The benefits of the beverage can are often discussed. The metal used to create the pack is uniquely sustainable, its shape means it stacks well and leaves minimal spaces on the shelf and its portability is loved by consumers everywhere.
For brands, one of the greatest benefits of the can is the design opportunity it provides. Offering a 360 degree canvas, the can surface allows space for maximum creativity; from any direction, logos, colours and images can be viewed. This gives a unique opportunity for brand managers to strengthen the relationship the consumer has with the brand; they can apply designs that stand out on the shelf and remain imprinted on the consumer’s memory. Once the basic artwork is in place the designer can emphasise detail with a range of surface finishes, printing techniques and vibrant colours.
In recent years, a number of innovative inks and printing methods have been applied to the can to reinforce product branding:
- Matte inks give the can an exclusive look, positioning the internal beverage and brand as premium by sight alone.
- Tactile coatings offer a soft-feel effect and are the perfect way to highlight specific parts of the design. Consider a can containing an orange-flavoured beverage; a tactile coat could emphasis external images depicting an orange fruit, giving drinkers the sense that they are ‘feeling’ the drink.
- Thermo effects can be used to signal when beverages are at an optimum temperature. The use of colours that change according to heat/cold is a simple way to engage the consumer and increase their connection to the brand.
Can designs can also be made to complement their environment. Brand managers that know their cans will be positioned low on the shelf might consider additional artwork and colour for the can top or ring pull. Those that market their drinks to suit evening consumption, i.e. beverages for nightclubs, pubs and bars, can employ fluorescent inks that shine bright under UV lighting.
For designers, brand managers and beverage producers that want to experience their imagined designs on a can – before making an investment – the CanCreator app is a must-try tool. Using the free app, designs can be uploaded, and viewed from any angle, in seconds. Different sizes, finishes, features and colours can be tested at the click of a button, files can be saved and finished cans downloaded as a snapshot (from three angles) and shared with colleagues.
Design and brand play a vital role in the success of a product, the 360 degree ‘can canvas’ lets a designer’s imagination go wild, and amazing products be created as a result.