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The L9 World Label Association announces the Class and Honourable Mention award winners for the 2023 World Label Competition

The L9 Group of international label associations is pleased to announce the results of the 2023 L9 World Label Awards (WLA) competition which was judged by an international panel of judges selected from each of the participating associations. The judging took place in Brussels the day before the Labelexpo Europe exhibition opened. The L9 is an alliance of global associations formed to jointly formulate policies and to collect strategic information of global interest to the worldwide label industries.

This is the first time that this competition has been held since 2019 due to the restrictions placed on face-to-face meetings and international travel due to the COVID pandemic. The competition has been held in the existing format since 2001 with a change to the current class structure in 2012.

The existing class structure encompasses all the principal printing processes and market applications used in the international label industry. The results are listed in Class order with the Winners announced first followed by the Honourable Mention (HM) awards.

All member associations are invited to submit entries in any of the 22 classes of the competition thus ensuring that a true international flavour is maintained and the results are a true representation of the worldwide label industry. This is actually the 19th year that the completion has been held (discounting the 4 years that it was not held because of COVID). In 2023, entries were received from the following associations: FINAT (Europe), JFLP (Japan), TLMI (USA), FPLMA (Australia), SALMA (New Zealand), LMAI (India) and CPA (China - formerly known as PEIAC). In total 69 entries were received resulting in 23 Winners and 14 HM awards being given (a table showing the awards received by each association can be found at the end of this Press Release).

“The judges examine each entry carefully. With the considerable technical developments introduced during the past few years and quality levels improving the judges are continually challenged to make the correct decision regarding the award winning entries. The technical background information provided by the printer often makes a difference when selecting the award winner.” comments Tony White, Chairman of Judges, from the side lines.

The judges for the WLA 2023 competition included: Steve Wood (FINAT), Steve Schulte (TLMI), Jon Murray (FPLMA), Harveer Sahni (LMAI), Masaaki Yoshitake (JFLP) and Menke Feng (CPA). Stephanie Feith (FINAT secretariat) did an excellent job organising and collating the technical information from each of the award winners and preparing the results ready to be sent to the Chairman for the purpose of writing a press release. Stephanie also managed to discipline the judges so they ended the judging on time with a little to spare.


Class 1: Flexo Line

Winner TLMI: McDowell Label, a RLG Company, USA for “Australian Gold, Adorably BlackTM”

A dramatic looking sleeve/label with detailed line work in red and a dense black background relieved by the use of holographic foiling. The contrasting small white type is very legible and the fine line central image is enhanced by the use of a relief lacquer.

HM FPLMA: Multi-Color Corporation, Australia for “Rock Paper Scissors”

This is a nice neat two colour job with a rotary screen pattern to relieve the background and enhance the black lettering giving a high build effect. Mechanical die-cutting was used to remove the decals.

Class 2: Flexo Line/Screen

Winner TLMI: Label King, USA for “Pure Project Fernprost – Vienna-style lager”

This busy label has a vintage, natural look produced using three PMS colours. The label is given a brighter appearance by printing on a metallised film substrate. A discreet varnish is used to lift the central solid colour image.

Class 3: Flexo Colour Process

Winner FINAT: DGS Baski Teknolojileri AS., Turkey for “Dalin Düş Bahçesi”

The image of the baby peeping out from behind a towel takes centre place with fantastic rendering of the skin tones. The addition of the little yellow duck adds balance. Printed in 7 colours with an overall varnish in a single pass.

HM JFLP: Sunny Sealing Co. Ltd., Japan for “The Character Label Sold at the Anime event”

This sharp well defined label shows flexo printing at its best. The main characters are given a sense of realism by blurring the surrounding background and ensuring that the eye focusses on the main image. Printed in a single pass on a PET laminated film base.

Class 4: Flexo Wines/Spirits

Winner FINAT: MCC Label Paarl, South Africa for “Mirari Hand Crafted Citrus Gin”

This label is mirror printed in 3 process colours in a single pass on a clear film substrate before uncoated face-material is laminated inline and the rest of the colours printed. A panel of white opaque ink improves the opacity of the stock to minimise show-through. The large section of reversed out text is held open on the absorbent stock. Designed to be viewed through the bottle of gin.

HM TLMI: McDowell Label, RLG Company, USA for “Clyde May’s Straight Rye Whiskey”

This label takes us back to the prohibition era showing a photo from that time. The amount of information on the label shows the details that were required in those almost forgotten days. The use of gold foiling highlights the name of the character being celebrated. A highlight varnish was used to emphasise the black lettering, embossing accentuates the lines running across the label. Finally a rough coating was used to give the feel and look of an aged paper document.

Class 5: Letterpress Line

Winner JFLP: Takeuchi Shiki Seisakusho Co. Ltd., Japan for “POSTALCO Image label”

This label is printed in two colours from one plate using “Split fountain printing” which merges the two colours, a technique which is often used in the printing of banknote currency. A fairly rough surface paper substrate was used to give a feeling of depth to the relatively simple image. An interesting concept for label printing.

Class 6: Letterpress Line/Screen

Winner FINAT: Ҫiftsan Label and Packaging, Turkey for “Green World Hand & Skin Disinfectant”

The detail of the fine type on this label has to be seen to be believed. The total label has a clean, natural look as defined by the product. The green and blue colours were used as a representation of nature and cleanliness. The character of the label was maintained thanks to the balance of the middle and lower tones while saturation was maintained in the higher tones.

Class 7: Letterpress Colour Process

Winner JFLP: Sato Holdings Corporation, Japan for “Promotion Suminsai Event”

This dynamic label depicts the Japanese festival of Suminsai which is held early in the year to raise spirits and pray for the year to come. A fire is lit in a pine tree and men bathe in their sparks to signify a positive future! This event has been held for more than 1000 years. Well printed in four colours. Particular attention was paid to the print pressure to avoid reproduction problems. Registration is particularly good along with the gradation in the tone work

Class 8: Letterpress Wines/Spirits

Winner JFLP: Otsuki Seal Printing Co. Ltd., Japan for “Japanese Sake label”

A delightful label with delicate images using well printed tone work to add atmosphere. The mono-colour appearance was relieved by the use of two colour hot foiling. Because the substrate has a cotton-like paper surface which has random unevenness a soft resin plate was used to print the solid black. A nice atmospheric label.

Class 9: Offset Litho Line

Winner FPLMA: Multi-Color Corporation, Australia for “Long Rays Pacific Tonic 275ml”

A nice clean looking label printed in two colours in a single pass with the addition of hot foil and high build screen varnish on the black type. The central image of the sun draws the eye to the centre of the label while the top half printed in blue adds a degree of interest.  Well produced with fine definition in the small type.

Class 10: Offset Litho Line/Screen

Winner LMAI: Pragati Pack Pvt. Ltd., India for “Black Bull Oral Deca”

A dramatic looking label with the definite image of an aggressive looking bull!  The label was printed on a PP silver substrate. Three different types of varnish were used, matt UV in the black areas and text, gloss UV on certain elements of the bull and a texture UV on the golden pattern. The label was printed in 5 colours. A label to be studied for detail and atmosphere.

Class 11: Offset Litho Colour Process

Winner JFLP: Shinwa Label, Japan for “Komahime cafe au lait base”

At first glance this appears to be a relatively simple label printed in 5 colours plus hot foil. Digging deeper we find that there is more. The central part of the label is printed in CMYK and the Japanese characters are reversed so the registration had to be very accurate. There is Riotone around the foil stamping of the family crest and the foil lettering so again registration had to be spot on. The matt falling leaves in the black printed areas add additional subtle interest. Great label.

Class 12: Offset Litho Wines/Spirits

Winner FPLMA: James Print, Australia for “Mon Cinq Pinot Grigio”

When one first looks at the central image on this label the design seems complicated. But look further there are in fact many elements too numerous to mention in this brief evaluation. Printed in four colours in one pass with hot foil and high build screen, this label merits closer examination. The fine lines combined with the many elements prove the high degree of control of the printer. I can see why this label won a winners award.

HM TLMI: Multi-Color Corporation, Napa Valley Wine & Spirits, USA for “One Stone Cabernet Sauvignon”

A simple design with plenty of character. Printed in one pass in CMYK using 20 micron stochastic screening, with the addition of flexo varnish, silkscreen varnishing. Flatbed sculpted embossing in the areas of the figure gives the label depth. The use of hot foiling adds yet another dimension to this delightful label.

HM JFLP: Shinwa Label, Japan for “Japanese Sake Suisei”

A night scene illustrating an atmospheric sky with twinkling stars and a black skyline which includes a lighthouse is the first impression, but wait hold the label at an angle and a hidden ship printed in matt varnish reveals itself. Printed in 5 colours with the addition of holographic hot foil. The Japanese characters are well defined. This is a great label very well printed.

Class 13: Combination Line

Winner FINAT: MCC Label Paarl, South Africa for “Tête De Lion”

A dramatic lion’s head forms the main image which is totally made up of gold lines and contrasting white teeth against a black background.  The use of a gloss varnish to enhance the lines surrounding the head, which have been printed in four colours, adds more interest as does the embossing of the whole head. A label that stands out from the background.

HM LMAI: Kumar Labels, India, for “Teacher’s Highland Cream”

A neat looking label printed on metallised PP substrate using spot colours and a screen printed crystal coating with a pattern across the bottom of the label. The use of high build screen varnish on the black lettering adds depth. A straight forward, well printed label.

Class 14: Combination Line Screen

Winner TLMI: McDowell Label, a RLG Company, USA for “P6”

Red, black and silver, what a combination to catch the eye! The P6 logo is framed by the red and black striped background. The domed honeycomb and the highlighted logo are produced using a gloss lacquer. A tactile feel to the side line areas is created using a “sandpaper” surface lacquer finish. The sharp angles and curved design elements require very accurate registration. A label not to be missed on the supermarket shelves.

HM FINAT: Ulrich Etiketten GmbH, Germany, for “Thalheim Heilwasser Prickelnd”

Flexo, offset and screen printing processes were used to produce this atmospheric label which was printed on both sides, in 8 colours on a single sided metallised paper.  The final appearance has a silvery sheen and the use of blue to outline the background images creates a pleasing ambiance to the total label. A relief varnish is used sparingly to add even greater depth to the pattern across the bottom of the label.

Class 15: Combination Colour Process

Winner LMAI: Any Graphics Pvt. Ltd., India for “Vintage Stores 1837”

This label has been given a rustic feel by the use of extensive embossing and matt varnish. Printed using screen and digital printing on a metallised paper to create an antique metal look.

Winner JFLP: Kyoto Seal Label Co., Japan for “Sakura Tea”

This neat colourful label was printed in 4 colours plus gold foil to achieve a delicate busy design in the background depicting not only the flavour of the tea but also the seasons of the year.

HM FINAT: Etisan Etiket, Turkey, for “Eyüp Sabri Tuncer Natural Olive Oil Hair Cream”

A combination of flexo and screen printing in 10 colours was backed up by cold foiling, embossing and lamination. The olives at the centre of the design re-enforces the basic product contents. The veins of the leaves have been made to look natural by highlighting them with an embossing lacquer. The addition of the Braille characters was applied to aid visually challenged users.

HM CPA: Suzhou Jiang Tian Printing Co. Ltd., China for “Changbai Natural Snow Mountain Mineral Water”

This label is printed on 40PP film using a gravure matte oil technique to ensure a fine matt effect and the fastness of the image. The back side printing uses a specially developed white ink applied with a high volume anilox roller which ensures that the label stays flat. The snow scene depicts a natural environment with beautiful scenery which achieves the effect of external aesthetic feelings and internal deep thinking.

Class 16: Combination Wines/Spirits

Winner JFLP: Marushin Co. Ltd., Japan for “Japanese Sake Yumehotaru”

A very busy and colourful label which has been printed on a silver matt aluminium foil paper in 5 colours in two passes. The register was very tight and the thin lines were difficult to print. A two colour tone pattern adds shape and interest to the gold/silver background.

HM CPA: Tianjin Koret Co. Ltd., China for “Pelee-K”

This is a simple, high contrast label with a bold gold pattern against a stark black background. The embossing is in very accurate registration with the pattern. The substrate is paper replacing metal foiling which offers a reduction in the environmental impact of the label. The design is both complicated yet straightforward.

HM FINAT: MCC, Australia for “Coconuts! Mr. Black Coconut Rum Coffee Liqueur”

A dramatic action label with the snake waiting to shake the coconuts off the tree! A lot of action is going on away from the image, with offset litho in 6 colours the printing process is supplemented by hot foil, varnish, embossing and high build varnish. This is a truly combination label! The design is busy with interest no matter where you look. The embossing is substantial and is under more than 80% of the image which gives the whole label a 3 dimensional effect. All of the embellishments had to fit in tight register with the offset images.

Class 17: Digital Printing

Winner LMAI: Any Graphics Pvt. Ltd., India for “Mode Jack Jeans”

This label looks and feels like an authentic piece of denim cloth. It was printed digitally in one pass. The denim feel and touch effect was created by the pre-press team using different layers of ink. A gloss varnish was used to highlight the red lettering. An unusual application of digital printing.

HM FPLMA: Ultra Label, Australia for “Drip by ARMD”

The central image certainly demands attention with a dramatic image of a mask with roses surrounding it and attention grabbing green hair. The whole design is given more depth by the use of a metallic substrate. A series of subtle skulls decorates the background. Printed in 5 colours with an offline high build screen and selective embossing which accentuates the focal point of the design and adds texture for a premium feel.

Class 18: Digital Printing Wines/Spirits

Winner TLMI: AWT Labels & Packaging, Anaheim, USA for “Rancho La Gloria Jalapeño Lime Infused Tequila”

A nice clean looking label printed with predominant images of the lime fruit surrounding the product name. The full colour back printing enables the image to be viewed through the tequila in the bottle. The sparing use of gold hot foil adds a touch of class to the end result as does the selective use of embossing and high build varnish.

Class 19: Screen Printing

Winner FINAT: Ҫiftsan Label and Packaging, Turkey for “Parfix Acryic System Liquid Power Monomer”

A nice straight forward label with excellent printing of the fine white type which is highlighted by printing on a matt black background. Printed in 5 colours with fluorescent inks adds interest. The reversed out printing is really clear. This is how screen printing should be done.

HM CPA: Meisheng Print, China for “Maxim - Bel Canto Thermal Transfer Composite Black Chain Tech”

This label is basically a security label for printing the image directly onto a garment using a transfer process.

Class 20: Gravure

Winner FINAT: Multi-Color Cwmbran UK Ltd, United Kingdom for “Chang 25th Anniversary Front Label 620ml”

An attractive label printed in 8 colours with gold decoration adorning the surrounds and the main elements of the label. Quite a complicated label when studied carefully with several hidden processes contributing to the final result. The 25th anniversary logo stands out from the clear transparent background as does the product name against the green.

Class 21: Booklets

Winner TLMI: McDowell Label, a RLG Company, USA for “Le Remedie”

The cover label is printed on a metallised substrate giving it a visual lift. The line images are sharp and well defined. The use of iridium and gloss varnishes adds elegance to the result with a nice textured feel. The multiple webs and adhesive processed in line gives an elegant result. This is a onetime use label as the adhesive stays active after separation.

HM SALMA: Kiwi Labels Ltd, New Zealand for “Win 1 of 30”

A very neat and busy little label which punches above its weight! It is a 7 page concertina fold booklet which contains a unique QR code on each label. The base layer was printed digitally in 4 colours and precise preparation was required to ensure accurate registration of the base layer and the information layer match. The final operation (second pass) was to apply a gloss over laminate and accurate register with the die station. This is how a booklet label should look.

Class 22: Innovation

Winner FINAT: Schreiner Group GmbH & Co. KG., Germany for “CPT Patch (Plasma Patch for the treatment of chronic wounds”

This company researched the requirement to solve a problem in the medical industry and discovered that a cost effective solution was needed to treat chronic wounds and kill multi-resistant bacteria. The introduction of this technology would offer considerable advantages to patients, physicians, hospitals and insurance companies. Schreiner developed a solution using label technology which resulted in a cost effective application to meet a perceived need. In this case a CPT Patch was produced. This is a plasma patch for the treatment of chronic wounds which is flexible enough to be used on various parts of the patient’s body.

A fantastic answer to an everyday medical issue.

Click here to download pictures of the winning entries. (Please note that this link will remain active for one week only.)

Overall ranking of Awards by Association



Honourable Mention


































Best of the Best 2023

Since 2012, the L9 World Label Association has commissioned 5 additional awards to represent the best labels from the 2023 WLA competition in each of the main printing processes. These awards were selected from the winning labels following the completion of the main judging in the following group classes: Flexography, Letterpress, Offset Litho, Combination Printing and Digital Printing. The winners will be announced before the end of this year.