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Scratch and Sniff Printing– multi-sensual captivation

It’s June – the month when strawberries and cream in abundance make for an epic Wimbledon experience. So that’s why we chose a ‘strawberries-n-cream’ scent for our June 2016 calendar leaf (in case you didn’t notice, it has a scratch and sniff print).

Scent is an amazing thing. We breathe over 20,000 times a day, taking in thousands of different smells. Yet sometimes, it just takes one of those smells to evoke the most amazing memories.

You’ll definitely have had the experience of taking a deep breath and suddenly finding you’re reminiscing over a blissful childhood holiday in the country, or a special memory of your favourite sweetshop.

Chances are, this memory recall was activated by scent – the connection between scent and memorisation is so strong that teachers even burn scented candles in class revision lessons, then use the same scent during exams to help students remember!

The right scent will inspire a positive response too – it may be something like the scent of freshly cut grass, or salty sea air – certain scents are known to have a positive, relaxing effect.

This is powerful stuff when it comes to brand recognition and stimulating positive responses. Whatever it is it will subconsciously be doing wonderful things in your prospects’ minds, evoking positive memories and emotions to your brand.

That’s why scratch and sniff printing can be so powerful in building engagement with your brand, assisting recognition and improving perception. And it will definitely cause a stir…

Want to try a sample? Get yours here


How can you use scratch and sniff in your printed marketing?

  • Direct mail, brochures, product cards
  • Highly creative, forward-thinking agencies, companies and services
  • Use it in distinct ways – don’t stick to the ‘obvious’ smells!
  • Food and drink brochures
  • Promote a new product or service in style

Our print experts on what to look out for with scratch and sniff:

“Scratch-n-sniff panels work in a similar way to Spot UV so they can cover printed areas as they’re added after the litho print process. Watch out for double-sided print though as the chemicals will often create stains on the reverse side of a sheet.”

Our marketing wizards have a word for you too:

“Scratch-n-sniff has an amazing effect, not only as an obvious feature of your print. You can also use it subtly to provoke positive reactions to a new product or brand launch. A message such as ‘something is in the air’ or ‘take a breath and prepare for something new’ coupled with a subtle scent floral or fruity scent will work wonders in improving perception and retention. Creating that emotional connection will massively enhance your brand.”


Scratch and sniff printing contains tiny micro-capsules of scent. When these are rubbed, the capsules are broken and release the smell. Generally, this is a screen print process so that the scent is applied to specific areas. This has the advantage of being much more concentrated yet won’t be too strong until it’s scratched.

Alternatively (and more cost-effectively) it can be applied as an all-over varnish as part of the litho process. This will release scent more readily but won’t be as strong.

Have a look at our case studies for inspiration. Or for the real deal, ask us for a printed sample.

If you want to see scratch and sniff printing in action and compare some of the different textures, take a look at the June leaf in our 2016 calendar. If you don’t have one to hand, just ask and we’ll post one to you right away.

You’re reading an article from the Newton Print Marketer Pro Hub. We’re trying to do our bit to help marketers’ lives easier. It’s been confirmed that marketing and design departments are the most overworked of all so it’s time that was recognised. We use our experience to help you transform mediocre marketing with an injection of creativity and 30 years of know-how.

Newton Print – taking care of you personally.


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Simon Besley

Author Simon Besley

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