Mead is an ancient form of alcohol, so I really wanted it to feel like something you would see in ‘Game of Thrones’ or something.
– Grant Gunderson, Senior Art Director
From the “Thor” films and “Vikings” TV series to the continued popularity of crime dramas like “The Bridge” and “Wallander,” we’re smack dab in the middle of a Nordic renaissance. And what better way to toast these cultural exports than with a flagon of American Royal Mead, a modern version of the traditional honey wine whose label looks, thanks to an impressive dollop of gold foil and embossing, as historic as it does gorgeous.
“American Royal Mead is made from 100% natural organic honey, crafted by the collaboration of millions of bees,” Gunderson explains. A similar synergy between designers Dunn & Co. and Blue Label Digital transformed Avery Dennison Fasson Black Vellum labels into the beauties you see on these bottles.
The beehive on the front of the label seems to positively drip with gold, its thick line work and rich black background acting as a (yes) foil for the regal typography. Of course you don’t wield this much foil and embossing without encountering something of a learning curve along the way.
“I learned that printing on a digital press using 4-color process was fairly difficult,” says Gunderson. “To get the gold color to sort of match the gold foil took some work. We needed to do two or three hits of white, then print the gold on top of that; it was tough to keep clean lines with all the layers of colors. I also realized how malleable and flexible foil is.”
Yet working closely with Blue Label Digital, the designers were able to successfully tackle some personal “firsts” to enhance the packaging for this – the traditional beverage of the gods.
“Going into it I had not worked with black stock before but I wanted it to be as black and as matte as possible,” says Gunderson. “I also had not worked with full coverage foil like this. The die was created in such a way that everything that was foil was also embossed giving it a three-dimensional feel. The detail of the foil plate was amazing – it feels like you could pick the bee off the label it has so much detail!”
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