Design Week – Rough Draught – Beer Label Design

Design Week – Rough Draught – Beer Label Design

Beer label design is critical to building your brand and we like staying on the cutting edge with events like this.  This sold out event was fun and inspiring as we work with our customers to keep their beer label design fresh.

Live Design in Real Time

Beer Label DesignLed by beer label design guru Ryan Wheaton, the Rough Draught event featured four designers doing live design in a compressed 90 minute time frame.  Each designer was paired with a specific beer that was released for the event.  Attendees were invited to taste the beer and come up with catchy names for the beers.  Ultimately, in 90 minutes, the beers were named and labels were designed on site. This was likely the fastest beer label design they had ever done.  Hearing the designers talk about their inspiration and process was very interesting.

Learning while They Draw

Harvey Shepard – founder of Oh Beautiful Beer gave us a fantastic history lesson while the designers were hard at work.  Starting DesignWeekPortlandwith the very first packaging – which was not controlled by the brewery or standardized – through prohibition, we learned about all the ups and downs of beer packaging through the ages.  More important for many was the commentary on the current proliferation of specialty, one-off, short run products (and labels).  Harvey did a good job of pointing out that all trends run in cycles and what is working now may not be viable in 5 years.  Speaking of 5 years, this was a general guideline for a brand refresh.  Every case is different – and elements of a brand may need a refresh much sooner – but this was an interesting and helpful part of the Q&A session.

True to the Brand – Discipline

This was another great reinforcement of something we preach daily – the design has to be true to the brand.  Labels don’t exist in a vacuum, they are part of a larger brand story.  In order to be effective, this story has to be authentic and consistent.  Harvey was asked about how he avoids creating beer labels that all look the same and this was the answer – discipline.  Designers in his studio Blind Tiger Design in Seattle work very hard to listen and draw out the authentic brand story.  This discovery process is critical, and clearly one of the things that keeps their design fresh, fun, and authentic to the brands they serve.

Design is Key

Why does Rose City Label care about design this much?  Design is key.  Without great design partners, the label printing process is boring and our customers aren’t likely to succeed.  We don’t do in-house design, but we do have a wonderful group of design partners that we can refer you to.  Thanks to Ryan, Harvey, and our friends at Hopworks for hosting this fun, interesting event.

Top Label Errors – 2018 Edition

Top Label Errors

Alexis Jewel from the TTB made her way out from Washington, DC to give the Oregon Wine Symposium the latest and greatest information on wine label approvals.  Avoiding these top label errors can save you lots of pain.  Alexis gave a wonderful overview of basic requirements, but also highlighted the most common reasons for rejection in Oregon – these are the specific problems that she is seeing on wine label submissions in our region, so please make sure you aren’t guilty of these:

  1. Type and Class missing from Brand label
  2. Name or trade name incorrect (does not match name on Winery Permit)
  3. Clarification needed (conflicting information on the label or between the label and the form)
  4. Application omission (required information left blank on application form)
  5. Application not submitted by Bottler (Bonded Winery permit must be used/referenced)
  6. Wrong label uploaded as BRAND label (this is typically – but not always – the front label)
  7. Misleading information (confusing reference to region or AVA)
  8. Appellation conflict – application doesn’t match label
  9. Fanciful name includes grape variety

There are obviously many other ways to make mistakes and get your label rejected, but these are things to watch for.  Because they show up so often, the inspectors are looking closely for these errors.

We are Always Learning

We always try to attend the Oregon Wine Symposium to keep learning.  The COLA (certificate of label approval) is not technically the responsibility of the label printer – it’s ultimately on the winery to do this correctly.  But, because we want you to succeed, we try to learn the latest trends and pass them on.  We want to be a resource for you beyond just being a great printer that puts ink on paper.  We want to help you avoid these top label errors!

Partner with Professionals

Use your resources!  Trade associations, seminars, and your vendors are all good sources of information.  Use them to help you succeed.  Most people don’t fully utilize the expertise of their service providers but they should – most often they have free knowledge to offer besides what they are actually selling you.  We learned so much last year that we couldn’t stay away from the Oregon Wine Symposium this year.

Thank You Customers!

Besides staying current on the latest TTB label trends, the Oregon Wine Symposium is a great way for us to connect and reconnect with our good winery customers.  Thanks you to all of you that said hello and enjoyed a glass of wine with us during this event.


Premium Foil Stamping

Premium Foil Stamping

We are Very Good at Premium Foil Stamping

Transferring very high quality premium foil stamping to labes is one of our most important skills.  We have the equipment, people, and experience to set your label apart from the competition.  For over 25 years, this has been one of our key selling points in the label market. Other label companies even send work to us because of our expertise.

Top Notch Equipment

Two years ago, we invested in a state of the art foil stamping machine.  This new machine is outlined in this video from our YouTube Channel – please click here to see it.  These key features make this press the best in the industry.Premium Foil Stamping Crest

  • State of the Art servo web transport
  • Amazing image quality
  • Large 9″ x 9″ image area
  • Solid construction for embossing and stamping
  • Touch screen accuracy and reliability

Most Experienced Operators

Our foil stamp operators have been with the business for years. Most have had other jobs within the company, but they are full trained and experienced in foil stamp operation.  Recently we had a factory service technician in for machine repairs and upgrades. He also provided advanced training for us.

Artwork that Works

Premium foil stamping starts with proper artwork.  During our recent training session, we trained our graphics team as well as the press operators.  We know that the more the design side of the business understands the print production, the better results we will get on our premium foil stamping projects.

Call Us Today

Our premium foil stamping department is booming, but we always have time to add new customers to the Rose City Label family.  Call us today for a free, no obligation consultation to see how we can help take your labels to the next level.

Oregon Wine Symposium Networking!

Oregon Wine Symposium Networking!

Wine is Growing – we printed for 60 wineries last year!

Here is a summary of some of our best wine-related content since the last Oregon Wine Symposium.  We will be there again to attend seminars and connect with clients. If you are going to be there, and want to meet up, please email me in advance by clicking here.  We would love to add more good people to our wine customer family.  See you at the Oregon Wine Symposium.

Case Study: Rebranding – Make a Bold Statement

DePonte Cellars hit a home run with this simple, elegant rebrand.  We work with many designers and brand owners and getting this right is not easy, but it is critically important to keep your products relevant to your consumers.  The brand is built around their bold logo.  This winery was a good customer years ago, but left us for a time for a California label printer.  Now that we have the equipment and skill to handle their labels, they were happy to return.Click here to read the full case study.RoseCityLabel

 TTB Label Submission – Ask the experts

Government label approvals are never much fun, but we are TTB Label Submission Experts so we can help demystify the process.  We won’t make it fun, or even easy, but we can help you know what to expect and take away some of the confusion.  This is a general overview that is subject to change with regulations and personnel changes, but as of today, the label approval atmosphere is about as good as it has been recently. Click here to learn about TTB Label Submission.

Powered by 100% Wind – Partner with a local, eco-friendly family business

100% wind energy powers the presses, computers, and all services.  We are doubling down on our environmental commitment.  No more coal, hydro, or other electric power sources – 100% WIND powers everything.  We briefly considered solar panels, but for now, being powered by 100% wind is right for us. Partner with a Leader, see how we converted to 100% wind power. Learn more about our Green Journey by clicking here.

Thank You!

2017 was another record year for Rose City Label.  Many thanks to our customers, hard working staff, and our vendors for helping us keep moving forward.  If you need anything that we can help with, please call us today.  We look forward to printing for you (again) soon.

Wine Labels with Bold Logo and Beautiful Design

Wine Labels with Bold Logo and Beautiful Design

Every BRAND needs a bold logo refresh from time to time.

DePonte Cellars hit a home run with this simple, elegant rebrand.  We work with many designers and brand owners and getting this right is not easy, but it is critically important to keep your products relevant to your consumers.  The brand is built around their bold logo.  This winery was a good customer years ago, but left us for a time for a California label printer.  Now that we have the equipment and skill to handle their labels, they were happy to return.  Learn more about Deponte by clicking here.  This is similar to the recent update by Cascade Brewing, featured in this post.

Bold Logo Up Front

The main consistent element of this rebrand is the logo type.  This bold, distinctive stylized type is the focal point on all the labels.  This brand mark – to me – shows a solid, established, and durable brand.  It is not rough, but it is bold and clean.

Color to Differentiate

Color sells.  Powerful color statements attract the consumers’ eye and make your product stand out on the shelf.  In this case, we did press proofs with several variations of each color so they could dial in their vision.  With the power of digital printing, it is easy to provide printed press samples on the exact label material for an affordable price.  This helps reduce the chance for error on the final run.  The colors also make a clear distinction between the different varietals.  Nobody will mistake one for the other, but with the prominent logo font, it is easy to see that they are one product family.

Fancy Foils and Papers

While still keeping the cohesive look, Deponte was able to elevate a few of the items to make them stand out.  One (not pictured above) was even printed on a different, pearlescent material to highlight their top offering.  All items have a clear foil stamp over the logo to give texture and visual contrast, but a few were substituted with silver foil to stand out.  Again, the product family remains intact but certain items can still be set apart in their own way.

Backed By Great Service

Because this is the first printing, there were logistical and timing challenges.  Holidays, illness, and even mechanical equipment breakdowns all complicated this print job, but we went the extra mile to make the customer happy – delivering on a Sunday, 2 days before the bottling truck arrived.  We had a crew in on Saturday to finish the job, but the results made it all worthwhile.  Thanks Deponte Cellars for trusting us with this important project.  Cheers!

HP Indigo Press Technology – Video

The HP Indigo WS6600



The  highly efficient HP Indigo WS6600 Digital Label System  takes label printing to a whole new level!  With minimal waste, exact quantity label production and reduced obsolescence- printing labels digitally is the most environmentally conscious method of creating high quality labels to showcase your brand. How do we do it?

  • It starts with the plate-less servo driven printing system, which allows us to print the exact amount of labels you need. In order to maintain cost efficiency on a  flexo printed label, you may have to produce many more labels than you really need. But sometimes those “extra” labels become obsolete.  In those instances, the obsolete labels ultimately  end up in landfills. Why not print exactly what you need exactly when you need it?
  • It only takes a few feet of material to set up the HP Indigo. That is significantly less material than it’s flexographic counterpart. And using less material in set up means less waste in the environment and less cost to you. It’s a Win- Win!
  • And speaking of lowering costs… Rose City Label now offers even LOWER prices on digitally printed labels!   So now is the perfect time to call Rose City Label for your next digitally printed label. You will be glad you did!
  • Same great service! Same great quality – with more competitive prices!  Give us a call today!