Finding Synergy Between Function and Form: An Example from Toppan Printing

Design matters in innovation. Sometimes good designers and engineers working together can find ways to combine functional and decorative elements for elegant success. Sometimes two elements can be combined into one when synergy between two formerly distinct features or products can be found. Today we bring an example from Japan to illustrate this.

Toppan Printing in Japan has developed a smart label that combines holographic security with RFID technology. Holographic labels, of course, are primarily for anti-counterfeiting but also add decorative features. RFID is a utilitarian tool for adding information to packaging and products for improved tracking. Toppan has combined them here. The cool thing is that the metallic antenna needed for transmitting and receiving radio signals–normally a metallized spiral or other shape that tends to be unattractive–has become part of the aluminum metal of the metallic holographic label. This combination of two technologies with a single element uniting both in an attractive, appealing way is a good example of simplification through unification and finding synergy between technologies.

Toppan calls it the RFID Crystagram. An example of the RFID Crystagram is shown on the left below, and the act of electronically scanning the Crystagram is shown on the right.

rfid crystagram toppan printing

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