When Does Your Wine or Spirits Label Need Specialty Printing?

Does your wine or spirits brand have a truly captivating story? Maybe a legendary founder, or deep roots in a special place. Or perhaps you’re bottling a limited-edition liquid that you want to spotlight and celebrate.

If so, you should consider upping your packaging game with a specialty printing technique.

Specialty printing techniques can elevate the packaging of your wine or spirits brand to a whole new level. These techniques offer a range of possibilities, from embossing and debossing, to foil stamping and letterpress printing, to spot UV coating and holographic effects.

What are your options?

There are a number of special effects to play with, including:

Substrate: the material for the label, not limited to paper (though there are lots of high-end, luxe papers to explore) but also metal, fabric, or plastic.

Relief: a physical texture incorporated into the label through the process of embossing (raised texture) or debossing (indented texture); the bottle itself can also be embossed or debossed.

Shine: metallic foil in a whole range of colors add sparkle and reflection that captures attention from a bar or retail shelf.

Enhancements: everything from a simple varnish that adds visual depth to printing, to custom-designed medallions affixed to the bottle

What’s more, you can mix and match various techniques to achieve a spectacular package.

Specialty Packaging Examples

To show you the range of possibilities, we’ve gathered some recent examples of our work with wine and spirits brands:


This distinctive golden rum brand has a great backstory: a legendary explorer who went missing on a quest to find the world’s finest spirits.

To enhance the compass that’s on the label, we collaborated with our print provider to add a raised resin circle that resembles glass.

69 Spicy Beer

For a Portuguese brewery, we developed a racy label to package their chili-laced brew. The client owns bars and restaurants in addition to the brewery and wanted a bottle that would get people talking.

We incorporated an illustration from a book by the Marquis de Sade, then overprinted the salacious elements of the artwork with scratch-off ink. The limited-edition run quickly sold out, thanks to customers’ fascination with the label.

(When we visited one of the client’s restaurants, the server raved about the beer and how cool the label is, not realizing that we designed it!)

Quevedo Dry Gin

This spirit celebrates the landscape of Portugal’s legendary Douro Valley. The gin is infused with local botanicals that capture the scent that’s prevalent throughout the environment.

Our label concept emphasized alchemy and mystery, and we overprinted the delicate, feminine illustration with a transparent luminescent varnish — this hidden image is only visible when viewed in the dark.

Our client told us that customers were going crazy for the package: “You have no idea how many people are taking the bottle into a dark bathroom to see the image!”

The Right Technique for the Right Product

Specialty printing can add to the production budget, so it doesn’t make sense for every bottle.

For brands with a great story to tell, a premium product, and bold sales targets, a distinctive package creates an impressive shelf presence.

When clients come to us with a rough narrative, they often haven’t thought about how printing can elevate it. We help them visualize something more interesting and dynamic.

If you go this route, it’s essential to have a design partner who can collaborate with the right printer. We can help you achieve your creative vision for your brand — and work with our skilled print vendors to bring it to life. Let’s get in touch!

Book a discovery call today!

Let’s create something beautiful.