Six pillars to produce extraordinary labels most efficiently

Labels are for many products an important factor to attract the attention of potential buyers and to give the product value and emotionalize. Embellishment offers a broad portfolio of possibilities to support these goals.  Various embossings, colours, special foils and their combinations offer unique design possibilities.
Manufacturers of such highly embellished labels are excellently positioned in the market and focus on three points: Efficient embellishment equipment, smooth processes and efficient access to all relevant information regarding tools and consumables.
The result: efficient, profitable processing for exquisite, inspiring labels. And a strong, unique competitive position.

Example Tequila label: a clearly structured process ensures a high-quality result

1. The design brief - the foundation for exceptional labels

From the point of view of a printing company, the production of extraordinary labels is basically no magic art. Many of the skills required are already available and a lack of knowledge or experience can be easily acquired through external partners.
Of the utmost importance - and decisive for efficient project management - is a professional design briefing in which the key players jointly define the framework conditions for the project. Also on board: the customer as client, designer and - decisive for the feasibility - the printing company.

In many projects today only designer and customer sit at the table. The result: often outstanding designs that are either impossible or extremely time-consuming to produce. The early involvement of the production manager brings a great deal of know-how into the project and the feasibility is in the focus right from the start.
In the briefing discussion, wishes, goals and approaches are defined together. A meaningful structuring of the individual steps and dependencies is essential for the success of the project. In addition, realistic assessments of timelines and the planning of time buffers are important components of a good design briefing.
Description of the design requirements using "Gin Kyburg" as an example
The Pantec “Gin Kyburg” label shall be designed to meet the demands of todays modern spirits and showcases exclusive design. 
The goal: to combine the requisites of a modern spirituous design with exclusiveness.

The style: Elegant, clean and exclusive.

The conceptual idea: Straight-line elements in the form of decorative details and specially created patterns combined with high-quality typography form the design basis of the label.  With 2 foils, 1 holo lens and many tricky details the exclusivity of the product is expressed.

2. The team - the closer the cooperation, the better the result


The efficient production of highly embellished labels often means exhausting what is technically possible in all the disciplines involved. The quality of the collaboration between designer and printer is a decisive factor for the efficiency of the process and the quality and price structure of the result. In addition, a close partnership with an appropriate tool manufacturer and a competent network for questions in the areas of substrate, foils and process technology are recommended.

"The best results are always achieved when designers and customers involve print professionals at an early stage and inform them of their wishes and requirements. Costs can be saved and quality massively increased in just one meeting". 


Oliver Jung (mcc bingen / eskju) 

Team variant 1: Designer & Label Engineer as service provider
At the Pantec design partner #eskju a designer and an experienced printer and label engineer form a team. Idea and feasibility form a unit. Unnecessary setbacks, redesign etc. are a thing of the past. Data is created and structured accordingly for the further production process. Suppliers can deliver faster, results become more precise.
Team variant 2: Close partnership between designer & printer
viergestalten design, the Pantec partner for the Laola label, is a close cooperation partner of Etiketten Carini and knows both the machinery and its possibilities and works closely with the Carini production team.
Team variant 3: Own design department in the print shop
Many of our customers have set up their own design department. The model is similar to variant 1 and offers all its advantages. Thanks to the very short communication channels, demanding projects can also be implemented very quickly.
In addition to an efficient core team, the network with local partners for tools, foils and substrates is also very important. Contact us for information on suppliers in your region.

3. Conceptual stage: Optimizing embellishment design to achieve outstanding labels

The concept phase for sophisticated labels is highly exciting, because in this phase creativity meets technical and economic feasibility. And this tension has to be redefined for each job, because each project brings in new requirements.
With regard to embellishment, the challenge is to select the refining techniques that best meet the requirements from the multitude of available techniques. And to optimize the design in such a way that it can be produced efficiently.
Often, marginal changes or adjustments in the design result in enormous cost savings or increased productivity.

With the perfect coordination of design, foil, tool and substrate, extraordinary labels can be produced cost-effectively.

The optimal combination of requirements and feasibility
The embellishment part in the design defines the major part of the costs in the manufacturing process. The embossing machine has a massive impact on the resulting machine speed - and thus on productivity. Foil consumption can often be significantly reduced with slight adjustments to the design. And even in terms of tooling costs, a smart design can reduce manufacturing costs and, as a result, set-up costs.
Know how about material and tooling is very helpful in optimizing the embellishment process. The company's own experience, the wide range of sample books and the competent contact persons at the suppliers help here on a daily basis.

4. Choosing the right embellishment technology to keep the costs low and the productivity high

Rotary stamping with SWIFT™

Single images are normally applied with rotary technology. The usage of hot foil technology offers great advantages, especially in logistics.  SWIFT™ moves and places each foil image individually in register.Therefore the same foil can be used for any label repeat.

Pantec SWIFT™: Placement of images in register and foil saving

Modern design often combines different embellishment like on the "Laola" label.

By upgrading a rotary stamping system with the Pantec SWIFT™, up to 6 foil streams can be operated at individual feed rates. This allows e.g. 4 holograms to be placed in the register and 2 foils to be applied in saving mode.

Flatbed embossing with RHINO™

Flat embossing can be used in many different ways and can have many advantages over the rotary process. Especially when embossing on open materials, there are great advantages in terms of process technology.

RHINO™: Flat bed hotfoil, embossing & foiling in register

Due to the rotating foil head, several foils can be applied in one machine cycle crosswise to the web direction. In addition, flat tools are cheaper and easier to set up. In terms of design, 3D flat embossing, micro and nanostructures and multifoiling offer perfect register that "shine" in the truest sense of the word.

RHINO™ enables the application of several foils in one pass when embossing across the web. This results in extraordinary design possibilities with high "single pass" productivity.

5. Cooperation between Tooling manufacturer and Label Printer

The cooperation between tooling manufacturer and Label Printer or Designer plays a central role, especially in complex flat embossing refinements. If micro- and nanostructures are to enhance the label, the tool plays a decisive role. And it is the toolmaker's know-how that gives the label the high-end touch that is required.
Of course, it is an advantage if the designer takes into account what the machine can do right from the design stage.
The tool manufacturer's briefing includes background information and knowledge of the embossing machine, specific descriptions of the desired embossing effects, foil application and embossing temperature. Topics such as 3D proofs and embossing should also be determined in advance.

"High-quality wine, sparkling wine and spirits labels are never standard and so the road to the optimal tool is not done with an order by email." Oliver Jung (mcc bingen / eskju)

6. The selection of  the right materials

Substrates and foil types play a central role in the selection of the right materials. As a rule, the substrate is selected in the first step of a project. Factors such as optical impression and haptics play a central role.
However, it is also important to ensure that the selected paper can reproduce the printings, embellishments and finishings desired in the design. Sample books offered by substrate manufacturers are a valuable aid in this respect.

Sample books help with the selection of the substrate.

On the basis of the substrate, the technically suitable foils are then selected on the basis of the following parameters:
  • Colours
  • Effects
  • Embossing process: flat / rotary
  • Further requirements such as overprinting, ...
The foil manufacturers can call on a broad product portfolio. There are foils that are better for overprinting and others that are better for embossing. Furthermore, foils differ with regard to the release time, which can be selected with regard to embossing process and embossing speed.

Those who do not yet have the necessary experience in the selection of foils will find competent contact persons at the foil manufacturers to assist in the selection of the perfect foil.

Labelexpo 2019: Move your business forward
New market opportunities with high-quality embellisment

Visit us at LABELEXPO Europe from 24.09. - 27.09. to learn more about the efficient design process and powerful hot foil equipment:
→ Inspiring labels from the fields of Wine, Spirit and Body Care
→ Live demo of the rotary high-performance stamping system SWIFT
→ Live Demo of the Multi-Foil Flat Embossing System RHINO
Improve your competitive position with a professional embellishment portfolio!
Stay tuned!