Inky innovative industrial inspiration

Innovative ink enables outstanding and eyecatching packaging I recently travelled to the southern Germany to visit a couple of clients for Inprint 2014 and to attend the LopeC Organic and Printed Electronics event in Munich. I was particularly inspired by a couple of very interesting Industrial Ink initiatives which ‘caught my eye’ and I wanted to share them with you.

Imagine that you are travelling back from some far flung destination and you wander into duty free to pick up a gift for your wife/friend/partner. You are not normally a big ‘spirits’ drinker ( honestly ) and in fact figures show that the majority of ‘top end’ spirits are bought as gifts, so you don’t really know what you are looking for – like a lot of people who buy in airports. You pick up a bottle in a box and start to read the ‘blurb’ . Then suddenly it starts to shine, illuminating the pack. You would surely not forget  this brand too quickly and it might even play a big part in your decision making, In fact it’s a no brainer!

The example of this that I introduced to was The Bombay Sapphire Hghlight packaging the brainchild of Karl Knauer KG and Rox Asia Consultancy Ltd.

To achieve the effect the theme of the packaging is printed onto a special film using offset printing and has a protective masking on the front side. A phosphoric colour is screenprinted on the back . These areas are connected to a battery by printed copper tracks and they activate the phosphoric particles which then glow. Great effect and startling impact!

The second example of the use of revolutionary ink application was shown to me by the guys at Epple Druckfarben. Here I was absolutely amazed at the huge range of specialist inks they produce: scented or pearlescent varnishes, rub resistant, uncoated, oil based, UV, security, thermo, watermark etc.. the list goes on something like 140 different types of inks. However, the one I was really intrigued by was their new Bofood Series. Target for this ink is the food packaging market, particularly where the label touches to foodstuff. The difficulty is always the possible migration of the ink into the food.

All currently used offset inks for food packaging ( I am advised ) are only recommended for printing on the filling averted side ( the outside ) . Bofood organic is an ink where all raw materials used are approved for use in food, with no threat toxicologically in terms of contact. And so can be used in direct contact with the food. So simple , but so useful!  Another fantastic food ink initiative.

I love the way that both these ink initiatives allow the printer to expand the possible market applications. We know times are tough for the print industry, but it seems that there are creative options out there, often your supplier can show you the way, we just need to look for them and then apply them to our market !

A longer article on the Bombay Sapphire case study can be found in this month’s OPE journal.