Monthly Archives: June 2007

  • Belonging to Membership Organizations

    Tlmilogo_3
    We just signed up to join TLMI (the Tag & Label Manufacturers Institute) which is the premier trade association for the label printing industry. Members of TLMI produce around 80% of the labels manufactured in this country and all the leading label printers are members. As one of the pioneers and leaders in digital label printing, we felt that we needed to be a part of this important membership organization.

    One of the benefits of joining the leading membership organization in your industry is the ability to meet with industry leaders. And the best way to do that is to get involved. I will be joining one of the committees there - the Environmental Committee, where I hope to learn about the latest initiatives that label printers are undertaking to lessen the environmental impact of label printing. I will share some of what I learn on this blog and will be doing a feature on sustainable labeling in an upcoming newsletter.

    The label industry is changing fast. Here at Lightning Labels we want to be at the forefront of these changes and our membership in TLMI I believe will help us do that.

  • Printing Very Long Labels

    The maximum size label that we have been able to produce here at Lightning Labels is 11" x 17". However, this week we had a request for a 22" long label. After a bit of research we realized that if we split the label art in two then we can quite easily create a label that is 22" long. I took a look at the final result and you had to look very closely to see the break in the artwork.

    Allow to me explain a little about how this all works. The HP-Indigo digital label presses print in a series of frames that are approximately 17" long. The label material is run through the press and one frame is laid down at a time. The printing press is quite precise, so it knows exactly where the last frame ended when it goes to print the next frame. So with a 22" long label we print half of the label at the bottom of frame one and then the second half at the top of frame two and bingo - it looks like one long label.

    Unfortunately die cutting labels this long is not possible. We can slit along the length of the label, but for the width we can't diecut a label that is longer than 17". So while we are happy to print a long label for you, the labels will have to be hand cut once they are printed.

  • Delicious Looking Candle Labels

    Cinnamonroll
    Yes, this delicious looking label actually goes on a candle jar. It is the creation of Kristin Graham of Greenhouse Soy Company of Dayton, Ohio. Kristin founded her candle company just this year, and she designed all the labels herself.

    Here at Lightning Labels we deal with a lot of startup companies and often it is the founder of the company who creates the artwork for the labels and does the ordering. In these situations we see some artwork that is poorly done, some that is just ok, but occasionally we see artwork that is beautifully designed. I think you would agree that Kristin has created a very striking candle label here.

    She has several other delicious candle scents such as apple pie, banana bread and lemon cheesecake, all with beautiful color photos. She uses Photos.com, a subscription service for royalty free photos. We love printing these high resolution photo labels on our digital label printer, it shows off the photo quality work of the HP-Indigo presses.

    Digital label printing is the only affordable way for startup companies like Greenhouse Soy Company to get small quantities of high quality labels. Kristin ordered just 200 labels each of more than 50 products - with traditional label printing the cost for plates alone would have been over $10,000 before printing. With Lightning Labels she was able to get beautiful high resolution labels for all her products for about one-fifth of that amount. 

  • New Wine Packaging From Robert Mondavi

    5423801 Today, the leading California wine maker, Robert Mondavi announced something completely new in the world of wine: the 12-pack. A mainstay of the beer and soda world for decades, you will now be able to buy a 12 pack of 187ml (around 6.3oz) wine bottles.

    The wine industry has often lead the way when it comes to pushing the envelopes on labels and packaging. Many innovations, such as high resolution full color label printing, that we now take for granted began because of the demands of wineries.

    This innovation makes perfect sense to me. Robert Mondavi is making it more convenient for their customers to consume their product. What I like is it provides a great example of one industry copying packaging ideas from another industry and adapting them to their own purpose. That is one of the easiest ways to come up with new and innovative packaging ideas, but it does take thinking outside the box.

    You will see these 12-packs of Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon in stores later this month. I expect they will be a big success and by the Holiday Season we will see a number of wineries offering these convenient 12-packs, or different variations on this theme.

  • Put a Hat on Your Bottle?

    Supergran_hatoftheweek_061204_2 In the latest issue of Fast Company magazine there is an interesting article from the authors of the book Made to Stick, a fascinating book about what makes a great new idea. Well anyway, this article mentions several unique companies with new ideas including this juice company from the UK called Innocent Drinks.

    Four years ago Innocent Drinks created one of the most unique packaging concepts that I have ever seen. The campaign was called "Supergran" and what they did was enlist grandmothers across the UK to knit hats for their juice bottles. Yes, as you can see from the photo here these little woolly hats sit atop a bottle of juice. It is for their seasonal winter smoothies so the idea is the hats would keep the bottles from catching a cold.

    The campaign was a huge hit, and last winter they ended up with 230,000 knit hats for their bottles. For each hat they made a 50 pence donation to a charity assisting senior citizens. What I like about this idea is that it is way outside the box. It was a completely new idea that continues to generate a lot of free publicity for the company. And talk about standing out on the shelf. If you are deciding which smoothie to buy how could you resist one with a cute little knitted hat.

    Now it is not easy to come up with a completely new packaging idea, but if you want to do something completely different you need to think outside the box. Ideas are all around you - and I am not just talking about other products. A great idea can come from just adapting something that is common place, but using it in a whole new way. There are still plenty of great ideas that have yet to be discovered, so put those thinking caps on....

  • Make Sure Your Label is Working Hard

    Istock_000002483218xsmall

    Last night I was wandering through our local Wild Oats grocery store and I was pleased to see products from several of our customers displayed prominently on the shelves. I was also pleased to notice that the competing products around had, in general, inferior looking labels. This is why it is important to use a high quality digital label printer like Lightning Labels. You get quality that is better than traditional label printing and you don't need to order thousands of labels at a time.

    It is amazing to me that so many companies are producing labels with little thought to design and production quality. It appears in many cases that the label is an afterthought, a necessary evil that you have to create in order to sell your products. But for those companies that spend the time and resources in creating beautiful label designs there is a distinct advantage. There are so many choices on the supermarket shelf these days, an attractive label that stands out from the crowd will help your product be successful.

    So I encourage everyone who sells a product in a retail store or farmer's market to consider your label carefully. Does it stand out from the competition? Is it working hard for your product? Here at Lightning Labels we see hundreds of different label designs every day. We will be more than happy to help you create an attractive label for your product.

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Material Descriptions

Materials

BIOSTONE

One of our eco-friendly options that is actually made of stone—no trees are used. This material should not laminated.

CAST GLOSS

This is another material specially designed for the wine industry. It is paper-based with a high-gloss white finish. Same adhesive and liner as Estate #9.

CHROME (SILVER) BOPP

This material has the same water and oil-resistant properties as our White BOPP and Clear BOPP, but has the "mirror-like" look of shiny chrome.

CLASSIC CREST

Best suited for wine labels, this is a white paper stock with a dull matte finish. It is not suitable for lamination and is therefore not waterproof. Same adhesive and liner as Estate #9.

CLEAR BOPP

This is the clear version of the Polypropylene (BOPP) material. It has the same waterproof qualities as the White BOPP. It provides more of a "no label" look and is also suitable for window stickers (where reverse printing of the image allows the label to be applied to the inside of a glass window and be viewed from the outside).

ESTATE #9

This is a great option for wine labels, gourmet foods or applications where a textured finish is desired. Being a paper stock, it's not as water-resistant or durable as BOPP, but its light cream color and textured feel add a touch of the "unusual" to the right product. It features a special adhesive (removable in 100+ degree hot water) and a stronger liner particularly suited to machine application. Not suitable for lamination.

GOLD POLYESTER (METALIZED)

This material will make your labels shine! Suitable for most labeling applications, it has a strong adhesive backing and must be laminated. Choose glossy laminate to make your label designs pop, or matte for a unique, elegant look.

KRAFT (RECYCLED)

This is a recycled 100% post consumer waste material. It is a 55# paper material that is a wonderful option if an “earthy” appearance is desired. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water. It is not suitable for lamination; therefore, it is not water or oil resistant.

REMOVABLE WHITE BOPP

This material is the same as our standard BOPP, but has a special, "less aggressive" adhesive designed to allow the label to be removed or re-positioned after application. Depending on the surface it will be applied to, customer testing is strongly recommended. We can provide samples for this purpose.

SATIN CLOTH

Quite the unique material! Yes, it is woven satin acetate cloth. Think wine or spirit labels! This material will make your product packaging POP. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water.

SQUEEZABLE

A white, 3mil film that is better suited for squeezable applications. This material has proven to work well in a variety of applications, so you can be confident it will perform well for you.

VELLUM (RECYCLED)

A great “green” choice, this 60# vellum is 100% recycled with 100% post consumer waste material. Cannot be laminated. Is neither water nor oil-resistant. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water.

WHITE BOPP

This is our most commonly used material and is suitable for most applications. It's a polypropylene material with a permanent adhesive. It is impervious to water and oils, and is particularly suitable for bath and body products, as well as food containers.

WHITE EARTHFIRST PLA

A more environmentally friendly alternative to White BOPP. The PLA stands for Polylactic Acid (a biopolymer made from corn rather than petrochemicals). Similar look and feel to BOPP and suitable for most applications, but should not be used directly on candle containers.

WHITE FLEXIBLE VINYL

This is our most substantial material. The vinyl is thicker than BOPP, and is most suitable for outdoor applications where greater strength and durability are needed, or where lengthy exposure to the elements is an issue.

WINDOW DECAL (CLEAR/ULTRA-REMOVABLE)

We offer this window decal option as an alternative to static cling. The face stock is clear with excellent clarity. The adhesive is an ultra-removable featuring excellent weatherability and UV resistance. It removes cleanly from a wide variety of substrates without staining or ghosting. Why worry about static clings staying on when you can have removable adhesive there to hold it in place?

CAST GLOSS

This is another material specially designed for the wine industry. It is paper-based with a high-gloss white finish. Same adhesive and liner as Estate #9.

CHROME (SILVER) BOPP

This material has the same water and oil-resistant properties as our White BOPP and Clear BOPP, but has the "mirror-like" look of shiny chrome.

CLASSIC CREST

Best suited for wine labels, this is a white paper stock with a dull matte finish. It is not suitable for lamination and is therefore not waterproof. Same adhesive and liner as Estate #9.

CLEAR BOPP

This is the clear version of the Polypropylene (BOPP) material. It has the same waterproof qualities as the White BOPP. It provides more of a "no label" look and is also suitable for window stickers (where reverse printing of the image allows the label to be applied to the inside of a glass window and be viewed from the outside).

ESTATE #9

This is a great option for wine labels, gourmet foods or applications where a textured finish is desired. Being a paper stock, it's not as water-resistant or durable as BOPP, but its light cream color and textured feel add a touch of the "unusual" to the right product. It features a special adhesive (removable in 100+ degree hot water) and a stronger liner particularly suited to machine application. Not suitable for lamination.

GOLD POLYESTER (METALIZED)

This material will make your labels shine! Suitable for most labeling applications, it has a strong adhesive backing and must be laminated. Choose glossy laminate to make your label designs pop, or matte for a unique, elegant look.

KRAFT (RECYCLED)

This is a recycled 100% post consumer waste material. It is a 55# paper material that is a wonderful option if an “earthy” appearance is desired. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water. It is not suitable for lamination; therefore, it is not water or oil resistant.

REMOVABLE WHITE BOPP

This material is the same as our standard BOPP, but has a special, "less aggressive" adhesive designed to allow the label to be removed or re-positioned after application. Depending on the surface it will be applied to, customer testing is strongly recommended. We can provide samples for this purpose.

SATIN CLOTH

Quite the unique material! Yes, it is woven satin acetate cloth. Think wine or spirit labels! This material will make your product packaging POP. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water.

SQUEEZABLE

A white, 3mil film that is better suited for squeezable applications. This material has proven to work well in a variety of applications, so you can be confident it will perform well for you.

VELLUM (RECYCLED)

A great “green” choice, this 60# vellum is 100% recycled with 100% post consumer waste material. Cannot be laminated. Is neither water nor oil-resistant. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water.

WHITE BOPP

This is our most commonly used material and is suitable for most applications. It's a polypropylene material with a permanent adhesive. It is impervious to water and oils, and is particularly suitable for bath and body products, as well as food containers.

WHITE EARTHFIRST PLA

A more environmentally friendly alternative to White BOPP. The PLA stands for Polylactic Acid (a biopolymer made from corn rather than petrochemicals). Similar look and feel to BOPP and suitable for most applications, but should not be used directly on candle containers.

WHITE FLEXIBLE VINYL

This is our most substantial material. The vinyl is thicker than BOPP, and is most suitable for outdoor applications where greater strength and durability are needed, or where lengthy exposure to the elements is an issue.

WINDOW DECAL (CLEAR/ULTRA-REMOVABLE)

We offer this window decal option as an alternative to static cling. The face stock is clear with excellent clarity. The adhesive is an ultra-removable featuring excellent weatherability and UV resistance. It removes cleanly from a wide variety of substrates without staining or ghosting. Why worry about static clings staying on when you can have removable adhesive there to hold it in place?

Artwork Specifications

Laminates

High Gloss

High gloss is our most popular laminate. It is the least expensive option and provides protection for the label and a high gloss shiny finish.

Matte

The Matte Laminate provides your label with a dull, non-glossy finish. Some customers consider this achieves a more "natural" look.

Thermal Transfer

This is a gloss laminate that is designed to work with most over-printing thermal transfer printers. We do recommend you get samples first to test through your own printer before placing an order with this laminate.

UV Outdoor Gloss

As the name implies this is best used for labels that will be used outdoors. It has a high gloss finish with excellent UV resistance. It is best paired with our vinyl material for the most durable outdoor label.