Durham Box crafts festive calendar for special brews

Richard Stuart-Turner
Friday, December 18, 2020

Advent calendars are no longer just about chocolate. Makeup, popcorn, tea, stationery and even cheese variants were all available this Christmas, but one of the biggest markets for alternative advent calendars is alcohol.

What was produced?

For its Christmas project, Edinburgh Beer turned to corrugated packaging manufacturer Durham Box to help it to produce its own unique beer advent calendar as well as festive beer packs for local craft breweries.

A collaboration project established at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Edin-burgh Beer supports the Scottish capital’s craft breweries and raises charitable funds for local good causes.

The initiative is based on the supply of beers from eight Edinburgh craft breweries, which are then sold online in packs of 12 or 24 cans, as well as a four-can cube pack. Buying beer from craft brewers in this way triggers a ‘fair price’ payment to the breweries while generating £1 for charity for every box purchased.

What did the job entail?

Using designs by Edinburgh-based illustrator Susie Wright, a short run of the special beer gift packs was produced in October by St Helen Auckland, County Durham-based Durham Box on its EFI Nozomi C18000 single-pass inkjet press.

The advent calendar was then produced in early November. Regional sales manager Paul Barker said the company used 180gsm Clay Coat outer liner from Board24 for the calendar, which was produced as a box to hold 24 cans. The coated B-flute board provided good protection with a high-quality print finish and 100% recyclability.

The complex design, which included vibrant colours and black and white areas, was subject to a one-pass layering effect by the Nozomi, giving the visual effect of a spot varnish.

And for the calendar box construction, internal dividers were used for the cans to sit in, in addition to a speedy tear cutting rule to give a clean and precise opening experience. Die-cutting was completed on a Bobst 1575 Visioncut flatbed while for gluing Durham Box used a Bobst Visionfold multi-point gluer.

What challenges were overcome?

Getting the desired design took some time to achieve. Durham Box received several artwork updates from Edinburgh Beer founder Ben Wallace after the original artwork was initially sent to the firm. It submitted three updated versions of printed samples to Wallace for approval and he then signed off the first print run during a socially distanced visit to the printer’s site.

What was the feedback?

Wallace said: “We were seeking a print solution that could do justice to the designs and [Durham Box] have exceeded our expectations with a superb print finish, coupled with the flexibility of multiple print versions and relative short runs for all the variations of packs and the calendar.”

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