August 2012

Top Texas custom beer labels use art to create brand niche


As reported by this blog, many small breweries and wineries take pride in their custom labels, as they're one of the only ways to gain new customers and separate themselves from larger competitors on store shelves. That being said, the creation of these labels has become a kind of culture, with festivals having label contests and most companies using local artists to create works that acknowledge both the product and its locality. Even publications have caught on to this trend. 

According to the Houston Press, the top two beer labels being sold in Texas belong to Left Hand Brewing's Wake up Dead and Jester's King Black Metal.

In second is Left Hand Brewing's Wake Up Dead. A stout, the dark beer's custom label has an odd take on "The Scream" by  Edvard Munch. The central point is a white skull, done with similar lines to the curved cranium from Munch's piece, with the words "wake up dead" in the forehead and "imperial stout" creating the jaw bones and teeth. The background is a red forest landscape where the trees are sprinkled with other ghostly figures of similar shapes. The brewery's logo forms the top border of the custom label.

The best beer label is Jester King's Black Metal. The Austin-based brewery pays an homage to Norwegian death metal with this custom label that features someone who can commonly be mistaken as a member of the 1980s rock-band KISS, but is, according to the source, "Abbath from classic Norwegian black metal outfit Immortal."  With a pitch black bottle housing a pitch black beer and a metal musician's portrait emblazoned on what appears to be a viking shield, this label has firmly established its market niche.

Companies that are looking to gain more customers and develop their own market niche with high-quality custom labels may want to invest in a Primera LX900 color label printer.

Debates heat up over California’s Prop. 37


As the November election approaches, activists have ramped up their campaigning efforts for the controversial Proposition 37. As reported by this blog, this legislation would require manufacturers and producers who sell food products in California with genetically modified ingredients to label them as such. Most recently, those in support of the proposition have unveiled a $150,000 television advertisement.

The ad is 30-seconds long and will run in select online news venues and broadcast stations in the major California markets for 10 days. The ad presents “the history of notoriously inaccurate corporate health claims,” according to the California Right to Know Campaign.

“In addition to their history of false health claims about DDT, Agent Orange and tobacco, the same corporations and political operatives are making false claims about the safety of genetically engineered food – even though numerous studies link these foods to allergies and other health risks, as well as to significant environmental problems,” said California Right to Know media director Stacy Malkan.

But, in a recent San Francisco Gate opinion piece, Henry Miller, the founding director of the Office of Biotechnology at the Food and Drug Administration, says that while the intent may be good, the proposition itself is written in a way that creates a new bureaucracy and is riddled with loopholes, hidden costs and will, ultimately, result in higher grocery bills.

According to Miller, Prop. 37 requires special labels on soy milk, but exempts dairy products despite the fact that cows are often fed with genetically engineered grain. Alcohol is exempt even though it’s often made from genetically modified ingredients, as well. Pet foods that contain meat will require labels, whereas meat suitable for humans is exempt.

While the outcome won’t be determined until November, producers and manufacturers that sell or are based in the California area may want to invest in color label printers that can create these potential custom labels.To do so, companies may want to purchase a Primera LX400 color label printer.