Monthly Archives: February 2017

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    Get Your Home and Garden Products Ready for Spring with Custom Labels

    Spring's Just Around The Corner

    There are few things more exciting than the winter frost receding and letting spring take over. Your company can capitalize on that feeling by promoting products that will help customers with their spring cleaning, gardening and general home improvement needs. To put messages where you know consumers will see them, you can invest in custom home product labels that will add a touch of spring to your branding.

    This strategy can get your customers feeling great about the change of seasons and fired up to start on their personal projects. If you're going to launch such a campaign, however, now's the time to start - spring is right around the corner, meaning it's time to call on a custom label provider and get started.

    Possible Product Promotions

    The following are a few items that go great with spring-focused branding. The list is by no means exhaustive; when green starts returning to the trees and the air starts warming up, a matching custom label makeover will look great on just about any product. As a start, however, consider these choices:

    • Lawn care items: In spring, it's time to take stock of grass, flower beds and other yard features. With snow melting away and the ground thawing, homeowners will want to use the right products to ensure their plants grow back strong. Custom lawn labels on everything from soil and seeds to tools and beyond will encourage shoppers to pick your brand of products when they get to work on their landscaping projects. Be sure to insist on tough weatherproof labels if the items in question will be stored outside.
    • Spring cleaning musts: The outdoor areas aren't the only parts of homes that get a good cleaning out when spring rolls around. Home product labels of all kinds can be customized with spring colors and motifs to encourage people to use them for spring cleaning purposes. With the days getting longer and warmer, spring is one of the few times of the year when cleaning up feels like fun. Capitalize on this feeling to promote your home goods.

    Time to Order

    The mercurial February weather can be deceptive: While some days still feel like winter, spring is right around the corner. Buying labels now means having them ready to go in late March through April and May when people are feeling the spirit of spring. After that, it will be time to focus on summer, but if you have the help of a fast and reliable labeling partner, this next change will be easy, too. This is where Lightning Labels comes in.

    Getting the custom labels you need in time to launch a spring promotion is possible when you work with an all-digital printer such as Lightning Labels. Through high-speed processes that don't skimp on quality, you can have the durable labels you need for outdoor items or cleaning supplies, all decked out in imagery that makes buyers think of spring. Shaking off the winter frost is a big moment for homeowners and anyone eager to work on projects around the house. Your labels should reinforce this point.

  • Create Fun, Vibrant Custom Stickers for Mardi Gras and St. Patrick's Day!

    Upcoming Holidays Call for Custom Stickers

    When a holiday invites celebration and colorful displays, custom stickers are a great choice to spice up your party or workplace. With Mardi Gras and St. Patrick's Day both approaching quickly, it's time to think about whether an order of custom stickers is a good way to make your products, workplace or party favors seem more colorful, exciting and fun.

    Mardi Gras is On The Way

    February will close with a party this year, as Mardi Gras falls on the 28th. You can celebrate "Fat Tuesday" anywhere in the world - in fact,  people inparts of the country that are still cold and gray in February could probably use the festival more than anyone. There is a whole host of bright carnival imagery and vibrant colors that can turn an average office environment into a mini Bourbon Street, and the resulting dose of festive life can help the winter feel like it's passing a little quicker.

    Whether you're organizing a theme party or preparing your company for a seasonal promotion, Mardi Gras stickers are a good way to promote the day. If you're based in or near Louisiana, the carnival can become a point of regional pride and local color. If not, you can add a dash of New Orleans' festive flavor to your February.

    St. Patrick's Day is Up Next

    Once February is in the books, March will roll along, and with it, St. Patrick's Day. If you're in a region with a strong Irish heritage, you're likely used to parades and big public celebrations. Even if not, you can add a little luck of the Irish to your own business promotions or parties in March. The imagery associated with the holiday, based around vibrant green shamrocks, makes a great subject for St. Patrick's Day stickers. Using these custom stickers to spice up the premises will help ring in the spring.

    Days to Celebrate

    Stickers aren't right for every occasion - some of the the events on the calendar are too somber or niche to be right for promotions or celebrations with stickers. However, the winter and spring are full of events that are prime times for custom stickers. Both Mardi Gras and St. Patrick's Day lend themselves to parties, and come ready with years of history and bold imagery to pick from. Whether you're just organizing a big celebration or want to make these holidays part of the seasonal promotion calendar for your business, custom stickers are a great bet in both cases.

    Order Soon

    Lightning Labels, true to its name, is defined by its lightning speed. This means that you can order now and have your stickers for the upcoming holidays, and with time to spare. Whether you're in an area where Mardi Gras or St. Patrick's Day are huge items on the calendar or you're importing these days to add some fun to your winter and spring, custom stickers from Lightning Labels are the way to go. Lightning Labels' all-digital processes mean minimum order sizes are low, quality is high and turnaround times are brief. That adds up to a great custom sticker partner.

  • Wedding Planning Season is Upon Us

    Design a Wedding to Remember with Custom Labels

    Do you have a wedding coming up this spring or summer? Maybe the proposal happened on Valentine's Day or around the turn of the new year, and planning is ramping up. You no doubt want to ensure your guests have a wonderful time and take home good memories of the day. One way to ensure the ceremony is visually stunning and memorable involves the use of custom labels for wedding favors. Your guests will be amazed at the professional-quality customized items at their tables or in their gift bags, from candles to bottles of wine or champagne and beyond.

    Create a Spectacle

    No matter what kind of design theme your wedding has, you can play into it with well-chosen custom labels. The blue of the sea for a beachfront wedding, the pink of blooming flowers in the spring, a classy gold motif any time of year, the traditional white-and-black look - these are all possibilities. Not only are there an infinite selection of palates to choose from, you can apply labels to a wide variety of items, all depending on what you'd like to hand out for your wedding.

    Bottles alone encompass a range of possibilities. You can order bottles of wine for each table at the reception and spruce them up with custom wine bottle labels that match the decor. Alternately, you could employ custom champagne labels that will make the toasts seem a little more special. If you don't want to coordinate your wine or champagne, you can also opt for custom water bottle labels. These can go on the tables at dinner or be on hand when guests take to the dance floor at the reception. People can take the bottles home as souvenirs of the big day, with the couple's names and the date printed right on the labels.

    Custom candle labels are another option with potential to either spice up the look of the ceremony or to go home in gift bags. If you want a ceremony illuminated by candles, why not go for jar-style candles with custom labels? Or, if that doesn't fit into your plans for the big night, you can still employ those candles as keepsakes that guests take with them. They'll remember how much fun they had at the wedding when they light the candles, and potentially keep the jar as a memento for a long time afterwards. Many types of home goods can be spiced up with custom labels - candles are just one example.

    Time to Order

    If you're planning a wedding now, you obviously know how chaotic and stressful this process can be. Anything you can cross off the checklist is a real victory, so you should waste no time in getting your label plans squared away. Lightning Labels can help in this regard, providing a quick response to your custom label queries and turning your order around in a hurry due to its all-digital printing processes. These same methods enable Lightning Labels to provide affordable small batches of custom labels, meaning you won't have to break the bank to make your ceremony look great.

  • 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.

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