Label Design

  • New USDA Rules Coming for Food Product Labeling

    Obeying Food Labeling Rules

    Companies that produce foods and beverages face unique product packaging demands, with a host of regulations to oblige before they even get around to aesthetic decisions. If your business operates in this area, you've already navigated the rules and gotten into compliance. However, in the years ahead, important changes are on the way. The latest announcements come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and have to do with the "sell by" or "use by" label - which has a new name, as well as the compliance dates for meat and poultry regulations.

    Cutting Down on Food Waste

    Food Processing explained that the USDA's recommendation - to implement a new "best if used by" label across the food production world - is designed to prevent waste. Today, different manufacturers use a variety of expiration date formats. These listings are voluntary for all products except infant formula, which requires the use of expiration dates. The new guidance is meant to ensure that wherever optional dating is employed, companies are working with the same vocabulary and format.

    Faced with a patchwork of phrases, including "sell by" and "use by," consumers may be thinking of the listed dates as hard cutoffs for freshness, and throwing food away that is still good. Food Processing noted that by standardizing the use of dating systems, and employing the phrase "best if used by," the USDA is hoping to ensure that shoppers will be better informed. People will now gain the knowledge that products of a certain age may have degraded in quality, but aren't necessarily unsafe. A hard-seeming "use by" date encourages individuals to throw food out, which causes waste.

    The recommendation comes after a period of research into the effects of different types of phrases. According to Food Processing, the USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service settled on the final wording because high rates of people get the intended meaning. Implementing a blanket description across the food world is a big moment for the industry, and it was important for the agency to make sure its chosen version of the label is helpful.

    Meat and Poultry Compliance Dates

    Another announcement from the USDA FSIS concerns the meat and poultry industries. According to Food Safety News, this release isn't about any one rule. Rather, it's a notice that any regulations applied to meat and poultry production in 2017 and 2018 will go into effect on the first day of 2020. This gives producers a minimum of two years to adapt and get in compliance, though the agency would rather companies change practices as soon as rules are added to the books, rather than waiting for the deadline.

    The news source reported that the January 1, 2020 date will keep the FSIS in line with the Food and Drug Administration's labeling deadlines. Two years between announcement and implementation will allow organizations more than enough time to revise their labeling strategies. According to the FSIS guidance, a hard deadline for label changes is friendly to both companies and customers, as businesses won't have to change their labeling strategies too often, alterations which could lead to higher sticker prices.

    Ready for Anything

    The strategy you apply to your food labels will necessarily be impacted by regulations, but you don't have to worry about staying current in compliance, at least when you work with Lightning Labels. As an all-digital printing partner, Lightning Labels enables you to order relatively small quantities of stickers and labels for your products. This means no leftover or wasted labels when regulations change, and an ability to react quickly to any new regulations, getting well ahead of the deadlines. With a third party such as Lightning Labels on your side, you'll be able to stay ahead of the USDA's schedule rather than barely keeping up.

  • Eco-friendly Labeling May Provide A Breakthrough with Millennials

    Passion for Earth-friendly Packaging

    What defines the millennial generation? Ask 100 people and you'll get 100 answers. Some say millennials are socially responsible optimists. Others state that they're too consumed with digital interactions. Still others find them to be hard workers who have erased some of the boundaries between home and business life. One common thread in overviews of young people today, however, is their interest in things good for both them and the earth. Marketers can make headway with millennials by creating raw, healthful and environmentally friendly brand images.

    One of the most effective ways to define a company is to generate a new labeling strategy. If you're in the process of carving out a new identity for your company - or underlining traits that have been there all along - consider working with custom product labels. There's always a chance people will miss an advertisement or decide not to go to your website, but packaging is right in shoppers' line of sight, nigh-inescapable. Brand images that appeal to the earth-friendly interests of young shoppers may prove hugely valuable, especially if you walk the talk and use environmentally kind materials.

    Follow the Trends

    BrandCulture's Eric Pinckert recently explained for CPI Financial that the quest for more environmentally conscious or responsible brand images is a major 2017 trend. The author noted that minimal packaging and the use of recycled materials in both labels and the products inside the boxes and wrappers will be persistent themes. Truth is the key word here, with millennials and Generation Z interested in ensuring the companies follow through on their rhetoric and actually use materials that keep the earth safe.

    The expert noted that transparency will have to be more unfiltered in 2017 than ever before, and the trend will extend to all corners of a company's image. This will have an impact on what should and shouldn't go on labels, as well. Pinckert warned that a lot of text stating that a company is real and authentic could ring false. Instead of just writing out promises, brands will have to follow through and make promises they can keep. Working with truly earth-friendly materials in both items and labels is one example of walking the walk in this way.

    Natural, recyclable items are a stark contrast to the mass-produced consumer products of recent decades. Imagine seeing an item with a recycled label, perhaps a product that is itself biodegradable, next to an equivalent in a plastic package that could end up polluting the ocean or staying in a landfill for ages. The choice is clear and, as Pinckert noted, young people may prove willing to pick a more expensive option if its labeled durably.

    Design considerations

    When dressing your brand up to appeal to young consumers, every single decision can point in an earth-friendly direction. This kind of consistency tends to create an intuitive experience, showing a consuming commitment to being both health-friendly and earth-conscious and marking you as a company that has good intentions. Food Business News reported from the 2016 NACS snack industry trade show, where Lehi Valley Trading Co. Director of Marketing Jacque Taylor described the process of creating a clean, millennial-friendly brand image.

    Taylor, in slight contrast to Pinckert, explained that it's important to produce labels affordably enough to keep the cost of food products down - but once you achieve this level of value, it's important to create an image that pleases the audience with natural overtones, from the selected colors to the chosen imagery. Creating a label means summoning a mood, and the more the package evokes nature and wellness, the better it will be with earth-lovers.

    "In going into the design itself, we knew, for example, the millennial consumer is looking for natural, eco-friendly. Natural, eco-friendly label design was one of the things we incorporated," Taylor told the news provider.

    Working with an Expert Partner

    When designing an eco-conscious image, it's important to get the details right and work with a partner that can give you a thoroughly green option while keeping costs reasonable. Lightning Labels can deliver with its multiple recycled label options. Kraft labels, for instance, are made of 100-percent post-consumer waste materials. Their appearance is natural and earthy, and they are tough enough to be machine-applied en masse. Kraft isn't the only option, either - Vellum labels are also made from 100 percent recycled content.

    While not recycled, Earthfirst PLA labels offer a different take on nature friendliness. This material is similar to ones made with petrochemicals, but is made with Polylactic Acid, a corn-based biopolymer. No matter what kind of image you're going for, Lightning Labels can not only get the intended effect at a reasonable cost, it can give you an earth-friendly approach your customers will appreciate. Your products won't just look like they're eco-positive, with the right custom labels they can walk the talk.

  • Add a Touch of Glam to Beauty Product Labels with Gold Poly Material

    Stand Out in the Beauty Aisle

    Whether you're responsible for one health and beauty product or a complete line, having a distinct and attractive look for the packaging will help your offerings catch on with customers. Items in the beauty category vie with dozens of similar products in the aisles, and since people won't be grabbing products off the shelf and trying them out, packaging is how you differentiate a particular brand. You can implement numerous visual features to make your beauty product labels excel, from your chosen imagery to your logo treatment, up to and including the material you pick.

    Advantages of Gold Poly Labels

    Selecting a material for your custom labels is an important step of the design process, as the color and appearance established will set the tone for the product's whole look. You can't write this decision off, and should be thinking about the effect you want to create from the earliest stages of the label ordering process. What kinds of visual cues say that an item is a top beauty choice? Glamor, timelessness and a classy, upscale appearance may be the keys to your customers' hearts, and metalized gold polyester is a material that delivers this look.

    A subtle shimmering and lush gold color announce your items' presence when you choose gold poly labels. The material is backed with a strong adhesive to ensure it holds on whatever type of bottle or jar you choose for a particular product. Beauty labels made with gold polyester are finished in one of two ways, either glossy or matte. Each of these has its advantages.

    Glossy labels are designed to really pop visually, with a look that demands attention immediately.

    Matte labels, on the other hand, give a unique and subtle look that is perhaps less glam and more elegant.

    Depending on your beauty brand's overall branding strategy, you can take your product labels in various directions to complement your identity and target long-term goals. In fact, if you're unhappy with some aspect of how your items are currently perceived, an effective re-branding can start from the labels up, reintroducing the beauty products in a whole new light. Consumers walking the aisles may be compelled to try the bold, fresh items.

    Work with Lightning Labels

    Bath and body products are challenging to market. You have to compete with a vast array of competitors and convince people to entrust their appearance to your items - this is a big ask. If the items have a classy, glamorous and eye-catching look, it could be considerably easier to convince new buyers to give them a try.

    Lightning Labels can be an ideal partner as you work toward a new and ever more compelling round of label designs. An all-digital printer capable of working with a multitude of materials, gold polyester included, Lightning Labels is committed to service, quality and speed. Branding in the beauty industry can't be entrusted to just anyone, and Lightning Labels is eager to partner with your organization and deliver impressive results. Whether your brand needs a few labels or a huge amount, Lightning Labels has an economically smart order option for you.

  • 2017 Begins with New FDA Labeling Requirements

    Keep an Eye on New FDA Labeling Requirements

    When you produce food or beverages, there's never a good time to tune out or stop paying attention to labeling laws and regulations. Regulators make sure to give you time to adjust your labels and comply with the rules, but you should still be as prompt as possible at identifying and responding to relevant moves by the major bodies in charge of packaging.

    The early days of 2017 have borne out the need for vigilance, with the the U.S. Food and Drug Administration already rolling out some announcements regarding upcoming adjustments to the laws. When you have a good grasp of the legal situation and an agile labeling partner on your side, it's possible to stay up on these requirements, and even to get ahead of them and give your customers a smooth transition from one type of labeling to the new standards.

    Comment Period Extended

    Do you have any valuable input on what should be considered "healthy"? If so, you have a few months left to tell the FDA. According to Food Safety News, the public comment deadline for what the word "healthy" is allowed to mean on food packages is now March 26, 2017. This is a revision from the previous date of January 26, and if you have anything to submit, this extension gives you time. Comments can be made either publicly or directly to the FDA in confidence.

    According to the news source, industry groups asked for the extension. The Grocery Manufacturers of America wanted more time for comments due to the fact that the end of the year tends to be busy for retailers and customers alike, leaving less time for affected parties to register their opinions about the "healthy" label.

    As for groups that have already made comments, Food Safety News specified that the United Egg Producers stepped up in favor of adding eggs to the definition of "healthy." Current restrictions involving saturated fat and cholesterol are the sticking point, but the industry body cited eggs' place in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans model diets as proof that eggs can be a healthy food and deserve the use of the related language.

    The very fact that the word "healthy" is back up for debate is due to an actual issue encountered by the FDA in 2015, according to the source. The inciting incident was a legal showdown between KIND, makers of fruit and grain bars, and the government body. The FDA told KIND that four of its "healthy"-labeled products did not comply with the present definition of that word, while KIND claimed that the science behind that label has since been superseded. Now, it's time for the public to have its say before the new law comes into effect.

    Are your products currently eligible to be called "healthy?" Might they be under a revised version of the labeling law? If you have any stake in this ongoing process, it's likely worth watching what happens next regarding the legal wrangling.

    Final Guidance Documents

    The first days of 2017 have been a busy time for FDA announcements, as Natural Products Insider recently noted the existence of two new draft guidance documents, both of which are entering their own comment periods. Now, you have 60 days from their publication on January 5 to register your opinion. The first draft concerns many important elements of the new labels - rounding of figures, the compliance date, how to label added sugars and even the thickness and spacing of lines in graphics are all discussed in the document. The second release consists of examples to help manufacturers develop serving sizes.

    With the new Nutrition Facts label representing a significant updating of a packaging element that has been stagnant for a long time, it is likely worthwhile to study these new documents and potentially register comments. No matter what kind of food or beverage you produce, the way you note the values of different ingredients, nutrients and serving recommendations could have an effect on consumer perception.

    When will you finally have to implement the coming changes and shift over to the new label format? This is one of the questions tackled in the latest round of guidance, as Natural Product Insider highlighted. Items that receive their labels before July 26, 2018 are the last batch that do not need the new-style Nutrition Facts panel. This date is one year later - July 26, 2019 if you sell less than $10 million of food each year.

    Time to Partner Up

    With regulations changing and new rules always being mooted, it's clear that you'll need a labeling partner on your side in the years ahead. This is where Lightning Labels can help, offering custom product labels for food and beverage manufacturers that look great and keep products in compliance with all relevant laws. Due to Lightning Labels' all-digital processes, you don't have to order huge amounts of labels at once. This means that when rules change, you don't end up with wasted labels fitting the old regulations.

  • Stay Ahead of the Vape/E-cig FDA Guidelines with Lightning Labels

    Regulations Keep Shifting

    When a product's packaging requirements are codified by law, it's not that challenging to get into compliance - but when those rules keep changing, that can cause problems. It can be tricky to efficiently and affordably package an item when it's subject to shifting requirements: Print too many labels in the old style and they go to waste. Work with a slow printing partner and you'll have to suffer long wait times when you change designs to comply with the latest rules and regulations.

    E-cigarettes and other vaping products are great examples of items with changing labeling rules. If you work in this industry, you've doubtless already encountered warnings about the FDA's impending label changes. It's time to get ready for the next generation of vape labels. This is also a great opportunity to sign up with a responsive partner such as Lightning Labels to ensure you'll be ready for any further labeling law changes.

    Upcoming Legal Changes

    To recap the FDA's recent announcements, the department plans to begin treating vape and e-cig products as tobacco, exerting far more control over these categories than it previously did. This means that, as of 2018, such items will have to contain the same nicotine warnings as traditional cigarettes, provided they contain nicotine. If your products don't have nicotine in them, you'll have to submit a self-certification statement to that effect, along with data to prove it. Even then, there is a "made from tobacco" alert that you'll have to add to your packages.

    The 2018 deadline is fast approaching, and means you'll have to carefully regulate your supply of labels. Staying in compliance means never using a label type once it's been phased out, but ending up with unused e-cig labels is a problem as well. This is why it's important to work with a label provider capable of small, efficient print runs. When you don't have to order too many packages of any one design, you'll be able to change with the times, even if you only produce a limited amount of your product each year.

    E-cig labels will present a challenge for years to come, as they are a perfect storm of labeling requirements - FDA regulated and relatively untested. While the next announced changes come into effect as 2018 begins, there's no telling what may happen after that. Picking a labeling partner that can help with this next change, and sticking together, could prepare you to face whatever requirements follow and stay unfailingly in compliance.

    A Third Party That Can Help

    What makes Lightning Labels such an ideal team member to help with your custom vape labels? The all-digital printing process is the key factor. When you order from Lightning Labels, you can buy in small quantities affordably, and receive your batch of labels in days, rather than weeks or months. Working with such an agile partner will help you deal with regulatory changes, or even make shifts for the sole purpose of improving your products' image and branding. In a fast-moving industry, you need quick, efficient allies.

  • January is National Hobby Month - Label Your Craft Products

    Show Off Your Work This January

    January is National Hobby Month, meaning it's time to salute handmade items and crafts of all kinds. When your hobby becomes a small business, you need great-looking branding to show your pride in your crafting abilities. Whether you make candles, soap, craft beer, preserves, jelly, jam or any other kind of item, custom labels can catch eyes and draw attention.

    You've put in time honing your craft and keeping your project alive over the years. Now it's time to ensure your handiwork earns recognition, whether you sell your products in major stores, at markets and fairs, or just to friends and family. It's never too early or too late to give a fresh, attractive brand identity to your crafts.

    From a Hobby to a Career

    Today, customers crave a handmade touch in their items - the authenticity and care that you put into your crafts may help them take off. Labeling requirements and strategies will vary based on the products in question, but there's no doubt that an attractive branding strategy can help you stand out. The following list is a far-from-exhaustive look at some crafting types that can turn into fruitful careers.

    • Candles: Creating candles is an especially appealing hobby in the winter months, when a candle can provide a sense of light, warmth and wellbeing in the midst of ice and snow. Using custom candle labels, you can play up the comfy nature of your products - while also giving vital safety info to show your customers you're looking out for them. You can even vary your strategy into something less snow-bound to keep going strong into spring.
    • Soap: The variety of textures, scents and colors you can base soaps around is near-limitless. As a hobbyist or small-business owner, you have freedom to produce small batches of soaps with fascinating attributes that will win customers over. Use your custom soap labels to describe exactly what goes into each bar and impress upon your buyers that they're getting an experience they won't be able to replicate working with huge brands.
    • Craft beer: Beer is perhaps the symbol of the craft goods craze of recent years. A taste for unique flavors in small batches has turned huge swaths of the population into beer connoisseurs. Global brands are turning to local breweries for inspiration instead of vice versa. If you're a small-batch beer producer, make sure your custom craft beer labels show off your regional and independent bona fides. Let people know that you're not a pretender - you're a real local brewer.

    Crafts Deserve Great Labels

    Whether you're looking for custom beer labels to draw in curious buyers or searching for a high-impact way to market your candles, Lightning Labels can help. Small producers just starting out don't have to worry about making minimum order cutoffs - because Lightning Labels is an all-digital printer, small batches of labels are affordable. January is getting underway, but it's not too late to act within the month: By using digital processes and working from domestic facilities instead of outsourcing, Lightning Labels is able to turn orders around in days, not weeks or months.

  • When selecting a wine, does the wine bottle label design play a role in your choice?

    Wine Selection Can Be Tied To Wine Bottle Label Design

    When selecting a wine, a shopper has a limited field of visual information to go on. There's a glimpse of the color of the wine itself, the shape of the bottle and, most prominently, the wine labels. Think back to times you've searched for a new wine to try. Was your decision influenced by the wine bottle label? From the color of the imagery to the font chosen to the label's material, each part combines to make a whole. Chances are, experiencing the label in person did feed into the decision you made to bring a particular brand and vintage home.

    This points out the importance of vineyards selecting custom wine labels that hang together stylistically and tell a branded story. When it comes down to a direct comparison of wines side by side, customers react to the information presented to them on the packaging.

    All the Right Cues

    A few particular design elements deserve emphasis when designing custom wine bottle labels. These are the factors that convince customers a particular variety is right for the drinker's palate or suitable for the gathering where it's going to be served. With thousands of wines out there, shoppers try new varieties often so the label has to serve as an introduction. Here are different factors designers can focus on:

    • Toughness: Wines that are meant to be enjoyed after significant aging need to have wine bottle labels that are strong enough to look great even after years. Failure to work with materials and techniques specifically meant to be used with wine could lead to labels that peel or fade before the contents of the bottles are ready to be enjoyed.

    • Texture: Vintners can use labels to create a tactile connection with the customer. If the label feels and looks great, it will enforce the perception of the brand as classy and perfect for sophisticated dinners. Vineyards that work with woven cloth materials instead of standard paper can stand out from competing brands.

    • Imagery: Producers that adorn their bottles with photographs gain a chance to show off their branding in a strong and distinctive way. That said, designers have to be careful. Blurry or badly chosen imagery could create doubt in a consumer's mind or make the brand seem cheap. This is why it's vital to work with an experienced printing partner.

    • Uniqueness: When creating a look for a wine brands, it pays to look at what others are doing - and then refuse to chase the trend. Faced with a shelf or similar wine labels, customers may naturally gravitate to a brand that has its own distinct appearance.

    Working with Lightning Labels

    Vineyards that want to ensure their products are compellingly packaged can work with Lightning Labels to get the look they're after. With a range of materials suited to wine bottles and the ability to print in several different sizes, Lightning Labels makes it easy to enhance a brand's appearance. Furthermore, Lightning Labels is an all-digital printer. The lack of plates in the printing process means that even small orders of custom wine labels are economical and simple.

  • Use Custom Labels and Stickers to Prepare for Small Business Saturday

    Make Your Small Business Stand Out This Year

    Small Business Saturday falls on November 26 this year. How are you getting ready? It's important to get the word out and not let this marvelous marketing opportunity pass you by. People will be actively looking for local companies to support, and it's up to you to ensure that they pick yours.

    Turning curious browsing shoppers into repeat customers is a multi-step process, and this year, custom labels and stickers can help you at every stop along the way. You can use custom stickers to promote your brand and small businesses in general in the run-up to Small Business Saturday, then hand them out to customers to keep eyes on your company for much longer. There's still time to make these preparations if you act now.

    Refresh Labels and Stickers Now

    It's always a good time to refresh your product branding, but Small Business Saturday is an especially opportune moment. People will be out and about considering which brands to buy from. If you use a new labeling strategy that plays up your local roots and small company bona fides, it will make shoppers feel better about making a purchase. Once they've bought something once, they'll ideally come back often. The window to make that first sale may be very narrow, so it's good to ensure your customized labels look great this Small Business Saturday.

    What kind of imagery makes a good custom label? That will vary widely depending on what type of products you sell. A few general principles ring true all the time, however. You may want to use pictures that play up your local roots, with regional landmarks or recognizable symbols. You can also use text to tell your story, provided you work with a label provider that can deliver attractive, high-quality products. No matter which visual look you go with, its impact will decrease if the actual printing is substandard.

    Hand Out Stickers

    Small Business Saturday gives you another avenue to turn browsing shoppers into longtime advocates for your brand. If you hand out attractive bumper stickers adorned with local imagery or pro-small-business messages, you may convince consumers to spread your company's name far and wide on their cars, computers or anything else that will serve as a good canvas for stickers. As long as you order bumper stickers from an effective print partner with access to tough materials, they can last for a long time. Make the designs aesthetically pleasing, and you'll make the choice to apply the stickers easy for your customers.

    Time To Order Now It's almost Small Business Saturday - November 26 is fast approaching. This is no problem, though, because you have access to Lightning Labels' services. Lightning Labels, true to its name, is a lightning-fast partner that can get you an order in a matter or days, not weeks or months. Through all-digital processes and by using domestic facilities instead of outsourcing, Lightning Labels has made quick turnaround times a point of pride. Add in the high-quality printing possible on its printers, and it's clear that Lightning Labels is the partner you need this Small Business Saturday.

  • Prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday Advertising with Custom Stickers

    Stand Out from the Pack

    If the air's getting cooler and the nights longer, Black Friday and Cyber Monday must be on the way. Your retail business is likely banking on big returns from these shopping seasons, so it's time to ensure your preparations are underway and up to a high standard. Getting customers ready for the big shopping days and ensuring they're aware of the savings to come can be a challenge in today's ad-saturated climate, but there are creative ways to put your messages in front of plenty of eyes - custom stickers and labels looming large among them.

    Several Places to Promote

    You can promote your business with stickers on your products, as well as window stickers or ones that will add visual flair to endcaps and other shelving fixtures. The temporary deals that kick off the holiday season are a big event for retailers of all kinds, and you can give them the appropriate fanfare with bright and tough stickers on every surface. It's time to advertise the deals to come, as well as special hours or online-only deals consumers can access when they get home.

    Window stickers may be especially useful when it comes to promotions and sales. Perhaps you have a sign in your window that shows your hours and which types of payment you accept. You can supplement that year-round version with a new, colorful sticker touting your expanded hours for the shopping season and ensure your customers are ready to join you on Black Friday.

    Special Deals

    Of course, on the day itself, people will want clarity about which items are on sale. Custom labels for special releases, or stickers that will explain the one-off prices and bargains available, can ensure customers don't pass up limited-time offers. On busy shopping days especially, people may not want to flag down employees to ask their questions. Instead, they'll look at signage and the products themselves to see what kind of deal they're in line for. If your labels and stickers are as clear as possible, they'll get the message.

    Time to Act

    The holiday season for retail is just around the corner - it seems the sales start earlier every year, and you don't want to be left out of the excitement. It's time to work with a reliable partner, such as Lightning Labels, to receive bold-looking and tough stickers and labels well in advance of the first shopping days of the season. Lightning Labels turns orders around in days, not weeks or months, meaning you won't be left waiting.

  • The Success of EPA's New 'Safer Choice' Label

    The Challenge of Hazardous Chemicals It's no news that consumers today want products that are not only healthy and safe, but also good for the environment. For the food and beverage industry, this increased demand for better products has been driven by the desire to make healthier choices and be able to more easily understand what ingredients are contained in the item. And although the industry has recently been fraught with controversy, such as the ongoing debate regarding whether GMO labeling should be mandatory, the premise is relatively simple: Let consumers know exactly what ingredients are used in the product and don't try to deceive them with buzzwords and marketing gimmicks on the packaging and labeling.

    When it comes to cleaning and household products, though, it seems things are a little more complex. Of course, the same principles of health and safety apply. Most consumers would agree that, if possible, they would like to avoid products that contain harsh or hazardous chemicals. Many might assume that, if it is on store shelves, it can't be that harmful. But, as Vermont Public Radio recently pointed out, the Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for regulation of chemicals - and its governance has been somewhat limited by the Toxic Substance Control Act.

    Discovering a Labeling Loophole The source pointed to some events that demonstrate the conflict between the court and the EPA, such as hazardous levels of PFOA being found in New Hampshire, Vermont and New York's water and when EPA was prohibited from banning asbestos in the early '90s. These are just some examples of instances that helped drive the EPA to its development of the Safer Choice Label program - a voluntary initiative aimed at providing companies - and consumers - with a better way to further evaluate the safety of chemicals in products.

    "We realized was that, if we put a simple label on a product that people can see - we put that on a product that is safer, it's a safer choice for household products - that people will respond to that, that consumers will regulate with their dollars," EPA Top Administrator Gina McCarthy explained to the source. She added that the organization is extremely thorough in its science-backed research. And the terms of the Safe Choice program are pretty simple and straight-forward.

    "If a chemical has data, which shows that it's got potential health effects for people or effects for the environment, we don't allow it to be used in program," said program manager Clive Davies. "[J]ust because it's allowed at low level, doesn't mean it's safer. So we only allow the safest possible chemicals."

    EPA Label Gaining Popularity Among Companies Although the labeling program was initially introduced over two decades ago, it has recently undergone a rebranding and received a new logo. And it seems it has had a positive effect. For example, according to VPR, Seventh Generation, which previously steered away from using logos, liked the idea behind Safer Choice so much - and what it represented - that it decided to have its laundry detergent products certified.

    Seventh Generation isn't the only business to recognize the value of this kind of safe labeling. Over the past year, there has been a 30 percent jump in Safer Choice label review requests. This year, Clorox was the recipient of a "Partner of the Year" award from the EPA. Even retail giant Walmart has joined in, promising to bring private-label products to Safer Choice standards.

    There are a lot of factors businesses need to take into consideration when creating their product labels. However, given the rising popularity of the Safer Choice program among major brands, companies committed to demonstrating environmental responsibility and prioritizing the health and safety of its consumers would be well served by being approved to add the logo to their product labels.

    On its website, the EPA offers some guidance on the new Safer Choice Label. After submitting chemical data, sellers will have their requests reviewed by a third party. Whether they are waiting approval or not yet sure about committing to the program, it is highly recommended that businesses - at the very least - look into what chemicals and harmful substances are listed by the EPA, and take proactive and preventative measures to eliminate them from their own products.

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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.