AKGraphics' Blog

Craft Gin, Craft Vodka and Craft Whiskey Label Design

Craft Spirits Packaging  – What’s on the outside is just as important as what’s inside the bottle.

At first that statement might seem a bit bold but read on before you judge.
The US is leading the global growth of craft spirits. It’s fair to say that this trend is strongly reflected in Ireland. Instead of one or two options for Gin and Vodka you can now expect a wonderful selection of craft options in most bars and hotels around the country. Spirit drinkers are seeking brands with a quirky backstory and ideally brands their peers have not heard of. Local distilling meets a number of ideals; it supports local communities, has more natural ingredients and creates a more environmentally friendly product. In the US two in five millennials define themselves as creative and unique and it they have taken this ethos into their spirit – buying habits. In 2008 there were approximately 100 craft distilleries in the US but by 2014 this number had increased to nearly 600. It is forecast that craft-spirits share of the US spirits market could rise to as much as 8% by 2020.
Another trend that is set to grow is flavoured spirits. Traditionally craft distillers steered away from flavouring spirits as it was seen as less premium. However craft innovators are now using more premium, unusual and naturally flavourings and botanicals to help to differentiate their products. Research from Mintel’s Global New Products Database reveals that craft spirit launches increased by 265% between 2011 and 2015. This surge in craft spirits is backed globally by strong consumer demand for artisanal alcoholic beverages. But the surge also means more competition and so it’s more important than ever that your particular alcohol brand is strong and distinctive.
small batch label designs
When you start a new distillery you will have a thousand things you need to think about. Making your craft Gin, Vodka or Whiskey will most likely be your main focus, however how your product will look should not be a last-minute thought.  Your label design should tell your story. It should make your spirit stand out behind the bar and on the retail shelf. And most importantly it should help to sell bottles. If you take a look at the bottles on the shelves at present it’s clear which ones stand out as premium products. It can be the case that a small batch craft spirit that is distilled with love and care could be overlooked in favour of a different brand with more appealing packaging. It’s important not to let this happen to your craft product.
Craft Whiskey Label design

Producing and launching a new product is expensive and because bottling and packaging is almost the last step it’s likely the budget will be tight for this stage. However the cost of your alcohol package design isn’t just the finished artwork seen on your label – there is hours of research, sketching, refining, market testing, paper selection and print consultations. We put the same love and attention into our design work that you put into your distilling. All these things are what makes the difference between “ok” packaging and stunning packaging that will do justice to your craft spirit. A professionally designed label is vital to creating a look that will convince a new customer to buy it.

Craft Whiskey Label design

There are hundreds of different styles of spirits for a reason. Different people have different tastes and those people are looking for something specific. Part of our job is to find out the unique aspects of your product and to use your label to sell your story to the people who will be interested in it the minute they see your bottle. Creating a alcohol label to appeal to everyone is like trying to please all of the people all of the time, it’s not possible and it’s much more effective to focus on your brand story and personality to ensure that you do justice to your particular craft spirit.

In the end, our goal is to help distilleries sell spirits. We have years of experience in alcohol label design and work with specialist alcohol label printers who achieve amazing printed results. We firmly believe when it comes to craft spirits – what’s on the outside is just as important as what’s inside the bottle. Your alcohol label design and packaging is one of the main things that will encourage a customer to try your product for the first time, only after that will the quality of your spirit be experienced.
No matter what stage of your process you are at, whether you are ready to start bottling or you just have an idea, get in touch with us here in AKGraphics and we will work with you to create packaging that does your spirit justice.
Tel: +353 59 9133633 or email anne@akgraphics.ie
Craft Whiskey Packaging design

 

Packaging for Whiskey by AKGraphics

 

Lid design for Whiskey by AKGraphics

 

Single Malt Label design by AKGraphics

 

Irish Whiskey Packaging design by AKGraphics

 

Copper Pot Whiskey Label Design by AKGraphics

 

Gold foil detail on Whiskey Packaging design by AKGraphics

 

Poitin label design by AKGraphics
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Tips for Successful Ribbon Cutting Events, Product Launches and Promotional Events for your Company

Tips for Successful Ribbon Cutting Events, Product Launches and Promotional Events for your Company

So you are organising an event for your company, and you are thinking that it will be overwhelming, expensive, time-consuming … the list goes on.

However despite all of the hard work involved, these events are a very effective way to connect with your customers and suppliers. You can use events such as product launches to promote your new product successfully by ensuring that everything runs smoothly so that you make the best possible first impression. You can also use the event as a way of generating publicity and press coverage which can include social media mentions, online articles, printed reports in local or national newspapers and of course local and national TV. When you consider what a great opportunity for publicity your event can be you will want to make sure that you get all elements of the event to look fantastic and AKGraphics can help you with that.

Event Graphics Dublin Carlow by AKGraphics

So, what can we help you with? We think it’s a good idea to really focus on the most important elements of your event. Within the last 8 weeks we have worked with a number of our clients to make sure that their launches are a success and you will see some examples of our design work for them in our tips below.

TOP TIPS TO MAKE SURE YOUR EVENT IS A SUCCESS & LOOKS GREAT

1. Set the tone with INVITATION DESIGN

Your invitation design will set the tone for your event and it should depict the atmosphere of your event. AKGraphics will also discuss your options on the different types of invitations that are appropriate for corporate events.

For example you might not want or need to send physical invitations by post. In that case an online custom invitation is an ideal solution. They allow you to send and track the invitations quickly and easily. Plus once the digital invitations are received your intended delegates can rsvp immediately online. If you are organising an event whether large or small, online email invitations are a great tool to consider. Recently, AKGraphics designed an email invitation for UCD, which greatly helped the success of their event.

Digiital online invitation design Dublin Carlow

However if your event has a more formal feel a beautifully designed printed invitation may be a more appropriate option. AKGraphics will design your bespoke invitations and we will also present options on print finished such as foils and custom or unusual shapes. These special touches will ensure that the recipient of your invitation is eager to attend your event. Paper types and coloured envelopes can also add a special feel to your custom designed invitation. Below is our invitation design for Walsh Whiskey Distillery ribbon cutting event. You can read more about this event invitation design here.

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Of course if your event is open to your entire target market an open invitation in the form of a flyer, newspaper advert and online adverts will ensure that you reach a large audience. In this case the newspaper advert or online advert design needs to catch your target market’s attention and it needs to tempt them to attend your event. An effective example of this type of engaging and informative invitation design can be viewed below, where AKGraphics designed this invitation for Keenan’s Open Day.

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2. Give out branded items that your attendees will take home with them

Although your event may only last one day or a few hours you will want the positive impact of the day to stay with your target market for longer than that.

It might be essential to give the attendees something, for example at a recent seminar for UCD Bord na Gaelic each delegate needed a printed schedule to follow the times and topics of each speaker. AKGraphics designed this booklet so that it was clear, concise, welcoming and informative. UCD were also able to use the design on a large presentation on a screen as a backdrop at the event. Read more about our bespoke branded items that helped make UCD’s event a success.

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Another nice option for events is to give the attendees a gift to take home. For the Walsh Whiskey Distillery ribbon cutting, AKGraphics designed a custom gift bag which were given to each attendee after being filled with a variety of branded gifts, including a custom designed box with whiskey tasting glass. Gift bags can be designed by AKGraphics to be any size and to match to your branding, in the case of Walsh Whiskey the bag also featured a copper foil to add a touch of luxury and prestige.

Event_graphics_custom_bag_design1 Event Graphics Dublin Carlow by AKGraphics

3. Brand your event with a range of DISPLAY SOLUTIONS these will all appear in photos / videos taken at the event

Of course items used to dress your event space will make the area look nice but the true role of these display items is to brand your event. You must remember that there will be many photographs taken at the event and possible even videos. It should be your aim that your company branding comes across in these photos and that the overall look of the event is memorable for all the potential customers attending.

At the recent ribbon cutting for Walsh Whiskey Distillery working alongside a PR company AKGraphics designed many of the display solutions that enhanced the launch day. These included large branded flags, temporary signage for the ribbon cutting, permanent signage which featured custom crafted oak elements. Also used were displays featuring the many different Whiskey box packaging designed by AKGraphics also. The ribbon cutting event received heavy press coverage which is always important when promoting a new product or service.

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If your event is taking place in a venue other that your own premises it will be important to focus your display solutions on portable options that you can use multiple times at different events. This means that you will get more use out of these display options. At the Keenan open day event that we worked on we designed flags and display boards. These are an ideal solution to add instant branding to any area and the  flags and boards could be seen on the coverage from the RTE News.

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If your event was carefully planned and executed well you will see the benefits in a stronger relationship with your target market, better brand awareness through the press coverage you will receive and increased product or service sales. Take for example the press received by the Keenan Open Day event which featured on the Six One news and Nine O’Clock News on RTE. The Walsh Whiskey Distillery ribbon cutting event also received impressive world-wide press coverage and publicity from a number of different outlets.

AKGraphics is a graphic design agency with over 22 year experience and because of this we are the ideal company to help you with some or all aspects of your event. From start to finish we will ensure that your event looks great and your attendees are left with positive memories associated with your brand. Contact us now on +353 59 9133633 or email Anne to discuss the different design options for your event.

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Luxury Bespoke Packaging Design for Walsh Whiskey Distillery

A beautiful bespoke design for a unique whiskey gift set

Luxury bespoke packaging design for Walsh Whiskey Distillery

If you are traveling through Dublin Airport and are looking for a unique Irish gift, consider Writers Tears Copper Pot Irish Whiskey mini gift-pack, wonderful designed, which will easily catch your eye in the whiskey department. This exclusive packaging design highlights the beauty of this unique whiskey gift set, currently available exclusively at The Loop Duty Free in Dublin Airport – a location with a vast array of eye-catching packaging. Walsh Whiskey Distillery Senior Global Sales Manager Shane Fitzharris commented: “We are delighted to be able to launch this in conjunction with The Irish Whiskey Collection and The Loop at Dublin Airport. We believe it will make a high-quality gift from those travelling from Ireland for whomever they are meeting in their travels abroad.”

The new packaging design pays tribute to Irish literature, a subject which Writers Tears uses as an inspiration across the wide variety of packaging under this brand. The mini-book gift pack bespoke design is based on a leather-bound book with extracts from ‘Dubliners’ by James Joyce. The packaging design features print finishes including copper foil and embossing which add to the luxury look of this gift box. The size of this custom package makes it an ideal gift size for transporting, plus you can also proudly display this gift in your library or on the mantelpiece. The magnetic opening of this gift box secures the three mini whiskey bottles within, a wonderful surprise on opening this gift pack.

It is extremely important to achieve a high end look in packaging design if you wish to position your products with other luxury gift items. With years of experience in bespoke spirits packaging design AKGraphics can assist you with any packaging design projects you may have. From initial ideas on box shapes and materials, to design and print finishes we will ensure that your packaging design stands out in a competitive retail environment. This packaging project was a wonderful challenge to execute and AKGraphics are delighted with the final result. Any Irish whiskey consequor would be thrilled to receive this uniquely designed gift pack.

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If this has peaked your interest you should also consider a visit to the Royal Oak, County Carlow, the home of Walsh Whiskey Distillery on the banks of the River Barrow. Walsh Whiskey Distillery is unique amongst independent Irish whiskey distilleries in producing all three styles of Irish whiskey – pot still, grain and malt – using two distilling lines (pot still and column still). Located on an 18th century estate comprising 40 acres of pastoral land, the distillery is the only independent Irish whiskey distillery producing all three styles of Irish whiskey. A unique visitor experience recommended to all.

If you are interested in discussing a packaging project that you have in mind contact Anne on +353 59 9133633 or email anne@akgraphics.ie

Luxury bespoke packaging design

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Truck Trailer Graphics – GAIN Feeds

Our graphic design services include vehicle graphic design.

One of the best places to get yourself noticed is on the road. GAIN Feeds asked us here at AKGraphics to design custom trailer graphics for their trucks. These custom livery graphics had to be big enough to catch a persons attention and had to get the message across instantly.

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The artwork had to be designed to the critical dimensions of the custom trailer built by Muldoon Transport Systems. This meant that our trailer design had to allow for port holes, cover and strap positions. Our trailer graphics were adapted to suit these restrictions.
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The overall design uses a combination of photography, illustration and typography. Using icons to inform your customers of your product range can have a better impact than text. This is why we decided to use illustrations of animals.

 

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If you are interested in having vehicle graphics designed or have another project in mind, contact Anne in AKGraphics at: anne@akgraphics.ie or call 059 913 3633

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Table Talker with Medical Infographic Design

Infographic design for a Table Talker for Aut Even Hospital

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Table talkers are a very popular promotional Point of Sale (POS) advertising device in restaurants. Table talkers have the advantage of close proximity to customers when they take a seat and consider what to eat.

Although most commonly found in cafes and bars these promotional items are not limited to the food industry. They can be used to great advantage in the hospitality industry, travel agencies, pharmaceutical, financial services and even medical industries as seen in this design project for Aut Even Hospital, Kilkenny.

Sometimes an informational flyer will not have the impact required, in these cases a table talker is a great alternative promotional tool. This is also evident at large conferences, trade shows and events.

Aut Even Hospital required a printed item that would explain to patients why they are repeatedly asked to confirm their identity in the hospital. The process of confirming a patient’s details is necessary in the hospital and the design for the table talker had to convey this in a clear way.

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By designing custom infographics the finished design for the table talker was clear and engaging. The use of bold colours also helped to ensure the design was eye-catching and appealing.

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More common uses for table talkers are for special offers, events, food and drink menus in bars, restaurants and cafes. Due to the ability for table talkers to instantly deliver your promotional message, they are very effective at instant communication for any target market.

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Click here to view more of our infographic design section.

Or if you are looking for our display section click here.

If you are interested in having table talkers designed for your business contact Anne on

+353 59 9133633 or email anne@akgraphics.ie

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Programme Design – UCD Ad Astra 2016

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The annual UCD Ad Astra awards were held recently. AKGraphics were asked to design a programme to commemorate the event. This printed programme design listed all of the new scholars and those continuing their studies. This programme was designed with a clear layout which had a strong balance of colour and white space.

The programme was well received with many people commenting on the overall design. Parents and scholars took a copy home to remember the special event. The principals of the secondary schools the scholars attended received framed photographs of their students to acknowledge their achievements.

If you have an upcoming event and require a programme / brochure / leaflet designed contact Anne on +353 59 9133633 or email anne@akgraphics.ie

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Billboard Design for Tullys Travel. New website promotion

With the re-design of Tullys Travels website, AKGraphics were asked to design a billboard as a means of promoting the new site. To promote this the people at Emirates sponsored 2 tickets and an overnight stay to one lucky person who booked a holiday online with Tullys Travel.

A colourful billboard design was created to catch the eye of commuters on their daily journeys. When designing for billboards it is important to grab the instant attention of people passing by. You might imagine you could not see your company advertised on a billboard but by contacting us here at AKGraphics in our offices in Carlow and Dublin we can guide you through the process.


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T: +353 (0)59 9133633
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AKGraphics Ltd.
Equity House,
Deerpark Business
Complex, Dublin Road,
Carlow, R93 K7W4, Ireland.