Classy glass printing

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Justin Skilling and Emma Jackson with some of the Cardrona Distillery vodka bottles.

Clever, innovative labels printed in Ashburton on bottles containing high end vodka are being marketed and sold around Australasia and the UK, including in top London department store Harrods.

The top shelf single malt vodka is made by Cardrona Distillery, which also makes bespoke whiskies, gins and liqueurs, and the printing is done by Juice Signs + Design in the Triangle.

Juice, run by Justin Skilling and Emma Jackson, has diversified from its usual signwriting and design work to be a part of the promotion of a premium New Zealand product.

Justin said the distillery had approached him about the possibility of printing directly on to bottles rather than applying labels.

Direct printing was seen by Cardrona Distillery as adding further quality to the presentation of the high end product.

Discussions started over a year ago and it was during lockdown when time was spent investigating options on just how to do it.

Research was done online to look at what was being done around the world and four options were considered.

“It is new ground for us and innovative stuff, but we’ve had fresh eyes on it and pushed through to get it done,” Justin said.

While some printing machines were not up to printing directly on bottles, a supplier had been found by Juice Signs + Design that could produce the quality and volume needed.

‘‘The results we’ve been getting have even surprised the supplier,’’owner Justin Skilling said.

The process could print a lot of bottles with a minimum amount of labour.
Up to 600 bottles can be printed during a normal working day.

Juice has purchased the building next door to store and print on to the bottles.

Bottles come directly to them and the work is completed before they go off to the distillery for filling and distribution.

Direct printing can be done in any colour and even a pure white finish is possible, Emma Jackson said.

Juice had printed on to miniatures and cocktail glasses for Cardrona Distillery and bottle designs so far had included those showing Rainbow pride and the iconic bra fence at Cardrona, and others for Larnach Castle and distillery clients.

‘‘We can print texture, number bottles for limited editions and we’re not just restricted to printing on glass.’’

-By Mick Jensen