Regional converters recognised in 2023 World Label Competition

The L9 World Label Association has announced the class and honourable mention award winners for the 2023 World Label Competition, which recognised works by four regional converters, including MCC, James Print, Ultra Label and Kiwi Labels.

The L9 is an alliance of global associations formed to jointly formulate policies and to collect strategic information of global interest to the worldwide label industries.

This is the first time that this competition has been held since 2019 due to the restrictions placed on face-to-face meetings and international travel due to the pandemic. 

The existing class structure encompasses all the principal printing processes and market applications used in the international label industry. 

All member associations are invited to submit entries in any of the 22 classes of the competition, ensuring that a true international flavour is maintained and the results are a true representation of the worldwide label industry. 

For the 19th year of the completion, 69 entries were received from Finat in Europe, JFLP in Japan, TLMI in the USA, FPLMA in Australia, SALMA in New Zealand, LMAI in India and CPA in China. Out of them, the judges selected 23 winners and 14 honourable mention awards.

The 2023 L9 World Label Awards (WLA) competition was judged by an international panel selected from each participating association. It included Steve Wood of FINAT, Steve Schulte of TLMI, Jon Murray of FPLMA, Harveer Sahni of LMAI, Masaaki Yoshitake of JFLP and Menke Feng of CPA. 

Chairman of judges Tony White commented, “The judges examine each entry carefully. With the considerable technical developments introduced during the past few years and quality levels improving, the judges are continually challenged to make the correct decision regarding the award-winning entries. 

“The technical background information provided by the printer often makes a difference when selecting the award winner.”

The below list shows all recognised works printed by the regional converters.

Class 1: Flexo Line, honorary mention for Rock Paper Scissors by Multi-Color Corporation, Australia.

Judges recognised this work for a nice, neat two-colour job with a rotary screen pattern to relieve the background and enhance the black lettering, giving a high build effect. Mechanical die-cutting was used to remove the decals.

Class 9: Offset Litho Line winner for Long Rays Pacific Tonic 275ml produced by Multi-Color Corporation, Australia.

This label has been recognised for a nice, clean look in two colours, printed in a single pass with the addition of hot foil and high-build screen varnish on the black type. The judges said that the central image of the sun draws the eye to the centre of the label while the top half, printed in blue, adds a degree of interest.  

Class 12: Offset Litho Wines/Spirits category winner for Mon Cinq Pinot Grigio by James Print, Australia.

According to the judges, the design seems complicated when one first looks at the central image on this label. There are, in fact, many elements too numerous to mention in this brief evaluation. This work, printed in four colours in one pass with hot foil and a high build screen, features fine lines combined with the many elements, which prove the high degree of control of the printer. 

Class 16: Combination Wines/Spirits honorary mention for Coconuts! Mr. Black Coconut Rum Coffee Liqueur produced by Multi-Color Corporation, Australia.

A dramatic action label with the snake waiting to shake the coconuts off the tree. The judges mentioned that much action is away from the image, with offset litho in six colours. The printing process is supplemented by hot foil, varnish, embossing and high-build varnish. The embossing is substantial and is under over 80 per cent of the image, giving the whole label a three-dimensional effect.

Class 17: Digital Printing honorary mention for Drip by ARMD printed by Ultra Label, Australia.

“The central image certainly demands attention with a dramatic image of a mask with roses surrounding it and attention-grabbing green hair,” the judges said. “The whole design is given more depth by using a metallic substrate. A series of subtle skulls decorates the background. Printed in five colours with an offline high build screen and selective embossing, which accentuates the focal point of the design and adds texture for a premium feel.”

Class 21: Booklets, honorary mention for Win 1 of 30 by Kiwi Labels, New Zealand.

This seven-page concertina fold booklet contains a unique QR code on each label. “The base layer was printed digitally in four colours, and precise preparation was required to ensure accurate registration of the base layer and the information layer match,” commented judges. “The final operation (second pass) was to apply a gloss over laminate and accurate register with the die station. This is how a booklet label should look.”

Since 2012, the L9 World Label Association has commissioned five additional awards to represent the best labels from the 2023 WLA competition in each of the main printing processes. 

These awards were selected from the winning labels after completing the main judging in the following group classes: flexography, letterpress, offset litho, combination printing and digital printing. The winners will be announced before the end of this year. 

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