Premium Label Printing Details: High Build Varnish


I find myself doing a lot of email writing. Answering questions about the design or brand process. Breaking down the costs and benefits of various print of production techniques. Or sharing some experience in the procurement of custom glass molds, corks, printing, etc. I find myself repeating a lot of the same information, so I thought I’d start publishing some of these outgoing emails for the benefit of the world at large, Like St. Paul’s letters to the Corinthians… this will be the gospel according to Dave. Names may have been changed to protect the relatively innocent. Otherwise, this is pretty much copied directly from my outbox.

Topic Number One: High Build Varnish

Do you ever cross the border into the land of our peaceful brothers to the north? Last time I made it up to Kanukistan, I saw this maple whiskey, Tap 357. I’m not a huge “flavored whiskey guy” (who would ever claim that title?), but this stuff is good! But what I really liked was this printing effect on their label. It’s the THICKEST ink you’ve ever seen. I love the way it looks and feels. It’s subtle, I know, but this kind of thing really floats my boat. A few choice details like this and you really take your package to the next level in terms of attention to detail, premium, hand-made vibe, etc. So I’ve been calling all the label printers I know (and that’s a lot) and nobody knows how to do it. One of them – a very large, capable shop – directed me toward a place “they heard of” in Oregon. So I called them and they say they can do it. They are sending me a sample pack. After I check out their samples, I’ll let you know if they are legit. By the way, this is not emboss+gloss varnish or any of the other myriad substitutions my favorite local printers have offered me. This is something unique. Embossing is precise, machine-made and perfect. Sometimes too perfect. This is just a little bit more organic. I finally got one possible name as “high-build varnish”. Looks almost like thermography, but apparently no one does that on roll labels.

You really need to have the bottle in your hand to appreciate how the whole thing comes together. Photos will never capture it. You can *SEE* it in my pics, but you it really comes into it’s own in the physical form in your hand. I’m not even saying that this is something we have to do for your label. I might even end up recommending against it. I haven’t thought this all the way through yet. But it’s a cool possibility and I’d like to have it in our bag of tricks if we decide to go that route.

Anyway… samples are coming. If I like it, I’ll forward some to you and we can see how much it costs. That’s all for now. Carry on.

And if you’re headed north, grab a bottle, you might just like the hooch too.

– DC

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