Kleenex Holiday Packaging Shines
By Kate Bertrand
Holographic and Fresnel-lens technologies make a bold statement.  
Kimberly-Clark’s “Ornaments on Parade” package designs for Kleenex® tissues are poised to make a festive splash for the 2005 holiday season. The shimmering packages, which just hit store shelves in mid-month, take Kimberly-Clark’s upright tissue carton in a fanciful new direction.
The new design marks the first time the Kleenex brand has been packaged in an oval carton. The oval shape makes it possible to eliminate all vertical seams but one; the result is a parade of continuous graphics around the carton. A molded plastic lip rimming the top of the 70-tissue package provides support for the patented structural design.
The curved vertical surface of the carton is decorated with images of holiday ornaments which, at first glance, seem to be embossed. In fact, the paperboard surface is flat. The three-dimensional effect is an optical illusion created by laminating a Fresnel-lens film to the area where the ornaments are later printed. This film amplifies light, which makes the ornaments appear round.
The package substrate also includes a layer of metallic-silver holographic film. By overprinting the holographic layer with transparent inks, the designers achieved a subtle, all-over sparkle in the space behind the ornaments.
For brand identification, the Kleenex logotype appears, discreetly, on the lower right portion of the oval’s front and back facing. The brand name and product information are printed on the carton’s top tear-away panel, as well.
The “Ornaments on Parade” packages are available in seven designs, to match the full spectrum of holiday decorating schemes: Jubilation Red, Limelight, Confetti, Crystal Blue, Festive Fuchsia, Purple Velvet and Midnight. The package structure and graphic designs were created in-house at Kimberly-Clark.
“The holidays are traditionally a time for us to deliver innovation and festive solutions that are as special as the time of the year. People tend to be very décor conscious. They look for packaging solutions that are specifically tailored to the season,” says Rob Swan, Kimberly-Clark’s creative director.
In past holiday seasons, Kimberly-Clark has used lenticular lenses, Fresnel lenses and holographic film to design innovative, attention-grabbing cartons for the Kleenex brand. This year’s package takes things a step further by introducing the oval shape. “We keep raising the stakes for ourselves,” Swan says.
He adds, “The beautiful part about this design is that we’re creating a holistic solution for the high-end holiday execution. We’re tying all the aspects of the package together to deliver a highly compelling message. We have the form and the graphics and the printing technology and the film technology all coming into play and balancing out to create a compelling whole.”
As with past holiday Kleenex packaging, the new cartons are designed for display throughout the season. As an element of the household’s seasonal decorating, the packaging does a masterful job of reinforcing the Kleenex brand.
“An important aspect for us is how this ladders up to the brand’s ambitions and goals—how we want consumers to adopt it into their lifestyle and how we want it to resonate with them,” Swan says. “Kleenex is a very powerful brand, because it can do that. It has a place in their hearts and in their homes.”  BP
The author, Kate Bertrand, is a San Francisco-based writer specializing in packaging, business and technology. Contact her at kate.bertrand@sbcglobal.net.