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Help with printing on glass jars and plastic bottles?

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  • Help with printing on glass jars and plastic bottles?

    Hi everyone,

    I need some information with regards to printing on glass jars and plastic bottles, more specifically the printing techniques available as well as the materials which can be used.

    The reason I ask is that I've joined briefbox and I'm busy with a practice brief where I need to design a logo as well as packaging for an organic bee farm and for this I'd like to make the packaging (label for the jar / bottle) unique and stand out amongst all the other honey jars/bottles on the shelf.

  • #2
    In the subject line you say "printing on glass" (and plastic) but in the body of your post you characterize it as a "label for the jar / bottle". Printing directly on the container and label printing are two very different propositions in terms of production considerations and limitations. Before you start designing graphics for either application, that decision will have to be made, taking into account the shapes, materials, and bottling methods involved. (For a smaller, mostly manual operation, the application might be very different than if it is a mechanized, high-throughput system.)

    The logo is one thing; packaging is quite another. How complete is this brief?
    I'd rather be killed than come to your party, but if you don't invite me, I'll kill myself.


    • #3
      That's why I'm looking into the various methods which can be done before I even start

      The brief doesn't give a lot of information:

      It does specify label, however I'd like to look into the various methods of printing directly on (or etching) the jar/bottle, as well as find out which materials can be used for the label.


      • #4
        Well, having now looked at the briefbox posting, and considering this is a practice exercise, I'd say you can "get away with" just about any design which incorporates 3 or fewer spot colors, without so much worry over production methods. (It looks to me like coming up with an effective mockup may be the bigger part of the challenge.) Glass etching or debossing could also be viable options for added customer "intrigue." Label printing would most likely be flexography on paper or polyester, while direct-to-container could be pad or screen printed.
        I'd rather be killed than come to your party, but if you don't invite me, I'll kill myself.


        • #5
          Fantastic, thanks for the info I'll research the various methods... it'll be nice to challenge myself with something different.


          • #6
            here's the other part of this you have to consider.
            What is your client's budget?

            It's really nice to offer yourself a challenge but if this was a real client, you don't do it at their expense.

            Glass etching can vary techinically from simple acid film etching to a sandblasting or engraving processes.
            Debossing or embossing requires having a mold or molds built to custom produce the containers. The larger the run the less cost per unit but the up front charge can be daunting.

            This client is an organic bee farmer. That could mean anything from a backyard hobbyist to a company with several tractor trailor trucks full of hives that goes to organic orchards and processes in mass quantities.

            The other part of this is that the logo and the packaging, while going hand in hand, may not encompass all of the same design elements. Is there more than one honey source (clover, apple, wildflower, blueberry...)? Have a walk around a farmers market or a local vineyard or a boutique foody store to see what's out there for custom and custom-look packaging ideas.

            Pad printing directly on glass/plastic is usually limited to spot colors, no 4-color process.

            Investigate the plastics. If someone is selling organic food products they tend to shy away from plastic containers for consumer preference reasons. For instance, if a plastic has even the least hint of BPA, it's usually unacceptable to the organic consumer. All the organic honey I've ever purchased has come in glass, including the comb products.
            Last edited by PrintDriver; 09-28-2017, 12:56 PM.


            • #7
              Great post PrintDriver, thanks for your input.

              In this case I'm not limited by budget since it is fictional, however, you do bring up some highly valid points.
              I'm aware of food grade containers (my ex having worked in the food processing industry) and will definitely keep this in mind should I choose to go the plastic route. TBT glass looks so much nicer.

              In this I will assume two possibilities: A) the client's budget isn't an issue and B) the client has a very tight budget.

              I was also wondering if I should go a step further and include a variety for the various honey sources (perhaps pick 3 of the most common. The brief does not specify.

              I spent most of yesterday afternoon browsing through various honey farm websites (those based in UK as well as the local farmers here in RSA).

              What I was thinking was to either use a hexagonal glass jar and have the lid debossed with the logo, or go with a unique glass jar which has a honey comb pattern around the top and bottom of the jar (I've seen these in our local store) - I'm just not sure if the UK has these jars premade or if they're special order.


              • #8
                Try this:
                or this:
                Last edited by PrintDriver; 09-29-2017, 07:22 AM.






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