Case Study Arctic Blue Gin

Brightly Shining Polar Lights: A New Cardboard Box for Award-Winning Finnish Gin

Case Study on Sustainable Packaging Finishing in the Beverage Industry

'Spirit of the Year,' 'Double Gold,' and 'Design Gold' - these are just three of the many awards that the drinks label Arctic Blue Beverages has already won for its Arctic Blue Gin. The Finnish distillery has set itself the task of capturing Arctic nature in a bottle. This has resulted in the creation of multi-award-winning premium spirits, proudly developed and handcrafted by Master Distiller Asko Ryynänen and Master Chef Jaakko Sorsa.

Arctic Blue Beverages uses only carefully selected, natural Arctic ingredients: Wild berries, Nordic herbs, and fresh spring water. This is not the only reason why the company is so passionate about preserving northern nature with its long winters and its pure raw materials. Ryynänen and Sorsa are at least as concerned about environmental protection as they are about their recipes. That’s why, in cooperation with Starcke Oy, Grano Oy and the Finnish KURZ branch Tavani Oy, they strived for a more sustainable design of the outer packaging of their famous Arctic Blue Gin.

Photo of Master Distiller Asko Ryynänen transferring a clear liquid in his distillery

The Project Was Realized with Several Strong Partners:

Photo with office supplies and hands searching through a sample book with shiny finishes

Tavani Oy

Founded in 1973, the company sells KURZ’s innovative and sustainable finishing solutions on the Finnish market.

Photo of Kimmo Kolari, the managing director of the Finnish marketing specialist Grano


The multi-sector company offers a broad portfolio of marketing and communication solutions on the Finnish market, from digital to print.

Photo of a printed label with blue and white design for the bottle of Arctic Blue Gin

Starcke Oy

Starcke specializes in creating eco-friendly fiber-based packaging and guides clients through the entire development journey. Additionally, it's the world's oldest holography company.

Photo of large white paper rolls in a printing press, being transported by a conveyor belt

Metsä Board

Metsä is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of high-quality, innovative packaging solutions from sustainably grown resources.

The Goal

Arctic Blue Beverages wanted to switch to a more sustainable finishing product for their Arctic Blue Gin cardboard box. They felt that the full-surface lamination of the surface was no longer contemporary. The new packaging design should not only reflect the glow of the northern lights in a spectacular way, but also be faster and better adaptable for small batches and country-specific variants through an optimized process.

The gin masters repeatedly received customer requests for tailor-made small series, which were to be offered in different markets with specific texts and characters. However, this was not feasible with the previous decoration process. The old and new design, which is based on a photo of Eeva Mäkinen, runs over three sides of the box. The fourth side was therefore available for corresponding design variants. The gold medals were hot stamped on the backside by KURZ Matte Gold.

The Solution

Metsä Board's sustainably produced folding box is initially offset-printed with register marks at the Grano printing house. At Starcke, diffractive effects are then hot-stamped with LIGHT LINE® Laser Seamless from KURZ. The box then goes back to Grano, where the applied hot-stamping finishing and the text areas are overprinted lithographically. In the fourth and final step - back at Starcke - the award medals the Arctic Blue Gin has already won are finished with hot stamping and LUXOR® Matt Gold 428. The trees, logo, Lappish mountains and coastline of the lake were multi-level embossed as well.

Thanks to the multi-level embossing, the folding box becomes a true work of art with both visual and tactile highlights. And the customer’s sustainability goals are also fully met. Thanks to the new, plastic-free decoration process, lamination is no longer necessary. As KURZ finishing is only transferred to the product at specific points, the folding box remains fully recyclable despite its high-grade finishing with 'cool' special effects.

“The outer packaging immediately attracts everyone’s attention and underlines the history of Arctic Blue Beverages with its Northern Lights motif. In addition, the box can now also be adapted to different design requirements much more flexibly thanks to the new finishing process. This is important when it comes to opening up smaller markets as well,”

adds Ari-Veli Starcke, Chairman of the Board at Starcke.

Representation of two Arctic Blue Gin packages featuring shimmering Northern Lights


The alcoholic beverages market is highly competitive. Today, it is no longer enough to 'just' produce an excellent product because the purchase decision is also largely dependent on the packaging and its design. The aim is to arouse consumer interest in the drink while it is still on the shelf. And that’s exactly why hot stamping is a preferred decoration solution for high-gloss printing on premium spirits packaging.

Hot stamping is an appealing finishing technology for decorating print products with unique gloss and metallic effects as well as diffractive and haptic effects. This means that high-quality drinks such as Arctic Blue Gin are guaranteed to attract the attention of shoppers at the point of sale.

The Advantages of Hot Stamping at a Glance:

  • Esthetic designs with high-gloss, diffractive, and haptic effects
  • Extremely fast processing
  • Suitable for a wide range of substrates
  • Attractive price-performance ratio
  • Strong adhesion and durability
  • Suitable for overprinting
  • No pre- or after-treatment such as priming or curing required
  • 100% recyclable and deinkable
  • No impact on the composting process

Order our 'The Hot Stamping Process' brochure today.

Photo of shimmering holographic foil on a roll for effective refinement through hot stamping

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