The printing press that creates wine, VW's rebranding, the Summer of Dove and other April Fool’s jokes

The printing press that creates wine, VW's rebranding, the Summer of Dove and other April Fool’s jokes

Gareth Ward is the printing industry’s most revered journalist having written about ink, press, paper and digital printing for many years with an unrivalled depth of knowledge.

Working out of his website Print Business the guru of all things print is also known for his deadpan sense of humour. This year his contribution to April the first was up there with the BBC Panorama’s 1957 spaghetti tree harvest, the Guardian’s 1977 travel guide to the islands of Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse and when the astronomer Patrick Moore introduced the Jovian-Pluto gravitational effect which potentially made earthlings weightless at 9.47am on the day in 1976.

Back to the wine press. Gareth (pictured) wrote: “Bulgarian wine producer Purvoaprilska Shega has an inplant print operation at the vineyard with a venerable two-colour GTO which is used to print labels for its red and white wines. The wine company produces around 4 million bottles a year which means that for several months, having printed the necessary labels and promotional materials for the business, the press is doing very little each day.

“The Vinyard’s owner Avril Vollskiya says that this is when inspiration struck. “I remember in school learning about Gutenberg and how he had invented printing with movable type and had used an old wine press to print his wonderful Bibles. I thought that if a wine press could be used for printing, could a modern printing press be used to make wine?”

“Changing the direction of the inking rollers was simple enough: reversing the flow of electricity to the press meant that instead of helping ink flow from the ducts via the ink train rollers to the plate, the rollers would now carry the ink back to the ducts.”

The full article can be read here:

Last week there was rather a large amount of bogus PR stunts purporting to be April Fools jokes such as Argos creating a fitness lawn mower called a tredmow, Joules clothing styling attire for hedgehogs and Subway creating a fake helping hand to hold your sandwich. There were some more traditional jokes such as a media story about the Archbishop of Canterbury marrying Harry and Meghan three days before their big day dressed as Elvis, Jacob-Rees Mogg MP learning Welsh on Duolingo and Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Centre announcing the grass would be purple this year. And ITV got in on the day with their spoof new show for birds call The Summer Dove. If only it was true!

One corporate PR joke that backfired however was that of Volkswagen whose name would be Voltswagen in recognition of the age of the electric car. Unfortunately, it was taken seriously and treated as a real story prompting the car maker to come forward and admit it was a joke. Who said the Germans don’t have a sense of humour?

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