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  • Gokhan Aktas

What are the different types of finishes for custom tins?

Packaging is a great tool for convincing consumers to buy your product for the first time. However for the consumers to notice your packaging, you need to get their attention. I can’t argue that this is mostly done with the help of the artwork printed on your tin. However, the finish applied is very important as well. Let’s look at all the options available to us.

A woman looking at cans on the market shelves

Whether tinplate is printed or not, a coating is applied on top. This coating has many other names such as overprint varnish and lacquer. In the past, only a glossy finish was available. Over the years, technology has evolved and now we have additional finishes as well.

Pretty much everyone knows that tin cans come with a glossy finish. This might even be what is expected as well since most people think of a shiny and reflective surface when they think of metal. A glossy finish helps reflect the light giving a vibrant and clean look and a good color contrast. It is a hard finish and doesn’t scratch easily. When it does, it will be quite visible though. Depending on the printed colors, it might also make the appearance of fingerprints visible.

The second most popular option is the matte finish. It mutes the colors to an extent making the tin appear more sophisticated and elegant. It also adds a soft feel and a texture appealing to the touch. It does come across luxurious so it is usually preferred for high-end products. It scratches easier than the glossy finish but usually does a good job of hiding most of it.

Some clients would like the combination of the two. For them, we have the partial matte and gloss where we apply both lacquers on the same design. Usually, one type of finish is used all over the tin with some details emphasized with the other type of finish. You will get the advantages and disadvantages of both types of finishes and we recommend that you have some experience with both before moving onto partial matte and gloss.

Other than these, there is a whole lot of finishes that are very rarely used. Just to name some, there is a crackle finish which gives a glossy and a cracked look, a soft-touch finish that adds a velvety feel to the tin with a matte look, and a pearl finish which creates a subdued glittery look.

Graphic designer working on packaging design

There is one last finish we use only on our tin trays that we call “slip stop”. It doesn’t add a look but more of an anti-slip feature that prevents items on the tray from sliding all over. It is actually a quite user-friendly benefit added to our tin trays and is appreciated mainly by the serving staff.

Picking a finish is mainly a part of the design process. You have to take into consideration not only the artwork but also your market and client base. We always recommend working with a graphic designer as the artwork is crucial to the success of your tin boxes. If the designer has some experience with printing and also metal packaging, then you can be sure that you will get a really good-looking custom tin.

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