Monthly Archives: July 2010

  • Safe Cosmetics Act Threatens Future of Small Businesses

    HR 5786, the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010, was introduced in the US House of Representatives last week with the intention to keep potentially harmful ingredients out of of Americans' personal care products. Sounds like a good thing, right? If so, why is this bill so controversial? “Harmful chemicals have no place in the products we put on our bodies or on our children’s bodies,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) in a statement released to the press on HR 5786 by Schakowsky and the other sponsors of the bill,  Reps. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc. “Our cosmetics laws are woefully out of date—manufacturers aren’t even required to disclose all their ingredients on labels, leaving Americans unknowingly exposed to harmful mystery ingredients. This bill will finally protect those consumers.” Schakowksy is certainly right about cosmetics laws being due for an overhaul. The last time they were updated was in 1938. Under current law, the cosmetics industry is responsible for governing the safety of the ingredients in its own products. The new law, if passed, would transfer this responsibility to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Again, why would updating cosmetics laws this old be a point of contention? Because the bill as it currently stands places unrealistic requirements on small businesses who make bath and beauty products. This is ironic, as many of the small business owners that buy labels from us for their bath and beauty products started their businesses because product safety was their primary concern. They couldn't find personal care products that they felt good about letting their families use on store shelves, so they created their own. There are many parts of the bill that will result in a great deal of paperwork that will burden most small business owners. Section 614, Cosmetic and Ingredient Testing and Safety, however, is the most troubling piece of the proposed legislation. It contains requirements that will utterly crush small businesses if this bill passes as it is currently written. Here's what it says:

    ‘SEC. 614. COSMETIC AND INGREDIENT TESTING AND SAFETY.

    ‘(a) Publicly Available Cosmetic and Ingredient Test Data-

    ‘(1) SUBMISSION OF INFORMATION-

    ‘(A) INITIAL SUBMISSION- Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010, manufacturers and distributors of cosmetics and ingredients shall submit to the Secretary (in an electronic format that the Secretary shall determine) all reasonably available information in the possession or control of the manufacturer or distributor that has not previously been submitted to the Secretary regarding the physical, chemical, and toxicological properties of single or multiple chemicals listed on the cosmetic labels under section 613, including–

    ‘(i) functions and uses;

    ‘(ii) exposure and fate information;

    ***‘(iii) tests of finished cosmetics; and

    ‘(iv) any other information used to substantiate the safety of such cosmetics or ingredients.

    Under current law, cosmetics manufacturers can use any ingredient currently approved by the FDA. The Safe Cosmetics Act, however, would require every personal care product made to be independently tested, including ones made exclusively of ingredients already approved by the FDA. This requirement would suck up a lot of small business owners' time, slow their product to market launch time, an undoubtedly result in additional reams of paperwork. Most notable, however, is that it would cost businesses a lot of money to meet the testing requirements. It would require more money than small business owners have. These required testing fees would put many small businesses out of business for good.

    With testing fees starting at $25,000 per product and 130 eyeshadow colors in her product line, Sarah Waller, founding owner of Sweet Libertine Mineral Cosmetics, wrote on her blog that this part of the Safe Cosmetics Act would require her to spend $3,250,000 to be able to sell a jar of $5 eyeshadow. Sarah's writeup on the Safe Cosmetics Act, by the way, is fabulous. She goes through the entire ten-page bill, explaining in clear and simple terms how each section would impact her and other small business owners if it became law. I highly suggest reading her analysis of HR 5786 for yourself.

    Then, if you would like to see what one of the bill's most powerful supporters is saying about HR 5786, visit the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website.

    Finally, I encourage you to let your legislators know whether or not you support this piece of legislation and why. Anyone who buys American-made personal care products would be affected by the Safe Cosmetics Act. That said, I especially encourage the small business owners reading this who make bath and beauty products to let lawmakers know how it would personally affect you, your business, and your customers. In addition to contacting your legislators, I encourage you to consider signing the petition opposing the Safe Cosmetics Act started by the The Indie Beauty Network. Many of our customers who make bath and body products are involved with The Indie Beauty Network, which recently launched a new website dedicated to the opposition of the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010.

    And of course, please feel free to share your opinions and business stories in the comments below. We print a lot of beautiful bath and body product labels for some really great people here at Lightning Labels. It would truly be a sad day to see that stop happening because a law that was supposedly designed to protect the average American forced thousands of small business owners to close their doors.

  • IAPHC Extends Deadline to Enter Graphic Arts Competition

    Attention graphic design firms: You still have a few days left to get your act together for the 2010 International Gallery Call for Entries if you missed the original deadline. Sponsoring organization International Association of Printing House Craftsmen (IAPHC) has extended the deadline to enter this well-known international graphic design contest to July 30.

    Formerly known as the International Gallery of Superb Printing, this is the thirty-sixth year that the IAPHC has sponsored the International Gallery Call for Entries.

    To download the Call for Entries for the graphics design competition, visit the IAPH website; or email Kevin Keane at IAPHP with a subject line of "Need CFE."

  • Popular Skincare Brand Incorporates QR Code into Magazine Ad

    clinique-qr-code-1clinique-qr-code-2Clinique is currently running a two-page advertisement featuring a QR code in the top fashion magazine Vogue. The text next to the QR code, which is prominently displayed next to the company logo at the end of the ad copy, instructs the consumer to, "Use your smart phone to scan this code or visit m.clinique.com/evenbetter for a special offer when you discover Even Better Clinical."

    clinique-qr-code-3When this QR code is scanned, the smart phone user is taken to Clinique's mobile website offering a coupon for  free shipping for online orders. The blog 2D Barcode Strategy points out, however, that this only actually happens if the user has the appropriate QR scanner app installed on their smart phone. I wonder if the company was right to assume that smart phone users are familiar enough with technology to know that they need an app to scan the QR code, or if Clinique was taking a shortcut by not explicitly explaining the QR code and how to use it within the ad space. And if the skincare company did indeed cut corners, will Clinique's shortcut slow consumer adaption and acceptance of 2D codes and related technology?

    What do you think? Is this a step forward or backward for the widespread integration of the QR code in consumer consciousness?

  • Packaging President Obama

    packaging-president-obama-cleaning-productsWhat Obama's First Term in Office Can Teach You About Selling Your Products

    The New York Times recently illustrated a series of guest editorials on what President Barack Obama would need to do to win a second term in the Oval Office with black-and-white images of cleaning product packages (pictured above). The illustration, by Abbott Miller and Kristen Spilman, satirizes the dire challenges Obama is facing as his public approval ratings hover around 40 percent. Coupled with the sentiments of the political experts that tossed around various strategies Obama could employ to have a chance of regaining the good graces of the American people, the illustration implies that it doesn't matter how attractive your packaging is if your product doesn't deliver the results people want. Effective packaging is often powerful enough by itself to prompt consumers to initially purchase a product. Making good on product claims keeps them coming back for more.

  • LL Customer Backyard Soaps & More Featured on Detroit Television Show

    Products Described as 'Almost Good Enough to Eat'

    Lightning Labels customer Backyard Soaps & More was featured on the WJBK Fox 2 Detroit Morning Show yesterday. The television spot highlighted the Port Huron, Michigan-based business, whose scented soaps, candles, lip balms, and body scrubs "look and smell almost good enough to eat."

    Backyard Soaps & More grew from a hobby that Kelly Agostinelli stumbled upon almost accidentally. Nine years ago, she made her first scented soaps when she needed a last-minute bridal shower favor. The strawberry-scented, heart-shaped soaps that she created in her kitchen from a soapmaking kit she ordered online were a huge success. Not long after, Kelly found herself launching Backyard Soaps & More from that same kitchen. Today, her company's products are distributed via retail and wholesale outlets around the world.

    The brightly colored soaps come in more than 50 scented versions, in almost every shape one can imagine. Their high glycerin content helps skin retain moisture, making them as nourishing to one's skin as they are to one's spirit.

  • PUMA, Fuse Project Create Sustainable Shoe Packaging System

    future-of-shoeboxes-pumas-little-bagpuma-eco-friendly-packaging-solution

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    'Clever Little Bag' Lives Up to Its Name

    Industrial design firm Fuse Project has successfully partnered with sportswear and shoe designer PUMA to create an environmentally-friendly packaging alternative to the traditional shoe box. The resulting packaging system, "Clever Little Bag," lives up to its name, and consists of a non-woven recyclable polyester bag supported by a cardboard structure die cut from a single piece of material.

    Compared with a traditional shoebox, Clever Little Bag has no laminated printing, no tissue paper, takes up less space, weighs less (resulting in lower shipping costs), and eliminates the need for a retail shopping bag. Like the traditional shoebox, Clever Little Bag can be repurposed for home storage and organization projects, and allows shoes to be neatly stacked when enclosed in the packaging.

    PUMA plans to start packaging its shoes with the Clever Little Bag in 2011. Here are the amounts of environmental resources they are expecting to save over the course of a year by replacing their shoeboxes with this new packaging system:

    • 65% cardboard
    • 8,500 tons of paper
    • 20 million megajoules of electricity
    • 1 million liters of oxygen
    • 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide
    • 500,00 tons of diesel
    • 275 tons of plastic

    PUMA is on target to make the remaining products consumed by the manufacturing of its Clever Little Bag fully sustainable by 2015.

    Related Posts

    New ISO Standards Coming to Packaging Industry

    Frito-Lay Bets the Farm on its Compostable Packaging

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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.