Digital print onto metallic substrates

On a few occasions we’ve had designers approach us with two conflicting requirements. They have a budget that will not move and a need for reflective, metallic effects on their packaging, particularly with carton packaging. This happened only last week here at MPH.

We quoted for a straight forward, process digital print with a backing white spot colour produced on our digital press, the cost effective option.

Halfway house was digital print with mixed post-processes such as traditionally printed varnishes and foiling, nearly as close as the real production packaging.

The money no object option was a traditionally printed mockup using our flatbed, wet-proofing printing press using HD digital photopolymer* letterpress printing plates and hot foil stamping creating the ultimate, wet-proof prototype that can be presented to clients and given to a printer as a target to reach.

*The same kit that produces the flexographic printing plates in a real production situation, the machine images both types.


Back on point. The designer was so concerned about it; they had felt the need to send two Adobe illustrator artwork files to me, one the standard artwork that would be used for final repro and another where the reflective effect was mimicked with half-tone gradients. Their concern was well founded as indeed, digital print onto standard white carton board was not very effective and the gradient version not much better.

The solution

A technique we employed enabled the print to be standard, no trick gradients and produced in a cost effective digital process print. The difference was that the carton board had been coated and thus made reflective. Some tweaks to the client’s artwork by our skilled artwork operator and a very effective printed result was reached, within budget and looking very close to a high end production piece with metallic inks and foils.

Contact us if you think we can help you with your project.

Shrink sleeves & tactile varnishes

Our twitter mascot discovered this on his journey around the web and I thought it was a fantastic example of what can be done with shrink sleeves (plus the photography is 100% better than what I can do here at MPH!). In the past we’ve experimented with our shrink sleeve mockups by printing undersurface as normal but then screen printing a tactile varnish on top.

As you can see with this picture, the moisture drops look effective as a print but imagine what effect can be achieved by having a raised tactile on top? Trust me, the results are impressive. Feel free to contact us if you need further specialist information on how to do it if you feel your design concept would benefit from it. We work with flexo printers that can produce this along with the specialist techniques required from the mass production side, not just how to make a great sales sample.

Designed by Taylor Goad | Country: United States

Conceptual work from Philly based designer Taylor Goad.

Northcoast Brewery | Lovely Package.

Brands & branding

cd2b62045091ae2c4c4c93e68fc2a3dbWhilst in the supermarket at the weekend I couldn’t help but be drawn, as usual, to the beer section. Something caught my eye in the isle that stood out head and shoulders above the other bottles of beer, so much so I took a picture. Such a strong design with its distinctive mascot harking back to album covers my mother wouldn’t like. It struck me as a genius piece of branding when I thought about it, I mean what age group in the UK mostly drinks real ale? Iron Maiden were colossal in the early eighties so the brewer had really tapped directly into their most lucrative market with this not to mention the additional group of younger drinkers of real ale (I count myself here!).

Looking it up on the net shows there’s a dedicated website for Trooper complete with social networking and all the usual things we’ve come to expect from a modern website.

Screen shot 2013-07-08 at 11.02.42

[vimeo w=400&h=300]

This just goes to show what good branding can do for a small to medium sized business. Robinsons are a brewer from the north west of England and they had to increase their production massively to cope with the demand for the new beer. This included an unprecedented 6 day week working week in their 175 year history.

What’s more astonishing is that Robinsons’ marketing director David Bremner told The Sun newspaper “We haven’t spent a single penny on advertising. This is history in the making for brewing.”. 

A lesson in branding indeed. Marketing on a shoe string for the brewer, the band still write new material and so will get exposure to potential new fans and Morrisons supermarket stocks the beer UK wide on the back of strong international orders. To quote the website the Drinks Business;

Worldwide demand for Trooper beer has “stunned and delighted” Robinsons, a regional family brewer in the north-west of England, with orders coming in from Canada, Sweden, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Holland, Denmark, Switzerland, Slovenia, Poland, Finland, Bulgaria, Spain, South Africa, Australia, Taiwan and USA.

Obviously a lot of thought and work has gone into what’s happening here. Whoever decided they wanted to do this first, the band or the brewer (most likely the band) obviously knew the market potential of the venture but the main attention grabbing element is the label on the shelf in the supermarket. It is this that grabs peoples attention most, everything else just supports it.

Craig Alderson.

Contact us if you have a brand design concept that requires mocking up.