• The ‘Morello’ bottle features Cherry Wood Veneer for the main label, and Bright White Felt – Neck label for the top cap, neck label, and secondary labels.
    The ‘Morello’ bottle features Cherry Wood Veneer for the main label, and Bright White Felt – Neck label for the top cap, neck label, and secondary labels.
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A collaboration between sustainable materials supplier Ball & Doggett, design house Studio Guild, and label printer Labelhouse, has led to the creation of a set of premium spirit labels that speak to the themes of luxury, innovation, and sustainability.

The campaign, called Find My Flavour, was devised by Ball & Doggett who gave an open brief to Studio Guild to develop a set of mock alcohol products and create label designs that would embody the characteristics of each selected Wasau Coated facestock, to showcase its characteristics.

Label printing specialist Labelhouse was engaged as the printer, while premium glass packaging supplier Estal contributed sample bottles and closures to complete each product.

Sustainability was top of mind in the project. The glass bottles used are made from at least 80 per cent recycled glass. The four facestocks used in the project comprise recycled content and sustainable materials.

Josh Gleeson, marketing executive at Ball & Doggett, told PKN, “This collaborative project was ambitious in its scope, and delivered well beyond expectation.”

INSPIRED DESIGN

Central to this delivery was the execution by Studio Guild. Director Trish Dunstone says the team’s strategy from the very beginning was to create a series of brands that were “out-of-the-box and inspiring”.

“Since Studio Guild is also a customer, we set out to create finishes on the stocks to answer questions it would typically ask – how will it emboss, how does a foil perform, what will colour look like?

“To create engagement from the market, we felt authenticity was needed so that the examples looked as much like a real brand as possible,” Dunstone explains.

Part of the strategy was to cleverly connect each brand to the stock name. For example, Cherry Wood Veneer facestock was used for a whisky brand called ‘Morello’ – a cherry variety. The label features messaging of wood and trees and even the tasting notes refer to “matured in Cherry Wood casks”.

“Unlike our normal work process, we weren’t restricted by bottling lines or volumes, so we really embraced the artisan aspects of unusual die lines (for Dark Grind Coffee Liqueur) or labels on top of labels (Morello Whisky), for maximum impact,” Dunstone says.

The Black Vellum facestock brand, ‘Dark Grind’, was created to show off foil and embossing.

“We wanted to evoke a dark and moody vibe for this Coffee Liqueur, taking you to a dimly lit, sophisticated city bar. There is a beautiful textured emboss within the label to create a variety of textures for the customer to be inspired by. We were so impressed at the level of detail Labelhouse achieved on this stock, bringing our idea to life.”

The brand for the Bright White Felt – Ever Opaque facestock was given the name ‘Toujours’, translating to ‘Ever and Always’. Studio Guild’s aim was to create an uber, premium sparkling in the surprising oval-shaped bottle by Estal. The look is elegant and sophisticated.

“Bright White Felt – Ever Opaque is already beautifully textured, but we have enhanced it further with emboss, matte high-build varnish, and gold foil. The addition of a long neck wrap was to showcase the capability of the new Bright White Felt neck face stock. It also gives producers a more practical, but impactful, alternative to a branded hood, which typically comes with long lead times and large orders.

The ‘Blazing Pina’ brand, on the Aged Agave stock, comes at a time when Agave spirit is new to the Australian market and forecasted to be a growing segment.

“Our brand story is a nod to a Mexican aesthetic, visually telling the story of the agave firing process before steeping and distilling,” Dunstone says.

The label shows the effect of foil, colour, and varnish in both matt and gloss. The look is artisan to complement the earthy, fibrous stock, married beautifully with the heavily, textural Estal bottle.

“We knew that any nuances picked up on the label from the glass recesses would only add to the artisan look,” she adds.

PRINTING PROWESS

Ball & Doggett turned to Labelhouse for its label printing expertise. The company used its HP Indigo 6K digital press for all the jobs in this project, and finishing was done on its ABG Digicon Series 3.

Labelhouse sales manager Alex Connaughton says, “Labelhouse was delighted to be brought on board this journey. As a company we really value the relationships we have with our suppliers, and we were thrilled to have partnered on this project.

He adds, “We had engaged discussions with Trish and the team Studio Guild at the concept stage, ensuring the designs would translate well to print while still managing to push the boundaries on the printing presses. All in all, it was a very successful and rewarding project.”

Four facestock materials were used for the project. The ‘Morello’ bottle features two label materials, Cherry Wood Veneer for the main label, and Bright White Felt – Neck Label, used for the top cap, neck label, and two secondary labels on the bottle.

Commenting on the print execution of the main label, Connaughton says, “We were surprised at how well the ink took to the Cherry Wood Veneer stock considering it’s wood.” The label was printed in four colours and finished with Kurz 425 gold foil and a matte varnish.

The Bright White Felt labels were also printed in four colour, with emboss and matte varnish.

The Aged Agave stock used for the Blazing Pina labels (main labels, neck and top cap), printed in six colours on the HP Indigo 6K, and this time the finish included a matte high-build screen plus gloss high-build screen, Kurz 428 gold foil and a matte varnish.

For Dark Grind, the coffee liqueur, the Black Vellum label was printed in six colours, and the finish includes a gloss high-build screen, Kurz 425 gold foil, emboss and matte varnish.

Connaughton says, “We were delighted how this label came out, the body labels only have embellishments and look so effective.”

OBJECTIVES MET

For Ball & Doggett, the project objectives were to inspire, support and promote its premium beverage label offering, and to mark the company’s shift from its ‘Specialty Wine range’ into ‘Premium Beverage’.

What it has achieved through this collaborative Find My Flavour initiative is a means to share and foster product knowledge, suitability and performance with designers, brand, and printers within the packaging industry ecosystem.

Creativity of this kind serves to ignite an interest in the sustainable materials available, and to showcase the possibilities in digital print and specialised finishing.

This article was first published in the May-June 2024 print issue of PKN Packaging News, p20.

Aged Agave stock was used for all the ‘Blazing Pina’ labels.
Aged Agave stock was used for all the ‘Blazing Pina’ labels.

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