A Monk and a Saxon walked into a bar...
Northern Monk is an independent brewery based in Holbeck, Leeds. Inspired by their northern surroundings and the history of monastic brewing practiced across the region for thousands of years, they commit themselves to creating the highest quality beers, combining the best traditional monastic brewing values with a progressive approach to ingredients and techniques.
Since 2015, Northern Monk have been using Saxon Packaging, part of the Smurfit Kappa Group, to produce their beer packaging solutions from their very first can boxes, shipping boxes and mail order solutions, through to the wide range of premium beer packaging produced today.
In late 2019, Luca Lorenzoni, Director at Northern Monk, contacted Mike Impson, Sales Director at Saxon Packaging, for a mail order solution for their new beer subscription club, ‘The Patrons Society’. Luca was seeking a premium dual flexo & litho solution that would reflect their brand identity & design and be able to hold 12 of their canned products and associated branded material.
The two artwork designs were created by Northern Monk’s in-house designers, the external flexo design along with the design for the Litho printed interior.
'Taking our existing can designs, brand identity, assets and guidelines, we developed designs for the Patrons Society subscription boxes. The concept was based on our iconic logo and incorporated our current branding illustrations. To help create another dimension to the packaging design and enhancing the unboxing experience for our subscribers, we also incorporated the option of two different methods of printing (flexo and litho)', said Luca Lorenzoni of Northern Monk.
Once happy with the artwork, Northern Monk passed this over to Saxon Packaging's in-house design team and asked them to advise as to which material, paper grade and overall packaging design structure would be best suited.
'With previous experience of cans generally being damp when placed into boxes, we recommended a Kraft liner with EB fluting, and lamination to work in conjunction with the printing processes used due to its strength and performance in mail order transit conditions', said Ben Watson, Technical & Design Manager, Saxon Packaging.
Due to the two different methods of printing, extra care had to be taken to ensure that the colours of both the interior litho and the exterior flexo print were as closely matched as possible. Throughout the printing process, extra attention was paid to ensure colour registration remained accurate and the correct printing pressures were applied. The slightest adjustment in pressure can have a drastic affect to the overall print colours and quality.
The interior litho printed design had a further embellishment of matt lamination to add depth, to highlight the packaging artwork, contrasting against the colours, and to give the packaging a luxurious feel.
Although flexo printing is often considered the most basic form of printing, when combined with litho printing, it has demonstrated that by using the correct materials, matched colours and clever designs, stunning results can be achieved. This is showcased by the end result on this project.
'We are very happy to have helped Northern Monk again achieve a great design on their packaging, consistent with their brand overall look and feel, pushing the limits to what can be achieved with both flexo and litho printed beer packaging', said Mike Impson of Saxon Packaging.
'The Patrons Society Subscription box has been a great success for us and has encouraged subscriptions to the point of achieving sell out numbers. The brand impact has also helped raise our profile on and off trade', added Fay Hunter, Production Co-Ordinator.
Northern Monk Brewery - https://northernmonkshop.com
Northern Monk Patrons Society - https://northernmonkshop.com/collections/subscription-box
Saxon Packaging - http://www.saxonpackaging.co.uk
Smurfit Kappa - https://www.smurfitkappa.com/uk