Monthly Archives: June 2015

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    News Roundup: Product Recalls Hitting the Headlines in June

    This month, a number of food and nutraceutical products were recalled due to undeclared ingredients and other issues. The following items were among them.

    Ranch Salad Dressing from Pinnacle Foods Group
    Parsippany, New Jersey-based Pinnacle Foods Group recalled more than 8,600 cases of its Wish-Bone Ranch Salad Dressing due to mislabeling. The company issued the voluntary recall after a consumer pointed out that bottles produced on April 23 and labeled as being filled with ranch dressing actually contained another of its products, Wish-Bone Blue Cheese Dressing. Egg, an ingredient in the blue cheese dressing but not the ranch variety, was not listed in the nutritional information section of the label, as the packaging incorrectly pertained to the ranch flavor. This put individuals sensitive to egg allergens at risk, although no adverse effects have been reported as yet.

    Spinach Dip from La Mexicana Food Products
    La Mexicana Food Products, headquartered in Vernon, California, recalled its spinach dip earlier this month following the revelation that milk had not been listed as a sub-ingredient of the sour cream used in the product. Milk is one of the eight foods that cause 90 percent of allergic reactions, according to the nonprofit organization Food Allergy Research and Education. If they consume the allergen, severely allergic individuals may experience life-threatening anaphylaxis.

    Sour Caramel Apple Gum from Project 7
    Individuals who are allergic to milk may be wary of consuming products such as dip even if they don't see the dairy item listed on the panel of ingredients, but they're much less likely to think twice about something like gum. However, that may change in the wake of a voluntary recall involving San Clemente, California-based specialty gum and mint company Project 7. The company recalled all lots of its nationally sold Sour Caramel Apple Gum distributed between August 20, 2014, and June 11 of this year following the discovery that the caramel flavoring contained traces of dairy.

    Chicken Products from Big Easy Foods Louisiana Cuisine
    Big Easy Foods Louisiana Cuisine, located in Lake Charles, Louisiana, recalled more than 93,000 pounds of its boneless stuffed chicken in connection with an undeclared allergen. Personnel from the United States Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service noticed wheat was not mentioned on the packaging of either the raw or cooked forms of the product, despite the fact that the chicken stuffing included an ingredient that contained wheat. The USDA classified the recall as Class II, defined by the department as "a health hazard situation where there is a remote probability of adverse health consequences from the use of the product."

    Sausage Products from Venus Foods
    California company Venus Foods found itself grappling with a similar issue to the one that befell Big Easy Foods Louisiana Cuisine after a routine label review. FSIS personnel found that the packaging of three variations of Venus Foods' Uncle Lin pork sausage products did not declare the presence of wheat. Outlined by the Mayo Clinic, wheat and gluten allergies can manifest themselves in a number of ways, from relatively minor symptoms (headaches and congestion) to anaphylaxis, which may lead to death. As with the Big Easy stuffed chicken, the recall was categorized as Class II. 

    Pyrola Advanced Joint Formula capsules from G&C Natural Nutrition
    More often than not, label recalls involve food products, but sometimes nutraceuticals come under scrutiny as well. This was the case with Pyrola Advanced Joint Formula capsules from G&C Natural Nutrition, which may contain two undeclared substances: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac and over-the-counter antihistamine chlorpheniramine. Ingesting an NSAID such as diclofenac can pose cardiovascular and gastrointestinal risks, while taking antihistamines can cause drowsiness.

  • Numbers, Phrasing and Formatting Confuse Consumers Examining Food Labels

    The Numbers Problem
    Product labels on foods are supposed to make things easier for consumers, but they can sometimes end up doing just the opposite. According to Neha Khandpur of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health's Department of Nutrition, studies have indicated that the numbers and percentages prevalent on many food stickers and labels tend to confuse consumers, which may result in shoppers making unwise product and portion selections.

    "If we can come up with strategies to improve consumers' ability to understand the labels' content, it will mean that a huge segment of the society that previously was not able to access that information will now understand it and, we hope, make healthier food choices for themselves," said Khandpur, as quoted on the School of Public Health's website.

    Khandpur and her research partner, Christina Roberto of the Psychology of Eating and Consumer Health Lab, are researching ways to better inform shoppers as part of the United States Food and Drug Administration's upcoming nutrition label format revamp. The new labels are still being designed, but they may include a qualitative approach that categorizes the levels of particular nutrients as high, medium or low. Another tactic could include using units of measurement that are more accessible for consumers, such as teaspoons rather than grams.

    The Phrasing Problem
    Of course, numbers are only part of the confusion. There's also the issue of terms like "low-fat" and "sugar-free," what they actually mean, what qualifies companies to use them and whether their true definitions match what consumers infer when browsing store shelves. As CBS pointed out, "low-fat" and "sugar-free" are both federally regulated claims. The former means a product contains less than 3 grams of fat per serving, while the latter means an item has under 0.5 grams of sugar per serving and does not contain any sugars as an ingredient. However, other buzz phrases that aren't federally regulated may sound good but mean very little. CBS' Mitch Lipka examined a few such claims, including:

    • "Doctor-recommended": A phrase as vague as "doctor-recommended" leaves plenty of room for interpretation, which is exactly what advertising departments are counting on. "Assuming it's true, such a phrase could literally mean that a single doctor liked the way it tasted and recommended a friend try it," Lipka pointed out.
    • "Farm-raised": The term "farm-raised" evokes a certain image that marketers hope will help sell their products, but what does it really mean? As the National Chicken Council pointed out, "All chickens are raised on farms, so any chicken could be labeled 'farm-raised.'"
    • "Free-range": Some individuals who are concerned about how the creatures that make up our food chain are treated elect to avoid eating meat (vegetarians) or even all animal products (vegans). Others commit to only purchasing items produced under humane conditions, but determining whether animals were actually treated humanely can be tricky. "The only legal requirement to use the ['free-range'] claim is that the animal was allowed access to the outdoors," wrote Lipka. "It doesn't mean they ever did go outside." That being said, it doesn't mean they didn't, either, which is why this phrase can be so thorny to unpack.

    The Formatting Problem
    Ingredient lists and nutrition panels can get lengthy, which is where the importance of proper formatting and high-resolution printing comes in. Lightning Labels' professional-quality custom labels and stickers make it easy to include all necessary information in small but legible text, providing consumers with everything they need to know while still leaving room for the design elements that will likely attract shoppers to the product in the first place.

  • Make Your Independence Day Family Festivities Unforgettable with Custom Labels

    Make your Independence Day Festivities Unforgettable. Add Uniqueness to a National Holiday with Fourth of July Labels

    American adults spend an average of $68 on barbecue and picnic provisions for the July Fourth holiday, and people across the nation consume approximately 150 million hot dogs as part of the festivities, according to a USA Today infographic. Fourth of July labels are a creative and inexpensive way to make your family picnic or cookout stand out from the rest, both on Independence Day itself and in attendees' memories for months and years after. In terms of design, custom labels and stickers for the Fourth of July can be as basic or complex as each family wants. If you're looking to keep it simple, the event name and date will suffice - for example, "Smith Family Independence Day BBQ 2015." Those interested in going a bit more in depth have a variety of approaches to choose from.

    Celebrate Domestic Products with Fourth of July Stickers

    Why not use Fourth of July stickers to celebrate not only America, but American meat as well? A practice known as country-of-origin labeling is currently mandated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service - although, as we noted in a recent article, the law's days may be numbered if the House of Representatives votes to repeal it in line with World Trade Organization regulations. For now, though, consumers can make informed decisions to purchase meat from domestic livestock for their Fourth of July barbecues. According to The Washington Post, Iowa is home to nearly one-third of the nation's hogs and pigs, while North Carolina and Minnesota also have high porcine populations. That means there's a good chance the hot dogs and sausages you grill at your Independence Day cookout came from one of these three states - provided, of course, that you bought domestic. Share this patriotic and fun fact with your guests by printing it on custom stickers!

    Labels: The Perfect Way to Add Pizzazz to Your Fourth of July Party Ideas

    When it comes to celebrating July Fourth, most people default to hosting or attending a cookout, picnic or fireworks display. These Fourth of July party ideas may not be particularly original, but around Independence Day, tradition carries a lot of weight. That being said, there are still ways to spice up a run-of-the-mill celebration, which is where stickers and labels come in.

  • Summer is Here - Update Nutraceutical Packaging to Attract Those Eager to Lose Weight

    Update Nutraceutical Packaging to Attract Those Eager to Lose Weight. Body-Conscious Americans Seeking Nutraceutical Products for Summer

    Losing weight was Americans' most common New Year's resolution for 2015, according to Marist Poll. With the official first day of summer just around the corner and numerous areas of the country already enjoying sunshine and high temperatures, many individuals are scouring the shelves for nutraceutical products to assist them on their journeys toward attaining a beach-ready body. In a bid to attract these consumers, companies in the nutraceutical sector may want to update their packaging for the summer months. However, before they make any moves to update their custom labels and stickers, they must ensure any and all proposed changes comply with federal regulations. "[Nutraceutical product labels are] allowed to make claims about the way the body functions, but not about disease," Trisha Calvo, health and food deputy editor for Consumer Reports, explained to CBS. "So they can say something like 'burns fat,' but they can't say 'reduces the risk of obesity' because obesity is the disease."

    Make Sure Nutraceutical Packaging is Legally and Aesthetically Up to Snuff

    Once enterprises in the weight-loss industry have ensured their nutraceutical packaging updates are in compliance with United States Food and Drug Administration legislation, they are ready to turn their attention to making their stickers and labels pop. Low-quality label materials or washed-out printing do not exactly inspire confidence in consumers perusing different product offerings, so it's critical to roll out packaging that speaks to the professional nature of the company. Aesthetics aren't the only important aspect, though - nutraceutical businesses also need to identify a way to impart information that neither compromises the label's design nor requires consumers to scour the packaging for details such as usage instructions and ingredients.

    Order Inexpensive, High-Quality Custom Nutraceutical Labels from Lightning Labels

    Finding a balance between quality and cost can be a challenge - especially for smaller companies - but Lightning Labels provides the best of both worlds. Thanks to its digital printing technology, Lightning Labels can offer economical unit pricing for both small and large quantities of custom nutraceutical labels, both short-run and for the long haul. Our high-resolution printing ensures a crisp, vibrant finish while also facilitating the inclusion of small yet highly legible text that's ideal for ingredient lists and instructions.

  • Back-to-School Selling Season Starts Now: Time for Custom Labels and Stickers

    Back-to-School Selling Starts NowCustomized Stickers from Lightning Labels are a Valuable Asset for Any Educational Institution and Are On Sale Now

    School may be the last thing on kids' minds at this time of year, but for adults, June marks the beginning of the bustling back-to-school selling season. There is no time like the present to order customized stickers and labels to promote and support sports teams, associations, clubs and events. Just like in the retail sector, the quality of custom labels and stickers can speak volumes about the subject of the promotion itself, whether it's an artisanal candle or a school sports team. Given this connection, Lightning Labels strives to print professional-grade, vibrant, durable labels to help cast back-to-school promotion in the best light.

    Order Quality School Stickers Without Breaking the Bank

    There are three reasons why Lightning Labels' school stickers don't compromise on quality or come with sky-high price tags:

    • The ability to print stickers in small quantities: Buyers may not need thousands of the same sticker, and that's OK. Lightning Labels makes its professional, short-run roll stickers available in low enough quantities to be viable for even the smallest budget.
    • Lightning-speed sticker printing: Usually, quick order turnarounds come with rush charges, but that isn't the case at Lightning Labels. Most customized sticker orders are printed in 72 hours.
    • Custom sticker proofing: Thanks to Lightning Labels' free press proofs, customers can get a sense of their stickers' look and feel before they pay a cent. If time is of the essence, proofing via electronic PDFs is also an option.

    Get A Jump on Ordering Custom School Labels This Summer

    Summer ushers in a change of pace that involves vacations, warm-weather activities and children underfoot, and ordering custom school labels can fall by the wayside if it isn't taken care of early. That's where Lightning Labels comes in. "Lightning Labels makes it easy for you to order custom labels and stickers for school sooner rather than later," said Scott Proctor, vice president of sales at Lightning Labels. "With your back-to-school responsibilities taken care of, you can sit back and enjoy the summer."

    Promoting and supporting school sports teams, clubs, associations, events and good causes is much easier with Lightning Labels

    For those ready to place label orders, Lightning Labels is offering 15% off new label orders now through 6/26/15. Use promo code SUMMER15. Maximum discount is $1000. Free ground shipping applies to orders placed online only and shipped within the United States & Canada. Enter code at checkout. This offer cannot be combined with any other offers or promotions.

  • Deploy Father's Day Labels to Help Consumers Choose Gifts

    Deploy Father's Day Labels to Help Consumers choose Gifts.Use Custom Labels to Remind Consumers about Father's Day

    Stores that have not yet designed, ordered and deployed custom labels and stickers in time for Father's Day still have a window of time in which to do so, but the clock is ticking. Father's Day may not be until June 21, but holidays have a tendency to sneak up quickly, taking both companies and consumers by surprise. For proof, look no further than the greeting card aisle the night before Mother's Day, Father's Day, Valentine's Day… and the list goes on. When it comes to shopping for Dad, many consumers are stumped, which is where Father's Day labels can come in handy. Individuals who hadn't previously considered a particular product as a gift may be more inclined to do so if they see a label that nudges them in the right direction. Statistics have emerged over the past couple of years that shine a spotlight on the spending gap between Mother's Day and Father's Day. Annual figures from the National Retail Federation indicate that over the past five years, spending on Mother's Day gifts outpaced investments in Father's Day gifts every time. We'll have to wait until the month's end for this year's definitive numbers, but last year's predictions forecast Father's Day spending to total approximately $12.5 billion, significantly less than the nearly $20 billion projected for Mother's Day.

    Redress the Balance with Father's Day Labels

    Even with some retailers drawing attention to particular gift options with Father's Day labels, the unequal spending persists. Speculation has run rampant about the cause for the discrepancy between the average expenditures on gifts for Mom and Dad, with some people concluding that consumers fork over more for their favorite parent. However, the real answer could be a lot less incendiary. "It's just harder to buy for men," Robert Passikoff, president of retail consultancy company Brand Keys, told TODAY Money. "This is not a contest." There is simply a larger number and a greater diversity of products for Mom, which means retailers have more to work with in the run-up to Mother's Day - and, more often than not, consumers faced with myriad options are able to sort through and find the perfect gift. In contrast, the range of gifts for men typically doesn't go beyond the realm of the tie, shirt and home improvement tool - and, of course, the ubiquitous gift card. After so many years being stuck in this Father's Day gift-buying rut, shoppers may need some help to clamber out of it, which is where Father's Day labels may come in useful. An action as simple as sticking a "Great for Father's Day!" label on a product may be all it takes for retailers to get consumers inspired.

    Highlight These Outside-the-Box Gift Ideas with Custom Stickers

    Retailers eager to target shoppers who are as sick of buying novelty golf socks as their fathers are of receiving them may want to consider drawing consumers' attention to these products using custom stickers:

    • Headphones: Whether Dad listens to Frank Sinatra or Fabolous, he's sure to appreciate this gift. There are enough options available to suit all shoppers' budgets and tastes, from ear buds to bulkier models.
    • A book: Some fathers devour fiction, others enjoy biographies. If Dad isn't a reader, how-to books and collections of recipes are other options.
    • A watch: Watches are one of the most common accessories out there. Functional and fashionable, they span many different designs and price ranges.

    Buying a Father's Day gift is a personal process, but there's no reason why retailers can't help consumers along by using well-placed stickers and labels.

  • Does 'Made in the USA' Mean What You Think?

    (Virtually All) Made in the USA
    Sandwiched between Memorial Day at the end of May and Independence Day at the beginning of July, June is a month in which many consumers' thoughts turn to patriotism. Most people assume that purchasing goods emblazoned with a "Made in the USA" label means they are supporting the American economy as a whole and the American manufacturing industry in particular, but is that actually the case?

    According to guidance published by the Federal Trade Commission, products that feature the label must be all or virtually all made in this country.

    "'All or virtually all' means that all significant parts and processing that go into the product must be of U.S. origin," the FTC elaborated. "That is, the product should contain no - or negligible - foreign content."

    Vagaries such as "virtually" and "negligible" constitute a legal gray area, and the resulting confusion leads to some companies making deceptive claims that their wares are of U.S. origin - either unwittingly or otherwise. Variations on the theme, such as the phrase "Assembled in USA," further muddy the waters. 

    "A product that includes foreign components may be called 'Assembled in USA' without qualification when its principal assembly takes place in the U.S. and the assembly is substantial," according to the FTC. "For the 'assembly' claim to be valid, the product's last 'substantial transformation' also should have occurred in the U.S."

    Simply American… or Not
    There's also the question of what to do about brand names that suggest a product was domestically manufactured even if it does not meet the "Made in the USA" standard of use. Makeup and cosmetics company Almay recently ran into this conundrum as a result of its latest marketing campaign. Specifically, Almay came under fire for its new "Simply American" slogan, as the vast majority of its products are not manufactured in this country. In response to the campaign, nonprofit organization and watchdog Truth in Advertising filed a complaint with the FTC and another with the New York Attorney General, citing deceptive marketing practices.

    "More than 95 percent of Revlon's Almay line of cosmetics sold on its website fails to meet the legal standard for a 'Made in the USA' claim, but the company's broad-reaching 'Almay Simply American' marketing campaign including television, social media and Internet ads laden with patriotic symbolism unquestionably implies just that," Truth in Advertising asserted in a press release.

    The watchdog filed the complaints after Revlon denied a request to cease what Truth In Advertising termed "false advertising" and claimed it was not engaging in any deceptive practices.

    The 'Made in the USA' Effect
    As referenced earlier, many shoppers purchase items identified as being "Made in the USA" with the intention of helping to boost the national economy, but how big of a draw do these product labels actually possess? A Boston Consulting Group survey revealed the following:

    • More than 80 percent of American consumers said they would pay more for a product with a "Made in the USA" label than an item with a "Made in China" label.
    • At least 20 percent of American survey participants said they would be willing to pay a premium of more than 10 percent for U.S.-manufactured goods that spanned a wide range of product categories, including apparel, baby food and electronics.
    • Many Chinese consumers also displayed a preference for American-made goods, as more than 60 percent reported that they would pay more for an item manufactured in the U.S. than one made in China. 

    One thing's for sure: "Made in the USA" labels have a powerful effect, so companies should ensure they're being used correctly.

  • Prepare for Wine Harvesting Season by Ordering Custom Labels

    Prepare For Wine Harvesting Season. Before Wine Harvesting Season Begins, Lock Down Label Designs

    Wine harvesting season doesn't begin until late summer, but it's never too early to prepare by designing and ordering custom product labels. In a recent article, we delved into what it takes to design an appealing wine label and found that color, simplicity vs. complexity and ostentatiousness vs. refinement all play a significant role in the process. Speaking with Lettie Teague, wine columnist for The Wall Street Journal, veteran label designer Bob Johnson noted that aesthetic strategies differ in accordance with price ranges - for instance, simple packaging is associated with products on the low and high ends of the pricing scale, while the labels on mid-range bottles tend to be more ornate. That being said, these trends are by no means hard and fast requirements, merely conventions that have developed over time. In fact, some of the best examples of wine labels are the ones that don't play by the rules.

    To Catch Shoppers' Attention Tomorrow, Design Creative Wine Labels Today

    This year's grapes may still be on the vine, but that shouldn't be a deterrent to the designers of wine labels. After all, inspiration can strike at any time of year. If neither the creative nor the grape juices are flowing, you may want to consider perusing this article from Buzzfeed, which lists 33 examples of labels by designers who truly thought outside the box. From Braille to perforation, fill-in-the-blanks to blackboard chic and cartoons to Aboriginal art, the sky's the limit. Still unsure where to start? Online graphic art marketplace 99designs offered a few tips:

    • Hone in on the wine's unique selling points and use these to form the basis of the label. USPs can be anything from the location of the vineyard to the company's methodology - what's important is that they set the product apart from the rest.
    • Put together a customer profile to represent the quintessential member of the wine's demographic. Is this individual male or female? What is his or her age, appearance, job, ideal vacation destination, wine-drinking routine?
    • Analyze the competition from the perspective of an individual who fits the customer profile. What are other brands doing right? Where did they miss the mark?
    • Come up with a short list of words to describe the brand, and base the design on these.
    • Lay the foundation. Before focusing on the wine label itself, determine other aspects such as bottle color, label dimensions and information that needs to be included on the front and back.

    Ultimately, the key to a successful design is knowing the product, the company and the customer. This holds true whether the labels being created are for wine, food, nutraceuticals or other wares.

    Order High-Quality Custom Labels with Time to Spare

    Once the design is finalized, attention should turn to the quality of the custom labels themselves. After all, even the most creative motif will likely fall flat if printed on substandard material in colors that look washed-out or fade easily. Lightning Labels can ensure this doesn't happen. Our custom wine labels feature rich, vibrant colors, high-resolution printing and a photo-quality finish that will help even small, boutique wineries make their offerings stand out on the shelf. Cost won't be an issue, as Lightning Labels can print wine labels that look bold and professional in small quantities at a low price. Individuals who get ahead of harvesting season by ordering their labels now won't experience a time crunch, but even so, Lightning Labels can deliver a lightning fast turnaround without rush charges.

  • Addressing the Issue of Undeclared Allergens

    Undeclared Allergens Still a Leading Reason for Recalls
    If you took a random sample of recent food product recalls issued by the United States Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service, chances are good that a significant percentage of them would pertain to undeclared allergens.

    The dangers of allergic reactions are well-documented, specifically those that occur in response to the eight major allergens: milk, eggs, fish, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts and wheat. In fact, the most extreme form of reaction, anaphylaxis, is described by the National Library of Medicine's Medical Encyclopedia as "severe" and "life-threatening." With so much on the line, why are products so frequently being recalled due to the undeclared presence of allergens?

    The Problem of Cross-Contamination
    As public health consultant Roy Costa explained in a recent piece published by the Food Safety & Environmental Health Blog, the food labeling laws currently in existence grant a certain amount of leeway. For instance, although products that contain allergens as an ingredient must declare this on their labels, allergens that may be accidentally introduced during the manufacturing or packaging process do not have to be indicated.

    A recently released FDA Consumer Update that focused on the presence of milk in allegedly dairy-free dark chocolate delved deeper into this phenomenon, which is known as cross-contamination.

    "Most dark chocolate is produced on equipment that is also used to produce milk chocolate," the report explained. "In these cases, it is possible that traces of milk may inadvertently wind up in the dark chocolate."

    For individuals who are highly sensitive to dairy - or, indeed, any other allergen - a mere trace of it is enough to trigger anaphylaxis. In the interest of transparency, many manufacturers voluntarily include statements on product labels that point to the likelihood of allergens being present. However, because the inclusion of these warnings is not mandatory, their wording varies. In some cases, the phrasing chosen by the manufacturers downplays the potential for the products to include the allergens, leading to dangerous misconceptions on the part of the consumer.

    Inconsistency Leads to Confusion
    Among the 94 bars of dark chocolate tested by the FDA to form the basis of the consumer update, advisory messages included:

    • "made on equipment shared with milk"
    • "manufactured in a facility that uses milk"
    • "may contain milk"
    • "may contain dairy"
    • "may contain traces of milk"
    • "processed in a plant that processes dairy"

    Despite the modifier "may," a significant majority - 75 percent - of all products with packaging that included one of these advisory statements was ultimately found to contain milk. At the very least, this suggests that more definitive phrasing should be used.

    "Work is needed to make the format of these advisory labels more consistent so that it's easier to identify which products contain allergens," Costa asserted.

    One way to align advisory statements would involve the FDA issuing a mandate to require all manufacturers to list potential cross-contamination risks. As part of these regulations, the FDA could specify the language that companies should use to get these warnings across in a realistic way.

  • The Art of Designing An Appealing Wine Label

    What's in a Label?
    When consumers are scanning store shelves and deliberating over which bottle of wine to select, how large of a part do labels play in their decision-making process? Lettie Teague, wine columnist for The Wall Street Journal, recently set off to find out

    Teague discovered that although there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to wine label design, certain conventions have developed over the years. She outlined her findings in an article for the news source published earlier this month.

    3 Tenets of Wine Label Design
    According to veteran label designer Bob Johnson, color palette, typeface and paper quality all play significant roles. Moreover, aesthetic strategies tend to change in line with different price ranges. 

    1. Color: Most major corporations use color like no other, and they ensure this remains the case by trademarking and aggressively safeguarding their particular hues - consider, for instance, Tiffany & Co. blue, UPS yellow and Veuve Clicquot orange. Companies take these measures for good reason, as according to Teague, "a memorable hue is probably the easiest way to get a buyer's attention."
    2. Simplicity vs. complexity: Generally, Johnson noted, simple labels and cheap wines are a good match because budget-conscious buyers tend to associate plain designs with low prices. Extremely expensive offerings also benefit from simple labels, but only if their individual components signify elegance, such as high-quality paper and precise printing. If you see an ornate label, chances are it's affixed to a bottle of mid-range wine that's too pricey for bargain-hunters but can't compete with the good stuff.
    3. Ostentatiousness vs. refinement: "Loud" designs that are bright, comical or cartoonish - a genre Johnson summed up as "'look at me' labels" - tend to be on the cheap end of the scale. That being said, some mid-priced wines also employ this type of tactic. Meanwhile, refined and understated designs are almost always paired with expensive vintage.

    "A wine label with wide appeal is a winery's single greatest sales tool," Teague concluded. "It can make a good wine more desirable and a bad wine more salable."

    From Boarding Passes to Solar Systems
    Buzzfeed showcased more than 30 different wine labels that stand out on shelves across the globes. In some cases, the designers ascribed to the conventions outlined above, while others broke all the rules. Here are a few examples.

    • Inkwell Wines' ink blot: Australia-based Inkwell Wines took a leaf out of Rorschach's book when designing its label. To some, the inkblot looks like a butterfly. To others, it resembles two people sharing a kiss. Inkwell's website describes the logo as "an expression of how each of us understands wine, music and art."
    • R Wines' boarding pass: Consumers browsing the aisles often scour wine labels for information about age, country of origin, type and variety. R Wine made this process a little easier by integrating all of these details into a boarding pass format for its aptly named Boarding Pass Shiraz.
    • Blossom Cava Sparkling Wine's bouquet of flowers: Blossom Cava's packaging plays off a simple but usually unacknowledged observation: The shape of an upside-down bottle of wine strongly resembles a bouquet of flowers.
    • Meteor Wines' solar system and Root: 1's root map: The label designers for White Fences Vineyard's Meteor Wines and Chilean offering Root: 1 took the brands' names literally by creating starscapes and root maps, respectively.

    When it comes to wine label design, definitive dos and don'ts are few and far between, but one thing's for sure: A crisp, professional-looking label will make a positive impression.

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