5 Key Trends from the 2019 Packaging Impressions Excellence Awards
The judging for the 33rd annual Packaging Impressions Excellence Awards was held in June, as a panel of five industry experts pored over nearly 200 entries. The entries spanned all packaging segments and printing processes, providing an excellent snapshot of the packaging industry in 2019.
While you’ll have to wait until our August issue for the winners to be revealed, we wanted to provide you with some key takeaways and trends from this year’s competition.
- All About Embellishments - The Excellence Awards may be a printing competition at its core, but this year’s crop of entries featured a wide array of prominent embellishments. Packaging enhancements, such as embossing and foiling, helped make several entries stand out,
and brands are clearly looking beyond the impact of ink to decorate their packaging.
- Many Technologies in One - Sometimes, one process just won’t do. As more printers adopt hybrid production platforms, labels and packaging featuring a combination of processes are becoming increasingly popular. Whether it’s flexographic and inkjet printing in one pass, or digital printing and embellishments, brands are making the most of multiple technologies.
- Shrink Sleeves on the Rise - Over the past couple of years, the buzz around shrink sleeves has been tremendous, and if this year’s Excellence Awards are any indication, we’re going to be seeing a lot more of this packaging format. It appears that the craft beer segment is going to be a prime market for sleeves, as digitally printed short runs can help these burgeoning brands save on canning costs.
- Digital Expands its Reach - Digital printing has maintained a strong presence in label and folding carton production for some time, but is continuing to emerge in the corrugated and flexible packaging segments. On the corrugated side, we saw digital being implemented into both preprint and postprint applications. In flexible packaging, shrink sleeves and pouches have both entered the digital realm.
- Quality Across all Processes - Without giving too much away, the top three entries in the Best of Show voting were each produced using a different print process, demonstrating that all print methods are capable of impeccable quality. Be on the lookout for the August issue to see how the top three entries stacked up!