Case study: how premium print launched a luxury brand

When Appellation Oysters set out to supply Australia’s fine dining restaurants, a simple brochure wasn’t going to be enough.

This article was sponsored by HP to show readers what Carbon8 has been achieving with its HP Indigo 12000 printer.

Australia’s Oysters Coast is a wholesale supplier to the food industry and its prime product is oysters. It has relationships with farmers up and down the coast and recently ventured into luxury branding, launching a new arm called Appellation Oysters. Identifying a hole in the market to supply a guaranteed supply of the iconic rock oyster to fine dining restaurants countrywide, the idea was to position this part of its offering in a higher-end portion of the market.

When it created this luxury brand, rolling out a standard typical printed brochure wasn’t going to be good enough. The decision was made to create a beautiful coffee table book as the key marketing piece. The book was not destined for bookshop shelves but was instead intended to be handed out to tell the brand story and to be the preeminent guide on all aspects of the rock oyster.

The Appelation Rock Oyster book created by Carbon8 for Australia’s Oysters Coast

Australia’s Oysters Coast had previously produced print samples on toner-based technology, which just didn’t do the beautiful photography justice, when it approached Carbon8 – one of Sydney’s high-end digital print houses. Peter Musarra, director at Carbon8, immediately recognised what was needed to enhance the book’s presence and make people want to pick it up and read it. He stepped in to provide creative input, produced new samples on the HP Indigo Digital Press, suggested that it must include a hard cover, printed the samples on a pearlescent base stock, and added a tactile velvet-touch finish. Australia’s Oysters Coast was blown away by the result. The finished book was truly world-class, the combination of the print quality and the attention to detail on the finish was in perfect balance with the subject matter.

Carbon8 is a 12-year-old print shop co-founded by Kenneth Beck and Peter Musarra, two men with creative backgrounds that made it their mission to truly understand print. The superior quality of the work they produce for their clientele can be attributed to their commitment to bring projects to life with that creative mindset.

Carbon8 co-founders Peter Musarra and Kenneth Beck

While other print shops accept jobs and print them with little collaboration or experimentation, Carbon8 chooses to invest in the best available, and the latest HP Indigo 12000 Digital Press allows it to push the envelope in terms of the creative output it can generate for clients. The company bills itself as ‘trusted advisers in print’, informing and sharing ideas with new clients, and the 12000 makes this experimentation and imagination possible. The Appellation Rock Oyster book was no exception. 

Today, you’ll see the book in many of Australia’s finest restaurants. Everyone that sees that book wants to know where they can get their copy. The interest and demand it has generated has been an incredible success to growing their market share dramatically to 49 percent of Good Food Guide hatted restaurants on the Eastern seaboard and an increase in brand sales this year of 111 percent year to date (in the seven months up to January 2020).

“That was off the back of that tactile, stunning piece says Musarra, director of Carbon8. Once you get that desirable combination where someone finds it and feels it and can go ‘I really want to have one of those’ – that’s really showing the value and power of print that you simply cannot achieve with electronic communication.”

For more information and inspiration on the best print can offer, check out the impressive work by Carbon8