In the print world there is a over abundance of going digital which of course has it’s benefits. Digital print is low in cost, versatile and generally pretty accurate. But if you are going to level up to some of the big shot bottles on the shelf today, you may want to consider more than just a digitally printed label — as mentioned in my previous post: 2 out of 3 consumers buy based on a label. So what does your label say about your brand and how do you measure up to the competition?
The big overall idea of a label is defining a perceived value. Yes this can be complex when you start to get into first impressions and understanding your ideal target market. But when it is done well — there is a major impact to be made.
Of course meeting the high demands of todays consumer may be tricky. So I have brought together a diverse list of new innovations and old-school print methods used in packaging to sparkle your fancy and mine too!
Screen Printed (Silk-Screened) bottles also know as ACL (Applied Ceramic Label):
Screen print option gives the advantage to have the bottle printed in a 360 degree surface, as well you will know that labels will not tear off of the bottle. This print method of your label is one of the oldest methods to printing directly onto your bottles. Where the ceramic based ink is printed onto your glass bottle and heated to fuse the ink to the glass making the label permanent. Different bottle shapes and sizes can have screen printed with multicolours — so your options are endless.
Emboss screen printing is the option to have the ink raised, in order to have great feel to the print. Also very nice to touch. This works well with braille and any other raised purposes directly onto your bottle.
Heat Transfer Labelling:
Enables the transfer of a high-resolution graphic image directly onto a bottle. The bottle and label carrier are pre-heated so that the graphic is released from the carrier and transferred to the bottle by a special thermally activated application process. The bottle is then reheated so that the label bonds with the surface. This process is more cost effective than screen printing, although gives a similar effect.
Shrink Wrap Labels:
In this case the levels are printed previously and added to the bottle after. The application process involves the label being placed onto the bottle and then the bottle is exposed to heat or steam which makes the label shrink to the bottle size.
This can be done in the production stages of moulding the bottle. This effect is when the actual bottle has a raised or inset image or text into the bottle surface. Establishing authenticity of the bottle this effect can be done various ways. One is by adding melted glass to an exhausting cooled bottle, which sometimes does not give a detailed effect but has an old-style look.
Acid Bottle Etching:
This process involves having the bottle exposed to an acid (hydrofluoric acid) which then eats away at the glass leaving a textured frosted look. This process is very diverse, quick and can be used with multiple other effects on the bottle.
Similar to Acid etching and used with an etching machine and can give more detail. Generally used for a small run and high quality effect. The process can be seen in this video.
This option is generally used for the bulk buyer or environmentally conscious consumer.
Die Cut labels:
A simple yet effective label is one with die cut to see through to the product. This can be either done with a die-cut or more recent innovations of laser cut printers.
Foil label printing:
Foil gives off a high end feel and can be easily applied onto a label. This can be done in various ways including metallic inks which leaves a flat surface or using foil film stamp or pressure-printing sculpted embossing which gives an extra dimension as well as curves or sculpted edges. There is so many options when it comes to colours, textures, matte, gloss or holographic effects of foil leaf usage. Be sure if using metallic inks being printed onto a label to have a finer and smooth stock paper, or else the printed texture might appear below the stamp.
UV Spot Varnish:
Spot Varnish gives a great sheen to specific graphic areas specified in a spot layer of an artwork. It can be printed in a particular colour and or can be printed as a clear print. Which gives a nice sheen to accentuate and area or overlay a pattern. Various outcomes can be produced like the horse logo which has a transparent Puff varnish.
Embossing or Debossing of your label:
The feel of a emboss or deboss generally gives off a sense of quality and giving detail to a basic label. The surface of the label is either inset or raised which makes for a nice texture and printed on a cotton fibre paper creates best results.
Aside from the primary label do not forget about the neck label. You can have fun with this and make it noticed as a primary ‘stand-out’ feature of the design. El Mayor Tequilla has a simple label added to the neck of the bottle with a stretch rope.
Double Sided Labels:
This ultimately is an effect that has become more and more popular when the design has been thoroughly thought through. One great example of this is El Ladrón which beautifully showcases the history of the product through the back side of the label not taking away from the forefront of the label which tells a story of the mystery of Venus of Boticelli fame. An additional feature in the Neige packaging is the peel off label exposing more detail about the product.
Absolut Unique vodka bottles comes out with a unique paint splatter to 4 million bottles. Each being different than the next. Although there is some negative comments stating how some look almost identical to one another but really is quite unique when you think of the mass of production of 4 million bottles.
Since 2010, each year Maestro Tequilero has produced a limited edition collection called “Atelier Maestro”. Themed bottles that are hand painted by Oaxacan Artists.
Other ways to show personalization on batches or make your product extra special is to put a signature on the bottle or even serial number on each bottle or into the design using variable-information printing. This will have your product show you take care in each individual product that you produce. If you have a small enough batch having them hand printed or written gives an even more-so special effect.
Wax tops and seals:
A nostalgic and old style of sealing your bottle with a wax seal has it’s benefits.
Out of the box:
If the bottle has a limited run you may go as far to package the product in leather like Beluga’s Allure Vodka did. Having a leather label, packaging and cap with leather and gold buckle accents inspired by the sport of Polo.
Another great extra detail that seems to be becoming more common now is a wrap for the bottle. This is an elegant and subtle way to showcase that you take care of each bottle. Again this may be used for limited runs depending on your budget.
Don’t forget the cork:
Although corks are not as common as they used to be, they are still an elemental part of opening a wine bottle. Some bottles have been corked with creatively designed elements on them, as well some wine bottles come with a twist off cork (not just meant for Champagne).
How about a scratch and sniff? Do you want to know what the smell of your wine is before you even take it home to try? Well now that is possible. And as we know the smell of the wine or product tells a lot about what your going to be drinking. There was also a scratch and sniff book that came out called the The essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to becoming a wine expert. So it is completely possible to match your wine to a scratch label giving you the ability to really know as much about the product before you buy it.
The first time I saw this was on the Coors light cans where the mountains turned a different colour when you knew the beer was at it’s ideal chilled state. Seen mostly commonly on beer cans but these temperature indicator labels have Popping up everywhere. Neeto! Some indicators can be creatively incorporated into any label and is being applied to larger and more detailed labels. Jose Cuervo for example has done a fantastic job using a Thermochromatic ink to produce their label.
STR UV-sensitive inks:
Heineken has produced a aluminium bottle printed with UV-Sensative Ink. Revealing a detailed graphic when exposed to UV lighting. Great for nightclubs around the globe. This ‘state of the art’ design had won awards for it’s innovation internationally.
Now if you start to intertwine print techniques and various dies or effects to your printed label and bottle you get some really great results. As this post proves — your options are endless.