Monthly Archives: July 2008

  • Denver's Fastest Growing Private Companies

    Dbj We are delighted to announce that once again, Lightning Labels has been honored as one of the fastest growing private companies in our region. The Denver Business Journal compiles this list every year, and this year was our best ever result on the list. In our revenue category (small-medium businesses with annual revenues between $3 million and $7 million) we came in 7th. To qualify for the list, the Denver Business Journal compared revenue growth from 2005 to 2007 and Lightning Labels came in at an even 150% growth during that time period. Thanks must go to all of you, our customers, for helping to make this growth possible.

  • Digital Label Printing Creates Less Waste

    Istock_000005319724xsmall One of the biggest advantages of digital label printing over traditional flexographic label printing is that less waste is created during a print run. This aspect is rarely considered by label end users, most people focus on just three things - quality, turnaround time and price. But if you are looking for label printing that is environmentally friendly then you really need to consider digital for the small amount of waste that is created. Allow me to illustrate with an example of a typical job we print here. We receive an order for five different labels, a quantity of 500 each, and a size of 2" x 6". We print on material that is 12" wide, so we can print 5 labels across the roll which means for a total of 2,500 labels, allowing for a small 1/8" gap between labels the total material needed for this job is around 260 feet. We would produce 30-40 feet of waste to setup the press, so the total job would require less than 300 feet of material. Now, let's assume this job is run on a traditional flexographic printing press. With an experienced operator you are looking at around 200 feet of waste to get the first label setup. Then probably around 100 feet of waste between jobs for a total of around 600 feet of waste. And that is with a good operator. It wouldn't be unusual for a job like this to create waste in excess of 1000 feet of material. This waste material typically goes straight to the landfill. So, for a job that actually requires 260 feet of material, a best case scenario for flexographic printing is waste of 600 feet. Less than a third of the material is actually used productively. If the consumer knew how much waste was being created by traditional label printing, they would demand these customers switch to digital. For very long runs of tens of thousands of feet of material, traditional label printing can make sense. But how can we justify using a printing process where the majority of the material used goes to waste. If you don't have a large label order and you are concerned about the environment, there is only one responsible choice: digital label printing.

  • The Top 5 Worst Fonts

    Adam over at the PrintCEO blog yesterday pointed out a print design blog that provides a list of the top five worst fonts. I have provided the list below in graphical form so you can see the fonts they are talking about. Fiveworstfonts Before going any further, I need to point out the obvious - that this is a totally subjective list, just one print designer's opinion. Having said that I think these fonts are all overused today. PCs and Macs both come with a large variety of free fonts and there are thousands of inexpensive fonts at places like fonts.com and Font Shop. So there is no reason to use the same fonts that everyone else is using. There is one point this designer makes that I completely agree with. Apart from Times New Roman, these fonts are not very easy to read, so they should be used sparingly. And if you want to draw attention to your label finding an unusual and rare font is an inexpensive way to add impact to your labels. Just make sure it is easy to read.

  • Some Great Labels from The Bubble Roome

    Thebubbleroome1 If you are interested in label and package design you really should read The Dieline, the leading package design blog. Every day they feature some wonderfully designed product packaging. This morning, I was reading their latest entry and I was delighted to see the products from one of our customers, The Bubble Roome, featured. David Johnston is the founder of this bath and body products company based in Brooklyn, NY. He has an advantage over many of his competitors in that he has a background in design. He has designed all the labels himself and he has done an excellent job. Here is what he has to say about his unique label designs:

    I wanted to base the design concepts on turn-of-the-century apothecary labels, but knew that that wouldn't be enough ... I also wanted to add the use of pattern and color that the Victorian's used and their delicate and intricate type design. But I didn't want this to look too retro, I wanted it to be updated, to reference the 1900's without creating something too reverential or precious ... The label placed on the look of The Bubble Roome? Neo-Victorian.

    We love printing labels like these. With bright colors and fine details, they really show off the quality of our HP-Indigo digital label printing presses. High quality design combined with high quality label printing gives any product the best possible advantage on the retail shelf. Thebubbleroome2

  • 13 Product Label Design Tips

    Logo I have been a big fan of MarketingSherpa for many years now. They are specialists in tracking what actually works in all aspects of marketing and they produce interesting articles and case studies on a regular basis. So, when a couple of months ago they asked me to do an interview on label design I jumped at the chance. The title of the article is Label Design Primer: 13 Tips to Help Your Product Get Noticed on Store Shelves, and you can read the full article here. But you need to be quick, it is only available to everyone for the next week (until July 8th). After that you will have to register at MarketingSherpa before you can read the entire article. Regular readers of this blog and our newsletter will recognize some of the points here. Basically, I talked about what you need to do to get your label to stand out from the crowd. While there are no hard and fast rules that guarantee your labels will get noticed, by following these tips you will be doing a better job than most of your competition.

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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.