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Inkjet PrintingMay 28, 2024

Custom Liquor Bottle Labels, Digitally Printed

Inkjet Printing
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digitally printing on spirit bottles with DL UV ink

Liquor Vs. Spirits 

For seasoned distillers, feel free to skip the next paragraph. However, if you’re just venturing into the world of spirits, join us as we delve into the distinctions (or lack thereof) between liquor and spirits. When navigating the gray areas, the best starting point is always the dictionary, in this case, Merriam-Webster. Liquor is defined as a “usually distilled rather than fermented alcoholic beverage,” while spirit is defined as “the liquid containing ethanol and water that is distilled from an alcoholic liquid or mash – often used in plural.” Notably, a synonym for liquor is spirits. 

The visual elements of packaging play a crucial role in branding, perceived value, and content. If your brand is already familiar to consumers, the necessity for an eye-catching label diminishes. However, for attracting new consumers, the label’s importance cannot be overstated. 

The aesthetics of your brand can be effectively conveyed through your label, whether it’s a traditional adhesive label or a digitally decorated one. Achieve stunning full-color graphics on both empty and pre-filled glass bottles using digital cylindrical printers. 

The lifespan of a bottle often outlasts the liquid it contains, making it crucial to consider the importance of a durable and visually appealing design. Numerous online resources provide ideas on decorating liquor bottles at home, as well as repurposing them outside the home, such as in the garden. Unopened liquor has an indefinite shelf life, while once opened, it lasts around one to two years before its color and flavor start to change. It’s worth noting that the quantity of liquor in an opened bottle can influence its longevity—the more liquor, the longer it lasts. 

Traditional Liquor Bottle Labels 

In contemporary times, many spirit and liquor bottles feature traditional adhesive labels. Some have explored alternative methods and are reaping the benefits of digital bottle decorating. Regardless of your chosen method, specific guidelines dictate the information required on the label for commercial sale. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) stipulate mandatory label information, including brand name, class and type, alcohol content, name and address, country of origin, net contents, presence of coloring materials, statements of age, state of distillation, and health warning statements. Optional criteria apply if relevant, such as treatment with wood, FD&C Yellow #5, Saccharin disclosure, and/or sulfite declaration. 

The label on your spirits bottle is not only crucial for the application process but also serves to brand and make your product stand out. It’s an opportunity to showcase your artwork, highlight essential information about your product or company, and much more. 

Methods of Decorating Liquor Bottles 

When it comes to decorating liquor bottles, various options cater to different operational needs. Traditionally, liquor bottles are adorned with adhesive labels. However, self-adhesive stickers necessitate advance orders, posing challenges of over or underordering for newer products with limited historical data. Additionally, they lack flexibility for product changes or updates and can be labor-intensive if applied in-house, diverting valuable time from other tasks.  

Liquor Bottle Cylindrical Printers 

Cylindrical printers, like the Helix® line, magnificently decorate straight walled and tapered vessels with CMYK+WV, offering limitless artistic possibilities. The Helix®, Helix®+, and Double Helix® accommodate diameters from 2 to 4.5” (51mm – 114mm) and lengths up to 12”, allowing for long images and full coverage up to 8.6” long. Digital printing enhances bottle aesthetics by eliminating the matte, paper appearance of traditional labels. It enables the creation of vibrant images that pop, using blank clear spaces to showcase the spirits behind the label. 

Print Innovation on Spirits Bottles 

A significant trend in the spirits market is the raised glass appearance for a stamp or insignia, achievable through digital printing. This timeless and elegant touch, known as contour print, provides a 3D feel, adding depth to the design. 

Other Digital Printers for Distilleries – Rocks Glasses/ X5® 

For distilleries with tasting rooms, extending the brand experience to rocks glasses is a captivating option. Flatbed printing technology, such as the X5®, turns the flat bottom of rocks glasses into a blank canvas. UV digital flatbed printers are ideal for digitally decorating flat and slightly curved surfaces, ensuring longevity through dishwasher cycles with proper pre-treatment. 

Rocks glasses can be digitally decorated with reverse mirror print, allowing drinkers to enjoy graphics through the bottom of the clear vessel. The X5® UV digital flatbed printer boasts a large print area and rapid printing capabilities, making it suitable for promotional products and industrial printing. 

The X5® UV digital flatbed printer can print a full 43.3″ x 24″ (1,100 x 610 mm) area in two minutes (uni- or bi-directional). Perfect for promotional products and industrial printing, with four Ricoh Gen 5 printheads the X5® can print flat, hard goods up to 5.9” in height. For the application of rocks glasses, one can print an entire bed of rocks glasses at once. To best secure the drinkware vessels, traveling tooling is required, and for customers in need, Inkcups offers custom tooling services.  

Learn more about Digital Glass Bottom Printing with the X5®.

Get Started Today 

If you’re ready to elevate your brand, contact your local sales representative to discuss your business goals and explore specific solutions. With recent updates to the Helix® line, such as ColorBoost, enjoy higher quality prints at faster speeds, exemplified by obtaining 12 pass quality at 6 pass speeds due to a dedicated print head per color.    

 Learn more: UV Inkjet Printer: The Ultimate Guide

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