elegant and strong, the soft touch finish can be applied in almost any product packaging situation.

For instance, soft touch material is especially popular for luxury items that need to emphasize their sophisticated and distinctive design. The finish provides a more immersive experience for the customer, contributing to the perception of the high-end quality that the brand promises. Whether it's fashion, jewelry, or even high-end electronics, the subtle yet still distinctive style that soft touch packaging offers can be applied in various scenarios.

Bottom Line

Choosing the right finish for your product packaging can make a big difference. And with soft touch laminate or coating, you’re providing your customers with an enhanced tactile experience. In other words, you’re getting both the look and the feel.

If you want to learn more about finishing options or need help designing the perfect product packaging, Epic Packaging has you covered. We provide end-to-end solutions for the world's leading brands and retailers. To learn more, call us at 424.208.2082 or write to us today! Customize boxes and packaging with us - we are epic!

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