AVOIDING PRODUCTION NIGHTMARES
Save money, time and headaches with some simple considerations.
ou’ve spent months developing a new brand package and all that is left is to get the package produced. Well, unfortunately there is no easy button. There are, however, several easy things to consider that will insure your new packaging produces flawlessly.
SIZE DOES MATTER. A label has to be applied to something… and most of the time, it’s a bottle. If you are developing a custom bottle mold you should finalize it before the completion of print ready files for your labels, capsules, corks/closures, shippers, etc.; otherwise, you may be spending good money on elements that won’t fit your bottles.
If you are using a stock mold, pay close attention to the manufacturer’s stated label panel size and that your labels are smaller than the panel. Word to the wise – give yourself at least 2mm from the top and from the bottom of the label panel to give your bottling line some tolerance when running the labels during bottling. If you are developing a custom bottle consider key elements like the bore diameter of the bottle and whether your bottle will fit within the typical facing (height and width) at retail and whether the bottle will fit in the bar rail on-premise.
YOUR BRAND’S BILLBOARD, MAKE IT SING. Your label is the single most important element of your package. When it comes time to print your label, make sure to keep these items in mind:
Meet with your label vendor to thoroughly review the files and to optimize the label size and print techniques to their presses. Often print technique upgrades or effects can be achieved for little to no additional costs and conversely, if your specifications don’t fit their presses well, your labels can be excessively expensive to produce. A few millimeters here and there can also translate to big savings when addressing a full print run where the paper material is one of the largest drivers of cost.
Always run a die-blank test. This is simply a roll of labels die cut to the correct dimensions with all embossing and debossing on the selected stock. These test labels should be tested on your bottling line BEFORE your print run to insure there are not any application issues. — It’s cheap insurance to make sure your labels will apply flawlessly on your line and without flagging or bubbling issues. It’s much less expensive (and headache) to make adjustments after a die-blank test than to throw away an expensive production run.
Consider where your product will be chilled. If in a cold cooler at retail or in someone’s freezer (Vodka) the type of paper will be critical to avoid scuffing and bubbling due to moisture. Welded stocks that have a plastic barrier built into the label material prevent label degradation in ice buckets and prevent bubbling from moisture exposure. While more expensive, this upgrade can save you some major headaches down the road.
CAPSULES, CORKS & CLOSURES PLAN AHEAD FOR LONG LEAD-TIMES! Capsules and closures can sometimes have long lead times of 3-months or more, so make sure you allocate plenty of time for production. A little preplanning can save a frustrating and unnecessary delay later.
Give your vendor a visual color target. Do not rely on simply referencing a produced capsule or closure from the marketplace or their portfolio. There may have been color shifts through years of production runs and you could end up with the wrong color. ⟶
The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.