by DPS Magazine Staff
For digital work, the company operates a Durst Tau 330 RSC and a Xeikon CX3.For larger print runs, the company utilizes the MPS EFS 430 flexographic press. Whether digitally or conventionally printed, the company applies an array of embellishment techniques.
Above: The Label Makers created the winning label for The Kraken Black Spiced Rum. It was printed in a single pass on an MPS EFS 430 flexographic combination press.
The Label Makers won the Label and Packaging Awards with a label for The Kraken Black Spiced Rum. For this limited edition label, a specially embossed black gloss bottle was commissioned to distinguish the product from others in the Kraken range. The label wraps around two-thirds of the bottle circumference and features imagery of the Kraken’s treasure bullion and incorporates a central lozenge panel containing the Kraken brand motif.
To achieve a seamless, no-label look, The Label Makers used black matt wine uncoated paper to avoid white edges when die cut, as well as a black flexographic print and a high-gloss varnish finish on the edges of the label.
In creating shelf presence and a uniqueness befitting a limited-edition release, the label needed visual drama, but also texture and tactility. The Label Makers accomplished this with a combination of complex embellishment processes, including matte and gloss flexographic pattern varnishes, hot and cold foiling, translucent flexographic ink washes, and hi-build screen print.
As a base for the design, a silver cold foil was laid over a large surface area with the fine detail successfully reproduced and kept open and clean, despite the challenge of cold foiling on papers. This platform allowed rich flexographic metallic washes to be overprinted, creating a myriad of golden light that is evocative of the Kraken’s treasure trove. Patterns of flexographic gloss and matte varnishes were also overprinted to add subtle lustres to the label.
Additional fluted/embossed and flat gold hot foil areas were subsequently used for the central lozenge motif using a carefully balanced combination die with the male counterforces split across the web adding tactility, depth, and a luxurious quality to the label.
The combined use of multi-level hot and cold foils ensured the label had the necessary visual and sensorial standout.
Precise register of the overprinting washes and the black flexographic against the hot fluted foil areas was critical to the successful reproduction of the design.
Within the Kraken Rum lozenge, a high-gloss screen varnish was applied to strike a contrast with the rest of the label and to further emphasize both the brand and its premium provenance.
To ensure the label would adhere to the black gloss glass, a S2047N adhesive was used to provide the necessary high tack. Consequently, the label shape needed to be kept simple as the adhesive does not always allow for die cutting and stripping of complex shapes. As a result, the design of the matte black and gold against the gloss edges visually creates the rough, unfinished shape and the no-label look, without negatively impacting label production or application speeds.
The label was printed in a single pass on an MPS EFS 430 flexographic combination press.
Mount Diablo Distillery
For many brands, first impression and customer loyalty matters. Marketers and brand owners understand the importance of this concept and put great thought into how to gain exposure and attract consumers with the right packaging.
Mount Diablo Distillery is a spirit company based in Antioch, CA. Dustin Sterlino, co-owner, understands that one way to stand out on the shelf is with an impressive looking—and feeling—product. Thinking outside of the box, Sterlino thought of adding texture to its liquor bottle labels.
He went to a few print providers with the concept, and one of them suggested Mactac’s StreetTRAX non-skid, grid-coated, pressure-sensitive adhesive film. With this film, the distillery’s artwork prints directly to the film’s grid-coated surface and is applied to liquor bottles, resulting in a textured label.
While typically utilized as a floor graphic, this solution proved to be ideal and the company’s patent-pending “Bartender’s/Tender’s Grip” trademark was born.
Currently, Mount Diablo Distillery is owned and operated by a team of four. The company is hands on and is always looking for efficient ways to operate.
When designing the prototype for its grip label, Sterlino says it worked with several printer providers in the Bay Area, but had difficulty finding a partner that could produce them at a cost-effective rate. He soon realized it would be more cost effective to manage label production in house, eventually investing in a 54-inch HP Latex 315 wide format printer.
After rolls of printed labels are printed, they are sent out and die cut by a third-party company.
Custom for a Cause
Producing its own labels in house brings with it the flexibility to do custom work. While it’s not cost effective for many projects just yet, Mount Diablo Distillery launched a special Cali Girl Vodka as a fundraiser for the Adventure Therapy Foundation (ATF). The label produced for this charity takes second place.
ATF is a nonprofit organization that resolutely works to establish breakthroughs in the emotional recovery of cancer. By fostering vulnerable relationships, it leads survivors to engage a purpose-filled life.
Bottles of the limited edition spirit featured a special pink label and $5 of each Cali Girl Vodka was donated to ATF.
Mount Diablo Distillery is focusing on forging a niche in a saturated market. With pleasing designs and a tactile feel, one product can hit many senses for a lasting impression.
Just Fab Graphics
With the right equipment and skills, print providers are able to offer a range of service offerings. This versatility enables customer loyalty and satisfaction that keeps businesses coming back.
Established in 2017, Just Fab Graphics is a full-service graphic design/print and wrap shop. The MI-based, four employee business designs, prints, and installs everything from business cards and small decals to 50-foot semitrailers, boats, UTVs, and vehicle wraps.
The company maintains an Ebay store that focuses on an assortment of banners for the car, truck, snowmobile, and side-by-side enthusiasts. It also sells enclosed trainer work, curtains, and floor graphics for shop floors. It services an array of customers worldwide.
It provides branding for up-and-coming organizations—large and small. “Helping small businesses take off and providing them with the professional print and marketing materials they need to look sharp and cohesive as a business. If you look good, the business seems to flow right in,” shares Lindsay Theisen, graphic designer/installer/owner, Just Fab Graphics.
Label and decal graphics make up a significant amount of the shop’s businesses—approximately 35 to 40 percent. It prints hundreds and thousands of decals on a weekly basis, which are produced on a variety of materials in different shapes and sizes, and sometimes on unique media like metallic, reflective, and clear.
Labels and decals are printed on its Roland DGA TrueVIS VG2 printer and a GFP laminator.
Label and Decal Production
When a label or decal order comes into Just Fab graphics, the process consists of design, proofing, production, dry time, perforating or cutting, and weeding. It will often share finished jobs on social media.
Depending on the client and job, labels and decals require different printing and finishing work. For example, whisky labels are typically trimmed into strips.
Turnaround times also depend on the job. For a typical liquor label order, they can typically turn the job around in one to two days. To date the shop has printed about 30 to 40 different labels for Great Lakes Whisky Club. The customer’s time frame is only about a six month period or less. Each barrel of whisky gets a new design for bottling.
Examples of these labels were submitted and subsequently took third place in our Label and Packaging Awards.
Rum, Whisky, and Vodka
Liquor was the unintentional theme of this year’s Label and Packaging awards. This fun social media contest gave us a chance to see some of the great ways print providers and brands are working together to create eye-catching labels and packaging that appeal to all five senses.
Congratulations again to winners of the 2021 Label and Packaging Awards contest, The Label Makers, Mount Diablo Distillery, and Just Fab Graphics. dps
May2021, DPS Magazine