A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words – Part I

Thursday, May 24, 2018

As beverage brands continue to battle for consumer loyalty, advanced package printing techniques are proving to be a worthy weapon to engage consumers and stand out in the retail environment. Today’s brand owners have more options available to them than ever before, from high resolution printing to the use of specialty metallic and marble effects. Whether employing tactile finishes or simply enhancing overall quality of graphics, printing can help beverage brands strengthen their image and make a lasting impression with finicky consumers.

Beverage_NA_Accents Variable Printing


With all of these options, it is imperative for brands to collaborate with their packaging supplier, both technically and creatively, on a design to achieve the best final output. Making sure that design parameters are met and that colors and finishes appear exactly as intended on the metal package also establishes the foundation for consistent quality across the entire print run, which builds brand recognition and trust in the minds of consumers.

In this two-part blog series, Paul Fennessy, Director of Graphics, Crown Beverage Packaging North America, addresses how Crown offers printing recommendations that best support a brand’s objectives and achieve the desired visual effect.

Leveraging Today’s Technologies
Brand owners should be aware of the advanced printing techniques used today when developing graphics for beverage cans. For example, printers may employ a secondary blend of inks to enhance specific colors on the package, creating a final product that is visually stunning and unique. Technologies like these can greatly improve the clarity, accuracy and precision of the final printed image on the package - qualities that are necessary to keep a brand visually consistent and assure consumers that they are buying the product they want.


One key aspect of printing is image resolution, and today, we can achieve far higher quality and consistency of printing at high resolutions. Technologies like Pictoris™, Crown’s high quality print process, enhance the visual appeal of a design through proprietary separation techniques for improved dot spacing and superior reproduction of fine details. Crown’s Accents™ technology is unique in that it allows up to 24 different images – whether it be words words, phrases, line drawings or pictures – to be printed on a single pallet of beverage cans.

It is also important to manage other aspects of the printing process, such as maintaining the proper film weight, which directly affects the amount of ink used to create an image on the can. An improper film weight may result in smudging of the image or the inadvertent blending of colors at one extreme and illegible color fading at the other. During printing, quality and accuracy must be maintained on each can so that additional print runs are not required to fix any errors.

Look for our second post in this series for tips on adapting graphics to the curved surface of a beverage can and how to identify the right partner.