5 Features to Make Your Packaging POP

5 Features to Make Your Packaging POP

In case you missed it, we’ve been over accessories and finishings, so let’s round it all out with additional features that we add for packaging products.

These features are actually different processes that you can add to give your packaging that extra oomph. It involves manipulating the actual product (cardboard, stock paper, etc) and typography.

Die Cutting

Die cutting is the general process of cutting a material with the use of a die press. A manufactured die is a special piece of metal or silicone cut into a specific shape or design. It is a post-press feature, which allows packaging to have unique cutouts from simple to complex designs.

Creasing is also a function of the die press in order to create the fold positions for the product. This leads to more accurate placement, rather than manually folding the product post-production.

folding carton with die cut features in window

Die cutting is a useful feature to bring attention to the dimension of the packaging product, and helps to capture the consumer’s attention.


Perforation is similar and yet completely different to the previous feature. A perforation is a small hole in a thin material, and often there is more than one perforation in a specific pattern.

They can be created through the use of pins & needles, dies & punches, and lasers. Think of stamps, notebooks and coupons. They’re a handy way to spread information or create ease when opening a package.

One other very common product that showcases perforation is the advent calendar. We created one such calendar for our client, Mamie Clafoutis, to hide their delectable chocolates during the Christmas season.

advent calendar showing perforation features and numbered days


Embossing and debossing (letter pressing) are some of the oldest methods of making a statement of luxury and elegance on packaging products. Oddly enough, these features are basically polar opposites – embossing refers to a raised pattern, whereas debossing means that the pattern is sunken into the material.

Simply put, these features alter the surface of the chosen material by creating a three dimensional effect on selected areas.

Most popularly, clients pair embossing/debossing with Spot UV over a dark matte material.

close look at beer packaging with embossing features for textured effect

There are multiple techniques that can be used to produce these looks, including but not limited to:

  • sculptured: the raising and lowering features of a design in a sharp or rounded manner
  • multi-level: features several different levels of texture. Used to enhance multiple angles and definition
  • single level: this style uses one level as opposed to the multi-level approach. This is the most modern style of finish.

Foil Stamping

Foil stamping adds glamour to a product. It’s the process of applying a pigmented foil onto the chosen material using a heated die. This leaves the foil permanently attached to the packaging product.

It is also known as “dry printing” as there is no use of ink in this process. This method is non-polluting and first became popular in the 19th Century.

matte black folding carton with foil stamped to display logo

The stamping machine uses a combination of pressure and heat with the packaging material placed underneath it. They then position a foil carrier between the two objects and the die presses down through it. The foil is pressed into the material and the result is a product with a highly reflective image and metallic appearance.

Holographic Print

Holographic print is a rendition of a hologram on a flat surface, which produces a 3D effect on the packaging. This print is popular in passports and other identification methods, but is also quite common in packaging.

You cannot achieve holographic printing by using regular paper and is quite difficult to replicate. Most often used in packaging is the ‘rainbow transmission hologram’.

Current technology allows for 3D effects when dealing with this print. This is typically a result of a combination of aluminium and embossing. There are various ways to print holographic text depending on the materials and inks involved.

folding carton with holographic features added to capture attention

It’s important not to overdo what features you use for your products so that you do not overwhelm your target consumer. Contact us to discuss which features are best for your products – we typically stick to two at the most!

Gabrielle Ho
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