Packaging

The Wonderful World of Craft Beer Label Design and Can Design

Despite the cooler temperatures, some of us are still venturing into the chilled supermarket aisles or off licenses, in search of a good craft beer. And with a constant influx of new brands and new trends, how do we choose? There are 75 microbreweries estimated to currently be operating in ROI (and a further 50 brand owners that outsource their production to independently owned microbreweries), which is a 500% growth from 2012.

There are ever-changing impacts on sales and the craft beer industry, which mean that it’s becoming harder for brands to stand out on the shelf. We’ve identified some of the craft beer label design trends that have caught our eye.

 

Maximalist – bursting with color, illustration and attitude, these beer label designs are sure to catch your attention.

Marmota Brewery, their LegalLager beer can design portrays a vibrant block-party with illustrated characters and fluro colours.

Legalager beer packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Browar Minister, the beer label design includes characters and brightly coloured illustrations.

Browar Minister beer packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Browar Minister beer packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Browar Minister beer packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Mikkeller brewery, the master of maximalist eclecticism. Their beer label designs range from image appropriation to graphic illustrations, usually in an expressive style and in vivid fluro colors.

Mikkeller beer packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Reflect recipes – some companies are opting to commission artwork for their beer label designs that reflect the breweries, brewers and beers more. They allude to the recipe or certain ingredients used to make the beer through illustration or text.

OostEke Brewery, this beer label is centered around a floral design which depicts how flower extract is used in the brewing process.

OostEke Brewery label, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Hop Heart, a heart shaped hop icon to show that this beer is made from the finest ingredients and is actually good for you and your heart – an idea inspired by the high levels of vitamin B6 found in beer which reduces the risk of heart disease.

Hop Heart packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Minimalist – supremely elegant and simplistic beer label designs to intrigue.

VICE Old Blue Last Beer, the can design has only the logo and ABV on it with the aim to  “tease the pretentious world of beer – with all its frills and fuss – and strip it back to the simpler days when beer was for enjoying.”

Vice label, not designed by AKGraphics

Vice label, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Cargo Brewery, a super elegant packaging range that incorporates a subdued color palette, geometric shapes, simple line work and copper foil to cleanly describe the beer inside.

Cargo labels, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Typographic – using type rather than graphics to portray the brand essence.

Big and bold fonts paired with a bold yellow label makes this Sa Pilsen design stand out. The classic logo font makes it seem authentic, like it’s stood the test of time.

Sa Pilsen packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Sa Pilsen branding, not designed by AKGraphics

Sa Pilsen packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Inari Biru from Yeastie Boys is a Japanese rice beer. Inspired by minimalist Japanese design is has a classic colour palette of red, white and black. The beer label design also includes traditional Japanese calligraphy with loose textured characters to portray a sense of legitimacy and genuineness.

Inari Biru packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Flavour differentiation – an easy way to stand out and distinguish the various beer flavors is using different colors or characters, while still ensuring the branding is communicated collectively.

Hyde and Wilde features animal illustrations in a striking monotone colour scheme with a bright yellow logo. There is a clear consistency throughout the set of beer can designs, however each flavor is reflected with a different animal.

Hyde Wilde packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

BrewDog Brewery labels are designed with wood-cut and letterpress techniques to give the brand a hand-crafted feel. There’s a different colour and tagline to each beer to distinguish them.

BrewDog packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Photographic – with the increase in digital-printing capabilities more breweries are embracing photographic labels and cans.

Commonwealth lagers were created to drink by the beach, and the tide-lashed branding reflects this.

Commonwealth beer packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

The Norwegian landscape photos used in the Fjellsider beer can design reflects the fresh and natural ingredients, and the cider’s local heritage. An acetone transfer printing technique was used to make the image look weathered, conveying the craftsmanship of the brand. The fruity colors also reinforce the freshness of the product.

Fjellsider packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Fjellsider packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Black – premium or sinister? Dark label designs and bottles have been used very effectively on a darker stout beer.

Stoutnik stands out on the shelf as it uses printing techniques that other brands don’t use in their beer label designs. The frosted matte black bottle contrasts the multicolour holographic foil and highlights the blind-embossed morse code.

Stoutnik Stout packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

This beer label design has bold typography alongside fluid illustrations, Vocation Brewery’s usual method of communicating the brewery’s personality. They created a limited edition Naughty & Nice label for the festive season including seasonal illustrations of theatre, cold weather and holy. The gold foil and silver ink also conveys festive qualities and contrasts the black label well.

Vocation brewery label, not designed by AKGraphics

Vocation brewery label, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Colour – it can always be used to catch the attention of shoppers. These beer label and can designs are bold, bright and brave.

Vocation Brewery have also used colours to reflect their brand personality. These beer can designs show the crisp and freshness of their new flavors. The striking colour and spray paint effect conveys their uniqueness and stands out.

Vocation Brewery packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Collective Arts Brewing in Canada is a grassroots craft brewery. Their mission is to merge “the craft of brewing with the inspired talents of emerging and seasoned artists, musicians, photographers & filmmakers”, by choosing previously published art pieces every year to print onto their beer can designs.

Collective Arts Brewing packaging, not designed by AKGraphcis

 

TicketyBrew beer label design use colour to reflect their range of experimental and complex flavour profiles (like Peach Iced Tea, Blueberry & Ginger IPA and Salted Caramel & Coffee). They have a simple identity that can be adapted to their 35 beer flavours. The core range flavors also have a printed number on the front to separate them further from each other.

TicketyBrew beer label, not designed by AKGraphics

TicketyBrew beer label, not designed by AKGraphics

TicketyBrew beer label, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Vintage throwbacks – idealising the past through vintage styled beer labels and can design.

Chattanoonga Brewing Co. used historical branding elements from their previous packaging design but in a refreshed style. This honored their vibrant heritage and also makes them stand out with a simple design solution.

Chattanooga packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Chattanooga packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Director Beer has a film-inspired craft beer designed with Star Wars and Indiana Jones illustrations. It resonates universally by referencing two classic films with a movie poster aesthetic and even a synopsis on the back adapted to reflect a story behind the beer.

Director Beer label, not designed by AKGraphics

Director Beer label, not designed by AKGraphics

INDIANA HOP AND THE CAVE OF GOLDEN HOP

“An ancient hindu civilization called lupiranis lived for centuries in the inaccessible Himalayan mountain ranges. Known for an IPA millennial recipe, they idolised an ancient brew relic, the Golden Hop, capable of giving the brewing shaman who possessed the power to make an incredible IPA. For a long time, countless adventurers lulled by the legends of the  brewing lupiranis, explored these mountains behind such an artifact. Indiana Hop, a historian of special beers and master brewer, fearless and adventurous, while exploring ancient scriptures in the library of British Beer University discovered clues on a map that led to a valley in the mountains, covered by malt plantations and hops forests to a cave, which according to locals, is guarded by ancient spirits and full of traps. Will Indiana Hop get the Golden Hop and survive the consequences of the wrath of the brewing gods on anyone who desecrates his sacred temple?”

Director Beer label, not designed by AKGraphics

Director Beer label, not designed by AKGraphics

 

A step further…

Mikkeller Pale Spring Ale, the design is printed on heat sensitive paper so when it’s cold the snowflake is visible and when it’s warm it fades into the shape of a sun. They’ve also made beer labels in similar styles but for autumnal and spring styles.

Mikkeller packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Mikkeller packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

If you’re after a beer label or can design for your craft beer or beverage product, contact us! We are experienced in creative packaging design solutions and would love to help you bring your brand to life.

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The Power of Personalised Packaging

Personalised packaging design has been on the rise during 2018. With the concept of bespoke packaging also taking off, some companies have taken this customisation a step further to make products look more desirable to consumers.

Brand packaging is getting personal, but why is using someones name so effective?

  • Connect with customers; when they see their name on a product it instills a sense of importance. Good packaging should lead to customer satisfaction and an enjoyable purchasing experience. Personalisation helps to build better and stronger relationships between brands and consumers. It increases customer engagement and brand awareness, therefore resulting in improved business.
  • Create value; customising mundane products turns them into something unique. Digital technology is allowing for a wide range of personalisation opportunities. This allows ordinary, everyday items to hold more importance on the shelf. Personalisation is a quick and easy method of making a product appear unique and enticing. By doing this, brands can also increase the value of these products, literally and figuratively. It’s also one way to encourage reuse, with some packaging items turning into collectors items.
  • Meets long term needs; personalised packaging design can help brands understand their customers better. It can be used to inform future brand engagements, emphasis certain brand values and foster a sense of community amongst their target market.

Coca-cola’s cans and bottles featuring common first names started a growing trend. The ‘Share a Coke’ campaign highlighted how successful personalisation can be. The campaign began after the realisation that young people weren’t connecting with the brand, so Coca-cola decided to communicate directly with this demographic, and increase its impact on the shelf.

Coca cola personalised packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Coca cola personalised packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Irn-Bru (a Scottish soft drink brand) responded to Coca-cola’s campaign with a personalisation of their own. They created bottles with 56 different Scottish tartan designs –one for each major clan, and one Irn-Bru design. Irn-Bru recognised that “you don’t want people to always find their own clan tartan straightaway, but within a reasonable number of store visits so they become a bit of a collector’s item. So you need to find a way to distribute a random mix of the samples.”

Irn-Bru tartan labels, not designed by AKGraphics

Irn-Bru tartan labels, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Nutella’s personalisation campaign was built around how people already use the chocolate spread in meals and snacks. ‘Your Nutella, your way’ invites people to personalise a jar and share their ‘Nutella Stories’ on Nutella’s website and social media. This guided people into advocating for the brand and created a community of consumers sharing their brand experiences.

Nutella personalised packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Nutella personalised packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Heinz sold personalised cans of soup through a ‘Get Well Soon’ campaign. Each can sold for over twice the price it would regularly, but with the incentive of £1 per can also going to charity, customers appeared willing to pay.

Heinz personalised label, not designed by AKGraphics

Heinz personalised label, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Snickers released 21 symptoms of hunger, in line with their ‘You’re Not You When You’re Hungry’ tagline. Snickers brand director Allison Miazga-Bedrick said: “We believe the new bars will inspire people to not only quickly identify their own symptoms and satisfy their hunger, but give them a new, fun way to call-out friends and family on who they become when they’re hungry, too.”

Snickers packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Snickers packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Snickers packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Vegemite – for Christmas, Kmart once sold personalised jars of Vegemite. For $10, consumers could have Kmart print the name of their gift recipient on a 455g jar and send it locally or overseas.

Vegemite label. not designed by AKGraphics

 

To celebrate the relationship consumers have with the brand and drive deeper engagement, Firefly began a campaign where customers can upload pictures of themselves, and also features iconic images from Festival No.6 (the boutique arts and music festival). Customer pictures would be uploaded via the Firefly website, app or through social media using the hashtag #feelingfly.

Firefly packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Firefly packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

While personalised packaging has shown success in these brands, it also has its limitations. With technology constantly updating, perhaps the next stage will be the personalisation of ingredients and recipes, making products truly unique to customers.

This idea is employed in Magnum’s Pleasure Stores, where customers can personalise the flavours and topping of their ice cream –with over 2000 variations possible. These stores have been set up worldwide, including places like New York, London, Singapore, Italy and Portugal. An idea like this makes a brand stand out and gets people talking about it – on social media too with their hashtag #DreamMagnum

Magnum personalised ice creams, not designed by AKGraphics

Magnum personalised ice creams, not designed by AKGraphics

Magnum personalised ice creams, not designed by AKGraphics

Magnum personalised ice creams, not designed by AKGraphics

Magnum personalised ice creams, not designed by AKGraphics

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Skincare Packaging Design Trends

Understanding the trends influencing the market can help set your product out from the rest of the market. Here are some trends seen in current skincare packaging.

 

Eco-responsible packaging

Customers are becoming more aware of how packaging affects the environment and therefore are preferring to opt for more eco-friendly and sustainable packaging options. Eco-friendly packaging has also become a key marketing strategy to make customers think that the product is made of natural ingredients.

E.g. Lush Cosmetics markets a 100% post-consumer recycled plastic packaging. 35% of Lush products are sold ‘naked’ and without packaging at all.

Range of skincare products, packaged and unpackaged

Lush packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Lush bath bomb products in store

Lush packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

E.g. Ethique are on a mission to eradicate the world of plastic waste. They started in 2012 when founder Brianne West began making natural beauty bars in her science degree lab as an alternative to the 80 billion plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles thrown out globally each year. Since then Ethique have stopped over 500000 plastic bottles ending up in landfills. The bold colours used in their paper packaging ensures high self impact and makes this a memorable packaging design.

Ethique packaging and products

Ethique packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Ethique packaging and products

Ethique packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

DIY/Customised label

Google’s 2017 beauty trend report revealed that DIY-labeled beauty products are fast rising. The next generation of customers enjoy the opportunity to customize their own cosmetic experiences and treatments, one way is through bespoke packaging. Innovative packaging solutions like personalisation helps customers feel more valued and that the product is specifically suited to them.

E.g. Wondermins is a NZ company that allows customers to select which vitamins they want to supplement their diet, and Wondermins sends them a supply with a package of daily vitamins, customized with the customers name.

Wondermins vitamins packaging

Wondermins, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Men’s increased awareness

Men are beginning to show more of an interest and awareness in cosmetic care. They prefer informative and refined skincare labels over the stereotypical and medical style of packaging, as they want to know more about the product and make an informed decision when buying.

Hawkins & Brimble mens beard care packaging

Hawkins & Brimble, not designed by AKGraphics

No 7 mens skincare

No 7, not designed by AKGraphics

Barbon mens skincare packaging

Barbon, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Minimalist design

Simple design means customers can make intuitive decisions. Going minimal means limiting the content on the packaging, creating a visual language can help to communicate the product better than a paragraph of words would. If labels can limit the messaging to a few words and icons, it won’t take customers long to decipher the cosmetic packaging.This reflects our fast-paced society, and means shoppers won’t have to slow down to read labels.

Skincare packaging design

Naturaglace, not designed by AKGraphics

Minimalist packaging, square box

Eskay, not designed by AKGraphics

Malako skincare packaging, neutral colours

Malako, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Pastels

Pastels are coming back on trend with the rise of feminine and calming packaging design. It speaks to our softer side and offers an alternative to the bold bright colours that have also be seen in packaging. Pastel packaging gives the product a warm and welcoming feel, customers are eased into it rather than being rushed – exactly what they want when browsing skincare labels.

Funky shaped skincare packaging

Kevin Murphy, not designed by AKGraphics

Pastel coloured box packaging

Hanyul, not designed by AKGraphics

Beige box packaging

Huxley, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Doodles

Adults relate to drawing based designs because it conveys energy and reminds them of their childhood. Doodles are often imaginative illustrations that describe the product in an exciting way and can make the customer smile.

Illustrated line drawing packaging

Elaboratium, not designed by AKGraphics

Bright and fun drawing packaging

Mythos, not designed by AKGraphics

Female illustrations, skincare packaging

Bloom, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Big text

It’s easy to send a clear message when the focus of the packaging is large text. Often a bold and sans serif font is used to catch the customers attention, and a serious or creative message can ensure they continue checking out the product. This is particularly useful in skincare packaging and cosmetic packaging, when there might be a lot of ingredients but you want to get one main point across.

Skincare tube and box with large text

Love, not designed by AKGraphics

Layout of various skincare products

Red Earth, not designed by AKGraphics

Charcoal soap

Babe Scrub, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Vintage

Throwback design thrives on us remembering. It also conveys the idea that the product has been around for a while, and therefore it must be a success brand and quality product. Vintage design in skincare packaging shows the brand identity has tradition through the use of structure, a limited colour palette and clear detailing.

Bath foam and body lotion set

Boots, not designed by AKGraphics

Small bottles with vintage labels

Caru, not designed by AKGraphics

Vintage looking skincare range

Boots, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Holographic

Adding a holographic foil effect to packaging brings flair to any product. An innovative packaging style, it creates depth through the changing colour and light effect to catch the customers eye. Holographic design stands out from flat colored products, and adds elegance and value to a product.

Small boxes with holographic effect

Obe, not designed by AKGraphics

Silver holographic tubes

Mac, not designed by AKGraphics

Box with thin line holographic effect

Rewind, not designed by AKGraphics

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Food Packaging Design to Increase Sales

The below image shows two icecream tubs. Both tubs contain the same text content, and without tasting the icecream many people would make an assumption that one is more natural and healthier than the other. Why? Because with effective packaging design you have the power to control consumers’ mind (to a certain extent).

Same Product

Same Print Cost

Different Design = Different Perception

Ice-cream packaging design

The practical function of food packaging is to keep the contents safe and fresh until it reaches the consumer but it also serves other hugely important purpose.

By utilising design, you can guide a consumer’s perception of your product to help to increase the likelihood of them making a purchase – that is nice to be able to do.

You know your product inside out but consumers out there may not have tasted your product previously. They have to rely solely on their perception of your product. Before that first taste their perception is their reality. “This looks like a delicious indulgent treat” or “oh that looks tasty and looks healthy” are things we might think before we buy or taste something based solely on the packaging design. In an ideal world, no-one would judge a book by its cover, we would read the information on food packaging and make rational informed decisions. This is not the case and part of being human is our use of multiple senses to process the world around us.

The power of packaging design doesn’t stop there. Food packaging design influences not only buying decisions but the actual perceived taste of the product.

Sounds far-fetched? Read on…

Eating is a multisensory activity. Scientists have proven that what we perceive as taste is actually a combination of taste, smell, sight, sound and touch. Surely as a food producer it makes sense to use this information to your advantage.  One example of this phenomenon was consumers stating that Coca-Cola had changed its formula and tasted less sweet – the only change made by Coca-Cola was to the packaging design. They used white limited-edition cans during a fundraising campaign for polar bears and this change in packaging design influenced peoples’ perception of the taste. Charles Spence, a professor of experimental psychology at Oxford University, has proven time and time again, through practical experiments, that colours and the type of materials used in packaging can influence taste perception.

Maybe you have always known that packaging design is an important part of your product or maybe you thought that design was an expense that couldn’t be justified. Whatever your thoughts were on design previously maybe its importance has increased in your mind now, after all science doesn’t lie.

So, if we have sparked your curiosity what should you do next? Here at AKGraphics we have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to food and beverage packaging design so we would encourage you to get in touch with us. We are driven by a consuming curiosity about packaging and how we can use our knowledge to give our clients a competitive edge through effective design. We take an innovative and creative approach to packaging design so that your packaging will stand out in an ever-changing retail environment. We design packaging that captures the essence of a brand with the aim of your product becoming a best-selling item and to get consumers to reach out for your product rather than a competitor’s.

Email anne@akgraphics.ieor call us on 059-9133633 and we can discuss some ideas for your packaging.

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A look at seasonal packaging

We recently designed this label specifically for the Halloween season. Hickeys Barm Brack is a high quality product and the owner felt it needed a label to match these standards in order to be eye-catching in stores around Ireland.

As you can see the new Hickeys Barm Brack label for Halloween mirrors the quality of the product. With a black and gold foil applied the label catches the light and shines, portraying a luxury product. Standing out on shelves against its competitors.

Hickeys sell their tasty Barm Brack all year round, however because this product is specifically associated for Halloween, an eye-catching label was required to pique interest among consumers for this time of year. The Barm Brack now has a stand out label that will increase its desirability as the quality shines through the label.

While designing this labels we were reminded how effective seasonal packaging can be for businesses for different occasions throughout the year.

We decided to look at other brands that have successfully applied seasonal packaging to their products.

Hickeys Barm Brack Label – Designed by AKGraphics

Halloween Inspired packaging

Fanta Label Redesign for Halloween – Not designed by AKGraphics

Fanta box packaging redesign for Halloween – Not designed by AKGraphics

Fanta Label Redesign for Halloween – Not designed by AKGraphics

Hobnobs biscuit packaging redesigned for Halloween – Not designed by AKGraphics

Heinz Beans label redesign for Halloween – Not designed by AKGraphics

Christmas packaging

Primula Cheese Tube packaging redesign for Christmas Season – Not designed by AKGraphics

Toblerone box packaging redesigned for Christmas period – Not designed by AKGraphics

Pringles Packaging redesign just for Christmas season! Not designed by AKGraphics

Stela Artois Beer outer packaging redesigned for Christmas – Not designed by AKGraphics

St. Patrick’s Day Themed packaging

Jameson Whiskey label redesign for St. Patricks Day – Not designed by AKGraphics

Tayto packet redesign for St. Patricks Day – Not designed by AKGraphics

Valentine’s Day inspired packaging

Pink Lady Apples box shape designed changes for Valentines day – Not designed by AKGraphics

Starbucks Coffee Cups redesign for Valentines Day – Not designed by AKGraphics

Sports Event inspired packaging

Robinsons Squash Drinks label redesign for Wimbledon – Not designed by AKGraphics

Can drink redesigned for soccer tournament – Not designed by AKGraphics

There are many benefits from designing seasonal packaging for your product, standing out from your competitors, renewing interest in your product and creating a more personal and relatable feel to your product on the shelf.

If you are considering redesigning your current packaging or if you’re starting from scratch, please contact Anne on 059 9133633 or email anne@akgraphics.ie and we will guide you through this process.

 

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How effective is your preserves packaging?

Over the weekend Blas na hEireann took place and is the biggest competition for quality Irish produce in Ireland. This year in the Jellies category Rose Hip Jelly won gold, Dunnes Stores won silver and Gibney’s Preserves won bronze in the Blas na hEireann food awards 2018. Upon reading this news we decided to look at our top favourite packaging for preserves to demonstrate the importance of high quality, professionally designed packaging. Packaging is the first physical impression consumers receive when interacting with your product. Businesses should evaluate whether their packaging meets the same standards of their product. Perhaps re-evaluate and think about what your current packaging says about your product.

We recently designed a wrap around clear label for all 11 of their preserves for The Old Yard. The Old Yard wanted the contents of the jar to be the main focus so the label that was designed was clear with white text. The white text gives the illusion that it’s handwritten with a white marker. It gives the design a personal and organic feel.

jam

This design from La Tia Fina (not designed by AKGraphics) jams is different to The Old Yard but also gives an organic feel to the product . Each label is originally based off the fruit being stamped on the label with a little paint. Along with the black paper cover for the lid and the string tie this packaging is very eye-catching and would stand out on the shelves.

fruit-labels-made-with-real-fruit-for-la-tia-fina-jam-5

 

 

As you can see the concept behind The Old Yard and La Tia Fina’s products are quite similar, the desire to portray an organic and handmade touch to their jams through the packaging. As you can see from the images both designs are completely different but both equally deliver that concept successfully.

untitled untitled-1png

 

This Apricot Vanilla Jam (not designed by AKGraphics) was designed in Hungary; we love the intricate detail of the illustration. Something very different to the two previous examples but demonstrates that details can work effectively for packaging if designed professionally.

If you are selling a top quality product we believe that your packaging should be top quality too. Let your product sell itself with professionally designed packaging and labels to really push your business and increase sales.

If you are considering redesigning your current packaging or if you’re starting from scratch, please contact Anne on 059 9133633 or email anne@akgraphics.ie and we will guide you through this process.

 

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Alternative to Branded Keep cups

Reusable coffee cups are high in demand at the moment. They are a massive and growing trend. There is a huge push to stop using plastic as it has a massive impact on the environment with 1 million disposable cups ending up in landfills every minute globally.

For this reason, lots of business are trying to get rid of single use plastic cups, by introducing incentives to customers to use reusable cups. This creates an opportunity to create a branded reusable cup and so it works as free advertising. When ordering a branded cup, the wait time can be quite long. Here at AK Graphics we have been working hard to find alternative options to the very popular Keep Cup, which have a wait time of 8-10 weeks.

Sol are an alternative option to Keep cups. Their ethos is “ending waste and embracing taste” They have made a reusable cup that is environmentally friendly and won’t compromise your health. This is a high-quality travel/reusable cup. It is made of glass instead of plastic as plastic can be harmful to the human body. Sol Keep Cups colour range

Example of a Sol cup Example of a Sol cup mockup

This cup is available in a variety of 13 different colours. If you can’t find a colour to match your brand colours a solution would be to pick the white option and print your logo in the correct colours.

These reusable cups are made from Hand-Blown Glass, and are 100% plastic and chemical free.

– Available in 3 different sizes 8oz, 12oz and 16oz
– BPA and Chemical Free
– Safely used in the dishwasher
– Microwave friendly
– All glasses come with a Silicon sleeve and Lid

Sol cups brown and grey Grey Packaging and Sol Cup Brown and Grey Packaging for Sol Cup

Sol reusable cups are delivered in an amazing presentation box. The packaging is eye-catching with a zig zag pattern on the bottom.

Branded reusable coffee cups are a perfect gift. They can be given to employees or clients and act as a constant marketing tool. It is important to order early to ensure we have time to provide you with a branded 3D mock up. The lead time on Sol reusable coffee cups is 6-8 weeks. It is good to get in early to ensure they can be delivered on time especially if you need them for a specific date such as an office party or client meetings or even as a Christmas present. A Sol cup would be a Perfect Christmas gift, be super organised and contact us soon to make sure you get the perfect cup in time for the colder months.

The fact that you are considering getting a reusable coffee cup to replace single use plastic cups is a fantastic decision and we applaud you. Get in contact with us here at AK Graphics to create a branded reusable cup.

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Outstanding and unique packaging design

Having vast experience in the graphic design industry means that we have knowledge of a variety of special print finishes that can add an extra special touch to your product packaging design 

There are an infinite number of different combinations of materials, print finishes and techniques that can be used in the creation of unique packaging design. These are options and suggestions that would not necessarily be presented to you by all graphic design agencies. We take our interest in packaging design seriously and keep up-to-date on the latest trends so that we have access to a library of unique packaging design production options. In doing so we can work to produce creative and original packaging designs. At anyone time we will have a stock of samples that we can show to our clients and that we use as a source of inspiration. The following are the top 10 materials and print finishes that we are looking forward to using in some future packaging projects. (Please note images below are to show material and print finishes only and are not showing design work from AKGraphics.) You can view some of our previous packaging projects here.

1. Cork Label Material

We love this very thin layer of natural cork that can be used in unusual packaging design. Due to the nature of the raw material, there will be slight variations in tone and appearance which are ideal to effectively promote a natural product. This would make for very unique label for organic wine or perhaps a small batch gin or rum, or a homemade jam or chutney label design.

Unusual cool bottle label design

2. Disappearing ink

When you rub this ink is vanishes. We’re not really sure what we would use this for but if an unusual packaging design project comes along that has this requirement we will have the option available to us!

Disappearing ink for Packaging

3. Matt Foil Blocking

Foiling is one of the most popular finishing techniques. Pearlescent foiling is the most common option and creates a smooth and highly reflective surface. Gold, copper and silver foils look particularly striking in luxury packaging design. For a more unusual effect a matt foils could be used and we feel this would work extremely well in bold geometric modern packaging design.

packaging design with Matte foil block

4. 3D Embossing

Embossing and debossing is an effect where the surface is either raised or pressed down to create a design. The traditional process brings an added appeal to packaging design. The effect we are looking forward to working with is a 3D Embossing where the effect is much more striking and dramatic. The finished effect is very high end and so we would love to see this finish used in a very luxurious product packaging design. A limited edition or special collectors version of a product would be the ideal opportunity to use this finish.

3D Embossing Packaging design Ireland

5. Motion Cutting

Die cutting is a process by which a bespoke shape is cut away from material using a cutting template called a die or forme. This technique is commonly used on folders, business cards and other stationary. There are certain limitations in this in that the shape cannot be too intricate. A newer technique where a laser cuts away a design can be used to create extremely detailed and effective packaging designs. This finish would be very effective in cutting away a portion of the packaging to reveal a glimpse of the product within.

Cut out Packaging Design

6. Letterpress Textures and Patterns

Dating back to 1439, letterpress is the oldest form of printing. Traditionally used for decorative and vintage effects, the process usually involves a block template of raised letters that is inked and pressed onto the paper. A more modern take on this would be to use letterpress without ink to create a pattern or texture on the packaging design. This effect would create a wonderfully tactile finish for a unique packaging look.

Letterpress texture design

7. Glitter

Certainly not suitable for every design project but in the right scenario this print finish would create a standout design with a striking appearance. Glitter varnish would add a decorative and eye-catching coating that would give sparkle to your packaging. Definitely a finish we would love to use on a funky project.

Glitter on Packaging Design Ireland

8. 3D Spot UV

3D UV is a high gloss raised varnish. The fundamental difference between 3D UV and Spot UV is the height. Spot UV sits flat and 3D UV has the height between 1-3mm. This finish gives a modern feel and can be used to highlight certain aspects in the packaging design.

Raised Spot UV - Water effect printing

9. Soft Touch Coating

This print finish will create an effect so smooth and so subtle that the packaging will feel like silky velvet. The soft touch coating application creates a soft, velvety texture. We think this luxury package design finish would work very well with packaging for high-end luxurious gift products.

Soft touch finish effect for packaging

10. Edge Painting

If the edges of the material used to create the packaging design are visible an extra splash of colour can be added with painted edges. This finishing process involves covering the sides of a piece of print with a layer of ink or paint. We could see this effect working really well in a box created from thick card with a minimal black and white design so that the painted edges become the highlight of the striking packaging design.

Edge painting for packaging design

If you have a product that requires packaging you can contact us to arrange a meeting to have a chat about the different options. We can then put together a proposal and work with you to create striking packaging design that does your product justice.

Contact Anne on 086-2643716 or email anne@akgraphics.ie and we’ll take it from there.

You can also view some of previous packaging projects here.

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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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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.

luxury_packaging_design_ireland_AKGraphics

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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