Monvera Glass Décor Impresses With Direct to Glass Printing
You can have the right equipment, but if you don’t have the right skillset, creating the perfect 360-degree full-body wrap on a glass bottle could be near impossible, explains Caitriona Anderson, VP of sales and marketing at Monvera Glass Décor. Clearly, the team at Richmond, Calif.-based Monvera has the necessary skills, as the company took home second place in Best of Show and first place in the Labels: Screen (Rotary or Flat) category in the 2017 packagePRINTING Excellence Awards.
The winning entry was for a direct printed bottle, produced for Almanac Beer Company’s 2016 edition of its Grand Cru. The bottle featured a full-body wrap design printed directly on the body, shoulder and neck of the 750ml bottle.
Although Monvera had worked with Bay Area-based Almanac on a similar design for its 2015 Grand Cru, the 2016 version required a more complex process because of its more detailed design. The 2016 edition featured two versions of the beer — one that was aged in red wine barrels and one aged in white wine barrels. Anderson explains that two stations were used for the bottle’s body, which featured two colors — gold and off-white for the red wine barrel aged brew and metallic silver and white for the beer aged in white wine barrels. Three additional stations were used for the shoulder and neck portions of the bottle.
One of the biggest challenges was making sure the screen breaks would be imperceptible to the consumer. Based on the work that Monvera and Almanac had done the year before, they knew how to “insert the screen breaks into the design without disrupting the pattern of the design,” Anderson says.
The bottle was printed using a Fermac F12-CNC controlled silkscreen printing machine that enabled Monvera to use axis tilts and rotation within the machine to print on the shoulder and neck of the bottle. But even with this advanced printer, Anderson says producing this bottle isn’t easy.
“It is challenging because No. 1, you have to have the right equipment,” she says. “We have the equipment that enables us to produce it. But beyond the equipment, you have to have the internal skill set in-house in the prepress department and on the production floor in terms of dialing in the machine.”
Part of the process included many rounds of testing, revisions and changes, Brian Chiu, art department manager at Monvera, explains.
“We had to do multiple tests to make sure it was possible, make revisions and make changes,” he says. “We couldn’t have gotten it to where it is now without testing and mockups.”
Anderson says that it is rewarding to be recognized for an award, but collaborating with the customer is also very fulfilling. In this circumstance, the customer pushed the typical boundaries of a beer label to create a unique package. Its uniqueness and the time it took to make it work are what makes Anderson most proud.
“We’re proud because we consider this to be a specialty of ours,” she says, “and it’s unique to Monvera; there’s a big time commitment to making it work.”