What is a SteelBook® case? Simply put, it is the world's most prestigious and highly-sought after collectable packaging for home entertainment media such as Blu-ray and Games.
Prized by fans and collectors for its iconic design, luxurious finish and ability to showcase artwork, SteelBook® is a premium metal case that represents the ultimate way to store your favorite movies and games.
Often produced in limited edition print runs, which makes them especially highly desirable with collectors, SteelBook® cases have a weight, precision and quality that is unlike any other packaging.
There is no better canvas on which to showcase artwork, and film fans are thrilled when they discover the wonderful, often specially commissioned, designs that are used on SteelBooks®.
Not only are the artworks created for SteelBook® cases usually the most beautiful of any product released by distributors, but they often incorporate design attributes that only printing on metal can give.
A unique aspect of SteelBook® packaging that makes it such an exciting product, is the ability to achieve an almost limitless array of incredible finishes.
Three particular techniques that can be used to enhance SteelBooks are worth highlighting.
Embossing or debossing part of the design into the steel can help provide a three-dimensional effect to the artwork. This can make the SteelBook® case even more beautiful and tactile.
With regular printing of artwork on paper, white is the base colour of the paper. However with SteelBooks® the base colour is the metal layer of the steel itself. A white layer is usually first printed onto the steel before any other colours are applied.
One of the most important techniques that can be used with SteelBooks® is to use the white layer in a creative way to enhance the design. If the SteelBook® is intended to look metallic, or have areas where the metal needs to show through, then white is removed from those areas. Where the artwork needs to look bright and very colourful, then a very opaque white layer is used.
By carefully varying the opacity of the white layer within the artwork, it is possible to create some truly amazing and unique pieces of art. When colours are printed onto the steel with no white layer underneath, they will take on a metallic sheen to them. The interaction between those three elements: the base steel, the white layer and the final colours printed on top, not only allows for an enormous level of creativity, but can play a vital role is how the final SteelBook® case is perceived by collectors.
Scanavo’s creative team is happy advising you or your creative agency on how to best utilize the white layer in your artwork, to ensure the perfect final result.
Once the SteelBook® artwork has been printed, a final layer of varnish is applied to seal in the artwork.
The choice of varnish applied will have a dramatic effect on colours. A gloss finish brings out brighter colours, and gives blacker blacks. Conversely a matte finish tends to create a subtler, more muted palette. Not only does the varnish dramatically affect the intensity of the colours, but it can have an impact on the tactile feel of the final SteelBook® product.
Matt varnished SteelBooks® for instance can feel wonderfully silky and sensual to the touch. Partial varnish options are also available, meaning, for instance, that a SteelBook® case that is mostly a matt finish could have selected elements given a gloss finish, which will highlight these further. Lastly, varnish techniques can be creatively used to apply a texture to the final design.
Some of the SteelBook® editions that have been most cherished by fans, are those that have used all these finishing techniques within their design.
Scanavo will help you through every step of the process to ensure that your SteelBook® products are the best they possibly can be. Our in-house team can provide feedback on your preliminary artwork, as well as ensuring that you have all the templates you need to ensure that your graphics can be optimally tailored to suit the SteelBook® layout.
Scanavo can also send you recommendations regarding colour choices, use of white layer, ideas for embossing and much more.
Our aim is to ensure your artwork delivers to its fullest potential. Once final artwork and finishes have been agreed and delivered, Scanavo will send you the final proof on a flat piece of steel for signing off. This way you can see the final effect of the colours, white layers and varnish before finalising ahead of the production run.
Working together we can ensure that your consumers will continue to be delighted with the incredible products that are released in the best home entertainment packaging solution.