Tubes are most often used by manufacturers of beauty products as they are convenient to use, more economical, offer salient functionality, and can be labeled and decorated in a variety of ways. Manufacturers of cosmetics need to ensure that their products stand out on the retail store shelves. This is done by using a variety of decorative options from the dazzling to the simply elegant designs. All of these can be achieved on tubes.
Advances in Tube Decorating
There have been plenty of advances in tube decorating. Most manufacturers use either silkscreen, hot stamping, or offset printing or a combination of these to achieve the desired decorative effects. While most of the prestige cosmetic manufacturers aim for understated simplicity in the decoration of the tubes, some have opted for a heavy metallic look that is targeted at the mass affluent market segment.
Improved printing technology means that better printing is possible for both mass market and prestige products whether the print is directly on the tube or on the label.
Silk screening technology now offers texture options while hot stamping technology provides the option for creating iridescent and hologram prints. Some tube manufacturers can now print over the shoulder of the tube and on the crimp for orders of more than 5,000 tubes. This increases the design possibilities tremendously.
Polyfoil printing and heat transfer technologies are also now becoming popular. These techniques can be used to create a metallic look, iridescent, and even 3D effects.
Five Tube Filling and Labeling
Other advancements are cosmetic tubes filled with five different products that are also labeled differently. The consumer has the choice of using each tube separately and discarding it. The tubes also come with a reseal able twist off cap that ensures that the products can be reused if needed. For these tubes that come in four different sizes, the company recommends labels instead of direct printing to ensure clarity and longer life of the labels.
Another new technology that has distinct advantages is in-mold labeling. In this complex graphics and 360 degree printing are possible with greater use. This technology offers hot and cold stamping methods as well as four-color process printing that results in photographic quality metallic prints. Development time is also faster as color matching is done in ink, eliminating that need for extruding the base color.
Short runs for the high end, niche cosmetic segment are possible using digitally printed tubes. New printing technology will allow laminated roll stock material to be digitally printed for short runs very quickly as there is no requirement for plates and tools. This digital printing also ensures consistency of prints, another advantage for the high end niche segment.
With cosmetics manufacturers wanting to differentiate themselves from their competitors, the advances in printing technology are vital in coming up with new packaging and labeling designs.