The winners of the World Aluminium Aerosol Can Award 2018 were announced at this year’s General Assembly meeting of the International Organisation of Aluminium Aerosol Container Manufacturers (AEROBAL), which was held in Düsseldorf.

The competition organised by AEROBAL is highly regarded worldwide as a yardstick for the sector’s innovativeness and a reliable indicator of new trends and ideas. And once again, there were more than enough of these in this year’s entries. Nine highly regarded journalists from important and influential packaging journals and media around the globe selected the best and most innovative entries in two categories from the cans submitted: cans that are already on the market and prototype cans.

Nivea Body Mousse from Beiersdorf received the most votes for a can that is already on the market. The winning can is produced by German manufacturer Tubex. It impressed the judges in every respect. The mousse was specially developed for use in aerosol cans, so it is extremely smooth and light and easy to dispense. The can’s special shape means it fits neatly in the hand. It exemplifies perfectly an ideal combination of contents, design and print.

The can’s unusual conical shape was obtained using so-called ‘spline’ technology, a technique that creates particularly fine transitions and avoids shadowing on the tube surface. The can’s stepped shoulder matches the geometry of the spray head precisely, which necessitated forming it in small steps. The quality of the print is also outstanding. The circular-looking brand logo is optically perfect and located in the shaped area of the can. However, a complex process was necessary to first modify the logo and then align it. When the logo is applied to a cylindrical can, it appears totally unregular and pre-distorted. The optical impression of a perfectly round logo is only obtained after the can is shaped horizontally and vertically. The can’s very subtle and transition-free colour gradient from opaque violet at the top to a very elegant pale violet in the lower part is also a masterly achievement. The finely nuanced reproduction of the mousse and the white drops of shea butter complete the perfect printed image. Together with the characteristic shape of the can, this gives the product and the brand a distinctive and impressive overall appearance at the point of sale.

In the Prototypes category, the judges awarded first place to the Eyeris Fox Can from Ball UK. The Eyeris technology opens up completely new opportunities for the graphic design of aluminium aerosol cans, especially as a result of the significantly improved reproduction of photorealistic elements. In previously unimaginable quality it is now possible to reproduce images of faces, human skin and other complex and richly detailed surfaces, like those of plants, fruit, flowers and many other design ideas. And also, of course, animal motifs that could hitherto only be depicted with difficulty and incompletely, like fur with detailed patterns and even the finest hairs – as the winning Fox Can impressively demonstrates.

The Eyeris technology was originally developed for the company’s Beverage Group but was further developed especially for use with aluminium aerosol cans and now represents a real alternative to digital printing: 360° printing with unprecedented precision and strong, vibrant colours. Eyeris uses a patented process for artwork separation and printing-plate manufacture, which achieves a print quality of 150 to 200 dpi compared with the 133 dpi of conventional printing processes. Eyeris enables up to nine colours to be used without having to make large investments in new printing machinery.

The latest development of the Eyeris technology has been available worldwide since 2018. The winning prototype is already a striking example of how the lifelike images used to design aluminium cans can be a real eyecatcher on the shelf and offer a brand a distinguishing feature. It is simply persuasive at first glance.

AEROBAL’s Secretary General, Gregor Spengler, was extremely pleased with the high quality standard of this year’s entries: “The good market development at the moment, with growth of almost five per cent in the first half of the year, is also attributable in part to our members’ continuing willingness to innovate, which the results of this year’s competition demonstrate. Time and time again, the most advanced forming techniques allow to produce interesting new shapes; and optimised and perfected printing processes are now being used to obtain fantastic creative elements and designs.