Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Design Trends in Beer: Metallics

A technique known as foil stamping has long been used as a way of elevating a printed piece – from business cards to posters and packaging. Like any other industry beer, cider, wine and spirits look for ways to celebrate a special release packaging, or elevate a cool design. As printing techniques improve, more options have become available to achieve a premium metallic feel. We'll walk you through the differences and show some of our favorite examples.

The Techniques:
Foil Stamping
Foil is adhered directly to the label using a combination of heat and pressure. Foil can also be used in conjunction with embossing. They can be metallic, clear gloss or even special effect or patterning. Foil stamping is not only reflective but also textural in appearance. Foils are more durable and have a longer lifespan than ink.

Metallic Ink
Metallic inks can be printed directly to the labels or mixed with Pantone colors to create a shimmery appearance. Because they are mixed inks, this technique offers a wide range of colors (the Pantone Matching System has over 1000 distinctive inks) and is more cost effective than foil. Inks provide a subtle metallic finish rather than being reflective like foil and is a great way to create a layered effect, rather than flashy. They are most effective for fine detail.

Metallic Substrates
Designs can be printed on labels or paper board that have a metallic base coat. The inks themselves will not appear metallic (although a gloss coat is typically applied for sheen), but any exposed areas will. The ability to print direct to beer cans offers a great opportunity to utilize the natural metals as part of the design. 

What does it communicate?
The presence of precious metals communicates luxury and achievement. Gold is associated with wealth, grandeur and prosperity. Silver is associated with industrial, sleek, high-tech and modern.

Fleeting or enduring?
Let's be honest, people love bling. Gold and silver have, and probably always will represent our idea of "premium." And with a range of options to achieve a metallic look, including metallic wax dipping bottles, we don't see this trend going anywhere.

Below is a collage of examples we found particularly interesting. Have thoughts, drop us a line!



Interested in more design trends? Check out our previous posts:
Design Trends in Beer: Line Craft

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