Two coveted design awards for a sophisticated packaging concept – the role of the flexible packaging component

Wednesday 04. March 2020 - The X-Press-U packaging concept developed by UV specialist and system manufacturer IST Metz for its UV Days 2019 in-house exhibition has won two prestigious design awards - a Red Dot Award 2019 in the Packaging Design category and a German Design Award 2020 in the Packaging category. The concept combines high design quality with creative accomplishment by pairing a selection of coffee capsules with matching gourmet chocolates for three different types of espresso personas in highly sophisticated packaging.

The flexible packaging component for the pralines was the outcome of a joint project by IST Metz and the German Flexographic Technical Association (DTFA). The foil packaging with the IST Metz design in three different variants was printed on the flexo press at the DFTA Technology Center, which shares premises with Stuttgart Media University (HdM). It was subsequently filled with the chocolates and sealed in cooperation with HdM’s Packaging department.
A monolayer foil in the form of 40 µm thick, sealable OPP was used for the flexible packaging. When it came to printing the three product variants, which are differentiated by color and design, the idea was to use CMYK yet nevertheless achieve the look and feel of spot colors. In addition to white and CMYK, the team opted for a metallic varnish as well as a matte coating. Köstlin Prepress Services converted the design into files for flexographic printing. KODAK FLEXCEL NXH Plates from Miraclon were selected and produced with a 150 lpi screen. HdM owns a KODAK FLEXCEL NX System which is also used by the DFTA Technology Center for test and training purposes along with other systems.
The flexible packaging was surface printed on the eight-color central cylinder press at the DFTA Technology Center using solvent based inks in the following color sequence: white, metallic, KMCY and finally matte varnish. The results were extremely convincing with an attractive color impression, clear reproduction of even the finest highlights or line art and the sparkling impact of the metallic varnish.
The project needed to be executed efficiently and in a relatively short time, which is why Anke Frieser-Tausch, Deputy Head of the DTFA Technology Center, saw high print stability and repeatability as important factors: “Flexo plates with flat top dots and surface patterning are a help here. That’s something you get with FLEXCEL NX Plates among others. DIGICAP NX Patterning enables higher printable densities and hence an expanded color gamut.”
Encouraged by the success of the award-winning flexo packaging concept, the two partners have already announced their intention to undertake another joint project for the next UV Days in 2021.
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