Perfecting Labels: The printing process at Inland Label

12 labels are printed face up on a metalized sheet of paper.

12 labels are printed face up on a metalized sheet of paper.

The New Year is here and with it comes four newly designed labels.  Kathleen, our on-site graphic artist, recently traveled to La Crosse, Wisconsin, to help press check and match colors for the labels that will accompany the 2013 Cellar Reserve collection. We have worked with Inland Label for several years to print the paper labels for our 12 oz and 750 mL bottles.  Kathleen’s presence on the press line allows her to help adjust color and print registration to ensure the labels come out just how we planned.  The trip not only serves as an educational experience for Kathleen, but as a benefit to the final label that is placed on our bottles.  (read about Kathleen’s experience here)

The printing process:

The printing presses at Inland Label are huge! Roughly 6’ wide and 80’ long, they keep the press operators constantly running from one end to the other. Twelve labels are printed face up on a metalized sheet of paper roughly 24” wide which then is fed into the printer on large spools. The press is amazing to see running at full speed. Each label typically has 4-6 colors: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black and occasionally one or two Pantone colors. Each color requires its own printing plate made from aluminum etched with imagery for that specific color. As each plate lies down its specific color, the layers build up to reveal the image. The press operators are constantly making sure all the plates are lined up, inks are flowing and colors are printing smoothly. With all the adjustments made, labels started to fly off the press.

Once the labels were printed and set out to dry, I turned my focus to a few great things Wisconsin has to offer – great beer and squeaky cheese curds!

Kathleen, Grand Teton Brewing's onsite Graphic Artist

Kathleen, Grand Teton Brewing’s on-site Graphic Artist spends time rock climbing in her free time.