The Definitive Comparison: Soft Touch Coating Vs Soft Touch Lamination

Soft Touch Coating Vs Soft Touch Lamination
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In the realm of product packaging and marketing, the devil truly lies in the details. Among these details, the tactile sensation afforded by different finishes can play a surprisingly pivotal role in the consumer’s experience. Enter the world of soft touch finishes—a subtle, yet powerful way to elevate a brand in the eyes of the consumer.

But when it comes to choosing between soft touch coating and lamination, things can get a bit murky. This post aims to shed light on the nuances of both these finishes, setting you on the right path to deciding which is best for your product.


The first impression might not be the last, but it certainly sets the tone. In the context of product packaging and marketing, one such pivotal first impression comes from the tactile interaction a consumer has with a product. Soft touch finishes, including both coatings and laminations, offer a luxurious, velvety feel that can make a product stand out on the shelves. But why are finishes so important? They not only protect the product but also enhance brand perception and customer engagement, playing a critical role in the consumer’s decision-making process.

Understanding Soft Touch Coating

Soft Touch Coating custom paper bags

Soft touch coating is a finish applied directly to the surface of a printed material. Through a process involving the application of a liquid coating, which is then cured (often using UV light), this coating provides a texture that is smooth to the touch.

  • Benefits:
    • Cost-Effectiveness: When compared to other premium finishes, soft touch coatings can be more economical, offering a feel of luxury without the associated high costs.
    • Resistance to Fingerprints: A practical advantage of soft touch coating is its ability to resist fingerprints, keeping the product looking pristine longer.

Exploring Soft Touch Lamination

Soft Touch Lamination Custom paper bags

Soft touch lamination differs from coating in that it involves applying a thin, soft plastic film over the printed material. This not only imparts a soft, velvety texture but also adds a layer of protection to the printing beneath.

  • Benefits:
    • Moisture Barrier: Lamination provides an excellent barrier against moisture, making it ideal for products that face harsher shipping environments or need to maintain their integrity for longer periods.
    • Durability: Especially beneficial for e-commerce packaging, the added durability helps products withstand the rigors of shipping and handling.

Comparing Coating and Lamination

While both finishes offer a premium feel, there are distinct differences that may sway a business’s decision based on specific requirements:

  • Cost: Generally, soft touch coating can be more cost-effective than lamination, but budgetary constraints should be weighed against the need for durability and moisture resistance.
  • Durability and Protection: For products requiring higher durability and protection, lamination might be the better option.
  • Aesthetic Impact: Both finishes affect the vibrancy of printed artwork differently, so a consideration of how the finish will interact with the design is crucial.

The Sensory Experience: What Does Soft Touch Feel Like?

Imagine running your fingertips over the surface of a petal or a piece of luxury fabric. This is the sensation soft touch finishes strive to mimic—a feeling that encourages customers to engage longer and more deeply with a product. Anecdotally, products with these finishes tend to see an uptick in perceived value, purely based on the sensory experience they offer.

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Industries Benefiting from Soft Touch Finishes

A range of industries finds value in incorporating soft touch finishes into their product packaging:

  • Cosmetics and Beauty: Emphasizing the luxury aspect of their products.
  • Tech Gadgets: Creating a more tactile, engaging experience for customers.
  • Publishing: Making books feel more premium and engaging for readers.


Soft touch finishes, whether coating or lamination, offer a tangible way to elevate a product’s appeal. Deciding between the two boils down to specific business needs—whether the priority lies in cost-effectiveness, durability, or the sensory experience. However, one thing is clear: in a world where first impressions are crucial, the value of a soft touch cannot be underestimated. Consider your product, your brand, and your audience, then let those factors guide your choice. The right finish could very well be what sets your product apart in a crowded marketplace.

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