Killer app: Saxon boozes up the traditional advent calendar

By Max Goldbart, Monday 23 January 2017

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Christmas may feel like a lifetime ago but let its spirit be resuscitated with this expert piece of print from Saxon Packaging.


At best most people hope for chocolate to emerge from their advent calendars, but Suffolk-based brewery Adnams felt like mixing things up a bit last year, and commissioned Saxon to print an advent calendar with a difference, with 24 of its finest beers contained inside. 

What did you produce?

Saxon, a designated Adnam’s supplier that was highly commended at its recent packaging awards, was sought out by the brewer to produce a 600-long run of the 440x285x250mm calendar, with 24 compartments each containing a bottle or can of Adnam’s beer. Once artwork was signed off the job took around a week from start to finish in mid-September. 

What did it entail? 

The calendars were printed in three-colour flexo on Saxon’s Kirby printer-slotter then the outer-case was die-cut using a Marumatsu. The numbers and designs inside the box were printed on the Kirby at the same time and glued inside. 

Corrugated board for the outer case and dividers was 200gsm Kraft B Flute, which is 2.7-2.9mm in thickness. 

Raised platforms were slotted into compartments that contained cans rather than bottles. 

What challenges were overcome?

Saxon sales director Mike Impson said that there were some difficulties with registration on the flexo printer. 

“Because of the way the design had been done, the registration was fairly tight for flexo printing, being three colours we had a little bit of movement to control, but the overall effect was fantastic,” he said.

What was the feedback?

Adnams was over the moon and said the calendars “flew out the shops”. A new design for Christmas 2017 and increasing volumes are already being discussed. 

Adnams head of creative Jess Turner said: “The box visual artwork was designed to sit within the core Adnams brand creative, to be bright, fun and playful. The outside was designed to be quite simple and clean, so that the numerical inserts inside the box were a real pop and wow when the lid was opened.”

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