If a picture is worth 1,000 words, how much could a great label boost your bottom line? Anaheim, Calif.-based Noble Ale Works pondered just such a question when evaluating the labels of its beer brand staples, Breakaway Pale Ale, the Good Ship ESB, Big Whig IPA and Pistol Whip’d Pils. Noble Ale Works offers high-quality, full-flavored craft brews while pushing the limits of craft beer, but were its labels? The team decided that no, they weren’t, and turned to Labeltronix to help create a label that matched its identity (and sold more beer!).
Create a better, bolder look for every label as part of a major rebranding at Noble Ale Works.
Inspired by wine labels’ distinctive appearance, Noble Ale Works’ Co-Founder and President Jerry Kolbly decided to try a new label design. His Labeltronix consultant recommended adding techniques that wineries use on his labels to make them pop.
The design process: It took three design cycles to come up with Noble Ale’s new, standout labels. The keys to the design included:
- Spot Varnish,
- Arctic Shield label material.
Spot Varnish and embossing play a huge part when trying to grab the attention of the consumer. This was simply done to create visibility to the name of the beer and emphasize the new branding and redesign of the label.
The Arctic Shield material is unique to Labeltronix. The company describes it as uncoated paper stock with a barrier between the paper and the adhesive that prevents the label from getting water-logged and damaged when submerged in water. This is particularly useful for craft breweries looking to keep their label intact even when in an ice chest or cooler.
“Our distributor has cranked up their bottled orders (almost double) since the change to the newly designed labels,” Kolbly said after his first weeks offering the newly labeled brew. “I’m getting ready to reorder the labels already.”
The response has been so overwhelmingly positive that Kolbly decided it would be worth discarding $5,000 worth of old labels because the new ones have had such amazing results. In three months, Noble doubled its capacity of beer brewed, then continued to grow with anticipation of reaching markets outside of California for the first time.
Do you have a label redesign success story? Let us know at [email protected] And if you’d like some additional label guidance, check out some of our previous features below:
Cut and stack labels are still the most widely used option in the industry because of the cost efficiencies gained ordering them in large quantities. But pressure sensitive, a mid-tier label in terms of cost, is gaining share, growing about 3 percent a year. Shrink sleeves, the highest cost option for a brewer, has shown a 6 percent pick up and is the fastest growing, but still significantly lags in overall market share among the three.
But why choose one over the other?
Do you need a paper or poly label? Estate look or high gloss? Laminated label or varnish or raised varnish?
All of the available label design options could drive a brewer to cracking one open instead of settling on the right mix of paper, coating, colors, etc.
We asked our label sources to talk about what trends they are seeing and what options they recommend.
Not satisfied with such the cut and stack or pressure sensitive decision? Then it might be time to look at screen printing as an alternative option. We spoke with Robert Howerth, owner of Bottleprint, about craft brewers entering the brave new world of screen printing.
Essentially, the people at Bottleprint print the labels directly onto the bottle. The brewer sends the digital artwork for their label to Bottleprint, which burns screens for their labels. The brewer either ships their bottles or they use the bottles provided by the printer. Bottleprint then prints the bottles and ships them back.