L&L turns 40: Coca-Cola points way to L&L cover

A project involving Labels & Labeling, HP, Coca-Cola and the UK’s Precision Printing saw each reader receive a unique copy of issue 1, 2015*, as Andy Thomas detailed in that issues editor's note. 
Each reader received a unique cover on their copy Labels & Labeling issue 1, 2015

The copy of Labels & Labeling you hold in your hands is unique.

In fact it is one of 16,000 unique designs printed digitally on a B2 format HP Indigo 10000 press by London-based Precision Press.

The stock is a 170gsm satimat Silk with a matte lamination on one side – which did not require sapphire pre-coating.

The project was inspired by Coca-Cola Israel’s astonishing marketing campaign which involved printing millions of Diet Coke labels with different variations of a kaleidoscopic design. Both projects make use of a groundbreaking piece of software developed by HP called Mosaic – part of the company’s SmartStream suite – which allows a vast array of color variations to be automatically generated from a starting design then fed directly to a digital press RIP.

James Wenman, Tarsus Labels Group design and production manager, was responsible for coordinating this unique project. ‘This has been quite a demanding job, both technically and logistically challenging. But it is exactly the sort of project that Labels & Labeling should be working on to bring new technologies and techniques to our readers.

‘What I like about this edition is that fact that every copy is unique. Each reader should know that their copy is one of a kind.’

The Coca-Cola project involved not only labels and shrink sleeves, but also a marketing and social media campaign that allowed consumers to order a range of objects like t-shirts printed with their own unique label design.

This is not the first time Coca-Cola has pushed the limits of what is possible with digital printing. Readers will remember the Share a Coke campaign which involved digitally printing millions of labels with first names in multiple European languages.

Both projects demonstrate the true value of digital, and why digital print accounts for almost 12 percent of the value of label sales despite being only 1-2 percent of label volume. As conventional presses get more efficient and make inroads into digital short run territory, this is exactly the kind of project digital label converters should promote to stay ahead of the game.

Our thanks to Coca-Cola, HP and Precision Printing for making this L&L cover project possible.

*This article was first published in Labels & Labeling issue 1, 2015

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Andy Thomas

  • Strategic director