Monthly Archives: August 2011

  • Jewelry Cleaner Sullies Itself as Synthetic Drug

    Despite warning labels that read "not for human consumption," products like bath salts are being used for less-than-legal purposes such as snorting and smoking. Now, Pennsylvania law enforcement has noted that new substances with different, misleading labels have appeared.

    One such product is labeled as a jewelry cleaner, but actually contains a synthetic drug, which is typically a substance that mimics marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine, The York Daily Record reports. The introduction of a new product to the synthetic drug scene hasn't surprised law enforcement, as bath salts were banned on Monday in Pennsylvania and new drugs were expected to take their place.

    Currently, though, state lawmakers are already working on how to regulate jewelry cleaner. State Senator Pat Vance of Cumberland County told the news source that she believed creating restrictions for products would be more beneficial than adding to the growing list of banned chemicals.

    "These synthetics cause a lot of trauma for people," Vance said, according to the Record. "We have to craft the regulation so that it would work at getting rid of these products as soon as we know of them."

    From January through April, hospitals saw the number of individuals being admitted for issues including seizures and hallucinations spike to 2,700, compared to 3,200 for all of 2010, MSNBC writes.

  • Making the Grade: Ideas For Clarifying Food Labels

    For manufacturers hoping to avoid complaints and confusion over food product labels, a recent contest for ideas on how to improve such labels could serve as inspiration. The contest was sponsored by GOOD magazine, the Art Center College of Design's Designmatters, and Berkeley School of Journalism's station News 21. 1. Replace serving size with "snack" or "meal" labels. Further augment categorization by adopting a color/size code that indicates the overall healthiness of a product. 2. Assign letter grades for overall nutritional value or even a product's eco-footprint. 3. Create a label communicating the exercise necessary to burn off the calories in the food. 4. Leverage mobile applications that promote interactivity and transparency among consumers. Continue reading

  • New Chiquita Product Packaging Isn't A Smashing Success

    For parents trying to keep their kids healthy and energized, choosing the right foods and snacks is of paramount importance. However, some product labels and packaging can do more to confuse than clarify.

    Take the newly introduced Chiquita Smashers, for example. Although they are branded as a "health, crushed fruit snack for kids," Kelly Burgess writes on the website The Pine-Richland Patch that the product has a thin consistency more akin to a light smoothie than smashed fruit.

    Additionally, Burgess explains that the nutritional labels don't seem to match up with the flavor advertised on the front-of-packaging label. For example, Chiquita Smashers' orange flavor doesn't actually contain any real oranges. Instead, it's made from banana puree, apple puree, water and orange juice concentrate.

    Burgess pointed out other inconsistencies and confusions regarding the product labeling, such as claims of providing 200 percent of the daily value of Vitamin C and not being a low-calorie food, despite its 60 calorie serving size.

    Chiquita's branding mishap underscores the importance of creating product labeling that accurately describes the item rather than requiring consumers to ascribe their own interpretations, which as seen above may not be a positive thing.

  • Packaging 'For Her' Does Not Impress Women

    In today's market economy, women retain significant power of the purse, making approximately 80 percent of purchasing decisions in stores.

    Yet, according to an article on MediaPost, only 20 percent of character trademarks in the retail landscape are female, and the product labeling that is female-oriented presents a more traditional 1950s image of aprons, baking spoons and brooms.

    However, marketers need to sharpen their female-savvy, and re-examine their product packaging's colors, shapes, symbols and words. It's no longer enough to slap some pink or purple on the outside of a box. In fact, today, this is more likely to be regarded as sexist or stereotyping.

    Instead, the news source urges brands to develop packaging with women as individuals in mind. "Research her core beliefs and values, motivations and purchase drivers before you create your brand's visual vocabulary," MediaPost explains. "It's not enough just to write, 'For Her' on your package."

    As the number of working women increases worldwide, marketers will need to reconsider how they approach historically male-dominated categories such as technology, cars and home improvement.

  • Label Says Next Year's 'Most American' Car is Japanese

    The struggling economy has spurred many U.S. consumers to focus on "buying American," and nowhere is this more apparent than in the automobile industry.

    Passed in 2005, the American Automobile Labeling Act requires vehicle manufacturers to provide product labeling that breaks down the percentage of U.S. and Canadian equipment present in the automobile.

    However, surprisingly, the "most American" car for 2012 is not a classic American brand such as Ford, Chevrolet or General Motors — it's likely to be the 2012 Toyota Camry, the website The Car Connection reports.

    The new gasoline version of the Camry will be made up of 92 percent North American-sourced parts, the website notes. Still, some consumers dispute whether the percentage featured on the window sticker indicates benefits to the U.S. economy if the manufacturer is foreign.

    "[Those] who preach buying American tend to argue that what matters most isn't always the parts percentage, but that any profit from your purchase goes back to the home corporate office — in another country," The Car Connection writes. "Yet for those whose local and state economies have been affected positively by U.S. plants run by foreign automakers, it's hard to argue they aren't doing a lot of good, too."

  • FDA Revises Label to Protect Consumers' Hearts

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has ordered the makers of the antidepressant Celexa to revise the maximum recommended dose on its drug labels.

    Following post-market reports and the results of a clinical trial that showed patients taking the previously recommended 60 milligrams per day were at increased risk of potentially fatal abnormal heart rhythms, the federal agency reduced the dosage to 40 milligrams.

    Dr. Westby Fisher, director of cardiac electrophysiology at NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, Illinois, tells NPR that high doses of citalopram, a chemical found in Celexa, can lead to "QT interval."

    In addition to lowering the recommended dosage on the label, the FDA mandated that the drug packaging also includes a warning label about the potential heart risk. The regulations will also apply to generic versions of the antidepressant.

    "Most patients are treated with lower doses of Celexa," Sandy Walsh, FDA spokesperson said, according to CNN. "But we issued the safety communication today [Wednesday] to make sure doctors and patients have the most up-to-date information possible to make treatment decisions."

  • Supermarket Seafood Aisles Smelling A Bit Fishy

    Fisheries worldwide are increasingly adopting natural food labels so as to appeal to consumers concerned with sustainability while boosting declining revenues.

    However, the level of truth in labeling these companies practice has been called into question by a recent report published in the journal Current Biology. The findings allege that 8 percent of 36 samples of Chilean sea bass that feature certification labels from the Marine Stewardship Council were an entirely different species of fish.

    Furthermore, the packaged fish were found not to originate off the coast of the Sandwich Islands, specifically the island South Georgia, which was the only sustainable location to harvest the fish at the time, the study notes. Out of 33 of the samples, 15 percent were found to be harvested elsewhere, such as Antarctic waters.

    "Uncertified fish may not necessarily resemble stocks closest to their country of origin because capture and processing often occur at different places," write researchers Peter Marko, Holly Nance and Kimberly Guynn in the study summary. "However, significant differences between MSC-certified Chilean sea bass and the sole certified fishery for this species indicate that uncertified fish were inserted into the MSC supply chain."

    Following the survey, the MSC responded by launching an investigation to ascertain the level of mislabeling that occurred.

  • Laundry's New And Improved Scent: Toxic?

    While that fresh laundry scent may produce a warm, fuzzy feeling for many, it may be imparting other not-so-wholesome qualities as well, such as toxic chemicals.

    According to a recent study led by the University of Washington, many widely used scented laundry products contain chemicals not listed on the product labeling, including some that are classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as toxic.

    The study examined 133 different chemicals present in the 25 most commonly used scented products and found that nearly 25 percent were classified as toxic or hazardous under at least one federal law. Additionally, two of the chemicals – acetaldehyde and benzene – are considered carcinogens by the EPA.

    "This is an interesting source of pollution because emissions from dryer vents are essentially unregulated and unmonitored," said lead author Anne Steinemann, a UW professor of civil and environmental engineering and of public affairs. "If they're coming out of a smokestack or tail pipe, they're regulated, but if they're coming out of a dryer vent, they're not."

    Currently, manufacturers are not required to list ingredients on cleaning product labels such as laundry detergents. However, the Household Product Labeling Act, which is in the process of being reviewed by the U.S. Senate, could change that. 

  • Putting the Fun Back into Labels

    Lightning Labels, Other Converters Discuss Novelty Labels in L&NW Feature Article

    Label & Narrow Web reminds us in its July/August edition that the labeling industry sometimes undervalues novelty labels. "There's an aspect of the labeling industry that is perhaps overlooked. In discussing labels, at the forefront there's usually a focus on evolving print technologies, the latest in substrates, inks and coatings, environmental sustainability, and ways to enhance brand awareness," Steve Katz writes. "What's sometimes is forgotten is the fun factor. Labels are fun." We here at Lightning Labels couldn't agree more. Which is one reason we jumped at the opportunity to contribute to the article. To read the rest of the article, check out the July/August print edition of Label & Narrow Web Magazine; or read Novelty Labels on the L&NW website.

  • Home Depot Targets Packaging As Its Next Improvement Project

    Home improvement and construction superstore The Home Depot is now turning its attention to fixing the environment.

    The Atlanta-based store has begun working with suppliers to increase its use of sustainable packaging, The Post-Bulletin reports, meaning that it will be leveraging more recycled materials in its packaging and reducing the amount of plastic used.

    For example, the national chain has replaced the plastic clam shells it typically sold its Husky line of tools in with a thin cardboard sheet made of recycled paper and a pair of zip ties.

    "It's always been a policy of ours to reduce the footprint in packaging," Greg Fornasiero, senior manager for packaging for The Home Depot in Atlanta, told the source. "We've had consumer feedback where they say, 'I shouldn't need a pair of scissors to open the package of a pair of scissors.'"

    Another large retailer, Walmart, has been similarly rethinking its supply chain. In a recent post on the website Treehugger, Ronald Sasine, senior director of packaging at Walmart, explained how the store works directly with suppliers to reduce packaging elements, such as the wire ties used in toys.

1-10 of 42

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.