News / 28 February 2019

This mother’s day, up your gifting game

We just upped our personalisation game, with direct-to-product printing. So get your Mum something worthy of her love.

Up until now, our in-store personalisation projects have used printed labels. But for Shiseido’s up-scale beauty brands, Nars and Laura Mercier, this wasn’t an option. They wanted the personalisation printed directly onto the product, for a more luxe finish. Not a problem we said. Perhaps a little too confidently.

We started by looking at engraving machines, but they were too big for the concession stands that the kits were to be installed on. Eventually, we found a printer which applies foil to the products via laser heating. The challenge then was to find a foil that would adhere to the particular plastics that Shiseido use for their products, and a way of ensuring that the foil was applied to the right place on the products. We ended up custom-building a new baseplate for the printer along with a series of jigs to hold each product in place – you insert the chosen jig into the baseplate, put the product into the jig, and then lay the foil over the product.

The software, in comparison, was straightforward to build. It runs on a Microsoft Surface and enables you to choose your product from a scrollable menu, enter the text you want to appear on the product, and send it to print. A staff member can then enter the admin password; put the chosen product, jig and foil in the printer; and produce your personalised item.

You’ll find the kits in John Lewis and House of Fraser stores across the country in the run-up to Mother’s Day. Which gives you no excuse for buying the woman who gave birth to you petrol-station flowers.