CROWN Aerosol Packaging North America, a business unit of Crown Holdings, Inc., received two “Excellence in Quality” awards from the International Metal Decorators Association (IMDA), including the “2011 Grand Award” honor.
IMDA presented the awards to Crown in recognition of its printing capabilities on limited edition packaging for WD-40 Company’s “Support Our Troops” campaign. The collectible series of aerosol cans were created to honor American military forces.
The series consisted of four different can designs that contained a wide range of colors: three depicting the United States’ air, sea and land forces and one combined graphic, titled ‘Honor,’ showcasing all five branches of the military, including the Coast Guard. The “Sea/Navy” can, combining blues and greens, won the “Best of Category” award in the aerosol class, while the “Honor” design, containing a wide range of blue shades, was singled out among all the entries for the event’s top prize: 2011 Grand Award.
Crown’s winning aerosol cans are the result of close collaboration with the WD-40 Company and its design agency. Crown worked with the concept designs early in the development process to more efficiently evaluate how each image would appear when actually on the printing press. This step proved invaluable, as it allowed the graphics teams to make adjustments to accommodate the complex colors, including WD-40’s signature blue. Crown’s graphic experts provided color correction and blending support and also ensured that common design elements across the four graphics, such as the military stars, all retained the same level of intensity.
Crown also conceived a “jumbled” printing strategy that placed all four designs on a single printing plate to ensure that designs would be pre-mixed on the pallets being shipped to contract fillers around the United States. The typical printing process for aerosol cans calls for a single graphic design to be printed on a flat sheet of metal, which ultimately would have required a labor intensive hand sorting process to achieve the same mix.
“Just having been able to participate in this project was an honor for Crown, as it pays tribute to members of our Armed Services around the world. It also makes being recognized by IMDA for the work on this project especially meaningful,” said Brad Dahlgren, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, CROWN Aerosol Packaging North America. “It’s a testament to the skill of our graphics team in Aurora, Illinois, and demonstrates the powerful results that can come from working in close partnership with our customers.”
Participants for the IMDA’s “Excellence in Quality” awards are judged by an impartial committee of graphic arts professionals. Entries are assessed based on the quality of printing, degree of difficulty, appearance of coating finishes, registration and degree of technical expertise required for each piece.
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