44th FINAT Label Competition 2024: Celebrating Excellence in Label Printing Worldwide



The FINAT Label Competition is a prestigious event in the label industry, and 2024 proved to be another successful year. The number of entries increased to 236 (212 in 2023), with 45 companies and 22 countries from all over the world participating, hence demonstrating the competition's global popularity.

Austria once again topped the list of countries entering with 45 entries followed by Greece with 24 entries. The highest number of entries by category was led by Wines (52), Alcoholic Drinks (28) with General Applications in third place (22). The number of entries using digital as one of their main printing processes increased slightly to 112.


The judges, a highly experienced panel, consisting of Tony White (Chairman), Murat Sipahioğlu and Steve Wood aided by the marketing experience of Steven de Cleen, were again impressed by the quality and range of entries.

This year, the number of categories was reduced from 28 to 21 in order to consolidate the less popular categories into a catch-all General Applications category. This proved to be justified by the number of entries received in this category. These changes in addition to the modifications made in 2023 have produced a more streamlined competition.

The awards ceremony, presented by Dr. Vlad Sljapic, was held on 22 May on the occasion of the FINAT European Label Forum in Athens. Overall, the 2024 FINAT Label Competition was again a testament to the dedication of the FINAT community and the high quality of label printing around the world.


Best in Show Winner

Achertäler Druckerei GmbH & Co. KG, Germany for Waldulmer Art Series 2023

This was a really impressive label which took the entire judging panel by storm. Offering outstanding visual impact the label was difficult to get out of our minds. This is an extremely complex label to produce which is evident when we examine the production schedule. The interaction of 3 printing processes (waterless offset, rotary screen and flat screen), 2 finishing techniques (relief embossing and relief screen varnishing), 3 ink systems (waterless offset, neon rotary screen and flat screen varnish) and 2 screen technologies (rotary screen and flat screen) in 3 printing passes, all combined to give the final visually outstanding result. The dramatic use of fluorescent inks, the highlighting of the eyes, eyebrows, eyelashes and lips with a gloss varnish built the extreme detail against a deep black background. The reproduction of the artist’s brushstrokes adds yet another dimension.



Group Winners

The Group Winners are organised into the following main groups: Marketing/End Uses, Printing Processes, Non-Adhesive Applications and Innovation.

The winner of the Marketing/End Uses Group was Marzek Etiketten+Packaging GmbH, Austria for YUZUCELLO.  The apparent simplicity of this label attracted the judges’ attention. A high degree of control was required to print to this high standard. The statement “Less is more with this delightfully delicate label” was a sentiment echoed by all the judges. The silver, pearlescent substrate with a smooth finish was chosen for this label to thrust the gold foil embossed image into prominence in a subtle yet intense way, which serves to underline the quality of the product. The raised images of the number 30 and the Asian lady add an extra element of interest. The label was printed in one colour, black using offset-litho technology.



The Award for the Printing Processes Group was won by Achertäler Druckerei GmbH & Co. KG, Germany for Waldulmer Art Series 2023. This is an outstanding label which has great visual impact making it difficult to forget, which is why the label impressed the entire judging panel. This design would definitely make a prospective customer stop in their tracks purely to take in the startling image on a bottle of wine. The complexity of production and the control required to achieve such results is truly remarkable which is evident when we examine the production schedule. The interaction of 3 printing processes, 2 finishing techniques, 3 ink systems and 2 screen technologies combine to give the final, visually outstanding result. The dramatic use of fluorescent inks, the highlighting of the eyes, eyebrows, eyelashes and lips with a gloss varnish builds the detail against a deep black background. The reproduction of the artist’s brushstrokes adds yet another dimension.

The winner of the Non-Adhesive Applications Group was Ҫiftsan Label and Packaging Company, Turkey for Valeria Strawberry Cheesecake Crème Mains. This flexible packaging label was printed digitally in 5 colours on an ABL laminated metallic tube material. A soft feel effect was achieved by applying soft touch lamination to the metallic substrate giving the design an added boost. The lens effect was achieved by applying a clear embossing lacquer in the product brand and “crème mains” areas which also helped to highlight the product image and name. The reversed out very fine type is extremely legible giving instructions about the use of the product.



The Innovation Group so often presents new ways of offering solutions to perceived problems in many industrial sectors using label technology. This year it was the turn of the medical industry. The award was given to Germark S.A. Spain for PULSERA SANITARIA RFID. This comfortable RFID health bracelet was produced in response to medical institutions requiring the ability to trace a patient at any stage from the moment they enter a medical facility to their final discharge. The bracelet is designed for patient comfort and contains two DOGBONE RFID inlays which can be read with 100% reliability at any stage in their medical or administrative journey. One of the main benefits of the increased efficiency is the optimization of hospital resources by around 20%. It was printed using Domino inkjet technology in one colour in a single pass.



Judges’ Award

A Special Judges Award was given to Eltronis Specialty & Security Printing, Romania for “Seek the Images”. The judges selected this label because of its uniqueness within the label industry. The images are called auto-stereograms and were created by Tom Baccei in 1991. A series of very popular books were published around that time called “The Magic Eye Books” and soon raced to the top of the New York best sellers listing. The books consisted of a series of horizontally printed 2D images which when viewed under certain conditions produce the illusion of a 3D image. It can be a challenge to view the 3D image but with practice it is possible. It is precisely this feature that will make the prospective customer stop and try to visualise the 3D image which is on a bottle of wine, a great attention grabber. The label was printed using flexography in CMYK inks in three passes.


Judges’ comments on the Category Winners


Group A Marketing/End Uses


A1 Wines

Multi-Color Corporation North American Wine and Spirits, USA for L’Envolée

This apparently simple label depicts the early days of a bird taking to flight. It also shows a baby bird falling from the nest in an attempt to fly. The single blue background serves to highlight the name of the wine which is outlined in a delightful silver embossed script. The silver/black highlighted images of the birds contrasts nicely with the subdued image of the branch and nest. The whole label has added depth created by the embossing of all the images. Printed digitally in four colours in two passes with the addition of silver hot foiling.



A2 Beers and Spirits

Marzek Etiketten+Packaging GmbH, Austria for YUZUCELLO

This label has already been reviewed as a Group A Winner.


A3 General Applications

Ҫiftsan Label and Packaging Company, Turkey for Eğriçayir Bio Wild Flower Honey

A cleverly constructed label printed digitally on a silver substrate in five colours using a black background with soft touch lamination as a base on which to build. The use of CMYK printing on the metallic film base to emulate a copper colour is inspiring. The use of a gloss silk screen varnish to print the flowers in the background adds great depth to the label. The use of a white ink to reproduce the very clear type and various images spread throughout the label give a degree of contrast to the design. The addition of a seal gives the label authority and completes the quality picture.


A4 Cosmetics

Ҫiftsan Label and Packaging Company, Turkey for Valeria deep Sea Body and Hair Fragrance

The label is full of intrigue. The scale like 3D images were created by the use of a random pattern, the clear screen lacquer gave the impression of deep sea environment. The images were given even greater depth with the use of a silver substrate. The silk screen embossed logo and brand areas were balanced nicely with the soft touch information area. Printed digitally on a metallised film in five colours in a single pass. The use of a white ink enabled the type and bar code to be clearly defined.



A5 Pharmaceutical

Ҫiftsan Label and Packaging Company, Turkey for Okay Pure Naturals Vitamin B12 Gummies Raspberry Dietary Supplement

It is important that a pharmaceutical label includes easily readable, essential information whilst identifying the product for the consumer. This is a very busy label which highlights the product with the generous use of clear varnish highlights on the fruit and product images against a soft feel laminated background. The halftone screened rays lead the eye to the main message. Printed digitally in CMYK plus white on a metallic substrate.


A6 Security

Codex Ltd, Hungary for Easter 2023 Postage Stamp

It is rare that postage stamps are printed using flexography. However a screen ruling of 350 lines per centimetre was achieved using Bellissima DMS technology and very precise printing technique to give great detail in the stamps. A security die-cut allows a once only use and the liner is perforated to make dispensing easy. Printed in sheet form (50 stamps per sheet) in 5 colours (CMYK+ Black) in a single pass.


A7 Booklets

OPM (Labels & Packaging) Group Ltd, United Kingdom for Levelup Shiny Dragon

The dramatic, busy illustration of the shiny dragon grabs the viewer’s attention using the silver metallic substrate to re-enforce the complicated image. Remarkably 13 colours were used to print this rather large booklet label in a single pass. The inside information is printed in black on the metallic base. The comprehensive reversed out information on the front of the label is in a uniform blue throwing the dragon illustration into prominence. Printed using flexography along with cold foiling and 150 lpi halftone screen.



A8 Self-Promotional

Flexlabel S.R.L., Moldova for Flexlabel New Year Wine Label

With 2024 being the Chinese Year of the dragon it is not surprising that dragons are in fashion this year. This dramatic illustration covers the whole of the label. The blues and greens of the dragon contrast nicely with the predominantly red background which is relieved by the lavish use of gold hot foiling. The embossed pattern on the substrate presents technical challenges that have been overcome using digital print technology in two passes. Different embossing patterns add interest to the background and main images


A9 Sets of Labels

Seb. Wolf GmbH, Germany for Set Heinz Nikolai

An interesting, uncomplicated set of labels using a combination of offset-litho and flexo. Each label is printed in two colours specific to that colour set along with gold hot foil and blind embossed lettering in the centre of each main circle in a single pass. The small lettering is printed in either offset black or offset green. Each label makes a separate statement as part of a set of products.



Group B Printing Processes


B1 Flexography

Lebone Paarl Labels, South Africa for Stelaris Pinot Grigio

This label invites the viewer to go on an adventure backed up by using the outline images of a compass and a radar outline of a coast. The invitation is reinforced with a nautical theme with a massive fish as the centre point along with images of a lighthouse and an anchor. The addition of foiling behind the compass points and the sun add a touch of class to the label.  Printed using Flexography in seven colours along with hot foil in a single pass. A textured substrate adds an extra degree of interest to the overall design.


B3 Screen Printing

Ҫiftsan Label and Packaging Company, Turkey for Farmasi Winter Bliss Body Mist

A neat, compact label printed using the screen process in 6 colours on a clear film substrate. A winter theme is depicted highlighted by a flurry of snowflakes against a starry sky. The gold ink emphasises the product name whilst bringing the winter scene to our attention. The addition of the green leaves and the red yew berries add to the atmosphere. The essential information is clear and legible. Three passes were required to achieve the result along with a gloss varnish and lamination.


B4 Reel fed Offset Lithography

Pragati Pack (India) Pvt. Ltd, India for Cureveda Glow Collagen Builder

An extremely busy label with masses of information and detail spread over the whole label. The label has a soft subtle look relieved by the addition of very neat and well produced silver hot foiling. The white panel highlights the product name and the basic information which is printed in black. The surrounding images draw the eye back to the centre images. Offset-litho was used in four colours with the addition of a matt varnish in a single pass.



B5 Combination Printing

Achertäler Druckerei GmbH & Co. KG, Germany for Waldulmer Art Series 2023

This label has already been reviewed as the Best In Show and Group B winner.


B7 Digital

GS Labelprint P.C., Greece for Imperial Stout

The winged horse, Pegasus, features prominently on this label and draws the eye to the product name “Imperial Stout”. The horse is printed in a full tonal range halftone black, along with a faint background image printed in the same black. The use of four colour printing adds the occasional touch of colour to the name of the brewery. A gloss varnish serves to highlight the main product name along with emphasising detail in the wings of the horse. Printed using digital technology in a single pass.



B8 Hybrid

Helvetikett AG, Switzerland for Helvetikett Premium FlowPack Food Label “ HEPHAISTOS”

The application of low migration inkjet ink produces high resolution images using extremely small ink droplets which give good definition in the shadow of the Figure 1. This shows the strengths of this type of inkjet technology. Flexographic printing is used to produce an adhesive neutralising coating for the adhesive layer used for the Delam & Relam process further upstream in the production process. Flexo was also used to apply scanning marks to aid the filling line operation. The label was printed and finished in a single pass in nine colours on a film base.


Group C Non-Adhesive Applications


C1 Sleeves

IPE INDUSTRIA GRÁFICA S.L.U., Spain for Concentralia

This is a digitally printed sleeve in 7 colours with a full coverage background which contrasts with the white back printed coating which serves to support the many areas of reversed out printing. This sleeve represents an innovative packaging method which has two compartments, one for the concentrate and one for the water for domestic use. The sleeve is designed to drive efficiency and convenience in the packaging process The final application involves die cutting and removal of a window (with a tolerance of +/- 0.5mm) which allows access for the water diluent.



C2 Flexible Packaging

Ҫiftsan Label and Packaging Company, Turkey for Valeria Strawberry Cheesecake Crème Mains

This label has already been reviewed as the Group C winner.


C3 Tags/Non-Adhesive Label

Optimum Group B.V., The Netherlands for Tony’s Chocolonely lekkere grote paaseitjes

This really colourful label with an Easter theme has masses of fine detail on the front label. Printed using flexography on both sides of the substrate in 10 colours in a single pass, the detail is outstanding and to a level normally associated with digital printing. The registration of the four colour images is exact and the fine type extremely legible. Altogether a great example of flexographic printing.



Group D Innovation


D1 Innovation


This label has already been reviewed as a Group D winner.


L9 World Label Awards 2024

The judging for the L9 World Label Awards 2024 which was reinstated in 2023 will take place during Labelexpo America in September 2024. The best winning entries from the L9 Associations including FINAT will be selected for entry into this prestigious international label competition.

We trust that we will continue to build on the optimism and confidence of the world label industry which is set to grow way into the future.


Established in 1958, FINAT is the European association for the label industry. FINAT represents over 600 member companies established in more than 50 countries, covering the complete value chain of the label industry. The label printing industry alone directly employs around 100.000 people in Europe, with an annual turnover around €16 billion.

Return to the list