🎁 The key differences between soft touch coating and lamination

When it comes to printed materials, the special finishing always matters.

In today’s image-conscious world, the exterior of your packaging can prove to be quite beneficial to your overall product and brand image.

Soft-touch finishes are a popular method of improving the appearance of paperboard folding carton and rigid boxes.

Companies often use this finish, quite extensively, for luxury packaging and marketing collateral such as:

  • Product fact sheets
  • Brochures
  • Book covers
  • Paper boxes
  • Corrugated boxes
  • Paper bags

What is Soft Touch Coating?

Soft touch coating is achieved during the printing process and is popular for being fast drying.

This coating type maintains the color quality of artwork designs while offering a soft to the touch finish on the surface.

Soft touch coatings are the most cost effective soft touch finish on the market thanks to the capability of being applied during the printing process.

example of soft touch coating with spot uv printing.
Source: PakFactory

Known for its resistance to finger prints and scuff marks, soft touch coatings provide a high quality finish at a time and cost effective rate.

The coating can be altered depending on the surface thickness, making this finishing option a versatile and convenient solution to creating luxury packaging designs.

What is Soft Touch Lamination?

Soft touch lamination on the other hand is bonded to the surface of printed paperboard using a plastic laminate film.

This type of lamination creates a moisture barrier that is finger print and scuff resistant.

However, it does make printed artwork look more muted in tone, which can add to the a sophisticated feel to darker colors.

Laminates are typically a costlier finishing option due to the application requiring additional processes.

However, laminates do provide extra durability strength to packaging solutions, making it a popular application in e-commerce packaging as it is useful for maintaining the quality during shipping.

Browse PakFactory’s list of finishing options

What is the Difference Between Soft-Touch Coating & Lamination?

Applying either a soft-touch coating or a laminate film will achieve a soft to the touch appearance.

Soft-touch coating – more cost effective and time efficient than soft touch lamination. Coating is applied during the printing process and cured using UV light which does not alter color quality of printed designs. Typically used on paperboard packaging solutions for retail ready packaging.

Soft-touch lamination – uses bi-oriented polypropylene film or BOPP, which is applied during an additional finishing process. Soft-touch laminates provide a moisture barrier and tend to make printed design appear more muted in tone. Provides exceptional protective qualities making it ideal for applications in e-commerce packaging.

Note: ‘Soft touch’ refers to a finishing method that imparts a velvety texture to printed materials.

Example of velvety finish on rigid box
Source: PakFactory

Benefits of Soft Touch Coating

In general, soft-touch coating provides an elegant matte effect while also delivering a luxurious, tactile feel.

These attributes can enhance customer engagement and reflect positively on the brand image.

Consider soft-touch coating if you seek a soft look and feel, prints that resist fingerprints and yellowing, and different options in surface thickness.

Sometimes described as soft, velvet, or gentle touch, soft touch coating provides an impactful and practical finishing option that results in a high end feel and showcases brands and products.

Matte coatings tend to yellow over time, but soft touch coatings are yellow-resistant making them convenient to store for longer periods of time without sacrificing the quality of the packaging design.

Benefits of Soft Touch Lamination

If you’re not working with a restricted budget, this is an excellent solution for an exceptional and distinctive finish.

Soft touch lamination offers both visual and textual benefits to your packaging.

Adding a soft touch laminate is exceptionally successful in keeping the marketing materials for your company looking new and professional. 

Source: PakFactory
  • Additional layer of protection
  • Prevents corners curling after extended use
  • Fingerprint resistant
  • Scratch and scuff resistant
  • Premium finish
  • more grip and soft to the touch

For other types of print finishing, you can check out are 

Looking to get special finishes for your custom packaging supply?

Get in contact with us today and get expert advice on materials, finishes and structures tailored to your brand and products!

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