Technological advancement brings paradigm shifts in wine labels

Undoubtedly, label industry is one among the most diversified and advanced industrial segments, serving differently. And among it, the fastest change can also be observed in wine labels, matching the pace of modernisation. With features such as using specialty papers and going beyond standard four colours, extensive use of metallic foils and embossing, incorporating die cutting to provide innovative shapes, creating sophisticated look, and occasionally making these personalised, wine labels are effectively mirroring the strength of today’s printing technology. Aftermath globalisation, the socio-economic development in India has brought big changes in lifestyle of people with the merging of cultural values. This change explicitly reflects in packaging industry, especially in label segment, which simultaneously grows with human population.

Among the highly diversified and advanced label industry, the fastest transition can be seen in wine label segment which smartly matches the pace of modernization while depicting the strength of contemporary technology. Perhaps, more than 2000 commercial wine brands are available globally. In India, Vintage Wines, ND Wines, Sula Vineyards, Grover Vineyards, Indage Wines (Chateau Indage), etc are major wine producers. Such a large number of wine brands, with increasing demand owing to improving purchasing power of people, has generated immense market possibilities for the label industry.

To cater the fast emerging wine label market, industry players are coming with various innovations for making the luxurious wine labels rather sophisticated. On top of these innovations is digital technology which has enabled printers to easily produce labels with unlimited design specifications drawn by customers. As the purchasing power of targeted customers for wine is quite high, cost of the label doesn’t matter much. But wine producers prefer something different within the label so as to add value to the wine packaged in a bottle.

Today, wine bottles also serve as a ‘gift’ on specific occasions apart from Christmas and New Year. For this purpose, the modishly designed wine labels featuring ‘occasionally personalised attributes’ are being well accepted in the market. As these sorts of labels require on-demand high quality printing, the digital technology becomes obvious option.

Apart from print technology, the change is also being witnessed regarding substrates used in wine labels. Now, these labels are printed on specialty papers and beyond standard four colours. Use of metallic foils in cold or hot versions and embossing add another value to these wine labels.

Comprising raised or sunken lettering, numbers, and graphics on wine labels is a cost-effective decorating alternative to create a quality brand image. The feel of an embossment help generate consumer interaction with the label to some extent.

Wine, better known as ladies drink, generally conveys sophistication in nature so its look is as important to be equally sophisticated. To provide labels such innovative shape and attractive look, designers incorporate die cutting process as well.

Besides, to make the wine label printing rather smooth, several companies today are offering smart software solutions providing easy-to-select options. Also, for overcoming the fake branding problems, software solutions are being added with digital printing machines such as, Xerox has developed an innovative technology suite - including Gloss, Microtext, Fluorescence, InfraRed software solutions to offers with their digital presses.

Succinctly, the technological advancement has brought wine label printing to the next level, and digital technology continues to revamp it altogether. Now, it is possible that wine bottle lying in front of one is adequate to express one’s identity depicting through personalised label.

To witness the long journey of wine labels, visit to Wine Museum of Macau is undoubtedly a right choice. Opened on Dec 15, 1995, this museum is the world of the wine, which not only allows visitors viewing exhibition, reading and tasting wine but also provide opportunities to easily observe the changes occurred in wine labels over the years.

Observed features of wine labels at Wine Museum of Macau:

  • Simple 2-colour labels printed by letterpress initially.
  • Labels with wine-yard pix in the background.
  • Golden colour effect widely seen.
  • Black & red – a preferred colour combination.
  • Trends towards using metallic foils as a substrate.
  • Cream colour background – another popular choice continuing even today.
  • Die-cut shapes.

Throughout the space divided in three big areas – Historical Information, Cellar- Museum, Wines Exhibition – the visitor may obtain diversified information, provided through texts, maps and photos, presented in an appealing way which allows the imagination to go through atmospheres related with wine. In an exhibition space of 1,400 square meters, the museum presents an allotment of more than 1,115 wine brands, with more than 756 commercial wines and 359 collection wines, the oldest being a 1,815 Madeira Wine, possible to find, among others, in the Cellar- Museum area. The exhibition also showcases a miscellany of about one hundred utensils connected with the viniculture and the wine production, as well as a set of Portuguese tiles, allusive to wine and vineyard which are either exact reproductions of the XVIII century tiles or combinations of themes, made from original models from the most important wine making regions.

Looking at these labels closely, the variety and the production techniques adopted in producing the wine labels include: use of metallic foils, and multi label concept on a single wine bottle. The involvement of creative designers to come out with a specific design for brand matching with the shape of bottle has been equally treated well.


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