DataGraphic Wins Big with its NFL Friday Night Party Mask
by Melissa DeDonder, PostPress
When a special invitation was needed for the team owners of the National Football League (NFL) – who would be hosting a themed Friday night party prior to Super Bowl Sunday – DataGraphic in Hempstead, New York, was chosen to create the Gold Leaf Award-winning NFL Friday Night Party Mask.
New Orleans was the host city of Super Bowl XLVII in February 2013, so the party was going to be a Mardi Gras celebration. The invitation’s design concept was to create a reveal by diecutting a window in the shape of a Mardi Gras mask. Once the invite was inserted into the sleeve, the elaborately embellished 4-color image was visible through the diecut mask.
Production consisted of two parts. The first part featured a sleeve that was made of two sheets pasted together. The outside stock was Black Curious Skin Cover and the inside was Curious Gold Metallic. After the sheets were pasted together, DataGraphic foil stamped two colors, and certain parts of the gold foil stamping were embossed. The sleeve then was diecut and glued using Kleen-Stick® pressure-sensitive tape.
The second part – the rigid invitation – was made from a stiff black board center core pasted with the Black Curious Skin Cover on the back, which also was foil stamped. The face of the invite featured Curious Metallic Gold stock, which had been litho printed in eight colors and also foil stamped.
Four hits of white base were offset printed, then the 4-color process image was overprinted on top of the white base. Foil stamping then was added to complete the effect. All of the finishing work was completed on DataGraphic’s Kluge and Intaglio die stamping presses.
Needless to say, the elaborate project created some challenges. “The art director wanted the tiny holes in the mask to be steel rule diecut or laser diecut; however, due to the tight time frame, we were not able to achieve those very small diecuts,” said Glenn Schuster, founder and president of DataGraphic. “We improvised by changing those small holes into circular graphics and foil stamping them in an additional metallic purple foil.”
Another production challenge was the sleeve itself. “The Black Curious Skin Cover was too stiff to run through the folder-gluer, and it presented a scuffing challenge as well, so we taped and assembled the sleeve by hand,” Schuster said.
He said the client also had originally specified to print the 4-color image directly on the metallic gold surface of the Curious Paper; however, the company was not able to achieve that desired look. “We suggested printing a white base as an alternative, and the results were exactly what the client imagined.” Schuster said the client was thrilled with the outcome, and they achieved success mainly because the client was open to suggestions, allowed for the processes test runs and provided quick feedback.
The NFL Friday Night Party Mask invitation won a bronze award in the Decorative Diecutting with Foil/Embossing category in the 2013 FSEA Gold Leaf Awards competition. In addition, the company won a bronze award in the Self Promotion: Best Use of Foil/Embossing category for its Bubbly Puzzle project celebrating the company’s 86 years in business.
Reindl Bindery Flawlessly Navigates Perfect Binding in Non-Traditional Sizes
by Melissa DeDonder, PostPress
For Reindl Bindery Co., Inc., in Germantown, Wisconsin, full-service means navigating a trend for perfect bound books that are non-traditional in size or thickness. The company managed this challenge with ease when La Mer, a high-end cosmetics brand, needed a small, multiple language product and usage booklet to fit inside the packaging of a 1.7 oz. sized product.
The resulting PUR perfect bound book featured a 75x75mm trim size. The production process involved folding the signatures on Stahl folders, binding the books 4-up on Kolbus binders, splitting them from 4-up to 2-up and then trimming them on flat Polar cutters.
David Reindl, president, said the project’s biggest challenge was the final trim size, which was well below machine specifications and required some ingenuity. “We worked closely with our customer to ensure the components would be large enough to feed on our folders and binders. Then, our operators and managers spent some time with our in-house maintenance department to develop a “bolt on” clamp for our flat cutter, which allowed us to trim down to the final size,” Reindl said.
The customer was so pleased with the first production run that the company placed four additional orders over the next six months. In addition, the customer designed some new books with smaller trim sizes that Reindl Bindery will be tackling later this year.
Reindl said the project opened doors for the company to produce other cosmetics-related books. “We’ve run several other perfect bound titles, but none of them have been as challenging as the LaMer books. I assume the whole reason we were awarded the other titles is because we didn’t say “No” to the challenges the LaMer project presented,” Reindl said.
Reindl Bindery strives to keep up with the latest trends, and in doing so the company reports binding books as thin as 1/16″, as well as completing a successful test drive for an 8-page perfect bound book featuring a 100# cover and 80# coated text interior pages.
“I never know where the industry will lead, but I’m thrilled to be working with people both internally and externally who are up for navigating the challenges and trends,” Reindl said.
Bert-Co Towers Over the Holidays
by Brittany Willes, PostPress
For more than 30 years, Bert-Co has challenged itself to create a uniquely structured holiday card for its clients. In years past, the design team has created innovative pop-up cards, mobiles and cards that are actual boxes, always striving for a “wow” factor. For instance, the 2013 holiday card consisted of a hinged box promoting edge-to-edge deep embossing and an illuminated APET pop-up dome. The black “quilted” box was designed to promote texture, something the company believes all luxury packaging brand owners should consider.
While the card’s structure changes from year to year, the overarching message promoting peace and joy remains the same. With the basic theme already in place, the design team set out to create a thoroughly unique structure to rival the previous years while also mimicking Bert-Co’s growth in 2014; namely, a move by the Los Angeles plant into a new, larger facility and an expansion at the Tennessee plant to add automated rigid box capabilities. As a backdrop to the main theme of peace and joy, it was decided the 2014 card also should send a message about becoming larger and better. The final result was a folding carton that started out small, as just a cube, before surprising the receiver as it opened into a telescoping tower with a removable flat card decorated with an original poem for the sender to sign. A final surprise of a snowflake dangling in the bottom completes the card.
Production was fairly straightforward. All sections of the card were combined on one print form. The design team used an 18pt paperboard laminated on one side with metalized polyester, which then was printed on two sides. The white uncoated side provided a “quiet” feeling in order to contrast the inside and make it appear all the more dramatic. Next, the “Happy Holidays” greeting and image of a dove were foil stamped in red on the uncoated side. White ink and 4-color process were used to make a gradation in the background and to better showcase the white type. The removable flat card was printed with high rise silk screen UV snowflakes on a Sakurai press for added tactile detail. All of the processes were done in-house. The base of the card was an auto-bottom style that was automatically glued, while the rest of the structure was hand glued.
Customers who have received the holiday card in the past readily will recognize the foil stamped dove, which helps to further reinforce the card’s traditional themes. While the 2014 card places the foil stamped dove prominently on top of the tower structure, in years past the dove’s placement has not always been as obvious. According to Suzan Kerston, executive vice president, “Some years we hide the dove a little. Our long-time customers know when they receive that year’s creation, it’s a little bit like playing ‘Where’s Waldo?’ to find the dove.”
Not surprisingly, Bert-Co’s holiday cards have proven to be quite popular with its customers and sometimes spark packaging ideas for their own products. “Often, someone wants to buy a structure very similar to what we’ve produced,” said Kerston. “For instance, the 2014 card could house a small fragrance bottle or something like it where the snowflake currently dangles.” Past designs have seen similar repurposing by clients. The 2012 card structure was adopted by one of the company’s beauty customers as a limited edition package. The structure was a rigid box that folded in such a way that the images on the outside completely changed to form a new image. “Those are the best experiences,” stated Kerston. “It confirms that we’re producing the kind of work that brand owners want in order to help give them great retail shelf presence.”