Monthly Archives: December 2007

  • The Season of Giving

    Banner

    As 2007 draws to a close I thought I would let you all know about a wonderful organization that we support here at Lightning Labels. SungateKids is on the front lines in the fight against child abuse. They help children in Colorado who have been victim to this terrible crime by advocating on their behalf and helping them begin the healing process. We believe it is important to support organizations that are making a positive difference in this world, which is why in this season of giving we gave $5,000 to SungateKids.

  • Add Some Fun to Your Product Label

    Images

    Last week over at the Web Ink Now blog, David Meerman Scott wrote about the fun product labels used by Vitaminwater. His 14 year old daughter actually enjoys reading the product labels, and for good reason. Each flavor of Vitaminwater tells a different short story that is lighthearted and fun. Take the  Revive (fruit punch) flavor:

    If you woke up tired, you probably need more sleep. If you woke up drooling at your desk, you probably need a new job. If you woke up with a headache, on a Ferris wheel at the Idaho state fair, wearing a toga, you probably need answers, not to mention this product. Its got potassium and B vitamins to help you recover and feel refreshed—kinda like in those old Irish Spring soap commercials. And if you’re like our boss, Mike, and woke up married to an Elvis impersonator, you probably need a lawyer.

    Now, how many products mention an Elvis impersonator, a toga and a Ferris wheel on their label? It is safe to say that Vitaminwater is it. Sure they could have talked about how wonderful their flavored water is, and how good for you it is, but instead they decided to give their product a bit of personality. It is surprising that more companies don't try and add more fun to their labels; it is a bit of a risk, but in today's crowded retail marketplace it can really help create a unique brand for your product.

    While I think Vitaminwater has done a great job with their labels, I would go a step further. You already have people reading your labels, so I would create more stories. Take the Revive example above, you could have 20 or more stories similar to this one, so that a loyal user of your product will most likely receive a different story every time they purchase. You could pay a freelance writer a few thousand dollars and you could have hundreds of these short stories on your labels. I would also take advantage of digital label printing and run all the different labels in one batch so on the shelf a customer could see that the stories on the labels are different. You may find your loyal customers start collecting the labels.

    So I encourage you to take a long hard look at your product labels and see if you can add an element of fun to your product.

  • This Sunday is Festivus!

    Festivuswine

    This Sunday, December 23rd, is the official holiday of Festivus. You haven't heard of it? Well it is a fairly new Holiday and probably the only Holiday ever to have been created from a sitcom. An episode of Seinfeld in 1997 introduced the world to the Festivus holiday.

    Well since Seinfeld ended its run almost 10 years ago there are some people who have embraced the Festivus holiday as a non-religious alternative celebration. There is even Festivus wine that you can buy just for the Holiday (the label is featured above). I should provide full disclosure here - Lightning Labels prints these Festivus wine labels for one of our customers.

    So this Sunday celebrate Festivus: "the Holiday for the rest of us."

  • Feature in the Denver Business Journal

    Earlier this month there was a wonderful feature on Lightning Labels in the Denver Business Journal, our local weekly business newspaper here in Denver. You can read the full article here.

  • A Bridge Made from Labels

    Paperbridge

    The bridge in the photo above was built over the Gardon River in the south of France this summer and was designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban. The structure itself is made from recycled cardboard tubes held together by steel joints. But the steps of the bridge is what I find most fascinating. The steps were made from a material call ProFi, which is created from paper and plastic left over from the manufacture of self adhesive labels.

    Now you might wander how safe this bridge is? Well apparently the bridge could comfortably withstand a load of 20 people. It was surprisingly easy to assemble - it took a team of architecture students only a month to complete the installation. The only problem with this bridge - the cardboard tubes meant that it was not very durable. The bridge was open to the public for just six weeks until it was dismantled in August before the rainy season.

    However, ProFi the new material from UPM, one of the world leaders in the manufacture of label material and paper products, is quite durable. ProFi is being used now to make outdoor decks for patios, playgrounds and pool areas. It is weather proof and highly durable. But if you are looking to buy this new product in the US you will be disappointed. It is currently only available Europe.

    The label industry has been slow to embrace sustainability but this new initiative from UPM will hopefully spur new growth in this area. There is a great deal of waste in the manufacture of self adhesive labels and so there is plenty of opportunity for new ideas like UPM ProFi. Here at Lightning Labels we are committed to sustainable practices and we will continue to keep you informed of initiatives like this one.

  • Happy Holidays Everyone

    Holiday

    Well we are in full swing of the Holiday Season now. So I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of everyone here at Lightning Labels, to wish all our readers and customers a safe and happy Holiday Season. All the best for a prosperous 2008.

    Here are the days we will be closed this Holiday Season:
    Dec 24
    Dec 25
    Jan 1

    We will be open for every other business day during the Holidays. But if you call in between noon and 2pm (Mountain Time) on December 20th you will get voicemail. We are closing down the office and factory for a couple of hours so we can all celebrate with a Holiday lunch.

  • Cartoons on Wine Bottles

    Cartoon_2  

    Stormhoek, the South African vineyard that has taken the world by storm with its unique blogging and marketing campaigns, is pushing the envelope again. This week Stormhoek sponsored the British Comedy Awards by providing the wine for all the tables of celebrities. But rather than just giving away their wine and letting that be the end of it, they created some special wine labels just for the occasion.

    Seeing that the event was a comedy awards they decided to create new wine labels with cartoons from Hugh MacLeod of the GapingVoid (Stormhoek has worked with MacLeod as a consultant before and he has been responsible for some of their award winning marketing campaigns). But they didn't just do one cartoon, they produced 30 different cartoons, like the one featured above, on the wine labels. The whole idea was to get the celebrities swapping wine bottles and talking about the wine.

    This is another great example of the innovative use of digital label printing. There is no need for every label to be the same - if Stormhoek had done that their wine would have had much less impact. You can make every label different and start getting people talking about your product.

  • The Matrix of Labels

    Matrix_2

    The matrix I am referring to with this title has nothing to do with a new Keanu Reeves movie, the matrix I am discussing here is part of the die cutting process. In a previous post I demonstrated how die cutting works, the diagram above gives you a different perspective on this process.

    As you can see here a printed roll of labels begins as just a long uncut roll. As the labels pass under the die, the pressure from the sharp edges of the die cuts the label material and so the labels get their shape. To make the labels easy to apply the material that is between the labels is removed. This material is what is called the matrix. As you can see in the above diagram this matrix is removed and wound on a roller. So when you receive your labels they are easy to remove and apply.

    This diagram is reproduced with the permission of Labels & Labeling magazine, and comes from their Label Encyclopedia, a valuable resource for anyone interested in the label industry.

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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.