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Contour Printed Package

The latest technology emerging in the thermoforming market is contour printing (AKA pre-print or distortion printing). Shepherd has recently developed a system using this innovative new technology. The pictures to the right illustrate the development. Hover your mouse over the pictures for descriptive captions (explorer browsers only).

This takes Distortion Printing or Pre-printing to the next level. The process makes printing directly on thermoformed parts routine.

Intended use: This is an alternative for retail packaging with graphic inserts, labels or IML (in-mould labeling). For an interative look at our Contour Print Packagage click here.

Outstanding benefits vs graphic inserts, labeling or IML: 

  • It's more economical, over 40% cost reduction compared to graphic insert costs.
  • Lower cost/Lower CO2 correlation (lower carbon footprint)
  • Less labour in assembling the package, no need to handle graphic media, labels....
  • Print up to 15% of the package without contaminating the recycle stream (if recycling this with other non printed thermoforms print area could be much higher).
  • Inks are no different than what is used currently for shrink film or paperboard printing.
  • Reduce package size by utilizing sidewalls for printing or utilizing areas for print typically used to hold a graphic insert.
  • No graphic inserts required, reducing package weight and size.
  • Complete package available with one material for ease of recycling/identifying for the end user, MRF or in-store recycling.
  • Reduced SKU's for Brand owners (no separate graphic insert or labels etc... required)
  • One material/supplier to simply brands LCA
  • Positive contribution to the triple bottom line of Sustainability (Financial, Environmental, Social)
  • EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) suggests that packaging can be made more sustainable by:
    • ☒ Eliminating toxic constituents (Inks ?)
    • ☑ Using less material
    • ☑ Making it reusable
    • ☑ Using more recycled content
    • ☑ Making it more readily recyclable
  • Able to integrate UPC and QR codes.
  • More government/industry regulations coming to identify packaging, Contour print (one material for the entire package).
  • Lower carbon footprint and supply chain costs to Brands on sku shipping (1 raw material inbound rather than 2 or more)
  • Ease of open options for the one hand world, no graphic inserts interfering with product access or recycling.
  • Simple package for less consumer confusion.
  • Materials and processes supplied in North America though a verifiable supply chain.  (You'll know what you have).
  • A sustainable solution in a clear package that's appealing to the Lifestyle market.
  • No volume restrictions (scalable with other printing processes, ie. Digital to Flexo)

Image concept        Designer Concept Options

Approved Concept

Add Structural Features   Graphic Enhancements

Contour Print Structural Sample

Contour print sample front Contour print sample back

Contour print production front Contour print production back

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