Packaging Labels

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    Canning Offers Flexibility for Smaller Breweries

    Craft Brewers Can Count on Cans

    The craft beer industry has historically been associated with bottles. But are these the best choice for your brewery? Consider the humble beer can, which can present an economical and convenient approach to production and labeling, helping you get your brew out to the masses. Add some custom beer can labels and aluminum cans become a perfect vessel for a beer brand. In fact, the preference for bottling may be behind the times - many breweries have been choosing canning.

    Preferences Evolving

    A recent News Journal article about craft breweries offering cans for their flagship products highlighted the perception changes that have led to aluminum's resurgence. For instance, a decade ago, cans bore a strong association with macro-brewed beers that represented the opposite of craft-brewed sophistication. Furthermore, people expected cans to adversely affect beer's taste. Now, times have changed and cans are in demand once more.

    There are consumer-friendly advantages that come along with packaging beer in cans - the news provider reported that it's easier to transport a can than a bottle. Shelves at stores and in fridges are able to hold more beer when it is in cans. It's also easier to fill a recycling bin with cans, due to their shorter silhouette.

    The News Journal noted that the process of canning tends to be easier for breweries to take in-house when compared to bottling. The advent of trucks that contain canning lines has made packaging creation a mobile consideration, and brewers are taking notice.

    The Marin Independent Journal added to this chorus of support for craft brew canning. This news source pointed out the relative resilience of cans, as well as the fact that they are light and easy to carry. When consumers want beer to bring along on hikes and other trips, aluminum may be the way to go. The Independent Journal added that according to the Brewers Association's 2016 figures, 17 percent of craft beer is canned. In 2013, that figure was only 5 percent.

    Cans are cool again!

    Get the Right Custom Can Labels

    No matter what shape, size or material a brewer turns to for its packaging, it's important to make sure the information and imagery on the label stays sharp, even as cold and wet conditions in refrigerators and coolers take their toll. This is where Lightning Labels can make a difference, with its custom canning labels resisting the elements and displaying a brewer's unique logos to the world.

    Picking the right material and finish for beer can labels is an important part of getting a product noticed. This is where Lightning Labels helps brewers, delivering resilient custom beer can labels, or bottle labels if brewers prefer glass to aluminum.

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  • Cause Marketing: Is Your Brand Ready?

    Show Support Through Design

    Alliances between charitable causes and companies of all sizes are becoming common and mutually beneficial. If your organization has the right promotional products, you can easily draw a connection between your brand and a charitable effort that is near to your heart. With consumers valuing organizations that show their commitment to doing good in the community, your reputation may benefit from the use of charity labels and other signs of allegiance.

    Many Causes to Care About

    Perhaps the most popular example of alignment between brands and charities is the wave of pink products that roll out every year during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer awareness stickers are visible everywhere, up to and including baseball and football broadcasts. These set a valuable example your own custom stickers can follow.

    Every month of the calendar has its own selection of topics and causes you can align your brand with, letting your customers know your organization is interested in raising awareness - or money - for its charities of choice. Whether you donate partial proceeds of your items or focus your campaign more on getting the word out, there is major potential to show support for a charitable cause that is important to your personally or has a huge impact in your business's area.

    Promotional items for the appropriate season can go out to the shelves with custom labels that bear the colors associated with your selected charity. They may then tell people how and where they can donate their time or money, or learn more about the issue. When you can find a tie-in between your products and the cause, your message will resonate even more with the audience.

    The pink ribbon has become the most ubiquitous charity symbol.

    Labels That Meet Your Needs

    Of course, there are challenges associated with putting charity labels on your products. If a label provider only allows large orders, you may be left with extra stock you can't use, or a price tag that will set your business back. Lightning Labels, with its all-digital printing processes, bucks this trend. Low minimum order sizes mean you get only the labels you need, giving your limited-edition charitable products a unique look while they're relevant and not adding an extra burden to your budget.

    No matter what charitable cause matters most to you and your company, custom stickers and labels are a great way to get your point across. Show that your organization is engaged with its community, and your audience may react positively. You can make this kind of impression through well-designed labels.

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  • Guide To Custom Jar Labeling

    Jars for jams, preserves and jellies leave plenty of room for creative branding, whether it's on a full-size label wrapping around the jar or a more limited label on the lid. Whether canning is your hobby or your company's source of income, there is space to create informative and visually stimulating works of art on your labels.

    Depending on your product and its intended audience, you can try one of several different approaches to creating custom jar labels. The information printed on these labels is the major source of connection between you and the people who will take your products home. There's a lot you can tell them about the items, even given the small dimensions of a mason jar.

    What Makes A Great Jar Label?

    There is no guaranteed best formula for what to print on jar and canning labels. The following are a few possible elements that may spice up your designs and make people more inclined to check out the products inside. These are in addition to required info such as ingredients and potential allergy warnings - you'll have to work with a high-quality label provider to ensure there is space for necessary and optional elements alike.

    • Recipes: If your jams, preserves or sauces make a great part of a delicious recipe, why not say so on the label? If you give the full directions, it's a great incentive for people to pick your brand in particular instead of a similar competitor. This option is probably best for brands that have full labels wrapped around their jars instead of just sticking labels on the lids.
    • Regional imagery: If your product is made from fresh fruit, you can emphasize the place where that ingredient comes from. People may react more strongly to a fruit item if they can catch a glimpse of the orchard or grove where it came from.
    • Contact information: Brands thrive online today - if your company allows customers to buy online, why not print your website address, Twitter/Facebook handle, or other social media information on your jar labels? If you make this info easy to find, it could convince one-time farmer's market shoppers to come back for more and find you on the web.

    For Growers on any Scale

    No matter the size of your operation - whether you're turning out jars by the thousands or only making 50 a year to give to friends - custom jar labels can make your items look more interesting and exciting. Digital-only printers such as Lightning Labels support low minimum order sizes, so you won't have to stretch beyond your needs, whatever they may be.

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  • Custom Holiday Health and Beauty Labels

    The holiday season is far from shoppers' minds right now, with the summer sun beating down, but as a small-business owner, you need to be thinking one step ahead. If you want to prepare your health and beauty products to impress buyers this November and December, now's a great time to set your plans in motion.

    When thinking about adding glamor and flash to your items' custom labels, you can go beyond the imagery and text printed on the labels: Consider employing naturally shiny and elegant materials and finishes to make your bath and body products into standouts on the shelves during this year's holiday rush.

    The Material Matters

    Bath and body product labels are designed to make a great first impression. Whether shoppers are picking for themselves or as a gift for someone special, a great package can speak volumes about your brand's commitment to glamor and beauty. Lightning Labels offers a host of different materials and finishes for customers to pick from, and a few of these in particular tend to look great when flash is called for.

    Chrome BOPP Labels: This shiny polymer is resistant to oil and water, making it a good fit for makeup labels - or any kind of packaging that will be stored in a bathroom environment. With a chrome shininess, this is a perfect choice for brands that want their products to literally sparkle at buyers.

    Gold Polyester Labels: Whether finished in a glossy laminate or an elegant matte, gold polyester is another top selection for companies looking to make a statement with every element of their packaging, from the finish to the imagery. Gold could be an especially great color for holiday-themed seasonal items that need a little extra sparkle.

    Elegant bath and body products deserve labels to match.

    Consider the Advantages

    Product packaging labels are bath and body brands' main calling cards no matter the season. With the extra foot traffic drummed up by holiday shoppers, brands can turn their visual flash up a notch and create a true statement. Working with Lightning Labels ensures that every element, down to the base label material and finish type, can be customized for maximum appeal.

    Brands should begin thinking about their holiday packaging plans soon to ensure they're given adequate focus. However, once ideas are finalized, Lightning Labels can turn around finished orders in extremely short amounts of time. This is due to Lightning's use of all-digital printing methods at domestic rather than outsourced facilities. Embracing a new and exciting product look for the holiday season has never been easier.

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  • Make Your Logo or Message Stand Out with Custom Laser Cut Labels

    Make Your Designs Really Stand Out

    A compelling product label isn't just defined by what's printed on it. Other elements, such as the material and finish employed for that label, can determine whether it creates an interesting and consistent feeling or not. Another trait may be even more overlooked: shape. When you work with a brand that offers custom laser-cut labels, you gain the ability to increase the focus on your distinctive brand logo, no matter what it may consist of. Laser cutting can also deliver custom logo stickers to hand out to your customers.

    The following are a few valuable use cases for each kind of laser-cut logo design. Labels for your packages and stickers for your customers are both great potential applications for any company with a distinctive visual sense and an interest in making its trademark imagery really pop.

    Custom Laser Cut Labels

    Bottles, bags, boxes, no matter what kind of packaging your product comes in, you can spice up the look of those containers with laser-cut labels. While labels that wrap all the way around an item could be better in some situations - as when there is a large amount of regulation-mandated information to impart - custom logo labels are an exciting way to make goods look professional and compelling.

    A container adorned with a small label laser-cut to the shape of the brand's logo can show off the color and shape of the bottle, jar or bag. Furthermore, small companies that go for laser-cut labels can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with large brands. Making such a sophisticated packaging choice could inspire confidence in your brand among consumers, who may take the well-delivered imagery as an indication of your items' quality.

    Custom Laser Cut Stickers

    There's no need to always stick your label on packages of products. Custom logo stickers can go on everything. You can opt for window stickers, bumper stickers or small stickers to hand out with a purchase. It may even pay to distribute these stickers at third-party events such as local fairs or other get-togethers to get your logo in front of as many people as possible. As with the labeling of your products, opting for a custom shape instead of a basic square or rectangle can add visual interest. Logo stickers are also perfect for businesses that don't produce packaged goods. For instance, sports teams can raise their profile in their local markets through local stickers, shops that perform repairs can hand out their logo to happy customers and nonprofits can pass these items out to people who make donations.

    Time to Order

    Once the urge to change up your brand's visual presentation strikes, there's no need to wait around. No matter what shape or color your brand's logo is, Lightning Labels can quickly translate it into laser-cut labels that show off its uniqueness as a way to appeal to customers. Whether you opt for labels on your products or stickers to be handed out independent of your items, showing off your logo is a professional and interesting way to catch eyes. When you're trying to get a company off the ground, such branding is of immense value.

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  • How Custom Cannabis Product Labels Help Sell Cannabis Products

    A Promising New Market

    The slow rollout of legal recreational cannabis sales across individual states and Canadian provinces represents an opportunity for companies. If you're planning on wading into this market, you should take two steps: compliance and branding.

    There's a need to get in line with all relevant laws and ensure your firm isn't undone by regulatory action. This process goes hand in hand with your selection of bold and exciting branding that will encourage shoppers to pick your brand in this new market. The recreational cannabis market comes with no history to speak of, meaning you can carve out a new niche for your items - your cannabis product labels have a big role to play in this process.

    Time to Design

    "Brands must know what their prospective customers are looking for."

    When there's a whole new field to operate in, it's important to stake your place with a memorable look. The Spokane Spokesman-Review, spotlighted the efforts of local designers to create looks that suit cannabis brands. Propaganda Creative's Jason Clerget told the newspaper that the current anything-goes mentality from developing brands is a "designer's dream" with plenty of room to work on new strategies.

    Clerget added that some companies are going for irreverent imagery to play up the outsider appeal of their products. Others are better off with clean and modern-looking custom cannabis labels. As with any industry, brands in this expanding field must know what their prospective customers are looking for. From one region to another, the default legal cannabis customer profile may vary widely.

    Each state will have its own restrictions on what must be on custom cannabis product labels - and what cannot be printed there. However, knowing the rules is a fairly simple item for designers to check off as they make their way to finalizing a look. Clerget noted that his studio "quickly became well-versed" in the Washington regulations. The main challenge regarding cannabis's legal situation will likely involve staying aware of any

    Medical Consideration

    "There are a web of changing regulations about medical marijuana labels."

    While operating in the medicinal space requires a different approach than working with recreational products, there are a few common requirements. For instance, there are a web of changing regulations about what can and cannot be printed on medical marijuana labels. Occupational Health and Safety reported that the California Department of Public Health is taking public comments on the labeling of medical products.

    The proposals include the creation of an ingredient listing on cannabis edibles and health claim prohibitions like those seen on some nutritional supplements. Furthermore, there may soon be a cannabis symbol that instantly identified a medical marijuana item. Remaining aware of these changing regulations will be important for any company in the field.

    Custom Cannabis Product Labels Needed

    If you're getting ready to launch a legal cannabis product, Lightning Labels is a top partner to turn to. With a variety of labeling materials and finishes to suit any branding style, Lightning can also deliver low minimum orders and quick turnaround due to its all-digital processes. When you can get a reasonably sized order of cannabis product labels in a hurry, you an keep up with changing rules with no excess waste.

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  • Customize Bike and Motorcycle Helmets with Custom Helmet Stickers

    National Bike Month is a Great Time to Think About Custom Helmet Stickers

    There's no wrong time to think about creating custom stickers or labels for bike and motorcycle helmets. Indeed, this protective equipment is essential for any rider to remember at any time of the year. However, May has a special place on the calendar: It's National Bike Month. If you sell or manufacture bike helmets or other accessories, you can take this moment to refresh your branding, release decals for helmets or even create bumper stickers for consumers that spread awareness of bike safety.

    The possibilities are endless, and with Lightning Labels on your side, you can commit to custom helmet stickers and labels in a remarkably short time. It pays to get your new initiative off the ground while the spring and summer are still dawning and people are uncovering their bikes and motorcycles for the season.

    Custom Helmet Stickers for Looks

    While helmets for bike and motorcycle riders are primarily for the safety of their wearers, they can also look good. Helmet stickers sold at retail or included with the items themselves allow people to put their own personality on display and show off their hobbies, interests and uniqueness. Companies at all levels of the bike industry can get in on creating these stickers, from manufacturers to specialty retailers and stores that sell or service bikes in addition to other products. Stickers for helmets can cover any number of topics. Shops can produce stickers with their own logos to encourage loyalty and attract new customers. There is also room to invoke local pride, with riders eager to wear the emblems of the places they come from. Motorcycle helmet stickers may be a particularly fertile field. Motorcyclists can cover a lot more ground than bike riders and may be especially keen to salute their regional identity with a customized helmet.

    Custom Helmet Labels for Safety Instead of simply using stickers to improve the look of a bike helmet, you can use custom helmet labels applied to the equipment itself or outer packaging to trumpet the health benefits of protecting one's head while riding. You can even tailor the messages on these labels to act as reminders of the laws in various parts of the country. Whether because of legal requirements or the simple need to protect themselves in the event of an accident, everyone on a bike should be in line for a helmet.

    Now is the Right Time

    With National Bike Month underway, it's clearly a great time to commit to a new set of stickers or labels, whether to promote safety or help riders show off their individuality. Working with Lightning Labels can help you make these plans into reality, as all-digital printing processes ensure short turnaround times and enable you to work with a wide variety of different materials that will suit your project's needs.

    As it gets warmer outside, people who had stored their bikes away are getting them out again for another year. This is your target audience for your safety products, labeled and stickered for safety and looks alike.

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  • Food Safety Product Labeling Must Have Allergens in Mind

    Careful Food Safety Product Labeling a Must

    When you're launching a new food or beverage product, listing possible allergens is one of the most important steps on your to-do list. Unless you take this process extremely seriously, you may be forced to issue a costly recall. Producers of food and beverage products can ill afford to make a mistake or oversight in their lists of potential allergens. This is what makes food safety product labeling an absolute must for food and beverage producers.

    Relevant Rules

    A recent JD Supra article by product liability advocacy law firm Wilson Elser offered a reminder that not only are allergen mislabeling problems serious for companies, they're happening at a worrying rate. For instance, there were 650 food recalls carried out in 2016. That's way up from the 154 that occurred 10 years earlier. Most of the allergen issues are clustered around the eight major allergens that must be labeled per Food and Drug Administration rules: milk, fish, eggs, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat and soybeans.

    Wilson Elser added that food producers' diligence goes beyond checking foods themselves for the relevant allergens - if there is any possibility of cross-contamination with relevant items, that is cause for labeling attention as well. Whether labeling takes place at the production, manufacturing or distribution stage of the supply chain, this is one responsibility that's impossible to set aside. Considering the seriousness of allergic reactions, customers' health could be at risk.

    Diligence in Action

    Packaging safety consultant Gary Kestenbaum, writing for Packaging Digest, noted that many recall apologies from brands explain that the company allocated its resources to areas other than labeling and notification, thus leading to the problems. The author suggested that companies reject this philosophy and have full-scale identification efforts to ensure allergen listings - all other relevant parts of food packaging - are accurate. He explained that while it may seem excessive to add extra steps to production, the savings from avoiding recalls can be considerable.

    While your company may be too small to implement the kind of extensive, multi-individual chain of responsibility recommended by Kestenbaum, his point is well taken: When businesses not only focus on their packaging but have multiple rounds of checking and verification to ensure they haven't missed anything, their food products stand a better chance of going out to store shelves wholly accurate, removing the need for a costly recall down the line.

    Recent Recalls

    There's no need to speak in generalities about the risk of recalls due to inadequate allergen labeling - it happens all the time. For instance, the Department of Agriculture recently reported a recall of 150 pounds of ready-to-eat couscous due to the undeclared presence of pecans. Pecans are a tree nut, one of the aforementioned allergens that producers need to declare in all cases.

    In another recent USDA action, the agency noted 30,537 pounds of frozen burritos were subject to recall. The issue was twofold for the burritos, as they contain egg and soy, neither of which was declared on the packaging. While the couscous problem was noticed by the supermarket distributing the items, the presence of egg and soy in the burritos was flagged as part of a customer complaint. There are numerous ways for labeling inadequacies to come to light, from inspections to input from the public.

    Getting Food Safety Product Labels

    When it's time to print a new batch of food labels for one of your products, there's no need to skimp on quality. After all, you've worked hard to ensure they are completely accurate and reflect the contents of your items. All that effort will go to waste if low printing quality renders the labels unappealing visually. Working with an experienced printer such as Lightning Labels is one way to give your food products a look that can stand out on the shelves while still giving adequate space to ingredients listings and all other relevant info.

    Since Lightning Labels uses all-digital printing processes and works from domestic facilities instead of outsourcing, your labels will arrive in a matter of days, rather than weeks or months. This can be a remarkably helpful factor, ensuring that the printing step doesn't slow down the overall process of getting labels for a new product. Of course, an item's debut isn't the only good time to call on Lightning Labels - you can also commit to a redesign to suit a new season or simply to breathe new life into your branding.

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  • Product Labels: Legal Action Remains Common

    Challenges Go to Court

    Choosing your words carefully is essential when designing product labels, as when customers feel deceived by a package, they don't just stop buying - they sue. There are reputation and financial effects to claims that don't match consumers' perceptions, and letting these matters go to court can prove time-consuming and costly.

    Complying with all relevant labeling laws and restrictions is a starting point for companies, rather than the maximum diligence brands should show. Using phrases that have not been legally ruled on in the past, but are taken as deceptive by customers, could lead to your organization becoming cited as a future precedent, spending a lot of money on settlements before the dust settles.

    Headline News

    The following are three recent examples of incidents when product labeling promises ended up leading to court cases. Each is at a different stage of litigation, but they all serve as illustrative examples of the kinds of things consumers take issue with. From the place an item is from to the nature of its ingredients or even whether it has health benefits or not, these issues run the gamut.

    Costco Pays Nearly a Million

    A recent judgment has cost supermarket chain Costco, to the tune of $775,000. The money may pale in comparison to the heavy lifting the brand now has to do to change its packaging, however. According to Law 360, the issue centered on the word "healthy" with regard to coconut oil. Buyers of the product took issue with the fact that the drink incorporated a heavy dose of saturated fat. Now, to settle the case, Costco has agreed to strike the word "health" and "health benefits."

    In fact, no matter how the suit was resolved, the words would have likely been gone for good. The labeling change was executed during the course of the case, the source noted. In a note that may be relevant to other companies facing legal product label challenges, Costco moved for dismissal in mid-2016 on the grounds that the plaintiffs didn't prove their health had actually been damaged by the saturated fat, but that wasn't enough to sway the judge.

    Ginger Ale Ingredient Listing Questioned

    A separate Law 360 report noted that Canada Dry will have to fight a court battle over its claim that real ginger is present in its soda. The brand asked the judge to call the case off on grounds that it is not precise enough. The judge, however, ruled that the suit will proceed, at least on the core issue of whether a "real ginger" label is deceptive.

    The attorney for Canada Dry suggested that since the brand doesn't make claims about pharmaceutical health benefits, it's not the kind of matter that should be litigated in a fraud proceeding. The judge threw out the allegation that there is fraud occurring but allowed the plaintiffs to rephrase and submit it again. The plaintiffs claim that they would have paid less - or not bought the soda at all - if they knew there was just "natural flavoring" from ginger roots, rather than ginger being directly involved in the creation of the drink.

    Where Is This Beer From?

    The issue of regional origin is a major packaging element. According to a Washington Legal Foundation post for Forbes, it has become the latest battleground for attorneys who want to "earn an easy buck" off of brands. The case promoting this assessment involves Kona, a beer brand associated with Hawaii. The current suit alleges that since the brand's products sold in the U.S. mainland are not brewed on the islands of Hawaii, the packaging is deceptive, even though the company is based in Hawaii and does have a brewery there.

    The same kind of theory is behind a suit that alleges Japanese brand Sapporo is being deceptive with the Japan-centric promotional copy on its products sold and brewed elsewhere. The news provider noted that there has been pushback against this kind of suit - but not enough to stop it yet.

    Are Your Product Labels Ready?

    Once your brand has decided on product label copy that won't end up challenged in court, it's time to print those labels and make them look as visually impressive as possible. This is where Lightning Labels can help. With all-digital processes in place, you'll get your new-look labels in a hurry.

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  • Spice it Up! Update Your BBQ Sauce Labels for National Barbeque Month

    BBQ Sauce Labels Provide A Bold New Look

    When you produce barbecue sauce, marinade and hot sauce products, you add the spice to your customers' meals. But if the BBQ sauce bottle labels for those items are bland or unmemorable, it harms your ability to convince shoppers to give your brand a try. There's no better time than National Barbecue Month to take a look at your sauce line and determine whether an exciting new look could be just what it needs to win people over.

    Adding New Elements

    There isn't just one way to improve BBQ sauce labels. In fact, just about every element of the graphic design can be tuned up and improved dramatically if you focus. As long as you work with a labeling provider that is able to realize your new ideas, you're free to get creative and update your food labels for maximum audience appeal.

    It's the dawn of cookout season, so a potential sales boom is right around the corner. Here are a few particular graphic changes you can employ to catch aspiring backyard chefs' eyes:

    Useful recipes: Maybe people are hesitant to buy a sauce or herb rub if they aren't sure how to use the flavoring. Putting simple directions and suggested ingredients on the package takes away that uncertainty. If you work with a producer of high-quality labels, it will be easy to print the necessary amount of text on the label without it getting blurry.

    Exciting graphics: BBQ sauce and hot sauce are sold on bold personality. You want to communicate to buyers who have never tasted your product that they'll enjoy it, and give them a sense of how it tastes. You can boost your brand's appeal via colorful imagery that evokes a flavor and potentially uses regional symbols to celebrate your local surroundings.

    Seasonal content: You can remind shoppers that it's National Barbecue Month - or just that summer is coming up and it's a great time to grill. Changing elements of your packaging every few months keeps things fresh, and as long as you work with a printer capable of producing reasonably sized orders, you can execute this strategy without waste.

    Reach Your Audience

    Sauces and other BBQ essentials aren't the kind of products that receive media-blitz ad campaigns. The in-store experience, when someone is browsing an aisle, is your chance to make the case for your brand. Your labels are the part of the package that sets your items apart from the rest of the field. Custom hot sauce labels, BBQ sauce labels, spice rub packages and more act as your company's calling card. It's up to you to take the design challenge seriously.

    Once you have a good idea of how you want your labels to look, it's time to find a third party that can turn that vision into reality. Lightning Labels can fulfill that function, with its all-digital processes enabling affordable, short print runs as well as remarkably quick turnaround times. Any new ideas you put onto your BBQ sauce labels in celebration of National Barbecue Month can become physical items in a matter of days, not weeks or months.

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