RTD alcoholic beverages, formerly or sometimes known as alcopops, is a term coined by the popular media to describe bottled alcoholic beverages, that resemble drinks such as soft drinks and lemonade. They're known as RTDs, as the letters stand for Ready to Drink, and the products are already pre-mixed.
Carlsberg Sweden is a beverage company that is taking the trend toward differentiation to heart within the growing RTD market. The company recently unveiled a radical redesign of their beverage range, Xide, an extensive portfolio of alcoholic mixed ready-to-drink products. Xide has been injected with new energy via 10 exclusive label designs, printed by beverage label specialist Spear.
Nine Design, Carlsberg's design agency, was tasked with the objective “to bring the X to life." Spear helped to achieve this by working closely with designers throughout the process to identify the optimum printing processes and finishes for each piece of artwork. “The redesign of Xide was a complex project, with unique and intricate artworks requiring completely different printing techniques for each flavor in the range. Essentially, each SKU was a project in itself and the technical knowledge, experience and support provided by Spear proved invaluable in translating the original vision into an award-winning range of beverage design,” says Andreas Linnell, design director for Nine Design.
Spear utilized a combination of screen/flexo and foil processes to enrich each individual design. For example, Raspberry Blossom was created using a simple, 4-color process, but, by substituting the black flexo for a screen black, the label gains a visual and physical tactile appearance. The Mandarin Chilli flavor has a layered and vibrant appearance, achieved using multiple screen ink colors. Another interesting effect can be seen on Xide Bright which was constructed combining two hot foils, silver and holographic.
The logo-type is printed with a foil finish for each design allowing it to suitably accompany the illustrative detail. The result is a striking collection in which the X takes on its own identity across the 10 bottle range.