Original Graphic Novel Della Granda Brewery - Lucca Comics

Original Graphic Novel is the name of this beer presented by the Della Granda Brewery on the occasion of the 2021 edition of Lucca Comics, an international festival dedicated to author comics, which takes place every year in the Tuscan city of Lucca.
As we saw in a previous article, packaging can turn out to be an accurate storytelling tool. Through it, a brand can tell a story, arousing the curiosity of its audience. Della Granda Brewery wanted to go further by telling a real comic story through its new beer.
One of the Della Granda Brewery is an exciting example of storytelling packaging design. We are talking about some beers produced with a unique and collectable label. Each of them shows an episode of the history of the Girls, some characters created by the Della Granda Brewery with the help of Diego Boscolo Fiore. They have represented the craft beers of the homonymous line for a year now.

Il progetto Original Graphic Novel

Here is how Ivano Astesana, master brewer and owner of Granda presents us the latest project of the brewery:  "We had this idea for some time. We liked the Girls labels so much that we decided to tell their story. The launch was made on the occasion of Lucca Comics to pay homage to the whole panorama of comics and graphic novels. [...] We also wanted to make it fun and collectable, which is why we decided to make a different cartoon on each label that would tell the story of our heroines: The Girls! "
An original and creative idea to stimulate the consumer's curiosity made possible thanks to the infinite possibilities of Digital Printing.
It is a truly compelling story in the form of a comic to find out who The Girls are and how they met. The report will unfold in 48 cartoons, applied randomly on each Original Graphic Novel beer can. In short, to know how the story ends, you have to collect them all! On each can, the customer will have the opportunity to find an episode of the story; the labels have also been numbered, thus becoming a real collector's item.
Have we intrigued you with this topic?
Discover our article on Interactive Packaging and Storytelling Packaging Design!



A small excerpt from the story

"2120. The earth is devastated by the conflicts triggered by the multinationals, which following the Boston agreement of 2069, by widespread acclaim, were able to found their nations and equip themselves with armies. Nuclear wars have followed suit in court in an escalation that has desertified 90% of the planet. The desire to control and condition the masses has made the CEOs real emperors of the few surviving branded megalopolises in which much of humanity gathers. A powerful spirit of belonging clouds the minds of citizens but does not erase the rampant crime due to poverty. There is a common enemy: the inhabitants of other cities. In the meantime, the brands are getting rich behind the population, but something is changing. The girls are coming!"

Diego Boscolo Fiore  is the artist creator of the Girls, but more professionals contributed to creating the comic strip story. For this project, the Della Granda Brewery once again relied on its now historic partner for communication, Idea Food & Beverage who created the concept and coordinated the work. The Original Graphic Novel project was divided into several phases, first the drafting of a textual story, then the transformation of the story into a script, and finally the transformation of the latter into drawn tables. 
The Labelado team also had the honour of being part of the Original Graphic Novel project, contributing to printing, which is the last step of the process: the transformation of the boards into labels.
We have told you more generally what the project consists of and how it was developed, now we would like to talk to you about the part we at Labelado took care of label printing.

La stampa

The first important point to address is the choice not to print directly on the beer can but to produce a label to be applied to it. One of the critical points of the Original Graphic Novel project was having the same product but printed with different labels. The way to do this was to rely on variable data printing, which we discussed in a previous article. Direct printing on cans does not allow you to print with variable data and therefore limited edition products, unlike digital printing, which will enable you to produce small Premium runs with unique processes.
Variable data printing or VDP is a printing method that uses prepress software and a database to modify the output of a digital press to customize each label. For variable data printing, we at Labelado rely on HP SmartStream software.
In this case, the variable data was used to obtain a sequential succession of the drawn tables; each board corresponds to an episode of the Girls comic story. The graphic layout remains the same on all eight cans, and the only thing that changes is the comic board's central part. The information on the label and the beer are the same. We only went to work on the graphics to create a limited edition collector's item. Original Graphic Novel beers acquire meaning when you have the complete 8-can package because by doing so, you can complete the piece of history and understand its message.

Variable data printing is an exciting technique. If you want to learn more about the subject,
discover our article on variable data printing!
The choice of the material fell on a glossy white polypropylene then made opaque by laminating. We opted for this type of material, as, on the gloss, the colours remain decidedly more saturated and intense. However, the final result should have been opaque, and therefore it has also been plasticized to provide further protection to the product and give it that effect of "velvety". Furthermore, the colours obtained on the labels are intense and defined, which was possible thanks to the HP Indigo 6800 printing system.



Thanks to digital printing with Hp Indigo 6800 and variable data printing with Hp SmartStream Designer, Birrificio Della Granda has made a usual niche product, such as a collector's or limited edition, more accessible and exciting.
Original Graphic Novel turned out to be a truly inspiring project, which we were delighted to participate in. We hope we have intrigued you with this compelling story! For more information or to buy the Girls' craft beers, you can visit the Della Granda Brewery website. See you next article!