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Arctic Blue Gin Metsä Board

What Beautiful Packaging: Arctic Blue Gin Carton

A photo of the Aurora Borealis is recreated in stunning holographic detail on a carton of Arctic Blue Gin.

Did you catch comet Neowise? Maybe you saw some of the jaw-dropping photos posted online. About a week ago in I was mesmerized after spotting it in a moderate-sized telescope at low power as a fuzzy ball with a bright core and a faint, but discernable tail. It was a big-time must-see of a fleeting event.

Arctic Blue GinI’m an occasional, yet passionate-when-I-do stargazer who owns two telescopes and a giant pair of binoculars. While this explains my instant and strong connection to a drop-dead gorgeous carton of Arctic Blue Gin, the appeal is universal for all who appreciate nature, outstanding imagery or exceptional packaging design.

Admirers include The Association of International Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators (AIMCAL), which named Northern Lights Hologram Package the 2020 product of the year in the group’s annual packaging design competition in April.

The award was presented to Hazen Paper Company for custom holography on a transfer-metallized carton. The custom holography creates the illusion of northern lights and is printed on Pro FBB Bright paperboard by Metsä Board, which created the concept, structure, graphics, and embossing specifically for the US market on behalf of Finland-based Arctic Brands Group. 

“We wanted to convey an image of a clean, crisp, winter night, highlighted with northern lights rippling across the Finnish sky,” says Mark Beamesderfer, Packaging Services Director Americas of Metsä Board. “The imagery really stands out and provides exceptional visual elements for maximum brand enhancement.”

AM Packaging printed and converted the package with the exceptional registration required to deliver optimal visual effect and functional result.

The technical details are impressive as the result.

Hazen incorporated a PMS spot-color green plate to highlight some detail in the package. As the viewing angle changes, the holography makes it appear that the aurora moves like an animation across three panels. The optical effect is created with a sub-micron embossing grid in the transfer-metallized layer. An ultra-thin coating layer provides the visual impact typical of much thicker structures.

The result is as close to an actual Northern Lights flare as printed materials can accomplish. While the press release imagery is impressive, I can only imagine how much better the carton looks.

That’s the magic of the Arctic Blue Gin carton, which reminds us of the beauty of our world and the possibilities of packaging.

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