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Scratch and Sniff Printing 

Scratch and sniff printing

Smell is the most evocative of all the senses: from baked bread and freshly brewed coffee to fields of lavender and newly mown grass. Smells affect our mood and evokes a whole range of emotional responses.

What is scratch and sniff printing?

Scratch and sniff printing is created by microencapsulation technology. Microscopic capsules of scent are specially developed to make a print solution. Rubbing or scratching then causes these capsules to break, which is what makes the scent on a chosen area of your print marketing.

Scratch and sniff printing could be considered underused and, for many, that’s because the name itself suggests anything but sophisticated scents. However, the latest processes give a far more subtle result than it ever did in the past, giving out attractive and distinctive scents for a long-lasting sensory print experience.

In-depth expertise in sensory marketing technologies

Whatever you choose to call it, scented printing presents a whole range of marketing opportunities and we have the tools and technical expertise to help you take advantage.

The most immediately obvious applications for this technology are advertising and promotional materials for items whose USP is their own appealing fragrance, like in-store promotions for household cleaners or air fresheners, or direct mail campaigns for cosmetics or personal hygiene products.

So whatever you’re looking to achieve, talk to us first to see how we can help. We have considerable experience in applying microencapsulated scents to printed materials and can do so on print runs running from just a few to hundreds of thousands.

Public information campaigns

Two of the best-known applications for scratch and sniff printing in recent years were both related to public information campaigns.

In one, cards were distributed to the public to highlight the danger of gas leaks and included a rub’n’smell panel that contained the smell of gas. And in another, police forces distributed cards carrying the smell of cannabis, with the aim of increasing awareness of the growth in illegal cannabis farms in the UK.

This combination of information and interactive audience involvement resulted in a significant increase in reports of suspected cannabis cultivation.

We’ll make your ideas happen

The potential applications for this technology are endless: novelty items, children’s games, adhesive labels, stickers, postcards, books, brochures, business cards, product labels – we can print onto just about any product or paper surface.

And the fact that we do it in-house, alongside our mainstream litho, digital and screen printing services, means we can handle the job from start to finish.

Special printing and finishing - from spot varnish to scratch cards

Not only do we have a full range of litho, digital and screen printing equipment, but we also offer all the finishing services you’d expect of a one stop shop print group, and one or two more besides. And we do it all in-house, which allows us to retain control of quality, turn things around extra quick when need be, and keep your costs as low as possible.

Check out the links below to find out more.

Printing services

Commercial stationery

Commercial stationery

Accuracy and quality are essential to creating that all important first impression. At AB you have the reassurance of print to the most exacting standards, ensuring colour consistent printing across your entire brand.

Brochures, leaflets, folders and flyers

Brochures, leaflets, folders and flyers

With an impressive range of digital, litho and screen printing technology all under one roof, we’re able to recommend the best solution from one-off presentation documents to 100,000 multi-page brochures.

Point of sale, exhibition and packaging

Point of sale, exhibition and packaging

With almost four decades’ experience in the production of point of sale, exhibition and packaging materials, we are ideally placed to meet your requirements in this specialist field.


If you've any questions, queries, or would just like a no-obligation chat about what how we might be able to help you, please get in touch.

We're always happy to help.

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Got a job you'd like us to quote? Our quote request form helps make sure we get all the information we need. Typically, we should be able to get back to you within 24 hours.

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Litho printing

Litho printing

Whatever you’re looking for, from letterheads to catalogues, brochures, leaflets, newsletters, folders, posters, mailers cards and more, we have the plant, technical expertise and customer-focused attitude to help.

Digital printing

Digital printing

Major investment gives us the capability to print pretty much anything and everything digitally - leaflets, posters, brochures, folders, stickers, POS, window vinyls, signage, banners and more - giving us huge flexibility.

Screen printing

Screen printing

You name it, we’ve printed on it: paper, board, card, vinyl, plastics, metals, backlit film and more. And we back this up with a full range of in-house finishing services.

Finishing & specialist printing services

Finishing & specialist printing services

We provide all the finishing services you’d expect of a one-stop print shop and many more besides. As well as in-line sealing, creasing and cutting, we offer embossing, foil blocking, glow-in-the-dark, remoist gumming and much more …all in-house!