Making an imprint: LG H&H’s AI-backed tattoo printer gunning for wider reach in SEA and North America

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

Imprintu opened its first overseas store in Bangkok, Thailand last December. ©LG H&H
Imprintu opened its first overseas store in Bangkok, Thailand last December. ©LG H&H

Related tags LG H&H temporary tattoo Body art Beauty devices

LG Household & Health Care (LG H&H)’s beauty tech brand Imprintu hopes its recently opened Thailand store will act as a springboard for wider South East Asia expansion, while looking to make headway into North America with its participation in CES 2024.

In South Korea, the law permits only licensed medical practitioners to carry out tattooing, which has led to a huge underground tattoo scene and the younger generation actively seeking other forms of self-expression, including temporary body art.

Since its launch in May 2022, LG H&H’s Imprintu​ has captured significant attention among millennials and Gen Zs both in Korea and overseas. An average of 67,000 people from 193 countries visit Imprintu’s online store every month, according to the firm.

Imprintu is a portable device that allows users to select their desired design from a mobile app, and print it onto their skin or clothing of suitable material.

It is currently sold via its online store and e-marketplace Musinsa, shipping to a total of 44 countries, including Canada, Singapore, Thailand, the UK and US. The product can also be found at Incheon International Airport.

In December 2023, Imprintu debuted its first overseas store in Bangkok, Thailand. The shop, located at the city’s new luxury megamall EmSphere, aims to attract local consumers and tourists, and raise customer value via physical retail experience.

“As interest among Thai customers continues to grow, we opened the offline store to let consumers experience and purchase our products in person, and to lay the foundation for entering other South East Asian markets. We will continuously expand our customer touchpoints to meet the demand of overseas consumers,” ​said LG H&H.

Additionally, LG H&H will be participating in CES 2024 taking place this month, where it will unveil never-before-seen designs created by ExaOne Atelier, a “super-giant AI” developed by the company’s research arm LG AI Research.

ExaOne Atelier is a multimodal (complex information processing) AI that has learned over 600bn corpora and 350m high-resolution images, and can convert texts and images freely.

It is believed to be the first ideation AI platform that supports collaboration between AI and designers and artists.

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Example of a design created by AI. ©LG H&H

“When the user inputs a specific phrase into ExaOne Atelier, such as flowers, nature, geometric shapes or letterings, a new image related to the topic is created. The final design is completed after a designer adds finishing touches to it.

“Even if you enter seemingly unrelated words, such as triangular watermelon slice, purple flower and green leaf, the AI can form an image out of it. Through this, the Imprintu mobile app is constantly updated with designs that reflect the diverse tastes and preferences of consumers around the world.”

So far, more than 10,000 AI designs have been created, and they have been selected over 100,000 times by domestic and overseas users, reflecting the popularity of this device.

As the main theme of this year’s CES is AI, LG H&H expects visitors’ attention to be focused on Imprintu’s designs that “maximise creativity through AI”.

“By leveraging AI, Imprintu has steadily secured creative designs, which are the core assets of body art, as well as boasts a system that can respond directly to rapidly changing customer needs and design trends.

“We are also considering ways to innovate personalised customer experiences so that those who want to showcase their individuality can create their own designs using AI.”

Products to complement printer

Imprintu has followed up on the success of its tattoo printer by launching products to build the “perfect canvas” and enhance print quality.

Formulated with an ink-absorbent base to bring about a more defined print on the skin, the Powder Primer is dermatologically tested and certified vegan. Its banana colour also claims to be suitable for various skin tones.

For a longer-lasting effect, users are recommended to use the Balm Fixer, a transparent water-resistant, jelly-like formula comprising over 80% of hydrating and skin-conditioning ingredients.

“Scoop a small amount of the Balm Fixer and apply a thin layer across the print. This layer would protect against water-based wear without affecting the appearance of the design.”

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