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A Tongue in Cheek Label – Good George!

We all handled the Covid situation in different ways. For NZ-based brewery and distillery, Good George, the answer was simply to be tongue in cheek and say: “For F*cks Sake”.

How Good George came to be – Beer & Cider

Good George came to life when a bunch of friends got together and decided, after years in hospitality and brewing, it was time to create their own beverages.

The primary motivation was to show people how great beer can be, to convert drinkers from the norm, and to have a bit of fun along the way. The idea is that beverages shouldn’t be bland, full of chemicals, mass-produced and boring.

The team also wanted complete control of the process—looking after all parts of the journey from tank to table.  They complete all processes in-house —all brewing, distilling, bottling, canning and packaging. The Good George sales and marketing teams support production, as do quality control laboratory, warehousing, delivery drivers, and Good George venues scattered throughout Aotearoa, New Zealand. As Damon Youdale from Good George explains, ‘Being able to control the whole process ensures we can always produce and deliver our products to the high standards as intended by our brewers and distillers’.

Distillery Development

Initially, Good George began by brewing craft beers and ciders—which were so successful that, within a few years, they added a distillery to expand into gins and vodkas. Everything was ticking along nicely until 2020, when Covid hit. Like everyone, it was time to batten down the hatches for the duration. But when Covid hit for a second time, the team at Good George decided to express what everyone was thinking. They released the aptly named ‘For F*cks Sake’ Gin.

Good George Gin Campaign

good george‘The campaign was around capturing the feeling at the time. It was a frustrated, Bugger not this again feeling’, explains Damon. ‘Covid was an event unlike anything we’d experienced before, which touched and affected everyone’. The team reacted quickly; the product was on the shelf within just a few days.

Allan Cave of Drunk Design is the creative behind the Good George brand. As Damon explains, ‘We have had a longstanding relationship with Allan. He greatly understands our business, our tone of voice and style’. For this project, Allan had a smaller budget and a somewhat tighter timeline to work with (try: days). For this reason, he decided on a type-based approach for the label.

Sustainability is important to the team at Good George. For example, they have partnered with Sustainable Coastlines to help clean up litter from New Zealand beaches. In line with this thinking, a key consideration for Good George when choosing a print supply partner—was not only their ability to deliver—but also their ability to deliver using sustainable practices. As it happens, Wrapt Labels heavily commits to this through a programme of reduced waste, energy, and use of chemicals—plus the changeover to environmentally friendly consumables.

The Label

The challenge was delivering a cost-effective label that reflected the quality of the product—within the timeframe. As Chris Wise, account manager at Wrapt, explains, ‘We initially explored uncoated adhesive stocks, such as those used for wine labels, and were thinking of combining these with foiling—but this was not achievable within the time and budgetary constraints. So, we rethought the approach and decided instead to work in reverse.

Instead of foiling onto a stock, we used a foil-based stock and overprinted the colour’. The chosen stock was BJ Ball Yenom Metallised Silver, digitally printed on an HP Indigo using the Color-Logic System. Color-Logic expands the colour capability of compatible digital presses, in this case, the HP Indigo. This allowed printing directly onto the foil stock.

Wrapt then laminated the labels to provide a protective seal, and printed a digital gloss build-up over the main lettering.

The final labels were contour-cut and supplied to Good George on rolls to facilitate application during the bottling process.

Chris from Wrapt explains, ‘We thought the concept and design was such a great idea and would provide a good laugh once it was released and on the shelves. It was awesome to be part of producing such a beautiful label’.


good george label anatomy

01. BJ Ball Yenom Metallised Silver stock—the silver stock removes the need for a hot-stamp foil.
02. White digitally printed directly onto the stock creating an underlay for the colour.
03. Digital CMYK (black + off-white/cream) printed over the white underlay—with knocked out areas where the special orange will print (below).
04. A special booster orange is printed over the areas knocked out of the white underlay—i.e.: directly onto the stock—creating a copper colour.
05. A digital gloss build-up (indicated by the Cyan) is laid down over the main text areas. The magenta keyline represents the contour cut.
06. The completed label.

Range Expansion

good georgeAll parties were delighted with the final result. Damon of Good George adds, ‘It’s been one of our best-selling gins and has gone viral via social media’. Subsequently, Good George has employed similar ideas for other Gins in the range.

2022 saw the release of ‘What’s F*cking Next’ Gin, which uses the same base design, and more recently ‘Piss Off Putin’ Vodka—the label says it all:  ‘There’s a lot of good people putting up with a lot of shit right now thanks to one guy. We may be miles away on the other side of the world, but we know an opportunity to do some good when we see it’.

Importantly, this ‘be good, do good’ attitude is not simply about a brand story. To date, $50,000, all the profit from the sale of ‘Piss Off Putin’, has been donated to the Red Cross to help the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Ukraine.

‘It’s a small drop in a crisis that is far from over, but a little bit can go a long way. We’ve sold out of ‘Piss Off Putin’ Vodka, but if you managed to get your hands on a bottle—pour yourself a Moscow Mule, a White Russian, or a Piss Off Putin-tini—and raise a glass!’

GSM would like to thank Wrapt labels, Drunk Design, & Good George for assisting in the writing of this article.
This article was originally published in GSM19. To read this and other great articles purchase this issue here.