General News


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As we are steadily approaching the end of 2015, we took a look at some of this year’s awards winners in various categories:


1st place – Wine & Champagne
Veuve Cliquot – the envelope box, Clicquot Clutch and Clicquot Express.



1st place – Flexible Packaging
Farrah’s Wraps – an example of designers and printers working together to create a clever design.



1st place – Dairy, Spices, Oils, Sauces and Condiments
Foodscross – this Greek honey distinguished itself from the market with its signed and numbered vases.


3rd place – Personal Care
Luxe Soap – enveloped in a paper engineered box, consisting of multi-layered, intricate diecuts that create an illusion of depth.






1st place – Beer, Malt and Tobacco
Karu Beer – the beer underwent a complete rebrand to embrace the heart of the brand – the confident, tough inner strength of the bear.



1st place – Student packaging concept Trident Gum – an amusing, fun, playful and interactive packaging concept.





10-CBS-PLEDGECalibre Brand Solutions is now a proud member of the Printing Federation of South Africa (PIFSA).


We have signed and undertaken a pledge to abide by the association’s code of ethics and follow the values as prescribed by the association.








No matter how small the action, Mandela Day is about change the world for the better.

This year Calibre decided to make goodie bags for the children at Iris House Childrens Hospice. Their mission statement is: “To provide loving, professional, free community based care for special needs children with life threatening illness or life limiting conditions.”We love what they are doing. Here are a few pics of our staff making goodie bags and delivering to them.



Please feel free to share or like what you did, on our facebook page.




If you have not received your calendar yet, please contact Angela at or on 082 781 6268 to get your copy!


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As with everything in business, rebranding your product is a delicate process. Branding is the image that consumers automatically associate with your company. The human eye takes in product packaging in the following order:
Colour ● Shape ● Images and photography ● Words.


With this in mind, we had a look at some bold branding redesigns:



BEFORE                                                                              AFTER


Did you know that Calibre Brand Solutions opened its doors in 1990? Originally known as The Exquisite Art Company, the name was changed and the company rebranded to Calibre Brand Solutions in 2008, so as to better represent our core business.





18 JULY 2015 – What will you be doing? Share your Mandela Day pics with us on our Facebook page. We would love to see how you spent your 67 minutes.




If you have not received your calendar yet, please contact Angela at or on 082 781 6268 to get your copy!



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From foils to glitter and holographic film, below are some packaging designs that show how different effects can be used to give an exquisite finish to a product.


Deboss to create a tactile impression



Black on black – gloss spot varnish on matt black




Gold and silver foiling with embossing




Holographic film




Screen printing on glass






We understand different types of substrates – whether it be paper, plastic or glass – and their capabilities and limitations. So we ensure that our designs and artwork work within these parameters and this includes a variety of special print finishes.




This month we have had a look at some quirky and fun packaging ideas centred around products for pets.


Dog’s Dinner

Capturing the theme from a dog’s perspective – packaging designed in the shape of a slipper for dinner and a newspaper for breakfast.




Instead of using plastic bags which are harmful to the environment and cannot be recycled, Whitebites is packaged in recyclable paper – combining humour, aesthetics and a consciousness for the environment.





Poop Bags

Playful and discreet, these cleverly designed boxes fit in your pocket and the bags are biodegradable.



Yumeow Cat Snacks

Not only is the container made of paper, it is stackable and can keep leftover snacks fresh.



Rest In Pets

No more unceremonious flushing of goldfish down toilets or cats being buried in old shoe boxes. These caskets are made of biodegradable cardboard.








If you have not received your calendar yet, please contact Angela at or on 082 781 6268 to get your copy!


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Every time we go into a shop, we are surrounded by packaging. We found examples where the illustration was able to promote distinctive, unforgettable and beautiful packaging.










We have one of the most sophisticated colour proofing systems. Our colour management workflows are set up according to ISO-120647-7 Contract Proof Creation Standard. We are able to produce hardcopy digital proof prints that are both colour accurate and can be used to match colour on the press; including Pantone® Colours.



Optical illusions are fascinating! They also teach us about our visual perception, and its limitations. There are a vast variety of optical illusions, but they all work around the same basic premise: tricking the brain. By being intriguing yet entertaining, optical illusions are sure to stick in the minds of those who see them. They can be the perfect addition to any company branding.














If you have not received your calendar yet, please contact Angela at or on 082 781 6268 to get your copy!




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This month we have a look at some unusual shapes in bottle designs. Whether it be for a limited edition, special occasion or to relaunch a product, companies have had some innovative ways of bringing their message across in their product.



An interesting design for a bottle of Samurai Vodka was posted by Arthur Schreiber to showcase his bottle design. This product does not actually exist, but it would be great if it did!





These packaging designs are inspired by Mother Nature. A spiraling pristine white conch shell, a stalk of lush green bamboo and a stack of smooth ebony river rocks were chosen to make three different fragrance bottles. The basis for the concept is the synthesis of natural form and shape of the bottle.





We understand different types of substrates, whether it be paper, plastic or glass. We work within the capabilities and limitations to ensure that our artwork looks as good as it did at design stage, on the finished product on shelf.






Colour plays quite a significant role in purchases and branding. Research has found that up to 90% of quick decision-making has been made about products based on colour alone and that the relationship between brands and colour, is governed by the perceived appropriateness, in other words, does the colour “fit” it’s product? This perception greatly influences how consumers view and purchase a specific brand. For example, who would want to buy a Harley Davidson motorcycle if they didn’t get the feeling that a Harley were rugged and cool?


When it comes to picking the “right” colour, predicting consumer reaction to colour appropriateness in relation to the product is far more important than the individual colour itself. So, if Harley owners buy the product in order to feel rugged, you could assume that a pink glitter edition would not sell well.


Additional studies showed that our brains prefer recognisable brands, which makes colour vitally important when creating a brand identity, which is why new brands should target logo colours that are different from existing competitors and not similar. There is a real connection between the use of colour and the customers’ perceptions of a brand’s personality.







If you have not received your calendar yet, please contact Angela at or on
082 781 6268 to get your copy!

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Calibre celebrates it’s 25th anniversary of passion, skill and experience this year! We believe in the notion that “There is no substitute for hard work” [Thomas Edison]. Consequently, we attribute success to the appetite we have for that discipline. 25 years, a significant milestone, one that we are proud of in a sector that is constantly ever-changing.


We are dedicated in evolving, with the stronghold of our visionary and collaborative thinking team that maintains relevance and will take us into the next 25 years.




For those of you that have received our 2015 calendar, you will have noticed that every page has a brain teaser, crossword or puzzle to solve. Here are the solutions to the puzzles for weeks 5 – 9. Look out for solutions to more puzzles every month.






If you have not received your calendar yet, please contact Angela at or
on 082 781 6268 to get your copy!


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Marsala is the new Black! This is according to Pantone® who have named Pantone® Marsala 18-1438 as the colour for 2015. It is also the foundation for the Spring/Summer 2015 palette. For 15 years, Pantone® Colour of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design.



Marsala is an ideal colour for use in packaging because although not being a bright, overwhelming colour, its richness makes it alluring at point-of-purchase.



We believe in cost-saving and where possible, we make recommendations regarding substrates, use of colours, special effects, such as varnishes and foils, that could impact on the print cost and pass these suggestions and ultimate savings back to the client.




Sasko recently launched two new delicious Quick Treats products namely Cheese & Chives Flavoured Muffin Mix and Cookie Mix when they upgraded their existing packaging lines. Every variant in the Sasko Quick Treats range makes a mouth-watering recipe in half the time it would ordinarily take.


Calibre was asked to review the packaging and was involved in ‘refreshing’ the Quick Treats Range. Updating of various icons and images on the packaging to make it easier for the consumer and ultimately a more shopable product.





Sonoco Display and Packaging has been recognised with a WorldStar 2015 Packaging Award for its Whirlpool® Water EveryDrop™ water filter package by the World Packaging Organisation (WPO).


This new-to-the-market product reinvents packaging for on-the-go water filters. The water droplet shape of the clamshell cavity positions the filter so the outer graphics clearly communicate what it is, how it works and the many ways to use this innovative product. Additionally, the outer printed sleeve attracts shoppers to a 3-D printed water droplet effect and refreshing graphic colour scheme.




Spine Vodka was a private project by Johannes Schulz after his graduation from an international communication design school in Hamburg, Germany. Taking the name of the brand literally, he created a widened bottle that holds a spine with full ribcage to communicate a product with a “backbone”. He kept the rest of the bottle design simple so as not to distract from the intricacy of the glass human skeleton.


A drink that lives up to its promise – honest and strong, and the transparent glass stands for a product that doesn’t have anything to hide.


This Concept is a Nominee for the 2015 German Design Award.




A fun take on how the simple notion of hanging teabags on the rim of your cup can be done. Different types of teas are differenciated by different colour hangers.




Gloji Mix is boasted as one of the healthiest drinks available. Each bottle of Gloji Mix is said to contain juice from hundreds of berries, as well as from pomegranate, which is rich in vitamins and minerals. Gloji’s primary claim to fame however, is the unique light bulb shaped bottle it comes in. This style is meant to represent Gloji’s ability to “light you up” from the inside out.


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The year is slowly but surely wrapping up and holidays are just around the corner. Shopping malls are stocking their shelves with all kinds of fun and exciting packaging.



The redesigned Allsorts Packaging won 1st Place in the dieline Awards in 2014 in the confectionery category.





Networking is important in any industry. Calibre stands behind this statement and believes that through networking we not only gain up-to-date info relevant to our industry, but get to meet up with other like-minded people and share ideas.



Pioneer Foods launched a new bread range which we were fortunate enough to be part of. What a stunning project. We designed the lines, managed colour and signed off proofs on press. A typical 360 for Calibre. Look out for these four delicious flavours on shelf!





These aluminum cans contain milk! The designer showed this by adding udders to the design. The different colours identify the different kinds of milk.



This pitcher packaging for fresh cow’s milk is intriguing and easy to use and reuse.



The case is made up of recycled moulded egg cartons and the bottles are totally recyclable aluminum.



Spotted Cow milk is playful, youthful and based around good ol’ milk mustaches and spilled milk.



A packaging concept around Soy Milk.







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Cape Town has been nominated as the healthiest city in South Africa therefore we have decided to focus on packaging used in the health market – some interesting ideas from your local deli salad to cold-pressed juices. A different approach to packaging health foods is to focus on well-known “unhealthy” items and rebrand with a creative twist.


Interactive flavoured water – the consumer pushes a button to release the flavour into the water.


Cup-of-soup – literally in a takeaway cup, making it easier to consume a healthier alternative on the run, or at your desk.



It doesn’t matter where in the world you find yourself, Calibre can help you with your packaging needs. We have experience and knowledge to assist you when it comes to international packaging, recycling, translations and organic information. So if you are ready to expand into the international market, contact us to help you grow.



We at Calibre are proud to have teamed up with Brandhouse to assist in the repositioning of the Bells Whisky brand. We worked within legal guidelines and parameters on all front and back labels from the little 15ml bottle up to the 1L bottle, as well as the shipper cartons. Final repro ready artwork was supplied to Scotland for printing.



Looking after mother earth has been an ongoing trend, which means that packaging must be made from biodegradable materials. Packaging of goods can easily turn to trash on the side of the road, therefore it is vitally important to change trash into natures treasure. Environmental responsible packaging is becoming more important as consumers are becoming very aware of going green and saving the planet.


Coffee cups and pizza boxes have been manufactured using these materials, serving as compost after they have been recycled.


Innovative brands are challenging packaging to a new level. They are moving away from the initial generalised packaging and focusing on the product and its affect on the environment. Shick® created a biodegradable shaver, which turns into fertilizer after it has been disposed of.




Toothbrushes are also following this trend and going the environmentally friendly route.


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Brands are always looking at ways to remain relevant to an ever-changing market. One of the ways this is done, is by doing what we would like to call ‘seasonal branding’. Brands will ‘re-invent’ themselves to capture the heart of a season. In the spirit of HALLOWEEN we have decided to showcase some interesting and fun packaging around this theme.


How can Dairy make more of special occasions? Other sectors always head first into the seasonal market. Here are some examples of how the boundaries of dairy could be pushed:

01A-Scary-Dairy 01B-Scary-Dairy


Fanta have taken it a step further with limited edition flavours and competitions:




Did you know that Oreo was born the same year that the Titanic sank – in 1912.

In addition to their traditional design of two chocolate biscuits with a cream filling, they have been produced in many different ways to associate their brand with various seasons and special occasions: Winter, Halloween and birthdays, to name a few:






We were commissioned to illustrate and prepare print ready files for 2kg, 5kg and 10kg Indonesian Spekko Rice.



Specific guidelines need to be followed when flexo printing on LDPE (low density polyethylene). This material is a plastic which is used mainly for its heat-seal ability (when the bag is glued together at the seams) and for bulk in packaging ie. rice. But, because of its movement on press, barcodes have to be made to specific specs and type cannot be too thin or small. The grey in the image above indicates the clear or see-through area on the pack.


Image progression:



06-QUICK-FACT-HEADERR429 is the Department of Health’s updated guidelines on R146 which relates to labelling and advertising of foods for compliance purposes. We at Calibre are keeping ourselves informed and updated on the latest of information and technical requirements in the industry.



With Summer fast approaching, what better way to get into the mood than with a braai… Whatever you may call it, nothing comes close to a braai with friends and family. Every family has it’s own way of doing it and their own secret recipes.


Jack Daniel’s has their own range of sauces and marinades – and yes, they do contain the Tennessee Whiskey as an ingredient.



Hugo’s Hot Sauce took a metaphorical approach to the label illustrations – starting with a matchstick to represent the mildest flavour, increasing in spiciness to camp fire, forest fire, fuse and lightning bolt.




Below we showcase some examples of the varied way in which braai meat is packaged around the world.




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