We won’t lie, we have a bit of a crush on the design wizardry of Matt Varnish of Varnish Studio. And we reckon the feeling might be mutual. So, we challenged the award-winning packaging designer to flex the heck out of our tech with mind-bending details, finishes, colors, metallics and, of course, his signature varnish.

“We met Matt at the Craft Brewers Conference (CBC) in Nashville last year,” says Gabs, Hart Print’s Head of Creative. “He was impressed with our cans and had a lot of questions about the capabilities of our printing tech. We nerded out about the sweet balance between art and tech, which is a big thing that we do at Hart Print.”

We asked Matt to join our Explore the Possible concept for our booth at the 2024 CBC in Las Vegas. He was given carte blanche to crack open his toolbox and go out of this world.

Hart Print x Varnish Studio
Matt's 19.2 oz Big Boi neon-adjacent can takes inspiration from the classic bright lights of Las Vegas… and ALIENS! The shiny ribbons of green and pink are reminiscent of retro lava lamps. The whole concept pops on a slick matte black background with celestial metallic touches, adding that extra “umph” of texture - you may want to lick the can. 

Meanwhile, his 12 oz can pays homage to the offset print industry, bringing in comic book nostalgia with the slight overlap of color. Matt was also keen on experimenting on the neck of the can, playing with the angles of his starburst design all the way up to the tippy top. 

Not only are these cans a feast for the eyes, but also for the fingertips - give them a feel to pick up on the multiple uses of yummy texture.

More aliens!
Matt went one step further and designed a limited-edition Hart Print poster for the CBC featuring aliens, vices, spaceships, and Hart Print.

Gabs indicates: “It’s alien mind-fuckery created with the professionalism of an artist and the wonders of AI, where aliens are allowed to have as many fingers as AI wants. Matt’s not afraid of AI because, as an artist, he knows how to harness it.”

This project falls under the mission of hARTlab, Hart Print’s creative playground that brings together our hot tech with ultra-talented artists. Art is everywhere at Hart Print - it’s even in our name. Whether it’s on our cans, on our merch or on our walls, we take pride in celebrating a diverse representation of styles, voices and cultures in our artwork, and we love collaborating with artists and beverage producers.

Gabs adds: “The purpose of hARTlab is to make meaningful connections with artists of all backgrounds, whether they’re local or big shots like this dude. Matt is a lot of fun to collaborate with, since he shares the same concept of growth and connection in the art community.”