Monthly Archives: February 2017

  • It's Time to Tap for Maple Syrup - Are Your Maple Syrup Labels Ready?

    Maple Trees Are Ready

    With the winter nearing its end and maple syrup ready to tap, it's almost time to bottle and sell this sweet, natural product. You have a few weeks left to reflect on your labeling strategy for the year ahead. Unless your maple syrup labels are vibrant enough to catch customers' attention and tough enough to reach stores intact, you have some work to do. There are numerous positive associations you can make with the branding and imagery on your bottle and jar labels, and it's not too late to implement a new look this year.

    Compete for Attention

    When shoppers go to the grocery store or farmer's market for a bottle of maple syrup, they're likely open to picking any of the brands on display. The selection they find when they arrive will be determined by what companies are active in the region, and your task as one of those syrup producers is to have the most irresistibly exciting label in the group.

    You can use imagery on your custom jar labels to call attention to any number of great traits your syrup possesses. From its natural origins to the way it adds a touch of sweetness to meals to the positive associations with beautiful maple forests and the frosty north, you have a wealth of imagery to choose from. If you can make your product stand out on the shelves, you have a chance of capturing some sales.

    In recent years, crafted and handmade products have found themselves in a place of power within the food and beverage market, With craft beer an especially popular arena for innovation in both flavor and packaging, it's becoming increasingly clear that clever and colorful branding can turn a local product into a truly appealing item. Using some of the tactics that have been honed in the craft beer space, such as memorable imagery and regional character, can propel your syrup brand to new heights.

    Time for Action

    While you may believe it's too late to wrap this year's syrup crop in new labels - after all, it's already getting to be time to tap the trees - some partners are fast enough to deliver the custom maple syrup labels you need, with time to spare. This is where Lightning Labels lives up to its name, delivering lightning-fast service through the use of all-digital processes and domestic facilities. When you can turn an order around in a matter of days, it's easy to give your syrup bottles a bold and appealing new look.

    While tradition and contiguity are virtues in the craft foods sector, keeping the exact same look from year to year may lead to your brand being eclipsed by fast-moving rivals. There's no reason to be overshadowed by other syrup producers' new label designs - with the assistance of Lightning Labels, you can pick the exact mix of shape, size, material and finish that will look great on your bottles. You can implement a new look this year and invite customers to try the wholesome, natural sweetness of your syrup brand.

  • Add a Touch of Elegance to Your Product Labels with Satin Cloth

    Consider Making a Statement with Label Materials

    There are many ways to make a product label stand out on the shelves, and when you're competing for customers' attention, it's up to you to try all of them. Your brand's logo makes up a big part of the label's visual profile, along with the colors, fonts and imagery you employ. But what about the material of the label itself? If you're going for a classy, refined look, a smooth texture might not be the ideal choice: This is where satin cloth labels can make a big difference. The look and feel of satin cloth can help build a coherent and appealing image for your products.

    The Appeal of Satin

    Soft but tough - that's the promise of custom satin cloth labels. These combine an impressive and classy texture with a tough liner, so they can be machine-applied, while promising buyers that your brand is committed to quality and elegance. Made of woven satin acetate cloth, these are ideal for all sorts of food and beverage producers, especially if you bottle wine or spirits. These products, with their focus on legacy brands, improvement over time and pairing particular varieties with special occasions, lend themselves to classy labels.

    Great-looking Wine and Spirits Bottles

    When searching for a bottle of wine to give as a gift or pair with a meal, shoppers have ample options to choose from, even within each type of grapes and vintage. Packaging strategies provide ways to guide consumers' eyes to your brand. If you create custom wine bottle labels with satin cloth materials, your varieties instantly gain something that sets them apart from others - the elegant, refined look and feel that come with satin.

    Distillers and bottlers of spirits can also take advantage of custom satin cloth labels to make their products more appealing. Strong alcoholic beverages being sold as high-end and prestige brands can set themselves apart from the pack with this label material, ensuring that there is a difference that consumers can feel as well as see.

    Even when there aren't many labels needed - such as in the case of a short run of wine or liquor from a boutique winery or distiller - custom satin cloth labels are an option. Working with an all-digital printer such as Lightning Labels, it's affordable to make small orders and receive just the labels you need, with no waste. With minimums as low as 50, it's even possible to receive custom wine labels for particular events such as industry functions or large-scale weddings, with the bottles commemorating the day.

    Quick Turnaround Possible

    One important benefit of Lightning Labels using all-digital printing methods is that your orders can go from concept to finished product remarkably quickly. You can get in contact now to have your labels within a matter of days, rather than weeks or months. Another advantage of working with Lightning Labels is the variety on hand - if satin cloth doesn't fit the look your brand's going for, try another one of the many materials and finishes available and achieve perfect synergy between material and message.

  • Custom Lip Balm Labels to Promote Your Business or Brand

    Put Your Branding on Lip Balm

    Branded hand-outs are complicated promotions, in that it's easy to get them wrong. If you print your company logo on useless items, people will throw them away. If the products are too expensive, though, you'll end up spending more on materials than the promotion is worth. Then, there's the matter of actually printing the design and ensuring it looks good.

    Fortunately, there are a few great go-to items that can end up presenting your business or event in a great light. Lip balm is such a product - useful, convenient, affordable and with a surface that makes a great canvas for your brand's logo. Custom lip balm labels from Lightning Labels can become the handout of choice for your next corporate giveaway, industry event or any other promotional opportunity.

    Just Some of the Possibilities

    Lip balm is valuable in any season, whether it's helping people fight the drying effects of summer heat or keeping their lips from chapping in the cold. A tube of lip balm is small enough to carry along just about anytime, so your logo will follow recipients around for quite a while. When you use branded lip balm labels, you can turn the helpful lip balm tube into a billboard for just about any kind of organization or gathering.

    Handing out lip balm at gatherings and events is a great way to put your name in front of people. If you're a B2B company, trade shows are an ideal place to deploy lip balm labels. Work out a sponsorship deal with the organizer to ensure every attendee gets one or simply hand tubes out at your booth instead of just giving business cards - either way, people will go home with something they can use. The incentive to keep lip balm around is stronger than if you'd given out something with no practical use, so when the time comes to call companies, your name and logo will be around.

    B2C businesses that need subscribers to thrive can also hand out lip balm at public gatherings such as neighborhood festivals or parades. If you run a doctor's office, gym, spa or offer any kind of service people will need every once in a while, lip balm is a great way to get your logo into people's pockets and lives. Your use of lip balm promotional labels has given your brand a subtle but consistent presence that is capable of reaching recipients many more times than a stationary message on a billboard could.

    Quick Turnaround Times Available

    When you get a new promotional idea, it's a great feeling to get the effort underway at once rather than waiting. This is why you should work with Lightning Labels when it's time to deploy custom lip balm labels carrying your logo. With an all-digital printing process, Lightning Labels is able to get started on your order in a matter of days, with low minimum order sizes meaning there's no need to deal with waste. Lip balm is one of the products for which Lightning Labels offers specialized label sizes, to ensure your promotional products look neat and professional.

  • Do Your Cosmetic Labels Speak to the Millennial Woman who Wants Greener Products?

    Cosmetics that Suit Modern Tastes

    Inertia can harm any company, and in the ever-shifting world of cosmetics and beauty products, this effect is especially prominent. If you haven't adjusted your cosmetic labels to suit millennial tastes, you may be falling behind more responsive and on-trend brands. You have a particular opportunity to reach out to young consumers - a group that makes up a huge segment of the market - if you offer green, earth-friendly and health-conscious cosmetics. Just make sure to mention that fact via custom cosmetic labels, or it may end up ignored by the public.

    Rising Interest in Green Items

    According to Allure, there is data to back up the interest in clean and organically produced makeup. The source quoted Green Beauty Barometer administrator Kari Gran, who explained that she sought to quantify the anecdotal evidence that young people want natural and wholesome products. The resulting survey found 73 percent of millennial women are interested in green cosmetic products. Respondents under 35 also expressed interest in clean products, with 59 percent of that group expressing interest in natural beauty items.

    Gran explained to the style magazine that with increased access to technology and information, consumers today are becoming aware of what's in their products. Education on organic and similar products has had resonance in food buying patterns over the past decade, and now that interest has reached the makeup space. If your brand is riding this wave, make sure your green labels adequately and accurately express your practices and ingredients. If you're not producing clean-sourced products, it may be time to start.

    Skepticism and Inquiry

    The millennial mindset is skeptical, with shoppers carefully considering their options and not necessarily following older shoppers' buying patterns. Racked recently described the rising trends among young consumers of cosmetics and confirmed that interest in organic and clean-sourced items is on the rise. The source found that organic makeup spending grew 24 percent over the past four years. Such expansion could be tied to a new leeriness around using too many artificial chemicals in products such as cosmetics that are close to users' skin by default.

    Joining this space is a great way to break through to young people and reach millennial shoppers as they become a truly dominant demographic. However, you can't keep your green sourcing to yourself. Green makeup labels can be the key to reaching your audience, as they put the message front and center, right in the stores where millennials shop. There's always a chance that customers won't see a particular ad campaign, but buying beauty products means looking at labels, giving you a golden opportunity to spread your green messaging.

    Labels That Match the Mission

    When you're shifting to a more earth-friendly and all-natural model for your cosmetics line, with a reduced reliance on artificial chemicals, it helps to have labels and packaging that fit the mood you're setting. If you sell responsibly sourced makeup but use labels that are slick and artificial, it may undercut your message. Lightning Labels can help you resolve this conundrum, with green labels made of recycled materials. When packaging and product alike feel natural and suit millennial clients' preferences, your brand may be forging new inroads to young customers.

    Once you've decided to bring Lightning Labels into the fold as a packaging partner, you don't have to wait long to get started on your campaign. Lightning Labels works with all-digital processes and operates from domestic facilities, meaning your order will be produced quickly and shipped promptly. This means your brand's new look can be underway in days instead of weeks or months. When you're ready to go all-natural with your beauty products, be sure you have labels that match!

  • Looking at the Road Ahead for Food Labeling

    Eyes on Upcoming Changes

    If you operate in the food manufacturing industry, your product labels change every few years. Even if you decide to stay aesthetically consistent, there are shifting regulations to comply with. In a way, these new rules are a good thing. If you have to switch up the way you list ingredients, nutrition facts and more, these enforced changes serve as great reminders to change other parts of your label designs and keep them fresh. Provided you have a helpful and capable third party handing your labeling needs, making periodic adjustments is a good approach to design.

    Now, with 2017 just underway, it's time to think about which requirements and rules are likely to either change this year or at least move toward new drafts. Will the new administration in Washington enforce new national laws, or roll them back? Or will the wheels set in motion in years past turn uninterrupted? Will states work on individual standards? Will industry-specific or overarching guidelines prove more influential this year? These questions and more will set the scene for 2017.

    Looking Back and Awaiting Guidance

    A Lexology article from law firm McGuireWoods LLP predicted the major themes affecting food and beverage labeling, explaining that legal action against labels has picked up. With the FDA considering new rules for when "natural" and "healthy" apply to products, some of the class actions have been set aside until the federal agency makes its recommendations. However, there are plenty of cases ongoing. The law firm pointed to appellate courts as the site of a significant amount of labeling-related legal wrangling.

    When it comes to concepts that will be ruled on in 2017, possibly leading to new rules or standards, McGuireWoods LLP suggested that trans fats, the word "craft," claims that items were "made in the U.S.A." and more could be the hot topics. The source explained that similar cases filed in the recent past could work their way up to the supreme court, yielding judgments that set precedent for the food and beverage industries.

    As for labeling issues to watch outside the legal system, the law firm pointed to two of the most popular recent sagas ongoing in the food and beverage industry. These are the passage of national GMO labeling rules and the FDA's ongoing quest for consistency and clarity when it comes to making claims on packages. It may seem redundant to watch these cases - you may have gotten downright sick of them in 2016 - but it pays not to look away. These guidelines might be very relevant for your next packaging revision.

    Restricting Waste

    Another rule that has previously drawn attention, but will remain relevant in the year ahead, is the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service's new guidance on expiration dates. Columbus Dispatch columnist Lisa Abraham explained that this is one of the "buzz" topics affecting food manufacturers at the moment, as it standardizes information that has never had universal guidelines before. For every type of product except baby formula, the introduction of standard language and a regular dating approach is a new wrinkle.

    The overall goal behind the program is reducing food waste, encouraging consumers not to throw away items that are still safe. The steps toward this objective include the uniform use of the term "best if used by," which makes it clear that the date is a measure of optimal quality, rather than safety. The USDA performed testing and determined that "best if used by" is the most likely phrase to elicit this kind of response from consumers.

    Abraham noted that the numbers indicate waste by consumers is a major overall cause of food going uneaten, and there will have to be progress in this arena if the USDA is to reach its ambitious overall waste reduction goals. For instance, the agency believes that either retailers or customers throw out 30 percent of the total wasted food in the country, just because they are unsure whether it's still safe to eat. With an overall aim of cutting waste by half in the next 13 years, and eventually preventing food waste from reaching landfills, the USDA is moving ahead with the new label style.

    Ready to Change

    The trends described above are likely to force you to print out new product labels within the next two years. However, if you're only updating your food and beverage items' appearance when legally required to do so, you are likely behind the curve. Changing a product's look is a great way to make that item draw consumers' eyes, and when you work with a labeling partner capable of printing high-quality custom labels in reasonable amounts, it's easy to make periodic updates.

    Working with Lightning Labels as your trusted third party makes a lot of sense - true to its name, Lightning Labels is fast and responsive, available to give your custom labels a new look whether you're updating your packages due to a legal requirement, or just to make them more appealing.

1-5 of 5

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.