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A digital print label for the craft beer market? Hold my beer.

Labels A digital print label for the craft beer market? Hold my beer.


by Danny Mertens

Traditional label printers, hold Rapid Label’s beer. Their craft beer label tells a story of a brand committed to authenticity and quality. This promotional digital print truly is a Label Xtraordinaire.

Hold my beer

Craft beers are on the rise, thanks to an increasingly variable consumer taste. This creates a massive opportunity for label makers if you consider the words of Daniel Lowe (Fourpure) In The Grocer: “These days having a great tasting product is not enough. The public wants to know what’s behind the brand, how the beer was made, and by whom. Provenance is increasingly important; a beer’s story is now almost as important as taste and, when compared, a customer is far more likely to choose the beer with provenance and authenticity.

In a booming market where personalization and brand awareness are key success factors, suppliers need to create portfolios that convince at first touch and glance. Rapid Labels runs a successful label business and really wanted to bet big on the craft beer market. Using their own skills, expertise and technology they released a Crafty Dozen selection showcasing an array of paper stocks and embellishments. Each label featured one of 6 different staff members at Rapid Labels’ and was created using 3 different materials with multiple embellishments.

Rather than turning to an existing craft beer label customer reference, Rapid Labels selected their own brand story to convey the importance of label storytelling via digital printing technology. Leading by example, they chose the most challenging of substrates to print on to generate a true eye-catcher: a metallized substrate. It can be especially troublesome in combination with four color process images that are favorites in the craft beer market. Rapid Labels selected the Xeikon as its versatile digital printing engine to create the perfect, efficient basis for the embellishments.

It turned out to be a good run in every perspective, with the additional bonus of avoiding painful click charges. The costs of running on the Xeikon are based on actual consumption, leaving Rapid Labels some wiggle room to practice to perfection at the lowest of costs.

The end-result?

A Label Xtraordinaire that shows that digital printing and embellishing can be as crafty as the product it will be promoting. Looks on a budget - a killer combo for an artisan craft beer brewer trying to make the most of his marketing budget.

The printer - Rapid Labels, New Zealand:

“Metallized materials can be a challenge to print on, especially when you want to do four-color process images, which are popular with craft beer labels. Luckily, we don’t shy away from a challenge and knew the Xeikon would print crisp and sharp process images without priming the substrate. All charges are also based on actual consumption rather than click charges, which helps our price setting immensely.”

The Xeikon team:

“Digital printing is perfect for the craft beer label market. Strong variations in retail STU numbers and launches of limited release brews call for a technology that can handle the printing of short-run, tailored digital print labels. Rapid Labels displayed a truly inventive way of using in-house technology to create a company brand exemplary portfolio that will convince the craft beer marketers of their next potential brand promotion.”

The judges: 

“This print marvel reveals the true capabilities of the Xeikon CX3. It combines all technical highlights of the printer and illustrates the true beauty of print quality done right.”

Tech specs:

Customer: Rapid Labels, New Zealand.    
Printed on digital press: Xeikon CX300
Inks and colors used: QA-CD CMYK Toner
Label substrate material: Metallic PP    
Digital advantage: smaller volume of a promotional run involving multiple print processes