Gravure Printing: Print Comes To Life

The Print Quality Awards program of the Packaging & Label Gravure Assn. Global (PLGA), Naples, FL, recognizes member converters and package printers for outstanding achievement in gravure printing. This year's award recipients were honored during PLGA's 2010 Annual Conference in Miami, FL, February 24-26.

The annual competition is judged by industry professionals who examine key print attributes such as attention to registration, color consistency, and overall print quality. Consideration also is given to gravure processes and technical excellence. Here's a look at just a few of this year's winners.

Flexible Packaging-Foil/Paper Lamination

International first place honors are awarded to Alcan Packaging Canada, Weston, ON, for its Dannon Activia Challenge label. Designed with shelf appeal in mind, it features four process colors, special green, overlacquer on the front side, and heat-seal lacquer on the reverse side, using Sun Chemical inks on a Cerutti press. Judges comment the deep green background contrasts nicely with the yellow, and “the vignettes are good, as is the type.”

Flexible Packaging-Film/Film Lamination-Process

The Ruiz-El Monterey burritos package receives a first place nod for American Packaging, Columbus, WI. The customer switched from flexo to gravure to upgrade shelf appeal. The package features seven colors printed on an ACOM press. The judges note the small type is very clear and legible, even against a tone background. “The registration is very good, and the reversed-out type [is] great. A really nice piece of work that makes you want to try the product.”

Flexible Packaging-Foil/Paper Lamination

Printpack, Elgin, IL, wins in this category for the Double Chocolate Chewy Chips Ahoy package. Converter prints eight colors on a foil/paper lamination using Sun Chemical inks on a Cerutti press. Judges comment, “The red background is nice and solid, as is the blue. The vignettes are nice, and the black type is well rendered. The falling motion of the chips presented a difficult registration challenge but was well executed.”

Non-PSA Labels/Wraps-Paper-Top Coated

Editorial Padilla, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, is an international winner recognized for its Holographic Presidente Light label (also see p34). It features six colors plus varnish printed on metallized holographic paper using Sun Chemical inks, Nicoat coatings, and a Chesnut press. With the holographic substrate adding to its overall appeal, judges were impressed with the converter's use of halftones and the clarity of the label's small type.

Non-PSA Labels/Wraps-Paper-Top Coated

Mundet Tennessee, Surgoinsville, TN, is recognized for Bush's Best Grillin' Beans Steakhouse Recipe label, which features four process and four line colors plus gloss and matte varnish printed on 60# coated-one-side (CIS) paper using Sun Chemical inks on a Schaivi press. Judges say the label is sure to stimulate consumer appetites. “The illustration is realistic, the reversed-out type is clear and legible. The use of matte and high-gloss varnish, combined with the gold foil stamping, make this an outstanding label.”

Medical Pharmaceutical — No Label Look

First place honors are awarded to Gilbreth Packaging, Croydan, PA, for its Breg-Kodiak Cryogenic Cooler label. It features eight colors printed on polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG) LV film using solvent-based inks and heat-activated adhesive on a Rotomec press. “The black type and diagrams are very nice, the vignettes are outstanding, and the gradual transition from light to dark blue is good,” rave the judges.

Cartons-Paperboard-Top Coated

Trident Americas, Chester, VA, is honored for the Marlboro Blend No. 54 100's package. Carton features nine colors printed on 12-pt SBS board on a Bobst 650 Lemanic press using Sun Chemical inks. The judges comment the background green was smooth and even. “Overprinting with gold is never easy, but the results were good. The vignettes are smooth and well executed, and the clarity of the red logo is good.”

Sleeves/Tubes-Heat Shrinkable-More than 13%

The Soft Scrub-Total Kitchen sleeve is a first place winner for Multi-Color, Batavia, OH. Sleeve uses seven colors printed on clear film with solvent-based inks on a Schiavi press. The judges are impressed with the overall execution of the print job. “Nice smooth vignettes, good solid background color, and a really nice subtle background illustration of a kitchen,” they say. “All of the type is really good, and although there was ample opportunity for misregister, they held it very well.”


Avery Dennison, Security Print Div., Clinton, SC, is recognized for the Kelp Forest stamp. The stamp features eight colors printed on Fasson facestock laminated to a 50# liner using Siegwerk C Type solvent-based inks and Environmental Inks and Coatings' water-based coating on a Dia-Nippon Kiko ten-color rotogravure press. The job was printed using a 300-400 line screen, and the entire range of color from 3%-100%. “The fine detailing and high-screen-count printing can only be accomplished by the gravure process,” comment the judges. “The hidden die-cutting of the ten stamps didn't affect the artistic view of the total picture.”

Sun Chemical HD Plates

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