Tastefully Using Iridescence to Make Your Packaging Shine

Iridescence is the new hottest trend, taking on the packaging industry like a storm. It has already made its mark in other industries – especially fashion and design – but its mark in packaging is about to be bigger than anything else.

You’ve seen iridescence someplace, the amalgamation of what seems like a million colors on the surface of an object. It might have been on the ground after a fuel leak, on the back of a CD, in soap bubbles or in a nightclub.

You might even have seen it in the final scenes of the 2014 sci-fi movie Annihilation starring Natalie Portman. It looks exactly like a rainbow because all the colors on the main spectrum are represented.

What is Iridescence?

In definition, iridescence is the rainbow-like play of color caused by the refraction of light waves that changes when the angle of view or angle of illumination changes. Its effect has been identified as ‘lustrous,’ ‘mesmerizing’ and ‘beautiful,’ among other terms.

How it is made

Iridescence is achieved with the joint use of laser hologram printing and PET film (because of its light deflecting abilities). The process creates micro-embossed grooves that diffract white light to create a full spectrum featuring different colors as represented on the spectrum.

The PET film can then be applied to the material of choice, such as kraft, corrugated cardboard, PVC, TPU, specialty paper, vinyl, neoprene, plastic or non-woven PP, which is then worked into packaging.

Where it’s trending

Iridescence is already a major source of inspiration in the design industry, making appearances in fashion, homewares, retail and film. Iridescence is used in fashion when aiming for hip, pop, shiny clothing with urban influences, and is constantly used in fashion lines every year. It also appears on various cosmetic packages, especially those aimed at women.

Iridescence has also been reimagined on homeware designs targeted toward artsy clientele and in retail products such as album covers, book jackets, children’s books, presents and more. Designers incorporating iridescence have to walk a thin line between gaudy and classy because too much can spoil the design.

Why it keeps attracting us

The brain is naturally attracted to iridescence

According to science and the experts that study it, the brain is naturally attracted to bright, shiny things, which explains why we are always giving our attention to brighter colors and moving features.

Even young children are more likely to get attracted to toys with brighter colors or iridescence than with toys featuring plain, dull colors. That explains why consumers are attracted to iridescent packaging and more companies are investing in it.

It’s beautiful and calming, like a rainbow

Much like the naturally-occurring rainbow and the message it sends across, iridescence is surprisingly beautiful and calming. It might be the multi-color effect on the brain or the fact that the colors change as the angle of view changes, but either way, iridescence is beautiful in a calming way that makes any packaging charming.

It signifies glamour and wealth

There is something about iridescence that makes any packaging look expensive and classy, especially when done right and used on the right product. Iridescent packaging channels simple, elegant glamour that is an easy draw. This, in addition to its unique ability to attract attention and capture it, is one of the reasons for its popularity among designers and brands.

As custom packaging continues to make huge strides, particular design features like iridescence are gaining more attention as consumers order for them. How do you ensure that your design stands out and that customer satisfaction is improved? We have a few ideas below.

Use Iridescence for an Enchanting Effect

Even the best color palettes can become boring to the eyes, and some products just don’t do well with ‘good’ designs. Sometimes, what you need is ‘outstanding’ design, the kind that enchants at first sight and captures attention immediately.

Iridescence is the design that can offer that kind of enchantment, thanks to all its colors and their changing locations as the view changes. It’s also a classic, so you won’t be worrying about going overboard into gaudy when you use it.

The enchanting effect, when coupled with other attractive aspects of design, is enough to keep buyers hooked long enough to consider making a purchase.

Iridescence works wonderfully on products aimed at some of the most difficult audiences ever – audiences with short attention spans, audiences with curious minds and audiences that have seen it all.

Such audiences need to have their attention captured for them to engage with anything, and iridescence gives just that. For audiences with short attention span, iridescent packaging offers something new that can withhold attention without being easy to ignore. It has the same effect on audiences that assume they’ve seen it all.

For curious audiences, such as young children, it makes for an easy attraction that’s also mystical and otherworldly, since they are known to prefer shiny, colorful items.

Shine Luxuriously

The latest trend in luxury fashion, and the trend you should implement is the hologram style in iridescent packaging. The hologram style uses the same iridescent style, except more subtle than usual, while incorporating shimmering colors in the light hologram and hot foiling into the packaging design.

This is as a result of a common high-end consumer demand: iridescent packaging that is still luxurious without being gaudy. This new design changes colors more prominently as the angle of view changes, such that a person to the left will see more of red shade on a bag while one on the left will see more of a blue hue.

The new trend also features more logos being incorporated with the iridescent packaging, this time more prominently.


No matter the item in question, iridescent packaging is a wonderful option, thanks to its many potential styles of incorporation. It’s classy, easy to handle and timeless, as more and more brands are finding out, and you should consider it too.

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