The winners of this year’s etma Tube of the Year competition were again chosen during the European tube manufacturers association’s annual congress. A jury comprising specialists from etma member companies, awarded prizes for the best tubes in the categories Aluminium, Plastic, Laminate and Prototype. The jury was clearly impressed by the excellent standard of printing, the compelling designs and the groundbreaking applicator solutions.
The winner of the Aluminium Tube category was Tubex Slovakia with a very puristic-looking tube design used for the Guergi cosmetic product. The tube design only uses three colours: black for the text, a light copper tone as the base colour of the tube and red dots to add special emphasis. The surface lacquer contains fine particles that not only create a sparkling sheen but also impart special haptics to the tube. (Our photo shows the normal 30 ml retail tube as well as a 3 ml tube used for free samples to promote Guergi.)
Essel Deutschland provided the winner in the Laminate Tube category. The 250 ml tube used for L’Oreal EverRiche, a new, sulphate-free hair-care range, comprises a laminate with an aluminium barrier layer. It is printed with a holographic cold foil and can be flexo printed in up to eight colours. A special flexo-printing technique had to be developed to create the characteristic gold effect in which the aluminium layer of the laminate has a resplendent golden sheen. The shampoo tubes are completely gold in colour and have a coloured flip- top closure in order to distinguish optically between the shampoo and the conditioner. The gold sheen of the conditioner tubes merges smoothly into a white band extending from the middle of the tube to the cap. The tubes also have a coloured shoulder and transparent caps. The printed seam provides an enhanced barrier function and together with the 360° print design rounds off the outstanding overall appearance. (Our photo shows the different designs for shampoo, with its continuous golden sheen, and conditioner, where the gold appearance merges smoothly into a white band.)
Albéa was successful in the Plastic Tube category. The French manufacturer won the award for its broad range of massaging-applicator tubes. The metal balls produce a pleasant cool feeling; the rotation of the balls stimulates micro-circulation and enhances the benefits of the respective formulation. Integrated on/off switching devices ensure precise, economic and hygienic application. Albéa covers the whole skin care market with its range of metal-ball tubes: body care, face care, eye care and other special localised applications. This range of applicators coupled with excellent printing techniques offers enormous additional benefits for client and consumer alike. (Our photo shows an applicator system for different tube sizes with differing arrangements for the metal balls.)
With its dazzling display of brilliant colours and absolutely compelling reproduction of even the finest nuances, the Autumn tube from Tubex Rangendingen in Germany came top in the Prototype Tube category. The plastic tube is printed using a combination of screen and flexo printing. An energy-efficient LED drying process is used for each individual colour. The result is an extremely good example of what the tube is capable of today using the latest printing techniques and the appropriate colours: the photo-realistic image of the face of a young woman with the finest possible lines on the cheek bone and the fascinating contrast between her black hair and the coloured autumn leaves. There is also a screen-printed butterfly that is matt lacquered for an extra haptic effect, while the rest of the tube has a high-gloss finish, with a matching flip-top closure, of course. (Our photo shows the prototype plastic tube with its impressive play of colours thanks to the combination of screen and flexo printing and matt spot lacquering of the butterfly.)
Gregor Spengler, etma’s secretary general, was taken with the quality of the competition and happy with the jury’s decision. “Every year I am impressed when I see the advances that have been made in the printing and finishing of tubes. The development seems to know no bounds. The tube is increasingly attracting attention at the point of sale and is contributing more and more to conveying emotional brand images with its precise reproduction of colours – even for complex motifs -, holographic effects and other features. Exciting methods of application and uses as well as haptic sensory experiences for the consumer lead to long- lasting brand bonding. As a marketing tool, the tube is thus becoming an ever-more valuable form of packaging year after year.”