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A brewer and digital print label maker walk into a bar

Labels A brewer and digital print label maker walk into a bar


by Danny Mertens

It could be the beginning of a joke, but the clue happens to be an exceptional customer journey that resulted in a bad boy label Xtraordinaire for a badladdie craft beer.

On victory, you deserve beer. On defeat, you need it. (Napoleon)

New Digital Printer had worked for Red Duck Beer before on numerous occasions. But when the boutique brewer from Victoria, Australia, created a craft beer that was Islay inspired, barrel aced, Scottish export and slightly peated, they raised the bar (pun intended) on label making for NDP. The digital print label powerhouse accepted the challenge to create a label that would do the artwork justice yet remained cost-effectively perfect for the small batch the brewer had in store.

The artist creating the design for the label was clearly inspired by the Islay moors. Peat and sea wind are represented by a Viking-like conqueror calling for his beer following the success of victory. The black and white contrasts, depth and shading called for a specialist print procedure. NDP turned to the Xeikon 3030 to deliver the 1200 dpi quality needed to achieve the embellishments and truly render the complexity of the artwork. It wasn’t print that proved the biggest challenge, it was finding a cost-conscious substrate that could still carry quality in a small and short run. 

The end-result?

When stock and print were united, the badladdie digital print label was ready to wreak havoc. It was, in fact, such a label Xtraordinaire, the craft beer became an ongoing line in the brewer’s offering. 

The printer – New Digital Print:

“We pride ourselves on delivering a superior product that comes with superior service. The 1200dpi quality rendering was a must for immaculate design rendering. We achieved color, shading, depth, vibrancy and textural detail by selecting a silver stock. Printing on this allowed to capture the finer details of the image. A matte laminate finishing enhanced the sheen and metallic. The judges’ endorsement is the biggest validation of this work of (he)art.”

The Xeikon team:

“The Xeikon 3030 1200dpi rendering is probably its biggest benefit. What makes this label stand out for us, is that NDP let it go rogue for this short run. The artwork is incredibly complex to bring to life in print, but NDP managed to not only render, but truly accentuate the depths of shade and light and texture. Greatness achieved in a small batch.”

The judges: 

“Multiple embellishment techniques coexist harmoniously onto just the one label. The perfect execution validates the quintessential value of the design. A refreshing take on beverage labels.”

Tech specs:

Customer: Badladdie, Red Duck    
Printed on digital press: Xeikon 3030Plus 
Inks and colors used: QA-I Toner
Label substrate material: Manter opp IDP 50ae Silver Metal Laminated with Matte Shorko (UVH 1010 Arrowcoat Flexo UV412 Adhesive)    
Digital advantage: Small run with multiple SKU's. Uty 4000 labels.
Embellishing effects: matte laminate

For LabelExpo Europe, printers from all over the world shared their custom label prints produced on their Xeikon digital label press to participate in the Flint Group Print Awards 2017. This Label Xtraordinaire scooped first place in the health & beauty category for the Flint Group Print Awards 2017.