AWA Alexander Watson Associates launched its Sleeve Label Awards just four years ago to reward quality and originality in the design, production and application of all types of sleeve labels — one of labeling’s newest and fastest-growing technologies. Today, sleeve labels are right at the heart of several end-user markets, particularly craft beer, and it continues to grow. Proof comes from this year’s winners in the AWA Sleeve Label Awards, showing once again how innovative and technically superb the sleeve industry is today.
Expert judging panel
The expert judging panel consisted of Tom Hammer, Séamus Lafferty and Will Schretzman, from Siegwerk, Accraply and Verst Group respectively. The winners received their awards at a ceremony during the recent AWA International Sleeve Label Conference and Exhibition in Atlanta. Yolanda Simonsis, editor of PFFC Online, and Corey Reardon, President and CEO of AWA Alexander Watson Associates, made the presentations.
In a league of its own
Sleeved cans — one of the fastest-growing sectors for sleeve labeling — delivered two winners. Safety Seal Plastics, Canada, was rewarded for its labels on One Love Brewery’s beer cans. The judges noted that the “graphics that mimic the strokes of an artist’s brush on canvas, and the incorporation of technically-challenging holographic and tactile effects — coupled with the complex use of matte and gloss finishes — put this sleeved can in a league of its own … Flawless execution of a very creative and ambitious sleeve.”
A step forward for recycling
Next, it was time to applaud the winners of the category that recognizes a sleeving project that makes an environmental contribution. Once again, Safety Seal Plastics of Canada took the award, for another beer can label — Big Spruce Brewing’s Tag! You’re It! sleeves. The judges celebrated this sleeve for its excellent use of perforation and tear tape to facilitate sleeve removal for recycling the can after use. They underlined the fact that this technique could very usefully be used in a wider context for sleeve removal from PET containers. Coupled with consumer advice as promoted by the “pull infographic,” this approach would, the judges said, “greatly reduce the recycling concerns associated with shrink sleeves.” They further applauded the graphics and overall execution of the sleeve: Quality was not compromised to secure its environmental credentials.