Category Archive: Digital Printing

Custom Digital Labels and Your Application

The Many Uses of a Custom Digital Label

Consumer product labels need to entice customers with attractive graphics while complying with information and disclaimer requirements from regulatory agencies. As such, companies must have control over the labeling process—especially if the business offers a wide range of specialty products. A custom digital label provides the level of design flexibility and control necessary to create appealing labels that comply with local, federal, and/or international regulations.

Modern printing technologies and materials let you harness virtually all PANTONE® colors for product marketing. Digital templates and version control also let you print small runs of labels so your products are compliant in every state and after every regulatory change.

Great labels are essential for every industry. The following specialty industries see immense benefits from custom digital labels.

Cannabis Labels

If there’s any sector that’s hard to put a label on, it’s the cannabis industry. Every state with decriminalization, medical, or recreational legalization laws on the books also has a lot of fine-print that producers must navigate successfully. At a bare minimum, the product labels on cannabis products need to include:

  • Marijuana strain name
  • Net weight in grams
  • Percentages of THC and CBD
  • The lab name, test confirmation number, and the date of testing

Different states and products come with additional labeling requirements and cannabis producers need different runs of labels for each one. Because of the track and trace requirement, these businesses must also produce small batches of labels per shipment of unprocessed materials. Digital printing can cut down on the cost of small or changing label prints.

Labels provide more than the technical details, however. Your company needs to cultivate a loyal following for your brand. Some companies use flashy graphics while others offer helpful information for first-time consumers. Digital labels can support a wide variety of marketing methodologies.

Safety is another consideration for consumable and medical cannabis labels. While users have a responsibility to keep what they buy safely out of unauthorized hands, your company may have some degree of product liability without proper warnings and safety measure in place. Suppliers can opt for labels that are tamper-evident and child-proof for product containers, mitigating some of the risks.

custom cannabis digital labels

Cosmetic Label Printing

Cosmetics come in all shapes and sizes, so cosmetic labels need to do the same thing. Nail polish bottles are often designed with vivid colors on the clear label material. Lipsticks need clear color designations and codes on the bottom of each tube. With digital labels for cosmetics, your company can control everything from the materials to the glossiness of the finish on product packaging.

Cosmetics often need to sell themselves as a luxury good. This requires great branding, quality components, and appealing visual experience. Also, every cosmetic product needs to market itself as something unique that stands out from its competitors. Custom cosmetic labels let your team control:

  • The shape. Cosmetic goods come in a wide array of containers. The labels often need to cleanly wrap around a container. Other fronts- and back-facing labels should mirror the outline of the container’s shape.
  • Adhesion. Many labels need to stick directly onto cosmetic containers and need to last the lifetime of the product. Other labels may have tamper-evident features.
  • Regulatory requirements. Many cosmetics toe the line between pharmaceutical and consumable products. Their labels need to include details such as ingredients, directions, and safety cautions and warnings. Make sure all labels say what they need to according to state, federal, and industrial requirements. Organic and fair trade products carry their own labeling considerations.

Once the label is printed on our digital printer, make it pop with a high-gloss or matte finish. Additional embellishment techniques are available as well. Cosmetics are a highly competitive industry, and goods could be fighting for shelf space with competitors that look nearly identical. Every detail matters and every detail is delivered with custom digital labels.

custom cosmetic digital labels

Craft Beer Labels

There’s not much room on beer cans and bottles, but craft brewers need to use this space optimally to feature their brands. Our graphics teams can help you make the most of the space with high-contrast fonts, graphics, and color choices. Digital printing software also lets you fine-tune details down to the last pixel. When your labels are ready to print, our high-quality digital printers make sure the labels are just as crisp as the beer.

  • Beer cans

We can print your beverage labels on optically clear material, which creates a “no-label-look”, making it appear like the graphics are printed directly onto the can. We also offer digital printing services with a wide range of colors to support labels that stand out in the craft beer market.

Our digital print runs also come in custom order sizes so you can test new beers, seasonal productions, and support other niche marketing initiatives. If you produce small runs of craft beer in cans, we can print pressure-sensitive labels that strike the perfect middle ground between pre-printed cans (which require large orders and long lead times) and shrink sleeves that require costly application equipment.

  • Beer bottles

For craft beers in bottles, beverage label printing offers a wide variety of options. You can create custom labels around the body of the bottle and then another signature label around the bottle’s neck. Even bottle caps can be given a unique image so you capture every inch of the surface for great marketing.

Custom Beer Labels

Food Product Labels

Food and beverage products need labels that catch a consumer’s attention. Clear images and crisply designed elements make food products more appetizing. As food consumers become more invested in choosing organic, fair trade, and specially sourced items, your labels need to broadcast that information at a glance.

Just as consumers want to know more about their food before they buy it, the FDA requires food manufacturers to disclose a substantial amount of information on every label. We provide digital label printing so you can display that information with the most enticing visuals. Missing details or improper product descriptions can result in costly recalls under some FDA stipulations. Star Label Products can help guide your label creation and custom food labels to give you peace of mind.

custom food labels

Pharmaceutical Labels

In the pharmaceutical industry, accurate labeling is everything. Your products’ labels are subject to scrutiny from the FDA and potentially dozens of other regulatory bodies depending on what is being packaged and where it is being sold. To help protect pharmaceutical manufacturers, Star Label Products has built a digital label printing process specifically for pharmaceuticals that is designed for quality assurance and precision.

After each print, our machines rewind and inspect the labels to ensure the information is clear and that it matches the approved content. Our Quality Assurance process uses the world’s most accurate inspection system because we know how important it is to your company and customers.

Pharmaceutical labels need more than accuracy, however. They must also engage their target market and be approachable for new users. Digital printing lets you do the most with images and crisp text on:

  • Clear adhesive labels.
  • Multi-Ply and double-sided labels.
  • Specialty Materials

custom pharmaceutical labels

Star Label Products Premiere Digital Label Printer

Digital printing starts at the computer and with great designers. Our experienced graphic design team can create perfect graphics and layouts that grab the attention of your target market. Digital printing offers pressure sensitive labels that can be printed in smaller batches without plates or traditional inking processes.

At Star Label Products, our printing process is unique. We use HP Indigo Digital Printers so your labels only require a single pass through our press. Even better, HP Indigo digital printers use electrically charged inks that offer accurate PANTONE® 6- and 7-color emulations. Many print service providers struggle to accurately hit color targets consistently. With Star Label Products, you do not need to worry about color consistency. Your colors will always remain the same order after order with Star Label Products.

Digital printing is the go-to solution for small runs of labels or tight deadlines. Digital labels also give products high-resolution text and graphics. When your products need reliable, long-lasting labels that meet regulatory requirements without sacrificing aesthetics or design elements, please contact us.

A Recap of the Natural Products Expo East This Fall

This year, as in many years past, Star Label’s VP of Sales Irv Magill attended the Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore, Maryland. As always, the show featured all natural and organic food, healthcare products, cosmetic and personal care brands, cleaning supplies and more. This year, there were many new companies eager to demonstrate their wares. And Irv was on hand to discuss how best to package them.

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Digitally printed pressure labels and pouches seemed to be the major packaging trends this year. By attending the show and visiting exhibition booths, we were able to see which packaging methods are currently being used by emerging companies, and suggest alternatives that might better serve their needs. For example, digital printing offers us the opportunity to create very high quality graphics in an inexpensive way compared to other options.

In addition to networking and building connections, the Natural Products Expo also featured numerous events for attendees. There was an Organic Harvest Festival, the Natural Products Association East’s annual meeting, a New Products Showcase Award, The Women in Naturals Networking Event, and much more.

The event also included informational sessions for new brands as they continue to navigate the hurdles of maintaining an organic consumer product business. There was even a packaging component that centered on how to leverage branding and packaging to grow sales, along with an opportunity for companies to have their current packaging reviewed and critiqued.

All in all, it was a successful natural product event that exposed our brand to many new prospects in the organic product industry. You can learn more about the event online, or follow up with us on how to improve your current packaging for natural products.

Labeling Tech – The Flexibility of Digital Printing: Part 2

In “The Flexibility of Digital Printing: Part 1” we looked at conventional printing, weighing the greater upfront cost and setup time against the faster printing speed. Now that we have an understanding of conventional printing, we’re ready to explore the benefits of digital printing

Digital printing does not require the use of printing plates, which eliminates the cost and time required to produce those plates. What’s more, there’s no need to setup the plates in the press before printing. All of this means that you can go from finalizing your design to printing labels in less time for less money.

This all adds up to one thing: flexibility. Companies can make small changes to their label design without worrying about an initial investment. So for Breast Cancer Awareness month they can add a pink ribbon to their label. Or for the Super Bowl they can add on a special design. The same goes for holidays. Customers can print small label runs without worrying that they’re not making the most of an initial investment.

Digital printing is an ideal choice for product launches. Let’s take, for example, a beverage company looking to introduce five new flavors. Unfortunately there’s no crystal ball that can predict what will be a hit and what will flop. So after a few months on store shelves the company finds that there just isn’t a market for flavor number 4, but flavor number 2 was a bigger hit than they ever could have predicted. With digital printing, they’re not sitting on a stock of 200,000 flavor 4 labels that they printed to get the lowest price per piece. Instead, they were able to place those initial orders in much smaller quantities, and can now adjust numbers for future orders with ease.

As we mentioned in Part 1, the limitations of digital printing are being pushed further and further at a remarkable speed. There’s a common misconception that digital printing is only cost effective for very small print runs, a misconception we’ve disproved with our new HP Indigo WS6600 Digital Press. We’re evaluating every job to determine the best option for our customers. There’s a crossover point where conventional printing becomes more cost effective than digital printing. That crossover point is being pushed further back every day.

Every product has a life cycle. Making changes to your label design and taking advantage of holidays and special events can help extend that life cycle. Digital printing also allows you to easily incorporate something new into a tried-and-true design, such as adding social media icons to a label, a request we’re receiving more and more often. Digital printing gives you what you want, how you want it, when you need it. Our new HP digital press has enhanced our digital printing capabilities, allowing us to offer our customers labeling solutions that take advantage of the very best the technology has to offer.

Labeling Tech – The Flexibility of Digital Printing: Part 1

We recently enhanced our digital printing capabilities with the purchase of a brand new HP Indigo WS6600 Digital Press. Digital printing is a technology that continues to evolve. With this new press, we’re astounded at the jobs we can print digitally, jobs that would not have been cost effective to run on a digital printer even a year ago.

Before we talk about what digital printing can accomplish, we first need to talk about conventional label printing. And before we begin that discussion, we’d like to make one important note: digital printing and conventional printing each have their own benefits, but neither is a replacement for the other. Both processes have a place in offering a comprehensive array of label solutions.

hp-indigo-ws6600-digital-press

Conventional printing involves an upfront investment in printing plates. Let’s examine a hypothetical label. We’ll say that this label has three separate items. These items can be anything from a star or a swirl, to a picture of a basketball. We’ll also say that each of these three items is comprised of four process colors (cyan, magenta, yellow and black). To print this label, we would need to make a photopolymer image printing plate for each of the four colors. That brings us to four plates, each with a one-time cost to manufacture. Now multiply that by 5 product variations, each with its own label, and suddenly you’re up to 20 plates. Once the plates are made, they’re yours.

Conventional printing takes more time to setup than digital printing. But once the process is up and running, conventional printing is faster. One element of a project’s cost is the time it takes to print. So for a large run, the time saved outweighs the initial cost of plates, making conventional printing the more cost effective choice.

Check back for Part 2, where we’ll take a look at how digital printing differs from conventional printing, and go into some applications that are ideally suited for the digital press.