AWA Alexander Watson Associates launched their International Sleeve Label Awards just five years ago now, to reward quality and originality in the design, production, and end-use of all types of sleeve labels. This year’s winners once again confirm how innovative and technically-superb this industry is today.
The expert judging panel consisted of Séamus Lafferty, President, Accraply, Pär Olsson, Technical Manager, Nordic and Baltic Narrow Web with Flint Group, and AWA consultant Dr William Llewellyn. The winners they selected received their awards at a ceremony during the recent AWA International Sleeve Label Conference and Exhibition in Amsterdam.
Corey Reardon, President and CEO of AWA Alexander Watson Associates, made the presentations, which were applauded by an audience that truly represented the entire sleeve labeling chain. He commented: ‘This year’s winners are examples of the diversity of solutions that can be achieved by skilled converters with the different sleeving technologies, container types, and today’s printing processes.’
Heat shrink TD sleeves
The award for heat shrink TD sleeves was given to Reynders Etiketten (BE) for their spectacular Peachtree Peach Liqueur bottle labels for De Kuyper Royal Distillers, which the judges described as ‘flawless’. Printed UV flexo on 50 micron PET, spot varnished, and inside-printed with cold foil, the sleeves were perfectly applied to the full length of the bottle, and represent a fine example of quality product branding. Rogier Rubens, Reynders Etiketten, and Babette Ruijten, Global Brand Manager, De Kuyper Royal Distillers, were present at the conference, and jointly collected their award.
Another currently-popular application for sleeve labels – cans – delivered a deserving award winner: Berkshire Labels Ltd (UK), for their elegant sleeves on Titsey Brewing Company’s Innes Lager. They were digitally printed on 45 micron PET, with excellent tactile embellishments – and, said the judges, ‘showed just what can be done’.
A third award was given to CCL Label GmbH (AT) for a sleeve label delivering a notable environmental innovation — for the stretch sleeves on supermarket giant Albert Heijn’s bio-based PE milk container. It carries the first-ever bio-based stretch sleeve, made from sugar cane biopolymer, and printed flexo. Edmondo Motto from CCL Label collected the award.
The judges were also impressed with other entries in the heavily-supported heat shrink TD sleeves category. In addition to Reynders Etiketten’s award, they conferred honorable mention on three other submissions: CCL Label Sleeve Solutions’ labels, for Procter & Gamble’s Lenor Blush Parfum des Secrets fabric conditioner, and also for labels on Dum Dum isotonic drinks for Bibita Beverages; and McDowell Label (USA) for labels on Australian Gold JWOWW toning bronzer. McDowell Labels also gained honorable mention in the sleeved cans category for their labels on Cellucor C4 sports drinks.
Record number of entrants
Reviewing the judging as a whole, Séamus Lafferty comments: ‘With a record number of entrants this year – and an even broader global reach than previously – it is clear that the shrink sleeve label format continues to prove its worth on retail shelves around the world. Innovation in shape, graphic appeal, and the overall improved focus on quality was very clearly evident in the competition this year…all of which bode very well for the continued growth of shrink sleeves, and all of which should make this year’s winners very proud”.