Crown Create Limited Edition Beer Cans with Unusual Artwork

When acclaimed medieval Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli penned ‘The Knight in the Panther’s Skin’ in the 12th Century, he likely never imagined his work would become an irreplaceable part of Georgian history and international literature.

The poem, sometimes referred to by Georgians as a second Bible, tells the story of Queen Tinatin, who orders her beloved Spaspet Avtandil to help a knight, Tariel, found weeping and wearing a black panther’s skin, to retrieve his beloved Nestan-Darejan from captivity and his kingdom from usurpers.

These idealised heroes and devoted friends are united by courtly love, generosity, sincerity and dedication, and proclaim equality between men and women, a recurring theme throughout the poet’s work.

Today, a close collaboration between Crown Bevcan Europe & Middle East, Efes Georgia (part of Efes Breweries International) and graphic artist David Matchavariani, has brought this epic story to life on a limited-edition series of beverage cans for Georgia’s leading beer brand – Natakhtari. The series contains four elaborately decorated cans depict the poem’s main characters and its key themes: wisdom, friendship, love, and gender equality.

To achieve the finest line precision and tonal accuracy required to recreate Matchavariani’s illustrations and sophisticated details, Crown’s experts used its state-of-the-art High-Quality Print technology to outstanding effect. The pre-press team developed a proprietary colour separation methodology and dots knock out techniques and used the full capability of high-quality laser engraved printing plates to create the images. The cans were manufactured at Crown’s plant in Turkey, where its printing experts ensured designs were accurately registered and ink film weights were precisely controlled. These steps maintained the quality of the work done by the company’s pre-press team while the cans were printed at high speed.

Although seemingly in black and white, the printing process required the use of each of the eight available colours to effectively transfer all the image gradations and shadows onto the 360° can surface. The reflectivity of the aluminium substrate was leveraged with the help of transparent inks or substrate details. When combined with a matt varnish, the resulting subtle contrasts that lend an elegant appearance and unique feel to the cans support the premium image of the product and the brand.

The entire process was carried out with a focus on remaining as true to the essence of the story as possible, and the combination of a remarkable piece of storytelling, a talented artist, and a specialist in metal packaging has led to an exceptional series of beautiful cans. From Tinatin’s accession to the throne to Avtandil’s expression of the power of true friendship and unity against any trouble, what has been created here in metal essentially takes the works of art from both Rustaveli and Matchavariani and turns them into works of art in packaging.

The striking designs are already receiving recognition across Europe, having won Gold in the Beverage Two-Piece category of the Cans of the Year Awards 2020 and coming first in the Best Packaging Design/Label category of the World Beverage Innovation Awards 2020.

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