How to select the perfect closure for your distillate

tapigroup 29 April 2020 0

Tapì’s advice on how to choose the right closure for your product

Selecting the perfect closure for your distillate can be far from straight forward. There are a variety of considerations – from the type of product to reaching your target market.

Before we look at each variable in turn, though, we need to take a step backwards. Closures are not just a bottle cap. They should be able to preserve the liquid without any impact to its taste or flavour. And as it forms an integral part of your product’s packaging, it shouldn’t and mustn’t be left to chance. It should be aesthetically in-keeping with the other packaging elements and fit with the messaging intended for your potential customers.

Now that’s covered, let’s look at how to select the perfect closure for your premium or superpremium distillate.

Product type

The first thing to consider is the type of distillate you intend to produce. For liqueurs and spirits, the oxygen barrier is not a key factor, but it should still be good enough to protect the product in the bottle from any external factors such as high temperatures. This particular issue merits significant consideration, given that heat can make the liquid expand, increasing the pressure within the space where the liquid is held. This can lead to the closure being pushed upwards resulting aesthetic damage and product leakage. And, as noted in the introduction, closures should always guarantee that no interference with the liquid has taken place, as well as contributing to the overall look of the product.

Closures known as ‘T closures’ ensure an optimal balance between aesthetic appeal and technical performance – ideal for the premium and super-premium sector. And Tapì has established itself and developed its position in this area over the last 20 years. This kind of closure takes its name directly from its shape. They have a leg – which is inserted into the neck of the bottle – and a head – the external part that does not come into contact with the liquid.

This structure allows the head to be made from any sort of material. Wood, plastic, aluminium, ceramic are some of the most commonly used by Tapì. But we do design closures on request, or use our cutting-edge production methods, as we do for Abor which is made from distillation process waste products. Naturally, any part of the head can be customised – from the perspective of colour, printing, engraving, embossing, laser work, heat branding and with various types of insert.

The leg can also be made from different types of material. The ones we use the most are synthetic polymers – or biopolymers. They are perfect for avoiding transfer issues which can happen when substances like cork are combined with clear spirits.

The alcohol acts like a solvent and can extract large quantities of poly phenols from the cork. And more specifically tannins that can result in the clear liquid taking on a yellow colour and spoiling the product.

This is exactly why synthetic legs are among the most well used. This doesn’t mean that cork is not suitable for T-closure leg construction, in fact, at Tapì, we use it for darker spirits that have usually been aged. And of course, there’s always the middle ground, known specifically as the micro-agglomerated leg. This ‘hybrid’ solution is a compromise between cork and synthetic materials.

Context and target market

As we’ve already mentioned, closures are a highly significant element that is part of product packaging. So, when it comes to the premium and super-premium spirits segment, it’s really important to select a closure that can blend functionality and design. And this is where the variables of context and target market come to the fore.

The idea, more specifically, is connected to the perception of quality for a given product. Packaging as a whole is a key purchase lever. And for this reason, it’s important that each individual element fits in with the rest and expresses the brand’s key messages.

One example would be a distillate produced through sustainable methods, selected raw materials and uniquely linked to the product’s region of origin. A product like this could use a closure designed similarly to Abor – its production process designed by Tapì involves the recovery of distillation waste products that would otherwise go to landfill. By choosing Abor this opens up so much potential for storytelling – namely talking about the product’s origins without forgetting the immense value of its eco-friendly design which underpins this closure’s production process. Equally, a product that’s positioned in the luxury segment – with stylish, distinctive packaging – could do well to marry up with a closure featuring a ceramic head, perhaps even decorated with an aged-wood effect.

So, as we have seen, context is key to the effective positioning a product within its niche market. And the perception of value conveyed to the market is equally important in determining the success or failure of a liqueur or distillate.

The bottle

The right choice of closure also depends on the bottle used for your distillate. The best way to come to a decision is to test out a few closure samples with your filled bottle to find out which has the best fit.

If this is out of the question, then you’ll need to work from the technical designs from the glassmaker who made the bottle, which is usually provided at purchase.

In general, these details will ensure an optimum fit and avoid any liquid leakage. Clearly, there are other factors that may influence your choice such as shape of the neck of the bottle. For this reason, it’s essential to follow our advice about trying out a few samples before making your final choice.

A final note

The recommendations listed are suggested based on our experience. In any case, we advise the assessment of all the elements and factors involved – bottle, product type, fill level and the packaging as a whole.

Contact us to arrange a consultation with our area manager.

Beverage packaging design: new trends for 2020

tapigroup 21 April 2020 0

Six unmissable trends in the world of beverage packaging design for this year

Just like every other part of the vast world of designconsumer packaging also needs to be able to talk about itself and its story. In fact, it should know how to communicate about its products to a specific target market, by emphasising its own brand’s value proposition. But in the highly competitive landscape of premium spirits, where offerings grow from week to week, standing out from the crowd is becoming harder than ever.

In recent years, this tendency toward cut-throat competitiveness has pushed the brands operating in this specific niche to experiment with many innovative approaches to beverage packing design – both in terms of aesthetic appeal and function. And 2020 is showing fascinating trends even in this direction.

Here are this year’s six popular trends and we expect they’ll continue to dominate the sector well into 2021.

1. Metamorphosis

As the title suggests, metamorphosis is the process where design elements are transformed into something new. By creating an optical illusion to catch the eye, it draws consumers in to look at the more complex packaging details.

This compelling artistic trend is at the cutting edge – particularly in the world of beverage packaging design – and is a unique and very important element that works well. Its aim is to convey specific types of brand message.

The Seedlip brand, for example, has used an illustration of a metamorphosis symbol on its label. Since this company is well-known for its alcohol-free and low alcohol distillates, we can confirm that the transformation message works well with this type of product – usually alcoholic but in this case its nature has been changed.

These transformational values can be seen in every single bottle, both in its contents and its packaging. Besides its special carefully illustrated label, we find an attractively curved, transparent bottle which highlights every tint and shade of the liquid combined with a closure, SCR Aluminium by Tapì, that expresses this brand’s founding principles of simplicity and love for nature.

2. Details and sophistication

Research has shown that today consumers drink less, but better quality. This is great news for companies that produce premium spirits, as they are constantly researching new ideas to meet the demands of an ever-changing market.

Just for this reason, packaging needs to be able to convey the value of its contents, especially to differentiate them with the rest of the market’s products. This is why there is a consistent move towards unique, luxury packaging. This significant trend brings with it packaging that is more luxurious, attractive, with more intense compositions rich in detail. Every single element that makes up the packaging needs to be moving in this direction.

At Tapì, we think of ourselves as pioneers in the luxury closure sector. It’s not by chance that over the last few months we have developed a new concept based on cutting-edge materials, such as exotic wood and stone-effect ceramic. And we’re following the sustainability trend by creating new production processes based on recovering waste products to make luxurious, eco-friendly closures.

3. Retro and futurist

The words retro and futurist, when put together, sound like a contradiction in terms. But the combination of design elements that echo the past with innovative products can work really well together.

This is just so for Tapì’s Speakeasy range of closures, inspired by the prohibition era of the 1920s. A Speakeasy closure can be a valid starting point for packaging development, from the viewpoint of artisan-style premium spirits. It combines a futuristic design with a touch of vintage flair that results in an extraordinary design to captivate consumers.

4. Sustainability

The next five years will be decisive in understanding the direction that the current climate emergency will take. The behaviours people adopt will be key and awareness about making more sustainable choices for the environment will be critical, both on the part of businesses and consumers. 

Over the last few months, all the operational businesses in the world of beverage packaging design have been busy researching eco-friendly and plastic-free alternatives. In the near future, we expect even more exploration into eco-friendly materials to create easily recyclable packaging as well as innovative production processes, while still maintaining the quality and aesthetic appeal required by the premium and super-premium spirits sector. These concepts have led to the creation of closures – and closure ranges – such as Duo, Mekano and Abor.

5. Transparent packaging

Using transparent bottles so that the product’s colour can be shown off, is a trend that is already extremely popular in the beauty and skin-care sector. We expect a strong surge in this trend during this year, even in food and drink packaging. It’s a winning idea that lets the brand adopt a more minimal approach to their packaging design processes. But it also allows them to put the product at the centre of the customer experience without compromising on its visual impact.

6. Well-structured layout

This trend in beverage packaging design focusses on the way the typography chosen by a brand can be used on a much broader level.

The text is generally made up of a variety of unique, captivating character combinations, separated by clear lines that divide up the space, so it feels clean and balanced, making it easy to read. This approach also gives a sense of structure, which consumers enjoy and allows designers a more minimalist approach to the creation of packaging in its entirety.

On a final note

The items we have included in this list are some of the more common trends for 2020 in the world of beverage packaging design.

If you have a product to launch onto the market – or one to revamp – get in touch for more information about our closures. We, at Tapì, are specialists in the production of T closures for the premium and super-premium sectors. Little jewels to enhance any product they seal.

Contact us to find out more

Interview with Alfred Basha, professional illustrator

tapigroup 17 April 2020 0

A one-to-one with the illustrator, Alfred Basha, to explore his style and background

Alfred Basha is an illustrator with a deeply dreamlike perspective who takes his inspiration from wild nature for most of his designs. He has been working with the beverage sector for some time, including some key international collaborative work.

Precisely for this reason, we decided to get to know him better by asking him a few questions about his work.

First of all, thank you for agreeing to do this interview. Who is Alfred? Can you tell the Tapì readers something about yourself?

“My name is Alfred Basha and I was born in 1990, in Kruje. It’s a mountain village steeped in history about 40 km, or 25 miles, from Tirana. I came to Italy with my parents in 2002, when I was 12. And this is where we made our new lives.

I’ve always had a huge passion for design. And because of this, I got a degree in Industrial Product Design from the IUAV University in Venice. Shortly after that I started work in the field, but unfortunately, I realised that it wasn’t really what I really wanted to do with my life.

My life as an illustrator started by chance and while I was at university. Back then I used to make hand-printed t-shirts that I’d designed. And I’d sell them to my friends for a nominal amount to cover my costs. Over time demand began to grow and I started to sell them and ship them to retailers across Italy. That was how Alfred Basha was created – a casual t-shirt brand made with my designs.

After I opened my Instagram page to promote my work, I got an email from the team that run the software platform asking me for an interview to include with others they’d done with emerging artists. It certainly was the breakthrough that I’d been waiting for. Although I’m only self-taught, I got 13,000 more followers overnight. People who were really interested in my drawings and my interpretation. This let me create a space in the art world and it was the springboard for everything that’s happened since.

I am currently on the web, with my own website, and on Instagram – that brought me so much good fortune – and Pinterest. This is where I get the majority of my requests for work from the beverage world.”

When did you get involved in the beverage world? And why? What was your first commission for the sector and what else have you or are you currently working on?

“My first piece of work in the beverage sector was about 3 years ago, in 2017. The multinational Boon Rawd Brewery from Thailand that’s famous for its Shinga beer contacted me as it was about to launch Snowy Weizen. It’s an innovative wheat beer in its market segment and they wanted one of my illustrations to print on the can. After some careful discussion, they chose an image of a bear – one of my most well-known and most-liked designs. This experience opened up a new world for me and more work requests came in. I’ve done work for some wine producers from the Napa Valley, in California for some specific customisations on their products. And I’ve worked with other wine companies and with Hine, one of the oldest Cognac producers. I’m currently developing a project that’s demanding and inspiring – it’s the coordination and design for the production of labels for a new range of alcohol-free distillates for a brand in California.

When you take on a new project, what are the different phases? From the brief to the finished article.

“The phases are quite linear and most often I follow a specific process. Firstly, it’s so important to have a dialogue with the customer with the aim of defining a brief covering the key points as well as understanding exactly what they need for the finished product.

Once I’ve received the keywords to focus on, I begin by doing some online and offline research – mostly in vintage illustrated books. This helps me to find so much more inspiration to get on with the work. When I’ve got an idea, I begin making some sketches that I’ll then take to the customer. We then single out the sketch that I’ll develop to finish the design and make the final illustration by adding in all the details.”

Most of your illustrations are linked to wild nature – what does that mean to you?

“Really, wild nature is the direction I wanted to take on Instagram to make a name for myself. As I said earlier, I’m self-taught and I like to experiment and move towards various styles and techniques. That way I can be as versatile as possible, and I can create on paper exactly what the customer is looking for. And it’s just for this reason that I’m thinking of redesigning my website to show off my versatility – or at least part of it.

The idea of showing only images connected to nature on Instagram came from my desire to get myself into a specific world. With my Albanian roots and coming from a mountainous landscape, I sometimes feel the instinct to depict the place where I was born and the animals that live there. Bears, hawks and wolves – all of them wild, free and owe nothing to anyone. What I love about them is that they’re not slaves to life and the system we inhabit. When I draw these images on paper, for me it means hurling myself into another world that represents absolute freedom.”

If you could take on a new collaborative work in the beverage world, which product would you like to experiment with? And why?

“I’d like to have look at the world of spirits. It’s a context that’s very similar to the one I am working in, in terms of creativity, stylistic research and product storytelling. Spirits have a strong taste, a bit like nature, and for me that’d be a real challenge.

Going into the detail, I have always wanted to work alongside a brand to develop images for a liqueur or a grassy or spiced bitter drink. Something with deep flavours that marry well with my passion and nature.”