Monthly Archives: November 2007

  • Hearing From a Happy Customer

    For those of you who read The Lightning Flash, our quarterly newsletter, you will know that we get a lot of unsolicited testimonials here at Lightning Labels. Well yesterday we received a wonderful email from a new customer. I don't normally share these, but this one delighted us so much that I wanted to share it with our blog readers:

    I must say, I am so impressed and grateful for your incredible service.  Lightning Labels really does run circles around the competition, both in terms of service and quality of workmanship.  I've used two other label printing companies in the past 6 months and my experiences with those companies ranged from ordinary to downright unacceptable in terms of quality and service.  So, after receiving another set of 'spot on' press proofs today - and so quickly after placing my request - I decided that Lightning Labels shall be our preferred short run label supplier from this point onward.  Thanks and congratulations on such a fine job.

    We strive to be the best digital label printer in the country, so it is gratifying to hear from customers like this. With all the hard work everyone does here, it is reassuring to hear such positive comments. 

  • A Unique Holiday Gift Idea

    Flagstaff2007frontbmp

    There are now less than 30 shopping days left until Christmas - but for those seeking corporate gifts there is even less time. Here is a simple idea for you that will be really appreciated by your customers or employees. I am talking about custom labeled wine as a Holiday gift. Lightning Labels has partnered with local Colorado winery, Bookcliff Vineyards, to bring you this special program.

    To find out details about the program you can call Bookcliff Vineyards at 303-499-7301 or you can read their blog post about it. Above is an example of a wine label we have printed the last couple of years for the Flagstaff Star. Our in-house designer can help you create your very own design, so your gift can be truly unique. There is still time to order your custom labeled wine this Holiday Season, so why not do something different for your clients or employees this year.

  • A Label and Packaging Makeover

    At the L&NW Symposium last week there were several excellent presentations. One that particularly caught my attention was a presentation titled Packaging and the Premium Brand Image by Barry Sanel of Cadbury-Schweppes. As part of this presentation Barry discussed in detail one of the packaging makeovers he was involved with - for the Nantucket Nectars brand.

    Nnbefore

    Above is a photograph of the Nantucket Nectar brand before the packaging makeover. As you can see there are two different types of bottles and three different sizes of labels. The label styles are also different for the different product lines, but this was confusing for the consumer. What Barry and his team did was create one bottle type for all flavors and then a consistent approach to the labeling.

    Before the makeover, you had to really look for the flavor, whereas afterwards the flavor is featured at the top of the label and is easy to see as you just glance at the bottle. They also hired an artist to create a consistent graphic look with each label - a simple graphic encompassing the flavor with a scene from Nantucket Island as the background. They did all this while maintaining and enhancing the look and feel of the brand.

    Nnafter

    With just a casual glance at the before and after pictures here you can tell that the makeover is a vast improvement. But nothing really matters other than what the market thinks. The results of this makeover was an increase in sales of 25%, which was directly attributable to the packaging - there were no changes in the marketing of the product during this time.

    So, I encourage you to take a look at your selection of products. Does all your labels and packaging have a consistent look and feel? If not then maybe it is time for a label and packaging makeover.

  • The 2nd Annual Label Symposium

    Lnwsymposiumlogo_2

    The second annual Label Symposium sponsored by Label & Narrow Web magazine begins this evening in New Brunswick, NJ. I was invited to be one of the presenters, so tomorrow I will be giving a presentation titled "Marketing for the 21st Century Converter". I will be covering everything from email, search engine marketing to RSS feeds and of course, blogs. We have grown Lightning Labels through some of the techniques I will discuss. Of course, I won't be giving away all our secrets, this will be just an overview of some of the new marketing techniques that any business can employ today.

  • Upside Down Wine Labels

    Konobaru_2

    I stumbled across this wine label last week and I thought it was pretty cool. It is such a simple idea and a great way to stand out on the shelf in the liquor store. The wine is called Kono Baru and it is from California wine maker Don Sebastiani & Sons. The wine pictured here is their Malbec, from the mountainous regions of Argentina.

    The label designer used a simple technique of making the label appear upside down. The only part of the label that is not upside down is the blue box that is made to look like a tear off label. The blue label says "intentionally misplaced labels from well placed vineyards throughout the Southern Hemisphere." So they are making an obvious play on "down under" by using the upside down label. There are several varieties of Kono Baru and they all are sourced from vineyards in Chile, Argentina or Australia.

    Making an upside down label wouldn't work for every product, but it works well here for these wine labels. They have kept the design simple and plain, which adds to the visual impact. There is an obvious reason why the labels are upside down and it becomes an integral part of the brand for this wine.

  • HP Improves Ink Manufacturing Process

    I never really discussed here the ink we use in printing our labels. As you probably know we have two HP-Indigo WS4500 presses - the leading digital label printing press in the world. These presses use a very different ink from any other printing press. It is called ElectroInk, HP's patented liquid ink technology. This process uses electrical charges to control the location of the ink and it can print particles as small as one micron, smaller than competing digital printing technologies.

    Anyway, last month HP announced that they have improved the manufacturing process involved in the production of this ink. They have designed new equipment to manufacture the inks that reduces the amount of energy needed by around 40%. This comes at a good time because the demand for digital printing is increasing rapidly. Here at Lightning Labels we are using almost double the amount of ink that we used just one year ago. HP is committed to reducing its energy use by 20% by 2010, so this announcement will certainly help that goal.

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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.