Monthly Archives: April 2008

  • LL Product Photo Contest Winners

    Bellaluccefrenchpolynesianweb

    We received over 300 entries for our Product Photo Contest that ended earlier this month. It took quite a while to go through all the entries. After much deliberation we are pleased to announce that the photo above from Bella Lucce has been selected as the overall winner. It is a beautiful photo and a deserving winner. You can view all the winning photos here. And thanks to everyone who entered the contest.

  • How to get into Whole Foods

    Whole_foods

    We have a Whole Foods Market just a mile from where I live and whenever I shop there I enjoy browsing the shelves and looking for products with labels that we printed (there are usually a few). Whole Foods is the holy grail for many makers of natural products, and here at Lightning Labels we have a large number of companies providing these kinds of products. Whole Foods often source locally made products, so even for new companies you have a chance of getting on the shelves there. But how? This week Fortune Small Business tackled this issue, and they provide some very useful advice for any company looking to make it into a big retail store like Whole Foods.

    The article covers a range of issues such as when to hire a consultant to help, getting in touch with a Whole Foods "food forager", attending trade shows, and making sure your product stands out from the crowd. If you are graduating from selling your products at the local farmer's market on weekends to Whole Foods, you will need professional looking labels. Your products will look far better with a high quality, durable label than one you printed on your desktop using blank Avery labels you bought at Staples.

    Some people start their company with the idea that they want a professional looking product right out of the box. Other people are on a tight budget and want to do everything themselves. But if you want to get in to Whole Foods, printing your labels on your $100 ink jet printer just isn't going to cut it. Once you are ready to make that leap you need a great looking label, so your product launch has the highest possible chance of success.

  • The European Wine Label Challenge

    Vinogusto_2
    The wine labels above are bright, colorful and fun. Unfortunately, we didn't print them, they are Australian wines from the liquor store chain Liquorland. Last month the UK magazine, Design Week, featured these wine labels in an article about wine branding. Basically, they were saying that US and Australian wineries were leaving the Europeans behind with their fun and fresh wine label designs.

    I don't think there is any product where the label is more important than in wine. As the article says, people often enter a liquor store with a price range in mind and have no idea what brand they will purchase. The visual appeal of the label can have a huge impact on whether or not a wine is purchased. If you were shopping for a white wine on a hot summer's day and came across the labels above, they would certainly catch your eye.

    This is the challenge for anyone, whether it be a European winery or a small company selling soap at Whole Foods. If you want new customers to try your product, you have to have a compelling and visually appealing label.

  • The History of Print

    2144j2e

    I came across this interesting article a couple of weeks ago on the history of print. It describes a rich history that starts way back around 1800 BC and continues all the way to the 21st century. The photo above is from one of the first rotary printing presses invented in the 1840's. For anyone involved in the printing industry it provides an interesting historical perspective.

    The article does not mention the HP-Indigo press, which in my humble opinion was a very important part of the history of printing. But it does provide an interesting analysis of most of the major printing advances over the last several hundred years.

  • Find Great Packaging Ideas on Flickr

    Bee

    This past weekend, Seth Godin had an interesting post regarding Flickr and brainstorming. Flickr has quickly become one of the world's largest collection of online photos with literally millions of new photos being added every month. Most of these photos are tagged and many of them are available for free for commercial use.

    What is most powerful about Flickr, as Godin points out, is that it has become an incredible brainstorming tool. Let's say for example you make honey and you are having trouble coming up with a cool idea for your honey labels. Go to Flickr and type "honey" in the search box (I usually use the "tags only" button and click on "most interesting") and you will be provided a list of hundreds of photos relevant to the term honey. You might decide you want a photo of a bee, so you can narrow your search to "honey bee". If you want to see photos you can actually use, be sure you use the advanced search, choose Creative Commons Commercial license so you can display photos that can be used commercially

    You may find exactly the photo you want, but regardless you will definitely see hundreds of ideas that you could use in your packaging for your honey. The photo above is an example of just one of the professional quality photos available on Flickr. There are so many photos that no matter what your product category you will find some photos to help stimulate your imagination.

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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.