Printing Industry 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.

  • FDA Nutrition Facts Labeling Update

    Brands Need to Respond Quickly to FDA Nutrition Facts Label Update

    FDA nutrition facts labels The FDA nutrition facts label requirements will soon be revised.

    The U.S. FDA nutrition facts label change will soon affect custom food labels. The Food and Drug Administration recently submitted changes in labeling guidelines to the White House. While it's not yet clear what businesses should expect from the new rules, brands always need to be ready to implement new federal labeling guidelines. Since knowledge about nutrition has increased since the early 1990s when the requirements were introduced, it makes sense to update them. Companies should implement the changes quickly to avoid fines and negative press. However, these changes can also be seen as an opportunity for businesses to be more honest about nutritional information on labels. Being open about ingredients helps to inspire consumer trust. Companies can take advantage of this time to improve overall labeling strategies.

    FDA Label Guidelines Reflect New Research

    Experts say the FDA label guidelines will likely incorporate new health-related discoveries. Currently, the label requirements are very focused on fat content. Now health care professionals are more aware that fats are different. Some are bad, but others are healthy. Some experts predict the calories from fat designation may disappear with the new requirements. However, they also believe the section for calories may become more prominent.

    Many nutritionists and health professionals are hoping the labels will also pay more attention to sugar content. Many hope that the FDA will require brands to list sugars and syrups that do not naturally occur in products. Others advocate for different measurements on labels, for instance, using teaspoons in addition to grams. Some health advocates also hope the percentage of whole wheat will be a requirement to prevent misleading labeling of grain products.

    Be Transparent in Nutrition Facts Labeling

    Being informative in nutrition facts labeling is a good way to build consumer trust in brands. Consumers are using the nutrition information on packaging more frequently than in the past. An Agriculture Department study cited by the Associated Press found that 42 percent of working adults used the nutrition panel most or all the time in 2009 and 2010, up from 34 percent in the last survey. No matter what the federal requirements mandate, it is a good idea to be truthful in food labels. Food companies can also aim to be a helpful resource for consumers who are trying to eat healthier, by providing information on labels in addition to what is required. Regardless of the type of product, businesses should aim for honesty in ingredient labeling. For instance, aiming for clarity in lotion bottle labeling can also be beneficial for customers.

  • Sales Spike in Nutraceutical Labels in the New Year

    Consumers Keep An Eye On Labels After Setting New Year Weight Loss Goals

    Nutraceutical Labels and Stickers

    Nutraceutical

    Denver, CO, (January 9, 2013) - Lightning Labels, a custom label and sticker printing leader, is seeing a surge in nutraceutical label sales as businesses dive into the most popular time of year for weight loss product purchases. While shedding pounds and eating healthy consistently rank highly among America's most popular New Year's resolutions, shoppers in the U.S. are becoming more health conscious about the food, drinks and supplements they consume. 2013 is expected to also see a sustained boost in health product sales. "The nutraceuticals market has a healthy outlook for 2013 and beyond, based on growing consumer interest in overall wellness and recognition of dietary deficiencies," said Sean Moloughney, Editor, Nutraceuticals World. "U.S. supplement sales have closed in on $30 billion, according to Nutrition Business Journal, and are growing at a strong rate. Meanwhile, consumer confidence has been steady at around 85 percent in recent years, according to the Council for Responsible Nutrition. Consumers of all backgrounds and demographics are thirsty for health products."

    Lightning Labels Offers Marketing Tips for Custom Nutraceutical Labels and Stickers

    To ensure products are meeting all federal regulations, manufacturers can list product ingredients on nutraceutical labels and stickers in very small and legible type, thanks to Lightning Labels' high-resolution digital label printing. There are three strategies companies can use to design and market their nutraceutical labels and packaging that can increase sales and garner attention. 1. Labels and stickers should reflect the product. As businesses prepare their products for store shelves and online shopping outlets, marketing professionals may consider sprucing up their brand packaging to inform consumers of the healthy products that can help them achieve their personal wellness goals. Label design and font should reflect the contents of the bottle or box. For example, if products are plant-based, brands may consider using earthy hues and a flowy font that is reminiscent of flowers and vines. 2. Highlight important words and ingredients on labels and packaging. Because shoppers are looking for healthful products, manufacturers may want to bold ingredient and instruction information that contain popular weight-loss buzzwords, like "metabolism," "organic," "natural," "diet," "cleanse," "refresh" and "healthy." It's also a good idea to consider including any awards and taste-test voting results in addition to any special preparation techniques used to create the product. Lightning Labels is committed to the environment and uses green digital printing techniques, which may fit right into a healthy product's marketing campaign. 3. Customized labels and stickers are key. Colors, font and images are customizable with Lightning Labels so products and manufacturers can stay true to their brand and marketing campaign while still letting consumers know the benefits of these healthy products. it's never been so easy for companies to be recognizable and unique. When producers order labels and stickers from Lightning Labels, they will get a great unit price no matter how large or small the order. Digital printing makes creating short run custom labels very economical and helps control costs, which allows manufacturers to test new products without having to pay a major investment fee for product labeling.

    Think Beyond Food and Drink Labels

    As the wellness product market continues to expand, consumers are seeking more daily products that complement a healthy diet, from personal care and beauty enhancements to cleaning and cooking supplies. Lightning Labels' digital printing press embellishes the product with vibrant colors and sharp type to reflect the brand's quality. Whether the business needs bright hues or soft details, waterproof custom labeling materials are a great choice for packaging essential oils, herbal remedies, vitamins, herbs and other homeopathic nutraceutical products. Eco-friendly labels are also available for companies that want to practice what they preach, including high-quality label materials made out of BioStone, recycled kraft, recycled vellum and EarthFirst PLA, which can attract the attention of health-conscious prospects who want to support companies that do their part in preserving the environment. Meanwhile, full-color HP Indigo digital printing presses also create the perfect packaging design for soap labels. Lightning Labels has no setup fees and does not charge extra for access to unlimited colors. For those ready to take advantage of discounts on product labels and stickers in the New Year, Lightning Labels is offering a special New Year Sale: Take 10% off new online orders through January 18, 2013, using code NEWYEAR at checkout. The maximum discount for orders is $1,000. Free ground shipping is available on regularly priced orders shipped within the U.S. and Canada, though shipping charges apply for printed press proofs. This offer cannot be combined with any other offers or promotions. About Lightning Labels: Lightning Labels uses state-of-the-art digital printing technology to provide affordable, full-color custom labels and custom stickers of all shapes and sizes, and now offers a full line of custom packaging products. From small orders for individuals, to the bulk needs of big businesses, Lightning Labels is equipped to handle and fulfill sticker, label and product packaging projects of all types. Best of all, like the name implies, Lightning Labels provides a quick turnaround to every customers' labeling and product packaging needs. Uses for Lightning Labels custom product labels and custom stickers include food packaging and organic food labels, wine and beverage labels, bath and body labels, and nutraceutical products, such as vitamins, essentials oils, and herbal remedies, as well as event stickers, adhesive window stickers and more. Lightning Labels strongly supports the development of environmentally friendly printing materials and carries EarthFirst PLA, a new kind of green label material made from corn instead of petroleum. While operating as a high-tech printer, Lighting Labels prides itself on its personalized customer service. Lightning Labels provides one stop shopping for all of your label and product packaging needs. For more information and to place orders online, visit LightningLabels.com. For the latest in packaging news and labeling promotional offers, find Lightning Labels on FacebookTwitter (@LightningLabels), and Google+.

  • Call for Entries: TLMI Competion for Narrow Web Converters

    Tag & Label Manufacturers Institute Logo

    Deadline is June 30, 2011

    If you are a narrow web converter, then you are probably a member of the Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute (TLMI). And if you aren't, I encourage you to consider becoming one. TLMI membership offers many benefits to narrow web converters, including the privilege of entering the association's prestigious annual awards competition that is now accepting entries. The deadline to submit entries for TLMI's 34th Annual Awards Competition is June 30, 2011. Last year, there were approximately 300 entries. With the opportunity for each company to submit up to three entries per category or sub-category (there are sixty-eight this year), the odds of winning aren't too shabby.  And even if you don't win, entering the contest offers you the benefit of having your work evaluated by industry experts. For more details, download a brochure on the TLMI website.

  • Dscoop Launches Slick New Website

    Visit the New Dscoop Website

    Dscoop's new website is as as easy to use as it is easy on the eyes.

    Tailored towards members of the Digital Solutions Cooperative, a global community of HP Graphic Arts users and experts, Dscoop.org's new features include:

    • Customizable user profiles
    • Personalized news feed and digest emails
    • Discussion forums and listservs
    • Ability to edit membership directory listings
    • Integration with major social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter
    • Mobile app downloads for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Palm devices
    • A resources archive that includes past conference proceedings, Dscoop Quarterly issues, and webinars

    Continue reading

  • Lightning Labels GM Discusses His Business Philosophy in WhatTheyThink Video

    WhatTheyThink Logo

    WhatTheyThink, a  leading online news source for the printing industry, released this video interview today with Lightning Labels General Manager James Lowry. WhatTheyThink filmed James at the DSCOOP conference in Dallas earlier this year as he discussed his business philosophy, which is based on keeping business practices simple and standardized. Watch the video online here.

  • IAPHC Extends Deadline to Enter Graphic Arts Competition

    Attention graphic design firms: You still have a few days left to get your act together for the 2010 International Gallery Call for Entries if you missed the original deadline. Sponsoring organization International Association of Printing House Craftsmen (IAPHC) has extended the deadline to enter this well-known international graphic design contest to July 30.

    Formerly known as the International Gallery of Superb Printing, this is the thirty-sixth year that the IAPHC has sponsored the International Gallery Call for Entries.

    To download the Call for Entries for the graphics design competition, visit the IAPH website; or email Kevin Keane at IAPHP with a subject line of "Need CFE."

  • Denver's Fastest Growing Private Companies

    Dbj We are delighted to announce that once again, Lightning Labels has been honored as one of the fastest growing private companies in our region. The Denver Business Journal compiles this list every year, and this year was our best ever result on the list. In our revenue category (small-medium businesses with annual revenues between $3 million and $7 million) we came in 7th. To qualify for the list, the Denver Business Journal compared revenue growth from 2005 to 2007 and Lightning Labels came in at an even 150% growth during that time period. Thanks must go to all of you, our customers, for helping to make this growth possible.

  • Electronic Paper is Coming

    Last month Package Printing magazine mentioned casually in their bi-weekly email that Quantum Paper has released new electronic paper technology. Basically electronic paper is a very, very thin electronic display - as thin as a piece of paper. I think this is really big news, and I have been surprised that no one else in the printing media has picked up on it. It might be because E-Ink has beaten them to the gun, but the technology from Quantum Paper is really the next step forward. What is revolutionary about Quantum Paper's technology is that is that the display is "printed" on paper, and can actually be printed by standard printing equipment. I think this is truly amazing, and it signals the very start of a huge shift in the printing industry. I firmly believe that this is the biggest development in printing since Gutenberg. I will probably be years or decades before this technology makes it into the mainstream, but within 20 years we will all be using electronic paper.

  • Speaking at the Label Symposium

    I am delighted to have been chosen to speak at the L&NW Symposium in Milwaukee in May. The topic for my talk will be "Growing a Digital Label Printing Business from Zero to $1.5m in Three Years". This symposium is unique because all the presenters are running label printing companies, so I am expecting it will provide some real hands-on and actionable information. It is put on by Label & Narrow Web Magazine. I will be detailing some of the ways we have been able to grow Lightning Labels so fast. Of course, I won't be giving away all our secrets. If you are interested I will be happy to email you the PowerPoint presentation.

1-10 of 11

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.