PaperSpecs Presents: Color-Coordinated Bearsville Soap Packaging
Nestled in the rugged Catskill Mountains, the Bearsville Soap Company (https://bearsvillesoaps.com/) sells artisanal soaps rich in beery, outdoorsy scents. But with 19 “flavors” and a growing number of competitors, the company realized its simple kraft paperboard packaging needed an upgrade.
What designer Marshall Bower (http://marshallrbower.com) and my good friend Noel Tocci, of bespoke print consultancy Tocci Made (https://toccimade.com/) came up with makes it a great deal easier for customers to remember their favorite Bearsville products, with an assortment of attractive colors guaranteed to attract new ones, too.
The first thing they did was replace the kraft paperboard they’d been using in favor of a 14 pt. coated one side (C1S) sheet with a finger-pleasing Silk finish. And since it was concern for the environment that led the client to use kraft paper in the first place, Noel made sure that the C1S they used was FSC certified.
Next came the tricky part: figuring out how to make Bearsville’s plan to use a different color for each of their 19 scents – from Forest Fir to Iced Lager – cost effective. With soap cakes ranging in sales from 2,000 to 6,000 each, printing the packages offset would’ve been expensive.
But to print this packaging digitally would have been a very difficult prospect considering all the different PMS colors that needed to be matched printing digital CMYK. The solution? Using a 6-color digital inkjet press!
Working closely with our friends at Meyers Printing (https://www.meyers.com/), they used those 6 colors to expand the color gamut, getting much closer to the colors the company envisioned for the soaps than they could’ve printing digital CMYK alone.
And because the client wanted the inside of the package to be Gray, Noel and Meyers ended up using the company’s flexo-digital hybrid press setup in which the pieces were printed on a digital web press first before going through a flexo setup on the back end.
To be clear, this was all done inline: The paper went through the inkjet press part first – adding the required 19 different scent colors - before going into the flexo part to apply the Gray to the back of the sheet.
Proud of their bear-head logo, Bearsville’s design team wanted to enhance it with a registered emboss so that it would really stand out. For cost and efficiency purposes though, they ended up flooding the package with a matte coating inline – covering everything EXCEPT the logo, knocking it out so that it alone retained the ink’s gloss, while the rest of the package took on a Matte look.
One detail they carried over from the original packaging was a horizontal die cut on the front of the box, which allows plenty of the rich details of the soap inside to peek out.
So efficient was the process Noel and the team at Meyers came up with, that they were able to accomplish the printing, scoring, die cutting and UV work for all 19 fragrances in just 3 days. Quite an achievement for what, I’m sure you would agree, was a BEAR of a project.
Sabine Lenz is the founder of PaperSpecs.com, the first online paper database and community specifically designed for paper specifiers.
Growing up in Germany, Sabine started her design career in Frankfurt, before moving to Australia and then the United States. She has worked on design projects ranging from corporate identities to major road shows and product launches. From start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, her list of clients included Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Deutsche Bank, IBM and KPMG.
Seeing designers struggle worldwide to stay current with new papers and paper trends inspired Sabine to create PaperSpecs, an independent and comprehensive Web-based paper database and weekly e-newsletter. She is also a speaker on paper issues and the paper industry. Some refer to her lovingly as the "paper queen" who combines her passion for this wonderful substrate called paper with a hands-on approach to sharing her knowledge.