founder

  • Farewell

    My time at Lightning Labels has come to an end. It feels strange typing these words but they are true. Some of you may know that in July 2008, we sold Lightning Labels to Cenveo, one of the leading companies in the printing industry. I was committed to seeing Lightning Labels through a successful transition and I feel the time is right now for me to move on. This has certainly not been an easy decision. Since the idea for Lightning Labels germinated in my head during a Thanksgiving ski trip back in 2001 I have poured my heart and soul into this company. It has been the most challenging and the most rewarding part of my career. Most days I have loved getting up in the morning and coming in to work here. It has been exciting to see us grow from nothing to one of the leading digital label printers in this country. Of course, none of this would have been possible without a great group of people. We have a fantastic team here at Lightning Labels and I leave with the confidence of knowing that the company is in good hands. We have weathered the economic downturn well and are growing steadily again. In fact, we just had our best month ever in April. So, the future looks bright for Lightning Labels and our customers. I am planning on taking the summer off and doing some traveling. We are heading down to Australia next week to visit my family there for three weeks. We will be vacationing up in the Colorado mountains in July and also spending some time with my wife's family in Des Moines. After that I don't know. I have been doing some blog consulting and I have a couple of new business ideas that I am mulling over. One of the joys of my job the last few years has been writing this blog. You may well find me back here doing an occasional guest post as I come across an article that I know would be of interest to the Lightning Labels blog readers. In the meantime, my co-author here for the last year and a half, Christy Correll, will be doing the writing. So now it is time to say farewell. Before I sign off, I would like to say a few thank yous. Thanks to my regular blog readers, some of whom I know have been reading and commenting on here for years. Thanks to our great team of employees who have gone above and beyond to make sure we provide the best customer service and turnaround time in the industry. Thanks to my old partner and good friend Steve Smith, who also put his heart and soul into Lightning Labels for many years. Thanks also to the many great vendors we work with every day, especially the folks at Masterpiece Graphix and HP. Last, but certainly not least, thanks to all you wonderful Lightning Labels customers, it really has been a pleasure serving you. It just seems like yesterday that I watched with excitement as our first digital printing press was being unloaded and installed in our warehouse. But that was eight and a half years ago now. It has been a great ride.

  • WhatTheyThink Video About iLabel

    WhatTheyThink is the online leader when it comes to news and information about the printing industry. I have been reading their articles and watching their videos for years. So when they invited me to come by for a video session at the recent DSCOOP conference in Dallas I jumped at the chance.

    They asked me to talk about our new iPhone label quoting app called iLabel. Check out the video here.

  • Lightning Labels Featured on Cover of packagePRINTING Magazine

    Lightning Labels management team pictured (left to right): Justin Babcock, prepress and IT manager; Tammie MacLachlan, customer service manager; James Lowry, general manager; Wendy Murphy, administration manager; and Peter Renton, founder, director of business development. Lightning Labels management team pictured (left to right): Justin Babcock, prepress and IT manager; Tammie MacLachlan, customer service manager; James Lowry, general manager; Wendy Murphy, administration manager; and Peter Renton, founder, director of business development. Lightning Labels was recently profiled in packagePRINTING Magazine as one of the top all-digital printing companies in the US. Lightning Labels General Manager James Lowry said it was very exciting for Lightning Labels to be the cover story for the February 2010 edition of packagePRINTING. "With Peter's leadership, Lightning has been on the leading edge of digital printing for many years," Lowry said, referring to Lightning Labels Founder Peter Renton. "The printing industry is recognizing that our world is changing and that digital is the future. Our commitment is to continue to leverage cutting edge digital printing technology in order to provide our customers with high-quality products and fast, reliable service for many years to come." PackagePRINTING Magazine has a monthly circulation of approximately 23,400 readers and is a niche publication written for printers and converters of labels, flexible packaging, and folding cartons. Each month, the magazine focuses on an issue from the perspective of a printer. Past feature articles have covered topics such as profitability, current events that affect the printing industry, and cost reduction strategies. In addition to publishing a monthly feature article, packagePRINTING regularly covers the latest news in sustainability, design innovation, technology, online marketing, and new products that are of interest to the printer and supplier community.

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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.