Studies on consumer behavior have confirmed a direct and strong link between the texture of an object and the emotions felt by the person handling it. In fact, just handling textured packaging can influence the handler’s heart rate, brain activity and emotions. It’s an interaction that makes the choice of the materials, and the design you use in presenting your product, key determinants in how it will be perceived.
So, what does it take for a package to get a customer’s heart racing? It starts by giving them a tactile reward for reaching out to touch it in the first place, with a texture they can react to. Textured printing achieves this effect.
A good starting point is to think about how texture is used in everyday language to convey emotions. For instance, when you describe a serious situation, it’s “hard” or maybe “rough.” A surprisingly easy challenge, like your workload today, could be “light.” When you admire someone’s ease in handling a situation, you describe it as “smooth” or “slick.”
The same approach applies to choosing packaging special effects and finishes that echo the attributes of the product inside.
Textured Printing Research
According to a recent study conducted by co-author Christopher Nocera of the Harvard Department of Psychology, “Touch remains perhaps the most underappreciated sense in behavioral research. Our work suggests that greetings involving touch, such as handshakes and cheek kisses, may in fact have critical influences on our social interactions, in an unconscious fashion. First impressions are liable to be influenced by the tactile environment… the use of ‘tactile tactics’ may represent a new frontier in social influence and communication.”
According to Kate Connelly’s recent article in Packaging Digest, “More than two thirds (70%) of survey respondents are more likely to buy a product if it is covered in soft-touch material” and it generates “247% more positive emotions than plain packaging.”
Apple Packaging: Exhibit A
Apple’s packaging is a prime example. The company’s products are smart, sophisticated, smooth, and deceptively simple to use. All of the above is reflected in the design and texture of their packaging.
Now contrast this to brands that want to be associated with authenticity and craftsmanship. Those products are often presented in roughly textured and sturdy boxes to reinforce their sense of realism. Then, there are artisanal products and those friendly to the environment. Their products tend to echo this message with packaging made from lightly recycled paper pulp.
At the other end of the spectrum are packages that use velvety or Soft Touch textured printing to communicate sophistication, and the elegance of a formal affair. All these specialty finishes accomplish the same thing, they attract the eye then reward the consumers who reach out to examine them with a pleasant texture, which can trigger pleasant memories or associations.
Textured Printing for Your Packaging
Before you finalize your packaging design, consider how you want your customers to feel about your product and its place in their lives. Let the narrative lead you to the texture that will best reflect your product’s story and the emotions you want to evoke.
With the vast array of special effects screen printing, finishes and coatings—combined with our deep R&D and capabilities—rest assured there is a way to achieve the right feel for your product’s packaging…