News

  • Demand For Nutrition Transparency Fuels New Alcohol Labeling

    Liquor Labeling TrendsDiageo Move Drives Industry-Wide Rethink of Packaging Content, Branding

    Consumers want transparency in their alcohol consumption, and we’re not talking about see-through bottles. Responding to growing demands to know nutritional content of both food and beverage, the world’s largest distiller, Diageo, will begin showing nutritional information on Guinness stout, Smirnoff vodka and Tanqueray gin packaging, according to a Bloomberg News article published on washingtonpost.com in March. That trend is likely to grow, putting beer, wine and hard liquor makers large and small on notice to ready themselves for packaging and labeling changes that will include nutritional content. Those that move quickly may capture a competitive edge, while companies lagging behind could start to see consumer support lag as well. Niche brands such as beer microbrewers can use smaller scale to their advantage. Notes a March 2015 fortune.com article, “…it will likely take some time before labels will feature such information as it is a costly endeavor for such big brands to change the labels on their packaging.” In contrast, once they receive TTB label and packaging approval, small brands can print digital labels and packaging in as few as 1-2 days and be ready to roll out very quickly. Branding and relabeling changes, however, may not all be about adopting the new standard. Until or unless regulatory authorities mandate such nutritional disclosures, some liquor producers may opt for the “counter-culture” approach with messaging and graphics proclaiming adherence to the basics (e.g., “our smoothness and taste speak for themselves-that’s all you need to know”). While this sorts itself out, London-based Diageo, active in 180 countries, already has received US approval for product labels from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), which regulates alcohol. The Bloomberg article notes, “‘Consumers are increasingly discerning about what’s in their glass,’ the distiller’s chief executive, Ivan Menezes, said in an e-mailed statement. ‘We are committed to ensuring our consumers have the best possible information from which to make informed choices.’” At this point, the TTB is making inclusion of nutritional information voluntary except for some existing narrowly defined requirements--unlike the Food and Drug Administration, which mandated nutritional listings decades ago. No matter how liquor makers view it, change is afoot and companies need to be responsive and agile in every area from creative brainstorming and desirable messaging to new label and packaging printing. Many companies may experiment to see where the right messaging lies. For example, baby boomers on up will tend to be less motivated by nutritional disclosures, perhaps following the “ignorance is bliss” philosophy, while millennials generally will prefer more transparency and clarity. Obviously, Diageo is betting that the latter mindset will prevail. The Fortune article notes, “Diageo, the world’s largest liquor company, has led the charge to change misconceptions about what exactly can be found in alcoholic beverages…it will begin adding nutritional information — including protein, fats, calories, and carbohydrates — to labels in the U.S., Diageo…has fought for such approval for more than a decade.” No doubt, much of the rationale for Diageo’s strong support lies in health issues. According to a March vox.com report, “‘Many adults take in a tremendous amount of calories from alcohol, and they have no idea,’ says Sara Bleich, a public-health researcher at Johns Hopkins. She has found that the average American who drinks regularly takes in 400 calories daily from alcohol — not a huge surprise, given that average beer or glass of wine has about 150 calories.” The Vox article adds, “[Bleich] and colleagues have previously found that the particular information on nutrition labels can have a dramatic impact when it comes to consumption of soda and other sugary drinks. Though she hasn't yet looked at the potential impact of labeling alcohol specifically, she imagines the effect would be similar. Regardless of how and when all this plays out, there’s no doubt that liquor labeling and packaging change is on its way. This well may be a dramatic case of early adopters gaining major competitive advantage in the marketplace.

  • 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.

  • Free Ground Shipping on All Orders Placed Through March at Lightning Labels

    Lightning Labels has a lot to be excited about right now. We just updated our website & logo with a brand new look & feel, & have created the world's 1st label quoting iPhone app. We invite you to share in our excitement & celebrate with us. Our party favor is pretty exciting, too: no ground shipping charges on all orders placed through March! We hope you like it. To get a quote on your custom labels & stickers order now & take advantage of this special offer, we invite you to ...

    • Use our online quoting system,
    • Download iLabel from the iTunes store,
    • Or give us a call at 1-888-685-2235.

    Remember, free ground shipping is only available through March 31, 2010 ... so plan accordingly!

  • Announcing iLabel - the World's First iPhone App for the Label Industry

    iLabel custom label quoting system for the iPhone Last year I was looking at the analytics for our web site and I noticed that there were more and more people browsing our site from their iPhones. Many of these people were using our online label quoter to get pricing. So we decided to make it easier for these people and build a dedicated iPhone app that anyone could download to their phone and easily create a quote. We named it iLabel. Yesterday Apple approved iLabel, which we believe to be the world's first label quoting application for the iPhone. Just click this link here and you will be taken to the iTunes store where you can download iLabel. Best of all it is completely free. It is a very simple application and it mirrors the online label quoter on our web site. Just choose a shape, a size, material, laminate, number of different versions and a total quantity. Then just tap the Get Quote button and your quote is displayed. If you like the quote we have a button on the final screen that you can tap to place a call directly to Lightning Labels where you can speak to one of our customer service reps. We will automatically have access to the details of your quote when you call. Here at Lightning Labels we have always prided ourselves on being on the cutting edge of label industry technology. We were one of the first label printers to have online quoting (launched back in 2003) and now we are the first to launch an iPhone app for label quoting. If you have an iPhone go ahead and download iLabel and now you will be able to quickly and easily get label quotes on your phone. Related Information iPhone iLabel App

  • We Have a Completely New Look

    Lightning Labels logo For several months now we have been planning a complete makeover of our web site and blog. This weekend we pulled the plug on the old design and launched our new look. Here is a link to the Lightning Labels website so you can see for yourself. Together with this makeover we also have a new logo that you can see above. More than the new look, we are excited about having a web site that is easy to navigate and has more content and photos than ever before. And our blog is now completely integrated into the site, too. Don't worry, our ever popular instant label quote system is unchanged. We know you love this label quoter so it still works exactly the same as before, with just one small improvement. Now, no matter where you are on our site you have one click access to the label quoter with the floating red button on the left edge of the screen. We are excited about the new look, but that doesn't really matter. It only matters what you think. So let us know by leaving a comment below or shoot me an email to: info@lightninglabels.com. I would love to hear your thoughts.

  • New ISO Standards Coming to Packaging Industry

    Nature Earlier this week Danielle Jerschefske reported on the Labels and Labeling blog that new ISO standards are being developed for the packaging industry. This is good news for consumers and for environmentally friendly label and packaging companies. It is bad news for those companies in our industry who don''t believe in sustainable business practices. Jerschekse points out that both consumers and packaging companies in Europe are more aware of the impact that their choices have on the environment than in this country. But having an organization such as ISO bring some standards specific to the label and packaging industry will help raise awareness worldwide. This combined with the work of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and the Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute will help motivate companies to adopt more sustainable practices. I am confident that in the next few years a nationwide sustainability movement will ensure that all label printing companies will think of the environmental impact of the labels and packaging they produce. Consumers will soon demand it. Photo courtesy of Bruno Monginoux

  • Gatorade Labels Tampered with in Colorado

    Gatorade In my four years of blogging I don't think I have ever mentioned any celebrity gossip news. Until now. But for anyone interested in product labels this is a fascinating story. Over this past weekend unique Gatorade bottles started appearing on the shelves of Denver area grocery stores. The labels on these bottles were not regular Gatorade labels, they had images of Tiger Woods and his wife along with the word "Unfaithful" in Gatorade's distinctive font. Investigators have already discovered the man behind the label tampering. He claims he did it as a "pop art" project with the goal of creating a conversation. I expect he will end up being charged with a crime. What is interesting here is that a Gatorade label is not an easy label to duplicate. It is a thin film that would be very challenging to print on a home printer. The perpetrator has admitted that this project did cost him a lot of money, which indicates to me that a professional label print shop printed these labels. I wouldn't like to be the owner of that label printer when federal investigators come knocking. When you order product labels you need to own the copyright for the artwork that is being printed. Now, a label printer can't possibly check the copyright of every label they print, that is why we have to have a legal disclaimer. But we have rejected label jobs where someone has taken a well known trademark and used it for their own purposes. We would have rejected printing these fake Gatorade labels, too. The other interesting story here is once the labels were printed, how did they manage to get these obviously fake labels onto store shelves? I am sure we will find out these details in coming days. Photo courtesy of 9News. Related Articles Denver Post USA Today

  • Lightning Labels Office Closed for Thanksgiving Nov 26-27

    Our office will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday this Thursday, Nov. 26 and Friday, Nov. 27.

    We will reopen for business as usual at 8 am on Monday, Nov. 30.

    Happy Thanksgiving!!

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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.