Collotype Labels Honors South African Vineyards

by Brittany Willes, PostPress
Collotype Labels, Napa, California, recently was awarded the Gold Award in the Creative category for Sheet/Rotary labels in the 22nd Annual FSEA Gold Leaf Awards.

From the Western Cape of South Africa, winemaker Graham Weerts uncorked the limited production Capensis Chardonnay. In order to create packaging as sophisticated as the wine, Capensis partnered with Collotype Labels, Napa, California, the wine and spirit arm of Multi-Color Corporation. Both corporations sought inspiration in the ancient soils, dramatic landscapes and historic vineyards that honor the greatness of South Africa.

Once the initial design was in place, Killer White paper stock was chosen as the label’s base. With background texture created by rotary debossing, the proprietary, wet-strength material is made exclusively for Collotype by Fassion. The solid, cream-colored background serves as a contrast to the darker colored foils of the text. Despite the limited color palette, the final effect is one of understated elegance.

Production of the Capensis label required a combination of rotary foil stamping, rotary texture debossing, flat-bed sculpted embossing and flat-bed diecutting. With the exception of the sequential numbering, which was completed on a second, offline pass, all of the processes were done inline, in a single pass on a Gallus TCS 250 semi-rotary offset printing press. When asked about the use of semi-rotary versus flexo printing presses, Tim LaPoint, TCS technical coordinator for Collotype Labels, explained, “Offset printing differs from flexo printing in how the inks are transferred from printing plates to paper stock. The advantage of semi-rotary technology is faster set-up and changeover times. Also, offset printing offers a higher print quality that is achieved by using a finer dot size.”

The advantage of a finer dot size was utilized in the label’s embossed images. Infused with intricate images of plant life, such as vines, leaves and flowers, the label also is decorated with an image of an antelope, evoking the wine’s South African heritage. In order to create these highly detailed images, the solid background was offset printed in cream with reversed illustrations, as well as positive plate and conventional dot-and-line work. Furthermore, in order to better ensure the Capensis name and supporting text stand out against the cream-colored background, “Capensis” was foil stamped using Kurz 347 brown foil with MTC release. The sequential numbering was done with MTS release in Kurz 362 black foil.

With its complex production process, the Capensis label proved to be quite a task for Collotype. “The flat emboss was a challenge,” stated Lapoint. “It required a high-level of expertise to achieve the customer’s desired result.” Despite the difficulties presented by the label, Mark Schmick, one of Collotype Napa’s leading sales representatives, reported that both Collotype and the customer were pleased with the final result. “Our client and its brand managers worked collaboratively with our production and prepress teams to engineer a stunning label,” Schmick stated. “We are all thrilled with the final product.”

As evidence of Collotype’s confidence in the label, the company chose to enter it in the 22nd Annual FSEA Gold Leaf Awards, where it was honored for excellence by being awarded the Gold Award in the Creative category for Sheet/Rotary labels. Capensis wine and its award-winning label will be released to the globally in late spring of 2015.

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