Monthly Archives: June 2012

  • Fashion Label Cuts Out First Name

    Renowned French fashion house Yves Saint Laurent recently announced that its label would be getting a bit shorter.

    YSL is losing its "Y" to become Saint Laurent Paris, The Toronto Star reports. The change is reflective of its roots – when the fashion brand was founded in 1966, it was called Saint Laurent Rive Gauche.

    However, not all are happy with the change, which was announced by the label's newly minted creative director Hedi Slimane. Asian American supermodel Jenny Shimizu said she wouldn't stop calling it "YSL" and fashion journalist Kate Betts merely said the update was "interesting," the paper explained.

    Yet for individuals wondering what will happen to the iconic "YSL" logo, which decorates many of the brand's products, the design house has indicated that it has no plans to get rid of it.

    Luxury fashion goods have been performing relatively well, despite the economic crisis. In fact, Burberry recently posted some of its highest figures. Slimane's decision is in keeping with other houses' re-branding strategies to maintain relevance in the current market.

  • Craft Beer Labels Throw Out Glue

    In the U.S., craft and regional beers and microbrews are growing increasingly popular, necessitating the need for specific label technologies.

    One company reports that labeling technology already used by global beer manufacturers is being adopted more locally, the website Labels and Labeling writes. Pressure sensitive label producer Spear told the source that craft and regional beers are increasingly using its products.

    For example, Cold Spring Brewing Company began using pressure sensitive labeling in 2001. The website reports that the company enjoyed improved efficiency and flexibility, as well as savings from eliminating glue and other materials.

    "Pressure sensitive is the largest labeling technology in North America and Europe. Thanks to its graphic, performance and cost benefits, it is quickly becoming a leading alternative to cut stack/wet glue (CS/WG) labels in the global beverage industry," said a spokesperson for the company, quoted by the website.

    Craft beer labels have also been used to communicate their companies' attitude, with some featuring caricatures while others trend toward the high art route.

  • What's The Beef with Meat Labeling?

    When beginning a diet, or simply maintaining one, consumers tend to read nutritional labels for information on the presence of fats and calories.

    Cuts of meat in the grocery store are getting special attention. This year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture started requiring ground meat and poultry, as well as other cuts, to provide the number of calories and grams of total fat and saturated fat per serving on the label.

    In a recent article in The Post Standard, Darlene Endy suggests this will help consumers realize that switching out ground beef for ground turkey may be a good idea, as well as only having an occasional slice of prime rib.

    "Another tip is to look for foods that aren't breaded to keep the fat content under control," Endy writes. "A 4-ounce broiled cod fillet provides only 120 calories, with a skimpy 10 percent of calories from fat. That same size portion of fish with breading packs 284 calories, with 47 percent from fat."

    Consumers are also targeting a new factor in meat-labeling — the presence of antibiotics. Following research from Consumer Reports, an increasing number of consumers would like to see antibiotics-free labels on their meat choices.

  • Nutrition Labeling Won't Slice Off Pizza Calories

    The national fight against obesity is manifesting itself in numerous ways across the country, such as the dispute over menu labels.

    While cities including New York have already adopted rules requiring restaurants to post calorie counts for every item on their menus, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is hoping to expand such a system across the nation, The News Observer reports.

    In reaction, pizza chains such as Domino's, Papa John's, Little Caesar's, Godfather's Pizza and Pizza Hut have formed a coalition, called The American Pizza Coalition, in the hopes of dissuading Congress from approving the measure.

    One of the problems the coalition has brought to light is that the vast majority of its orders are placed either online or over the phone. "A light bulb goes on when people hear about all the possible combinations for pizza," said Lynn Liddle, a Domino's executive and chair of the coalition, according to the source. "They start to realize how difficult it would be to take a one-size-fits-all approach."

    The American Pizza Coalition is the most recent food sector to face new menu labeling regulations. Movie theaters and fast food chains were among the first targeted by the new restrictions.

  • AMA Denies Need for GMO Labels

    One of the big debates in the food industry is whether genetically modified ingredients should be included on product labels.

    Recently, the American Medical Association voiced its opinion on the debate, siding against activists who are in support of the measure, The Los Angeles Times reports. The announcement came in the form of a 500-word statement that claims there's no scientific justification for special labelling of bioengineered foods.

    Furthermore, the AMA decried any voluntary labeling systems unless they are supported by consumer education. The AMA also said the decision to include labels should focus on the characteristics of the ingredient rather than the process used to make it.

    "The science-based labeling policies of the FDA do not support special product labeling without evidence of material differences between bioengineered foods and their traditional counterparts," said AMA board member Dr. Patrica Harris, according to the paper.

    The AMA's stance is seemingly influenced by debates over "organic" and "natural" labels. They're subject to limited federal regulations, and continue to be a source of confusion for consumers.

  • Sizing Up Your Label Projects

    Not all labels come in the same size. Sure, within an industry, many manufacturers may use labels of approximately the same type, but that doesn't mean a company can't take a gamble and use a different size or shape. So what are the best dimensions to make a label? That depends on a variety of factors. Certainly, an extra large or oddly shaped label can be printed and may even help generate some extra attention from shoppers. But at the same time, it could also raise the cost of the printing process — a drawback many small businesses should consider ahead of time. At Lightning Labels, for example, a 5-inch circle label can easily be printed by fitting two across and three down on the frame. Five hundred 5-inch circles can be created for approximately $360, depending on what label material is used. However, a 6-inch circle doesn't fit as well on the frame and as a result, the same batch will cost nearly double. It's important to look at your project and ask yourself what the goal is. If you are simply trying to print the most cost-efficient label, going with standard measurements may be a better bet. On the flip side, while bigger labels may cost more, they could also help your brand stand out. If you are having a tough time choosing between sizes, why not get a few quotes for your custom label orders now?

  • Cabot Creamery Loses Vermont Label

    Food product labels undergo a high level of public scrutiny concerning the accuracy of their advertising claims, as well as sourcing assertions.

    Recently, cheese maker Cabot Creamery was the target of ire among consumers for its claim of being "Vermont made." However, it was found that many of the elements that go into the company's product are made all over New England, including Massachusetts, as well as in New York.

    In response, Cabot Creamery has officially dropped "Vermont" from its label, adding that a discussion with the state attorney general's office contributed to the decision, The Barre Montpelier Times Argus reports.

    However, Vermont's governor, Peter Shumlin, expressed his disappointment over the change, as he believes there's enough Vermont milk in Cabot products to allow for the state to appear on the label, the paper reports.

    More attention is being paid to sourcing than ever, especially with recent debates over genetically modified foods.

  • Consumers Happy with Packaging, Not Manufacturers

    Companies are continuing to search for new developments to make their packaging and labels more consumer-friendly and satisfying.

    A recent survey revealed that businesses' efforts are paying off. According to Packaging Facts, the rate of dissatisfaction among consumers in regard to packaging is extremely low - between 1 percent and 5 percent, MediaPost reports.

    The lowest rate of dissatisfaction was registered for sauces, with only 1 percent unhappy, while 2 percent expressed displeasure for the packaging of coffee, tea, soup, candy, milk, juice, soda, condiments, vegetables and fresh cut fruit.

    Despite the low rate of dissatisfaction, the survey found a contradictory opinion when it gauged consumers' opinions of manufacturers' packaging efforts, the website explains. More than half of consumers believed that products were often over-packaged.

    Some manufacturers are hoping to counter such perceptions by improving transparency. For example, The Paper Trail launched an online tool to teach consumers about its environmental impact, Environmental Leader reports.

  • Packaging News Eats Up Edible Wrappers

    Recent packaging news has been filled with a spate of innovations that appeal to consumers' demands for environmentally friendly processes.

    For example, a startup founded by Harvard professor David Edwards has introduced a self-contained edible packaging to help companies reduce their plastic and paper waste, Environmental Leader reports.

    The company, WikiCells, created the new packaging by bringing together particles of chocolate, dried fruit, nuts and seeds to create a "WikiCell," or a "nutritional gelatinous skin." According to the company's website, it will be able to protect products such as yogurt, ice cream, juice or pudding.

    Other companies are taking a different approach to improving the environment. The maker of McVitie's, United Biscuits, is launching a new initiative that encourages consumers to collect their biscuit wrappers and send them in to be reused to build park benches.

    Both news items are part of an overall trend by companies to meet consumers' eco-friendly expectations. One company is even going so far as to use mushrooms to develop packaging elements.

  • Graphic Cigarette Labels Are a Shocking Success

    The addition of graphic warning labels on cigarette packs as a smoking deterrent has come under fire from the tobacco industry and from experts who think the move is unlikely to succeed.

    A recent study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that the labels may actually be working, justifying governments which have adopted them. According to the research, the graphic labels improve smokers' recall of the warning label.

    In fact, compared to the previous text-only version that 50 percent of participants could recall, the graphic cigarette packaging boosted that number to 83 percent. Additionally, the longer they looked at the graphic image, the more likely participants were to correctly recall the information it provided.

    "[This] research also provides valuable insight into how the warning labels may be effective, which may serve to create more effective warning labels in the future," said Andrew Strasser, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Penn. "We're hopeful that once the graphic warning labels are implemented, we will be able to make great strides in helping people to be better informed about their risks, and to convince them to quit smoking."

    These results could make it difficult for tobacco companies to fight against their implementation, which they believe will harm sales.

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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.