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Tactile Tactics

Of the 5 senses, the print marketing industry logically invests considerable time and money developing eye-catching graphics to appeal to the sense of sight. The other senses including smell, hearing, and taste (unless you make a habit of tasting ads for good measure) aren’t as applicable to the print medium. That leaves one more sense that is grossly underutilized: touch.

Texture, whether it appears on print ads, packaging, cards, tags, or any number of other items, is much more than an aesthetic extra. As “Visual Language for Designers: Principles for creating graphics people understand” explains, texture is another method used to capture the attention of the viewer, aid in organizing the visual into regions, identifying objects, creating the pop effect of visuals, and “providing cues for depth perception.”

Options for methods of adding texture to a marketing piece seem endless. Some techniques that are particularly effective include gloss UV coating, foil stamping, atomic sparkle varnish, embossing, debossing, matte varnish, sandpaper coating, and many more. Incorporating these texture techniques onto your design are effective because they aid the brain with segregating sections of a visual.  Adding a tactile element can help the consumer to distinguish between foreground and background, “perceiving shapes and eventually identifying objects” and is “key to understanding the meaning of a graphic (Visual Language for Designers).”

The creators of Crochet wine out of Portugal have employed texture through the entire product presentation, from box to bottle. The name Crochet refers to the characteristic knitting from Portugal, which has a very distinct feel. It was decided to take advantage of this local tradition and association by developing a package that was cut out in a pattern to mimic the traditional crochet style. This tactile pattern on the box is unique to wine packaging and stands out on the shelf, while simultaneously eliciting emotions of nostalgia and national pride. To complement the box, the designers chose to adorn the bottle’s label with a blind emboss to a similar pattern as the box in order to keep the message consistent, while providing a unique feel to the bottle.

This is just one example out of countless others that employ an effective texture strategy. Let us know your favorites!

Photo courtesy of The Die Line

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