Graphium labels part 1: Short run versioned beer labels

At the recent IPEX show, we demonstrated how a wide range of different label applications could be printed on Graphium that were stunning to look at but fit-for-purpose.  This series of blog posts provides some detail on the label application printed.

Vedett versioned beer labels

Vedett is a luxury, high-end lager and is well-known for its current marketing campaign that allows drinkers to personalise bottles with their own photographs – an extension of the concept that was used to great success by Coca-Cola last year.

The Duvel Moortgat company kindly allowed Fujifilm to incorporate images from the IPEX marketing campaign into the beer label design used on the back of the Vedett bottle, showcasing short run, versioned label production.

The Vedett label highlights the capability of the Graphium digital inkjet press to produce high quality versioned beer labels on UPM Rafl abrite. Furthermore these versioned beer labels have been in line varnished, die cut, slit and then rewound on the multi-turret rewinder.

Vital Statistics

Application: Short run, versioned beer label

Press: Graphium

Size: 70 mm x 65 mm

Run length: 3,000 labels across 8 sorts (375 labels per sort)

Finishing:

  • Uvivid RVA01 matt varnish
  • Die cut and slit
  • Rewind on AB Graphics Vectra multi-turret rewinder

Substrate: UPM Raflabrite

Lay-up: 5 lanes across, 61 cm repeat

Total print time: 2 minutes (at 25 m/min)

Short run versioned labels
Short run versioned labels

Producing the Vedett versioned beer labels introduced a number of prepress challenges

Colour matching

Normally Vedett will print the random images on the back label in two colours ‘red’ and ‘black’. In our case the brief was to integrate Fujifilm’s branding and create labels that tightly reflected Fujifilm’s marketing across the whole of IPEX into the Vedett label. This is a classic example of how completely different brands can co-market for benefit through association. Whenever anyone discusses the Fujifilm campaign at IPEX, the associated brand e.g. Vedett benefits, is recalled. Even if not shown in subsequent advertising. It’s the campaign that’s memorable.

To accomplish this and make the design fit the front label of the bottle we needed to match the colour and tactile qualities of the front label using digital technology.

A design concept was created using illustrator and PDF files from previous Fujifilm adverts and Vedett label designs. The original Vedett label is designed using black spot colour.  To replicate this using pure black ink from Graphium, would introduce a visible colour difference between the front label. This meant we had to create an emulation of the colour on Graphium.

We used spot measurement using an X-Rite i1 to sample the ‘red’ and ‘black’ colours from the front label. The LAB values were used to make up colour swatches in Illustrator. The ‘red’ and ‘black’ colours where swapped out with with the LAB colours using RealPro Toolkit’s Ink tool.

Text and bar code

For certain areas of the beer labels, such as small text and bar code, we wanted to print with just black ink. These were easily selected using RealPro Toolkit’s ‘Search’ tool, which can search for a colour with an area or selection then map to a second black colour using ‘Ink’.

Trapping

The small white knockout text was highlighted by RealPro Toolkit’s ‘Inspect’, to be an area of concern. This is because the text was tool small and the surrounding ink coverage too high to maintain definition. Using RealPro Toolkit’s ‘Search’ we could isolate that text and then apply a trap parameter, which would create a 0.05 mm trap much smaller than traditional print due to the registration accuracy of the Graphium Press. The reason for the trap is to maintain text definition rather than using choke or spread.

To render text in this way is no mean feat. XMF’s automation allows us to render the main job with 8×8 antialias (8 times the target resolution then down sampled) and then render the barcode without antialias (to ensure clean pixels aligned to the head orientation) We then take that output and merge the TIFF files together in a similar way to a variable data job. This careful management of the beer label is nothing new to labels and packaging prePress where every detail is scrutinised.

Over to Graphium

The Quality is then in the hands of Graphium. The combination of Fujifilm Uvijet ink, Xaar 1001/2 heads Gray scale technology and Graphium’s intercolour pinning does the rest, providing precise control over dot gain. This allows the Xaar head to render images with more clarity than competitive inkjet heads of up to 3 times the native resolution.

Matt varnish

We then flood coated the beer labels with Fujifilm Matt varnish flattening the characteristic inkjet look and feel to be closer to litho and in this case to have the same reflective characteristics as the front label which was printed using a totally different print process.

Finishing

Finally the label is diecut, slit using Edale finishing equipment for FL3 and rewound to smaller cores on ABG Vectra turret rewind. Creating 200 rolls of Vedett beer labels, for giveaway products on the stand.