Innovative, affordable, eco-friendly, and fully creative packaging for customers of all sizes: that was our challenge when we launched Hart Print in 2018. We found the ultimate solution with a combination of infinitely recyclable aluminum cans, cylindrical inkjet printers and stunning artwork. Since then, our Montréal-based startup has pushed boundaries in the digital can printing industry, the first of our kind on the planet. But how’d it all begin?

See you in class
Hart Print is the brainchild of our co-founder and co-CEO Stephanie Hart, who was (and still is) an investor and partner in the Montréal microbrewery Brasserie Harricana. She saw firsthand the challenges of finding a packaging solution that reflects the quality and hard work put into the product on the inside.

“I asked why we were using sticker labels or sleeves rather than printing directly on cans,” says Stephanie. “Not only do these print options require larger print runs to be affordable, they’re often unattractive and they also create major plastic waste.” 

It was also a timely reaction to a booming craft beer movement. As the demand for aluminum cans began to surge, so did the need for an alternative solution to branding on cans in small batches.

Stephanie pitched this challenge to her classmates at Concordia University’s Executive MBA program Jean-Pierre Paradis and Alexander Anishin, who shared Stephanie’s passion for environmentally responsible business practices. It turned out Stephanie wasn’t the only one in the industry to question the status quo. When they asked brewers if they’d be interested in digitally printing on cans in small batches at competitive prices, the answer was a resounding yes. So, what began as a course assignment became a full-fledged business for our trio.

At first we were three
Within one year, we hustled to get the capital needed to set up shop and to find the right technology. We contacted the folks at Hinterkopf in Eislingen, Germany, whose machines were capable of digitally printing on cylindrical containers. We inquired if it was possible to print directly on aluminum cans, specifically all the way into the neck of the can, which is often lost real estate in packaging. After some troubleshooting, it was mission success. 

We welcomed our very first baby from Hinterkopf, our printer Jolene. We hired a modest crew of employees to help us get the job done (the majority of which are still with us today!) and we incorporated our business in July 2018. We put out our very first order in October 2019, fittingly to our friends at Brasserie Harricana. By the end of 2020, we had exceeded 22 million cans printed and had acquired more than 150 customers. We were ready to buy our second printer.

Now part of Ardagh Metal Packaging
In November 2021 we finalized an acquisition deal with Ardagh Metal Packaging (AMP), a major player in the aluminum can industry. 

“This investment recognizes our ability to serve both smaller customers with large ambitions as well as larger customers that want to be creative with their brand,” says Jean-Pierre, Hart Print’s co-founder and co-CEO. “Under AMP's ownership, we’re able to take digital printing on aluminum cans to the next level by leveraging AMP's global scale and expertise.”

With Ardagh in our corner, we ramped up our team and our production capacity, solidified our can supply, and started looking south to expand our business.   

No looking back
With our Montréal office going strong and a fleet of printers in our production locations in Illinois and Maryland (North Carolina coming soon), Hart Print has become a major player in the beverage packaging industry. We are excited to employ close to 150 Hart Printers and to ship our products to locations all over North America. We are most proud of the fact that we have never lost sight of why we got into this business in the first place: Customers big and small continue to benefit from unlimited colors and just-in-time delivery, all with 100% recyclable material and no minimum order quantities. And we are able to deliver on our promise thanks to our stellar and creative team of employees who share our vision.

“Every day we have an opportunity to do good; not because we have to, but because we want to,” says Stephanie. “We have a greater responsibility to care for our environment, to promote art in accessible places, and to embrace diversity in all its forms. We are fortunate to put our goals to practice at Hart Print while we produce beautiful cans for a customer base that never ceases to inspire us.”