The Secret to Making Stand-Out Labels with Stephan Martinez and Rob Griswold of Trysk Print Solutions

by Drew Hendricks
Last updated Aug 4, 2021

Legends Behind the Craft Podcast
Stephan Martinez

Stephan Martinez is the Owner of Trysk Print Solutions, a company that specializes in labels for wine and gourmet food. He started the business in 2008, bringing his experience from his position as Sales Manager at Richmark Label. Along with his time as a bartender, he has an eye for the art of spirits packing. Trysk utilizes the newest printing methods and design innovations for brands of any size. 

Rob Griswold

Rob Griswold has worked as Trysk’s Marketing Director since 2016. He was first introduced to the wine industry through a class on the political economy of wine. This led him to take the role of Sales Manager at Corliss Estates and Tranche Cellars. Before his time at Trysk, he worked at Investco Financial Corporation and as an Account Manager at Cake Central Media Corp.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Stephan Martinez of Trysk describes how the company got its unique name
  • The unique advantages and struggles of the wine industry
  • What are some of the newest innovations in label making?
  • How designers and label makers work together to create art
  • The biggest mistakes wineries make when designing a label
  • Advice for making your labels stand out from the crowd
  • One technique that Trysk uses to improve tactile feel
  • Balancing quality, time, and expense in label making

In this episode with Stephan Martinez and Rob Griswold

In last week’s episode, Erica Harrop came on to explain the art of glassware in wine bottles. This week, the topic of presentation gets even more specific, as Stephan Martinez and Rob Griswold dive into the operations of the label industry.

The design of a quality label can further elevate the experience of the drink. It bears the logo of the brand, is the main point of contact, and signifies the quality of the contents. It may be a small detail, but the label can add so much to the first impression. As with every step of the process, there are experts who know how to take it to the next level. Now, those very experts share their techniques with you.

Drew Thomas Hendricks is joined by Stephan Martinez and Rob Griswold, the Owner and Marketing Director, respectively, of Trysk Print Solutions, to learn more about the world of labels. They go over the craftsmanship that goes into labels and the impact it has on the brands. Stephan and Rob then take the time to explain the stories behind some of their most unique works, including labels made from wood and stone. Find out all of this by listening to this episode of the Legends Behind the Craft podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Barrels Ahead.

Barrels Ahead is a wine and craft marketing agency that propels organic growth by using a powerful combination of content development, Search Engine Optimization, and paid search.

At Barrels Ahead, we know that your business is unique. That’s why we work with you to create a one-of-a-kind marketing strategy that highlights your authenticity, tells your story, and makes your business stand out from your competitors.

Our team at Barrels Ahead helps you leverage your knowledge so you can enjoy the results and revenue your business deserves.

So, what are you waiting for? Unlock your results today!

To learn more, visit or email us at to schedule a strategy call.

Episode Transcript

Intro  0:03  

Welcome to the Legends Behind the Craft podcast where we feature top leaders in the wine and craft beverage industry, with your host Drew Thomas Hendricks. Now let’s get started with the show.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  0:19  

Drew Thomas Hendricks here I’m the host of the Legends Behind the Craft podcast where I talk with leaders in the wine and craft beverage industry. From visual design experts like Scout Driscoll at VINT, this team creates wine labels that embody a wine story to today’s guests, Stephan Martinez and Rob Griswold. This print company brings these label designs to light through some pretty cutting edge printing methods. Today’s episode is sponsored by Barrels Ahead. At Barrels Ahead, we work with you to implement a one of a kind marketing strategy when it highlights your authenticity, tells your story and connects you with your ideal customers. In short, if you’re a business looking to retain a winery for craft beverage producers a client, Barrels Ahead we’ll figure out a plan to make it happen. Go to today to learn more. Now before I introduce today’s guest, I want to give a big thank you to Erica Harrop, founder of Global Package. on last week’s show Erica and I discuss the latest innovations in glass manufacturing. Now I was amazed to learn about wild glass which is made from 100% recycled glass. If you’re a brand looking to bring your packaging in line with your environmental story, you got to check out this episode and learn more about wild class. I am super excited to talk with today’s guest Stephan Martinez and Rob Griswold from Trysk Print Solutions. And one of the things sensory branding expert Dr. Hoby Wedler for introducing us. Stephan founded Trysk Print Solutions in 2008 is a specially print house for wine labels, with the guiding belief that what’s on the outside should be as good as what’s on the inside, and Stephan’s convictions have paid off. Today, Trysk is widely considered to be the gold standard for wine labels and packaging. And today Rob is the marketing director for Trysk Print Solutions. And his journey into printing is not quite as straightforward as Stephan’s. Rob is a music major turned econ major, which led to a job at a Washington winery. After a national sales for this water for several years. He decided to continue his love for this industry by working on the supplier side. Welcome to the show, Stephan and Rob.

Rob Griswold  2:07  


Stephan Martinez  2:07  

Thank you for having us.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  2:09  

Oh, thank you for being on. So Stephan, we’re the idea for Trysk come from?

Stephan Martinez  2:13  

The idea for the company was basically a little over a decade in print, I fell in love with it right when I started a job just kind of in the marketing level at a printing company here in Seattle. And like the industry, like the people, and was looking at, really an idea for becoming a little bit more of a specialty side of things, you know, wine and spirits, requiring a little bit more of a technological advantage and a little bit more of an eye for detail on stuff. But not losing the production side, you know, got to show up on time. It’s got to be cost effective. Everything else. The name itself was basically me and a couple of friends in our 20s saying, all the internet names are getting taken. We need to you know, if we ever want to start something later in life, we should, we should, you know, start now. And it started with a list of 100 names. Somebody told me this about a tattoo years ago, if you have an idea for a tattoo, winnowed down to your final one, wait a year, you still think it’s a good idea. wait another year, you still think it’s a good idea? Maybe wait another year. And then you know if you’re if your mind, and we thought about that, and it was already with my now wife at the time, recently just worked on like 100 names, and then I would look at it every couple of weeks. Nope, that one doesn’t work anymore. That one doesn’t work anymore. With the really only driving point being I wanted it to be nothing. But specifically nothing negative in another language, or dialect or, you know, just want to make sure that was being careful at our agency. And I’d seen enough of those mistakes in my pretty career ready with dialects with some character languages. And honestly, the the short run of that is after a couple of years, Trysk was the survivor, the I couldn’t find any negative connotations or definitions online. It means nothing like there’s not a there’s not a basis for that other than it survived that. And it’s also a healthy pre prefix. So like, it’s if we decided tomorrow we wanted to get into growing apples. apple farm, right? It’s gonna be there because that prefix now works for everything. And it’s allowed us. I mean, I think we have a couple URLs, you know, camped on for years, like just wine partners and few others. Cannabis. I think we have a point stuff as well. So yeah, it’s a it’s a coffee table word. The menu open and open this dialog. Yeah.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  4:25  

The Gold Standard and printing.

Stephan Martinez  4:27  

Yeah. And it landed there somehow. Which is weird. odd to hear. appreciative. But yeah, it is fun to go to conventions, where somebody’s like, across the nation, like, Oh, we’ve heard of you like, how’s that? You know, and part of it’s the name but I mean, to be clear, it all started like it is absolutely the efforts of everybody, including Rob, who’s been amazing with us, you know, broadcasting and name recognition, brand recognition, and really doing that harder the last five years that we did in the prior but yeah, the name is fabricated, there’s no meaning behind it. Other than it, just There’s one syllable Trysk.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  5:01  

Yeah. Now before we dive into Trysk Rob, I got to ask you tell us about this journey for a music major to wine guru.

Rob Griswold  5:09  

It’s Yeah, it’s a little, it’s a little roundabout, I do joke with people that I meet a lot of folks that they had these amazing careers in XYZ, and then end up in the wine industry and go, Oh, man, if only I had started in the wine industry, and that would be it would have been amazing. I love this now, blah, blah, blah. And I go shoot, I started in the wine industry, I’m going to end my career as an actuary or something, I’m just going to go the opposite direction. But no, so I started out as a music major violin performance and and really loved it played since I was five, and got to college and realized, you know, if you don’t want to work at a coffee shop for the first five or six years after graduation, maybe looking at some alternatives was a good idea. So I started getting into econ. And then I took up international politics of wine class, and just kind of talking about global implications of the wine trade and the people in it. And really just fell in love with the industry had the really good fortune of connecting with the with the family, who I ended up working for up here who really, I mean, showed me the ropes, I worked a couple of harvests, and did did vineyard contract work and just got to see a lot of the ins and outs of the wine industry, which then, like you had mentioned, bled to running, running their national sales. So I’m really appreciative for Corliss Estates and Tranche Cellars for giving me that opportunity to just jump headfirst into the wine industry. And then that kind of the next step was was coming over here.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  6:42  

That’s awesome. I kind of have the same same sort of entry into the wine industry, I was a philosophy and add a Greek major. And when you graduate with a degree and out of Greek, you are, yeah, you’re gonna drink wine. So yeah, that was my entry. So Stephan, tell what were the early days at Trysk, like as you were ramping up this label business.

Stephan Martinez  7:03  

Terrifying. absolutely terrifying. striking out on your own is an interesting prospect. I was coming into it with a decent amount of knowledge. But it is. The industry is fantastic. And I like to think that when you hear other people say that whatever industry they’re in, oh, but it’s about the people or whatever. I, I hope they’re all being as genuine. As I feel when I say that out loud, is I really think we’re friends like, and sometimes very close friends with a majority of our customers. And that’s the part that really wakes you up every day, when I was striking off on my own. I call like a few people right off the bat, and to a person, oh my god, this is going to be amazing. This is going to be so good for you. And some of them didn’t even like come along, per se like I tried as best I could I can hear my former employer listening to you right now. It’s a new, I tried to not scorcher with it. I knew I was gonna be playing in the same industry at some point. And but you know, when you have your bigger, better customers or smaller, better customers, they’re, they’re excited for you. They want success for you. Because they know you as a person relationships, you build in this very quick and they bond Well, the boring story, all of this stuff. I have a tattoo with a customer, I have an AVA logo on my body. And I won’t say which one. But I mean, when I do this, I don’t want to show it, I want to talk about it. Because I could already hear the other ones saying, well, you need to get ours. That’s my biggest fear is the slippery slope problem with that is, but I remember when they pitches like hey, you want to do this? It’ll be fun. And like, yeah, let’s there was a no brainer, it would be fun to do. Because if you were going to go anywhere. So while it was scary early on, the people around you that give both solicited and unsolicited good advice about how to work in this industry. You know how to manage stuff like, Hey, you know, it’s important that you get the oxygen and oxygen was correctly on your words, early on, it’s important that you name things the right way that you understand, hey, don’t cold call during harvest, you’re immediately you’re immediately telling the customer that you don’t have no clue what’s going on. Right, you know, oh, and d is structured, structured differently for how they do sales. So the early years were really a lot of that we called trial by fire and so many good advisors or customers were our advisors, because first couple years it was myself. I did a talk at U dub. There was an entrepreneurial board panel, I sat on one time. And the reason I think this is your question, what would I do differently? And one of them was like, I would have gotten a finance person earlier, I would have spent the square with the money I didn’t have or was coming in. I should have hired you like it’s a hard it’s definitely a double edged sword. But our CFO and my business partner came across after a year, maybe three or four. And I wish I would have done that sooner because that fear I mentioned tends to drop down we have somebody that’s specifically watching the business side of the aspect because Rob and I are very focused on the uniqueness of a project, how well it’s achieving their goals, all the sales people very getting with them, the early years are tricky to do that. And oh, that’s right. I also have to pay taxes, then it’s a tough thing to do, you can, but it spreads you very thin very quickly. So the first years are really just about kind of figuring that part out. But again, the industry is basically filled with advisors, winemakers are almost by definition, entrepreneurial, risk tolerant, most of them are type As, they’re if you say, hey, how would you do this? Oh, yeah, hang on, you got two hours sitting at a bar, they’re gonna tell you exactly how they think you should do it. There’s no there’s no wallflowers on that side typically. So that’s that’s kind of the opening phase was just getting a lot of great help from our customers, on how to be better for them and their industry. But it wasn’t self serving, it was definitely This is how you become better.

Rob Griswold  10:45  

Well, and to to mention the bit about the the customers and clients and things truly being partners and friends and all of this, the part that made me come over to the side to going back to the to the musical aspects are. So many of these people are also they love music, and they play. And there’s there’s such a creative energy in this in this industry. It makes it it makes it so much fun. Because you can talk to people about wine. But then of course, they’ve got 50 other things that they’re doing, and they’re passionate about and cooking and all of that. So it really makes it a blast,

Stephan Martinez  11:18  

Especially on the art side. And you touched on that too. I mean, there’s a lot of winemakers that have either a BFA or BA in some fine arts, or they love sculpture, or I mean half our conversations end up talking about Oh, have you been to MoMA or something like that? Oh, this is artist I love. Oh, and by the way, I need 2000 cases of merlot by Friday or you’ll die. Like I get that the conversations bifurcate very quickly. But it’s very nice to be able to touch on those other things because it humanizes the process as well. They understand that we’re not just a Craven print shop. No, we really want to know how how’s the cab doing this year? How is harvest? Now? It’s an honest question.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  11:52  

It’s so important to have good, good trusted partners in this industry. Yeah, it’s you guys. Yes, in preparation for the show. For the people that are just listening on the podcast, I’m showing about 50 labels here, which are pretty much some of the most amazing labels I’ve run across lately. And I got to ask you, what are some of the what some of this latest tech that I’m looking at

Stephan Martinez  12:13  

The newest one Rob on talk about the DEN system. 

Rob Griswold  12:16  


Stephan Martinez  12:17  

My goal is to not talk as much that’s my whole goal here and this entire podcast is to talk less and try it So Rob go.

Rob Griswold  12:27  

if you go to our website and click on the sample section, I will send you samples of this very label. But so then Systema it’s 163 pounds stock that we developed with was our paper products and boxwood design. 163 pounds for those that don’t know is more than double the standard pressure sensitive stock. I mean, a lot of wine stocks out there are 60 pounds or seven pounds.

Stephan Martinez  12:54  

This feels like a great max. 

Rob Griswold  12:56  

So it’s, it’s it’s quite a bit thicker. And the goal for that or the or the result of that is we can Deboss we can Deboss kind of a letterpress quality on pressure sensitive paper that used to before. So that’s, that’s exclusive to us. It just launched you’re one of the first people to hold that sample in your hands honestly came out like two weeks ago.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  13:17  

It does feel like letterpress, I was gonna ask you about it. And it’s truly amazing. I mean, you can really just run your fingers along it and you could read it. It is it is

Stephan Martinez  13:27  

I think Seattle, Seattle letterpress, I believe they’re still around the they have one white label on and I don’t know when it ran, I could see it my head because for the last 10 years, that would be the thumbnail I would get this is what I want now like okay, a call them B that’s not production level. And this is nothing. But I believe those were done like and sheets, still pressure sensitive, I think at the time, but they weren’t how our customers typically need them, which is large scale volume stuff, you know, even a 20 case run, you really want to run through a machine to label your bottles consistently straight, whatever. So they didn’t come on, come on rolls on a liner with the stock with the adhesive already there. And so we would get I keep seeing that label to semi on. It’s beautiful. I could see it in my head, Hey, can you do this? Like, I want to, we want to do that. But it doesn’t exist. We have really good partners on the supply side. And we push them pretty hard on like, Look, there’s there’s a market for it. We did this about 10 years ago with the material and I won’t bore you with that one. We’ve done it a couple times in the last 1011 years. And if you push hard enough and have enough sales, you know to drop it into, it’ll become live. And so like Rob said, That’s brand new, but I haven’t known seen it yet. Who hasn’t said oh yeah, we need to do that like Next, you know, and because of that debossing quality that it has been missing from the wine industry, and it hasn’t been able you could the boss but you can only press so hard into a 70 pound stock that’s also then being pressed onto a bottle. It kind of pushes its way back out with the right you know conditions on modeling. This should really hold that we’re, we’re incredibly excited about this.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  15:02  

It looks fantastic. And another one that I really jumped out to me when I was flipping through the package. I’m gonna hold it up here. It’s a, there’s actually an emboss on there. It’s a kind of a diamond grid. But the whole feel of the paper is like nothing I felt recently. Can you tell me about that?

Rob Griswold  15:18  

Yeah. So that actually is Terra skin. So it’s micro embossing on Terra skin material, which is made from stones. So I don’t know specifically the exact process of it. But it ends up being this really sustainable paper made from rocks.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  15:33  

That’s fantastic. So for designers and wineries, we’ve got so many different possibilities here foil in printing or foil overlays. And how does it How does the designer work with you to like maximize push their designs to the to the edge? Not over? Like what advice would you give what good designer.

Stephan Martinez  15:50  

Show us the goal starting in earnest seven years ago, I would say I started printing in 96. And so the first at least 10 years, the conversation was, wow, that’s beautiful. And now we got to do all these things to make it actually work. And or we need to do all these things to it. And all of them were pulling it down, we’re pulling the head and pulling it out of the clouds. And or to make it cost effective. Like you can’t have $1 and a half label on a bottle, you’ve got to be into the 10s and 20s or less, especially at volume starting about seven years ago or so you really got a when the HP indigos really took over for high end printing and it got faster. And the tooling got much more better at scale, better details for that I mean, the foil stamping the embossing the traditional stuff. Now the conversation really is showing exactly show us what you want on the bottom. What’s your vision on it getting a native file now in an in a vector format? Isn’t this progress of Okay, well, we can’t do that we shouldn’t do that this is really expensive. It’s we’re going to show you what this actually costs. Now we Rob and I and all the other salespeople okay. And we’re also going to show you one that might fit your cost of goods grid a little better, your cogs might explode. Because Yours looks beautiful on a MacBook Pro, the mini mini LED display on it, but you gotta sell these, you know, belvo total or something like that they can’t be they can’t be what we’re seeing right here for costs. But in general, the note now is don’t overthink it shows exactly what what do you want to see? What do you want your customer to see, and feel and engage with on that bottle. And a lot of times, we can do it now that the days of no have drifted off, because the Tech has just gotten so strong, you know, embossing used to be, you know, eight, nine tons per tons of pressure are 40. You know, like we can’t even hit it as hard as the machine will go because it’ll break right through all the papers, you know, but that also means we can get high detail. And you can get different metals that you know that work different ways and all that. So, in general, the process is really customer driven now, with us being consultative, as we go and showing them options. Because a lot of times it is like, Hey, here’s exactly what you designed. And it’s x price. What if we want it to be less than that? Okay, and here’s what we can do to you know, modify, but not cheap at that, that idea we can get this idea across, we can have your customer engage that way without having to strip it down to bare bones. It’s been a blast. I’ve had more fun every year than the prior year, like I genuinely think at 25 years now, I have never had more fun, but almost to exactly your question. We don’t have to push back on their designs. And then and Rob, if you want to jump in on this. I mean, but then you also have our sales teams experience, our CSRs and Rob and I going Oh, have they thought of this? Because of the samples you have? Because you know, the examples are like, Oh, I see where you’re going with this. Can we add that?

Rob Griswold  18:54  

I was I was just gonna say yeah, I think everyone within the company to a tee does like being part of that process. And we do we have fun coming up with those different things. Not necessarily that the designer didn’t think of because we work with amazing designers. And they have great stuff. And it is awesome that we can now implement .

Stephan Martinez  19:13  

Lori and Purcell. Like we know you’ve spoken to their top shelf creative, it’s just we want to make sure that we get the production side right. 

Rob Griswold  19:20  

So we can implement what they what they’ve designed. But then at the same time, we’re also sitting there going, Oh, check this out. It’s just came out, oh, we have this new and maybe we can use this and it’s going to you’ll have one tool instead of two or something like that. So that’s that’s really where we get to have a lot of fun kind of on the back end. And again, not having that be something that they need to worry about. We want them to focus on, make the wine, we’ll handle the production side of it. You know, give us your kind of general budget on what you’re wanting to do. We make it pretty fantastic.

Stephan Martinez  19:51  

Like the customer side of pushing us towards that side. Rob your note there like what they may not know about it because we’re constantly working in Totally to bring new stuff to market. They, you know, like sending out those samples right now in Systema, you know designers get that like, oh, okay, so now we’re just gonna do everything on this now, like because it’s not in the sample books that you get from suppliers it will be in a year or two as it gets out in the market. But to give some easy shout outs when I think back on did Systema, Rob Gordon Taylor at DavenLore was one of the first people that pushed me really hard in Oh, 09, 08 or 09 of like, I need something thicker and wider, that makes my bottle look prettier, like, okay, I can’t get it anywhere. So let’s work on it. You know, and especially at the time, there was a, there was a pretty big problem, a problem, a lot of glass was coming with high seams in it. So the 70 pounds and 60 pounds would show that scene, The Princess and the Pea thing. So that’s where the bottom all comes together, you actually have some pretty high seams. And a thicker paper does help overcome that superseded, entirely icebreaker, the material that’s out there now on a couple different names. That’s That’s true, Mary Sellers, Julie Grieb, worked with me for years and saying I want something better doesn’t exist. I know, I’d like something better. Okay. And that was it. I mean, it was years and years to get it done. But now everyone has that the industry is better now. And you don’t go to wine tastings anymore and see rose labels or sparkling little sliding off the bottles.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  21:20  

The mystery box on the ice bucket.

Stephan Martinez  21:23  

Or you see them in plastic bags inside of a bottle, you know, because the industry genuinely didn’t support the answer was like, No one wants it. No one wants to pay more money for a better product. And we were like we very much disagree. I’m not like saying to exit, gotta make sure it’s production level. But I utterly give credit to Julie Grieb or Mary, for staying on with us to get it developed. And now I mean, take it I have a very bottle in a fridge here, I should have pulled it out. It’s been in there for eight or nine years now. It looks beautiful. And it was the result of all that work, though. It took a customer with us to stay on us and us to stay on the paper suppliers and roles and we’ve just created something new. Now everyone has it. Excellent. Right. That’s the goal. Yeah, we want everyone to level up with it. It’s not this, hey, let’s not make it an exclusive. I mean, for what.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  22:12  

That’s fantastic. The collaboration is something that people like realize that it’s really is what’s elevating the industry. And it’s also what’s elevating the design, those designers working with you and you educating each other than pushing each other forward. It’s just so amazing.

Stephan Martinez  22:27  

Yeah, the partnerships we have the peer to peer relationships we have like this point is an embarrassment of riches. I mean, it is genuinely so much fun to wake up with a Hey, I got this great new idea. What do you think? And then our reply almost always is Yeah, yeah, let’s get this done. But let’s get it done. And let’s make sure it works so that the customer doesn’t freak out when they see the when they see a cogs or if they see a timeline because some things take a little longer, right. But majority of the time, it’s a great push and pull with industry partners.

Rob Griswold  22:58  

I’m not going to spoil the surprise, but Hoby, who you spoke with and who introduced us and is fantastic. We’re working on something with him right now that has not been done. And it’ll be pretty cool. So-

Drew Thomas Hendricks  23:13  

Yeah, he’s been sharing some secrets, but I don’t know it’s ready for primetime. So we’ll have to we’ll have to stay tuned. No now he’s a great guy he’s got a good as new thing. It’s out there. He’s got a spice line coming out. Which Yeah, stay tuned for that back to labels. So what is far as as far as wines, what’s one of the biggest mistakes you see wineries and just people in general making when they when they go to design a label and put a label on a bottle?

Rob Griswold  23:39  

I think I know that I think over the line that you’re gonna say I’m staying out of this with perfect is the enemy of good is the phrase that that Stephan likes to use.

Stephan Martinez  23:51  

Wasn’t where I was going. Oh really? also asked-

Drew Thomas Hendricks  23:54  

We’re gonna also have two biggest mistakes.

Stephan Martinez  23:56  

No, I’m not gonna lie, my whole burn something down. This is biggest problem. I this is all an hour of hot mic with stuff. This is not healthy for our company on many levels. Never do this.

Rob Griswold  24:07  

I think when me when we get clients coming in, one of the things that I like to tell them to off the bat is look, we can build you that Ferrari but we don’t need to do that right off the bat. And and you know, as you’re scaling up, and you’re building your production, and you’re just trying to get your first release out and you want to get it to the to the distributor here in two weeks, we’ll make something really, really awesome. There’s always time down the road to tweak it and we can adjust it and get new tooling and change things around. That would be my kind of that would that would be my thought. 

Stephan Martinez  24:42  

Everyone changes from a first read. And so what can happen and absolutely, I couldn’t agree with Rob more people will throw a lot of hard costs. There’s tooling costs on a lot of especially on unique projects. And you know you’ve got a 12 $100 foil buy or or a cheap real depending on what it is you got to cutting down And all this other stuff. When we all I think even the customer winemaker distiller, however you want to go here knows that after it hits the shelf, they’re going to get feedback, like, Hey, can we make this 16th of an inch smaller? Like, yeah, and it’s going to be kind, you’re doing it all over again, and a lot of them do and it’s fine that we find ways to make that palatable we are, I hope this never sounds corny. We are partners. I like to think that anyone listening to this has worked on this for a while has seen on our estimates and invoices, like we’re splitting this with you, because we think it’s a great idea. Like we want to see this in the world like like this tooling is a little bit a little stronger than you were looking for. But we want this on a bottle as much as you do. And it’s, it couldn’t be more honest. So Rob’s note is very pressured on Yeah, perfectly to be a good is I do use that line, a decent amount, because you also we’re running up against a bottling line deadline. Hey, we’re bottling in three weeks. Can I change the entire design? You can? Everything? Yeah, we’re starting over. And you know, we’re all we might still make it but it gets stressful at that point. But we kind of pull them off me.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  26:02  

I like that phrase there. I have a friend and I had Ian Garlic from garlic marketing. And he’s he’s got a slogan. He said he’s got shirts. It’s version done is better than version none.

Stephan Martinez  26:13  

Yeah, I was surprised one time it was another packaging panel. I remember I said to the crowd, and no one replied, never time to do it. Right. Always time to do it twice. And that’s a custom print. Like, I feel like our salespeople should have it like tattooed in reverse. So every time they see it in a mirror, you know, they see it because invariably, a timeline drives everything on a schedule. And everyone rushes in speed kills, little mistakes. The amount of labels out there with one end and Chardonnay or reasoning with the IE flipped. And the 75 ways to spell diverts demeter incorrectly, but don’t jump out at you, you know, right off the bat when you’ve seen something, you know, over and over and over again, the white noise of that. And I think when we land labels, and then oh, they’re not what I thought I’ve moved balling a week now, can we get replacements in I would have killed for one extra day in there. And again, it’s a partnership thing. Whereas guilty of that as anyone we want them out, we get very, you know, myopic about it as well. And Rob to yours my biggest thing is just purely a lot of people don’t take the design phase, I think as seriously as they should. And don’t get me wrong, some places have a stock ready to go make it this. Some people have zero, and we advise them hey, you know, we think these would be good fits for you and design world. But a lot of times we get pushed into a it’s fine. We need to get it done. And it’s almost the opposite of the never time to do it. Right. Then what you get put it this way, a phone call saying I hate these is understandable. It’s not what they thought of it wasn’t in their mind’s eye. I don’t like them is better for me. And I’m sure Rob and everyone else. The worst call is neither All right. Oh, I just stick to the heart. When you get this nonplussed there they look okay. Everyone’s everyone seems to be okay with them. We’ll talk again next year, I just will send a gift basket, like literally they’ll go to Starbucks, you know, or, you know, chocolate basket, like look at what can we do? Mediocrity hurts the most failure, you can fix mediocrity, that that tends to leave a mark. 

Drew Thomas Hendricks  28:29  

That’s that’s a great point.

Rob Griswold  28:31  

Which never happens. By the way. 

Stephan Martinez  28:33  

That’s never, never, never zero. customer. It’s all perfect. To the prior note, I will say this. That does happen less. And I would argue probably less for all printers. I mean that honestly, I don’t think that’s just enough thing. I think that’s because printers don’t have to take them down the line of the mediocre. Right? You can’t do this can’t do this. This is too expensive, because that has shifted that phone call or that email has dropped down, I think globally in our industry. Because no, you can’t or you shouldn’t do that. Those conversations have probably dropped by 60 70%. I think we’ve seen that to your right, Rob. That is a rare conversation these days.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  29:09  

That’s amazing. That’s That’s the goal. Yeah, excites people going back to this fantastic label with this de-embossing. I got to ask though, as far as the print run on this now, is this suitable for a small production line? Or is this something that’s like geared more towards it, you got to run a bunch of ?

Stephan Martinez  29:25  

Both, it’s scalable. And I know that sounds like it’s too good to be true, but it is both the material is doing so much of the heavy lifting. The tooling we buy for m boss the boss boiling can be either meant for small runs, medium runs, big runs, or huge runs that are gonna run just you know hundreds of 1000s time after time like the same debossing pattern for mirlo calves rod and a Chardonnay let’s say on the same size label that just changes yours every year. That material is really what’s doing the heavy lifting so tooling that does the actual end On that can be run on smaller press with smaller tooling setups on a medium one, or the big ones were okay 10,000 cases in our logo, it is genuinely for all of them.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  30:11  

That’s fantastic. Now I’m for a winery looking for wine wineries looking to come to you and they want to really stand out on the shelf and I’m looking behind his stuff. And then there’s some fantastic bottles and they’re all popping to me. And we’ve got this new label here. What’s-

Stephan Martinez  30:24  

I chose this spot? 

Drew Thomas Hendricks  30:25  

How do you know what advice would you give a winery looking to design a label the standout? Today is what other tech is available? You’d want to call attention to?

Stephan Martinez  30:34  

It’s going to sound corny. I think it’s because we’re all we I mean, and Rob mentioned sport, we’re like we all drank the Kool Aid, we tend to have, you know, type a proselytizers of our company. Tell us what your vision of the winery is. What do you want someone to engage in? What do you want someone to feel? When they read it pick it up? the antithesis of that question is we’ll see something sometimes for like a reserved Napa, stag’s leap or some like that. And the font on the back is super small. And like you realize everyone behind this is over the age of 50. And you’re just gonna make them angry when they can’t read it. You know, like, I’m already at reading glasses, it would just annoy me. Don’t do that. You know, like, there’s some little things there. So if you go back to to your question is what do you want your goal and your vision to be? Are you an artistic person who loves to paint, and, you know, you have a small Art Gallery in your tasting room in Walla Walla, let’s say for example, well, then we’re looking at linens, or there’s a new material, that’s basically it’s called Picasso, and it’s a canvas material. Let’s do kind of a Lichtenstein feel to it. Let’s let’s do some pointillism, let’s let’s have some fun, I wouldn’t necessarily put you know, the screen for you know, lunch on a Pinot Noir or anything but, but like, what, what’s the story of your winery, and then we can help tell that story with ink and paper, and it becomes an art piece. It’s really, and I really do think that the better printers in this industry, and again, not talking to start a company, I mean, we all talk at different, you know, shows and symposiums and stuff, the better people better Geez, sorry, the the more in the game. For the more lifers, that’s probably the better way to say it is the negative term I do I call it better the people who are going to do this until they pass out. That’s what we want to do. We want people to engage with that. If we go to a tasting with one of our customers, and they’re doing a varietal, or they’re doing a vertical, and they go, Oh, but this one here, and this one here, just hearing them tell those stories, how engaged they are. Also, you’re watching the rest of the room, listen to that pitch. And that’s how you get wine club members. That’s how you get your type a, you know, buyers and proselytizers. They’re the ones who are advertising your brand. You can run a sale a demo all you want. But it’s that engagement. So from us a lot of times it’s like tell us what’s, what’s your deal. What do you what do you want this to do?

Rob Griswold  32:43  

Yeah, and I think also you with that, some more context to that too. Like, where are these going? Is this going? Oh, yeah, this sit at the restaurant bar, you know, behind the bar and you want it to pop and it’s going to be in a dimly lit room, you know, then let’s maybe look at this is this one club only, and the customer is going to come come up and pick up the bottle and you really need it to be tactile, like you really want a hands on experience because it’s a $250 bottle of Cabernet. Like what’s what’s your end goal here? Or are you just having you want it to stand out on the shelf at at a big box wine store and wanted to pop compared to everything else. So coming up with their their end goals on that too.

Stephan Martinez  33:27  

Cause a financial conversation. Absolutely tied in with that, Rob, you’re absolutely right to touch on that. They’re they the easiest, it’s not sacrosanct with all wineries but like the courts here, and you’ve got like a reserves, maybe you have a library, then you’ve got Wine Club only, but they all have to talk to each other. Or sometimes they don’t want this one to talk to the others. And they want to get this juice out the door for large big box push. And they need to be related or sometimes they you want to have one off. That’s part of the story as well, because this one over here needs to have its bottle cost be x, but this one over here, these are one club members, they paid you for the year already. Here, it’s a reward. This is a sale, right? And I’m coming up that off. I don’t know if that’s a good analog there. But like this is like you’ve given us money. You’ve been with us for 10 years, we love you look at this, you know, a lot of the ones behind you see are kind of in that vein, like here’s our normal, but for you for this group over here, 200 cases a year max and it’s you know, it’s only different shaped fruit, or it’s only been handmade by XYZ wine maker. That one’s a totally different thing. But the logos gotta be the same, right? You want to make sure that tie in is still there, because when those get out there, then a consumer out of QOC or another store will say Oh, I remember this from a wine dinner. I had it, you know, cafe Juanita, one night and it’s 14.99 I can I can I can start there and you know, you kind of get them towards them after that so that that conversation is really healthy to have also.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  34:56  

That’s a lot of thought it’s it’s amazing to talk about that. Especially the tactile feel. Now Hoby and I, we, when this airs, we will, that episode will have already been out. So you guys want to need to go back and check that out if you’re listening to this, okay, but I’m Dr. Hoby Wedler. He’s a sensory design expert. He’s been blind, for those that don’t know. And he really helps brands leverage all the senses. In this batch of labels that you guys sent me here. Each one of these labels tells its own story just by field, which is so important that I didn’t, I didn’t really, you know, he really brought to light on what you were talking about. And that your story also is not just the visual, it’s the way that the way fields, the ripples, the linen, the linen, reinforcing the, the art quality of it. It’s so important, and that’s fantastic. What a fantastic way to help winery tell a story.

Stephan Martinez  35:47  

Are we okay, talking about specific customers? I bet early on. Okay, so maybe, well, I should add, I actually I saw I saw this.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  35:55  

He says they’re the worst customer just just talk about the good ones.

Stephan Martinez  35:58  

So I just dodge juergens call. That actually part’s true, because I’m on here right now. Sure. Very. But this was one where early on and I don’t even want take credit for this. The prior printer I think came up with this. And I flat out they stole it. I’m like, yeah, that’s a genius idea. But so this coin is just blind and boss to various boiling deboss. It’s on a lower diamond stock. So there’s some texture in that. But the best thing about it, I thought was if you can, it’s hard to see on here. There’s actually a em boss logo right here. Oh, the idea was when you pick up a bottle in a store, your fingers, feel that and it makes you want to turn it engage it and it’s 100% true. Like they’re like selling they were in our first conversations early on in. Oh, 08 09 right. When they were starting off, they’d said like, I’m like, Yeah, okay, you know, like, like, why would you spend money on embossing the back label? That’s typically people throw a lot of money on the front, and then the backs come off of REITs TTP, it’s government who cares? And like no, no, we want to add them. Alright, fine. And as soon as they came up brasserie, put them on a bottle and like, that’s genius. I’m gonna do this on everything now. And that’s that tactile experience side of it. And it really push it I mean, the whole the whole thing is luxurious. In my opinion, like the shape of it. The material is one the first ones that had that icebreaker well to it, but it was that very subtle. You can barely see it visually, especially with whatever else was going on there. I don’t think you can pick it up here. No, I don’t think it’s going to Canvas can see it. But there’s a little tiny logo just slightly raised. When you hold this file in your hand, your fingertips being sensitive, right? We think about Braille and anything else. Absolutely. Make you go pump. Since that was a really good lesson a decade ago to keep that in mind. Yeah, so Hoby’s absolutely on the right track. You. You sense things with a full range of stuff. It’s not just visual. Never gonna get that bottle back up there. I know if you saw me struggling to get it. I’m five foot seven. That nearly you almost saw Polycom smashing down there. That was very close. So first, here are.

Rob Griswold  37:55  

The different textures to I mean, we’ve printed on velvet, we’ve printed on a wooden so there’s all these different options out there that no, yeah, give you a ton.

Stephan Martinez  38:06  

Brian wood, wood fiber for Cooper sockets actual laminated. I think this is cherry, or birch. But yeah, that’s an actual wood sample, which means that every label has a completely different woodgrain to it. It’s natural wood doing it. So yeah.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  38:18  

I had no idea. I have that label right here. I had no idea. Oh my Lord. That is fantastic.

Stephan Martinez  38:23  

It’s it’s physically wood. And same thing. Good. Good partners. That was I believe this is a Scout.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  38:30  

Yeah, this would have been one point, guys would have been.

Stephan Martinez  38:34  

One of the first project I worked on six, seven years ago. And I saw that one come across. I’m like, Oh, yeah, this is this is gonna be fun. I hit it in Scout and us hit it off pretty quickly. early on. It was a very easy. Oh, yeah. Yeah, we got this.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  38:48  

She’s fantastic. Yeah, this label. If you guys feel it, it’s got a you can just feel the woodgrains like if you rub your finger along, it feels like you’re it’s a finally wood paneled room.

Stephan Martinez  38:59  

Something like that was a splinter conversation early on in the conversation. And the first test run we did destroyed the inside of the press. Just utterly shut us down for a full day like, Alright, we gotta gotta figure something else. Now. That’s funny,

Drew Thomas Hendricks  39:14  

Is that we know about what else do we know about um, consulting?

Stephan Martinez  39:17  

That’s a Rob question. 

Rob Griswold  39:18  

I mean, I just I know that we’ve we’ve said it a couple of times in different ways here. But we just love this industry and love everyone that we’re working with. And it’s just fun for us to handle these projects. That’s, I guess, if you’re if you’re looking for somebody to just get your labels out the door and it needs to be cheap and fast, and that’s all you want. That’s not who we are. We in Word sponsors of multiple ABA is we like going around and drinking the wines and then getting tattoos of ABAs. Yeah. And hearing hearing the stories and different things and keeping you know, keeping contact with everyone, not just on a business to business side of things. So I mean, that’s really, that’s why I mean, that’s why I’m.

Stephan Martinez  40:11  

We pushed early on in to become a specialty consultative sales. Right? You know, we, we wanted to be consultative we want to, we want to be cost effective, but we don’t shy away from it. We’re going to we’re going to show somebody, especially if we know someone who’s cost conscious, conscious, conscious will say, look, here’s what you asked for, here’s a way to make it a little less on on just purely on your spreadsheet for your dry goods. But what you’re asking for doesn’t really work that way. The what’s the Yeah, I learned this way too late in life, but the cost time quality, you can have too, right? Yeah, you know, that, I didn’t know that till in my 30s. And I really wish I could go back into a time machine. And you know, like, write it on a post it note on my desk early on in my career would have been nicer. But understanding that relationship that you know, we don’t know the date, we won’t hit, but it might hurt, right? It might hurt, something might hurt quality, maybe because we rushed out the door and we missed a QC flag or our QC is extremely robust, you’re a full time person who just walks around and make sure jobs are good. It’s not someone who’s just like sort of running a presence sort of checking, we do scuff testing, that we you know, I’d originally set up with my old company back in like, Oh, 04 05. And that just wasn’t done in our world at the time, not for all jobs, you get it occasionally. But being cost effective is there. But if somebody pushes really hard, like, I need these in two weeks, my current vendor is this, you know, it needs to be under this price. A lot of times, it’s just thanks, you know, you’re you’re in good hands. You know, we don’t take a job from another company, I always think that there’s another knee at a desk right now who’s working his tail off to get this job out in time. And you know, this customers out trying to grind a penny, that’s gonna be me next year, or next order, you know, and that’s not, it’s not fun. But it also just doesn’t seem to lend itself to growth. That’s not being not cost conscious. We we will find ways to make anything fit a budget, for sure. But yeah, that that grindy side of the print world still exists, we we try to gently stay away.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  42:13  

It’s the famous print pyramid, you can have a quick, you can have it quality, or you can have it cheap. You can only pick two of the three.

Stephan Martinez  42:21  

Pick two. That’s it. Yeah. I mean, that’s always like we need to my next week, well, I’m going to knock three jobs out of your way we’re going to overnight in the material. Oh, but that’s too expensive. Oh, yeah, we know. Yeah, it’s silly. Don’t do that. But I can’t move my donlin modeling. But okay, it’s not it’s the word. We use this a lot. Internally, we’re agnostic, right? Like, I’m not making you order that. I don’t want to do it either, you know, hey, we need 10 cases just for this wedding. Oh, geez, that it’s not going to be cheap. You’re gonna be mad at me when I show you that, right. And so a lot of times, we just kind of don’t. And by that, I mean, we’ll just like if, especially if it’s good customer like it’s no one benefits from seeing the actual cost of that.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  43:02  

Hope and helping the customers pick which two of the three on that pyramid to pick.

Stephan Martinez  43:06  

Yeah, and a lot of them will. And to go back to the earlier note, we really do consider ourselves to be very close with a majority of our customers and they’re really strong relationships. We can have that conversation. Like I promise if this came up, we would bring that up like, Alright, let’s go over this again. You need a next week, and you need you know, like, they’re gonna look terrible, because we’re gonna run them on tissue paper on night shift. Yeah, you can have that conversation with a little bit of humor and usually defuse it a little bit. We hope. 

Drew Thomas Hendricks  43:36  

That’s great. Today, we’ve been talking with Rob and Stephan, where can people find out more about you?

Rob Griswold  43:40  

If you go to our website, or I’m happy to send out sample packets, get people materials. There’s a lot of wonderful photos up there. I have clients of ours that say, yeah, check out check out the website.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  43:59  

That’s awesome. And if you’re looking to level up your labels, with some of these tactile just possibilities, definitely reach out to Rob. This This stuff’s amazing. Thank you so much guys joining on the show. 

Stephan Martinez  44:13  

Absolutely. Yes, it’s fine. 

Drew Thomas Hendricks  44:17  

Thank you. Bye, everyone.

Outro  44:24  

Thanks for listening to the Legends Behind the Craft podcast. We’ll see you again next time and be sure to click subscribe to get future episodes.