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WD-40 salutes military with commemorative cans

Series of high-quality designs is designed in part to help raise money for three military charities.
FILED IN:  Package design  > Structural

Collectible packaging continues to be popular with consumers, and WD-40 Co., San Diego, is getting into the act with a limited-edition series of collectible cans honoring American service men and women.

The series consists of four different designs. Three depict air, sea, and land themes, and the fourth design is a combined graphic showcasing all five military branches, including the Coast Guard. WD-40 Company will donate 10 cents per can purchased to three military charities: Armed Services YMCA, the Wounded Warrior Project, and the Veterans Medical Research Foundation.

Crown Aerosol Packaging North America, a business unit of Crown Holdings Inc., worked with WD-40 to launch the series of special cans. Crown also will make a donation to each charity.

A key hurdle in the success of the program was ensuring that WD-40 consumers would receive a thorough mix of designs, allowing them to collect an entire series. However, the typical printing process for aerosol cans, where a single graphic design is printed on a flat sheet of metal that is later sheared into strips that serve as the foundation for individual body blanks, would force contract fillers to sort the designs by hand before shipping. To eliminate this labor-intensive, manual process, Crown proposed a creative alternative: a “jumbled” approach that would place all four designs on a single printing plate. This approach guaranteed that the designs would be pre-mixed on pallets being shipped off to various contract fillers around the United States.

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“Given the times we’re in, supporting our troops was an initiative that resonated with our entire organization,” says Mike Freeman, division president–The Americas, WD-40 Co. “We turned to Crown, a partner of ours for more than 20 years, to help us bring this fundraising effort to market.

“While an inherently simple idea, the jumbled printing plate solution demonstrates the innovative thinking Crown brings to its customers.”

In the initial stages of product development, Crown collaborated with Leon Richman Design to create bold graphics that could be reproduced on printing presses with high-quality results. Printing was done in four-color process, plus spot usage of WD-40’s signature blue.


The “Support Our Troops” campaign runs through May 31, 2011. Consumers can purchase the limited-edition cans in a variety of retail outlets.

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