Digital Printing Enables Unique Chocolate Boxes

Credit: PaperSpecs

Every year since 2001 the crème de la crème of the German-speaking confectionery industry have met in Switzerland’s Tessin area for “Tessiner Innovation Days,” where they gather to debate the future of their industry in a region known for its scenic mountain views. Eager to produce a fitting tribute, printing company Colordruck Baiersbronn embraced a now-familiar technology, and a little sleight of hand, to create a truly one-of-a-kind box of scrumptious chocolates.

Starting with 300 gsm (200 lb.) Gmund Colors Food in Chocolate (how very fitting) for the main box, the printer laser cut the lid in such a way as to give the impression of peeking through horizontal blinds, against which a mountain shape – inspired by the event’s logo – seems to hover. Beneath this, the name of the recipient and the event were both added in Gold foil. Note that the in-house design team used digital foiling – which requires no dies – to create these personalized editions. (PaperSpecs PRO members – discover all your digital foiling options in our PROs-Only Foil Guide.)

But wait, what’s that we glimpse through the laser-cut slats on the lid? It looks like several tiny mountains printed in vibrant colors… Hmm, time to investigate!

Lifting the lid unveils 12 individual White cubes nestled snugly inside, each holding a hand-made praline, and each featuring a “mountain top” printed in a different colorful pattern. The cubes are printed with the Colordruck name and are folded origami style without a single drop of glue used – a nice eco-friendly touch.

Set inside the box lid opposite those 12 mini boxes rests a large vibrant print that instantly gives those of us familiar with all the unique digital print options an “aha” moment.

That’s because this larger print is the “seed pattern” used for the random ones we see on the 12 little cube boxes. Colordruck used HP’s SmartStream Mosaic software, which zooms in and out and distorts the original pattern, to create thousands of variations, with no 2 being alike.

Credit: PaperSpecs

Products ranging from Planters Peanuts to Heineken have used it to create no-2-alike packaging by sampling 1 large piece of art, from which thousands of unique designs can be printed digitally.

But wait a minute – how did we glimpse those tiny boxes through the laser-cut lid on the outside if the big print was in the way on the inside?

A closer look reveals a super-clever sleight of hand has taken place. Removing the artwork, we find that colorful cubes have been printed on the back of it – these were the ones we saw through the slats from the outside. (The patterns are different yet again from those on the individual boxes within.)

And the designers, not being ones to miss a trick, have ensured that the lid snaps shut with the satisfying “plop” of a quality magnetic closure, too!

Credit: PaperSpecs

With its laser-cut craftsmanship and no-2-alike design, this chocolate box is a great conversation starter. It also demonstrates how using cutting-edge techniques can make the recipient of a box of chocolates – or of anything, really – feel as special and unique as the packaging.

This article originally appeared on, an innovative online hub for brand owners and graphic designers who actively spec paper and print and refuse to be limited by short print runs or tight budgets.

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