Category Archive: Label Solutions

Guide to E-Liquid (E-Juice) Labeling

As e-cigarettes and vaping grow in popularity, so does competition between manufacturers. To stand out to consumers, companies that make e-liquid, or e-juice products must label them with attractive branding as well as all the necessary information required by the FDA.

Because the FDA regulates e-cigarettes and their components as tobacco products, labels must comply with these strict industry standards. Learn more about what it takes to produce effective and compliant e-liquid labeling.

Importance of Custom Labeling

Labeling is essential to attracting potential buyers of e-liquid products. Eye-catching custom labels increase brand awareness and stand out in a competitive market. The best labels visually convey to customers how the e-juice smells and tastes. As the e-cigarette industry grows, so will scrutiny by the FDA, especially regarding product labeling.

E-Liquid Labeling Requirements

E-liquid products are considered electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), a form of tobacco product. The FDA requires any tobacco product intended for the manufacture, labeling, packaging, sale, advertising, promotion, import, and distribution in the United States to be properly labeled. These regulations are meant to provide warnings and prohibit the sale of ENDS products to minors.

The FDA requires e-liquid product labels to abide by the following rules:

  • Nicotine Disclaimer: Labeling must include the statement, “WARNING: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.” The text must be at least 12 point size, highly legible, and printed in a bold font with a contrasting background. The warning should bear the exact capitalization and punctuation. It must also take up 30% of the surface of two primary display panels on the label.
  • Manufacturer/Distributor Information: Products must include the manufacturer or distributor’s name and business address on the label.
  • No Advertising to Minors: E-juice products are not meant for those under the age of 18. Therefore, labels for e-liquid bottles should not target children. Improper advertising includes those that imitate candy, fruit, cartoons, and other “kid-friendly” imagery and wording.
  • Accurate Quantity Measurements: Labeling must clearly and accurately state the weight, amount, and/or numerical count of the e-juice product. The label must also include the percentages of domestically produced tobacco and foreign grown tobacco that are in the product.
  • Domestic Sale Only: Labels for tobacco products—including packaging and shipping containers—must include the statement, “Sale only allowed in the United States.”

Considerations for E-Juice Labels

In addition to FDA regulations, there are other considerations that are important for effectively labeling your e-liquid product.

Labels must be correctly sized to contain both FDA-required information and your desired branding. Creative branding makes an impact and helps you gain long-term customers. (Note: avoid misrepresenting your product to children with colorful or cartoonish designs. Labeling should not attract consumers under 18—doing so is a sure way to get your product banned.) Colors, graphics, and logos should be consistent and recognizable throughout your product line. E-liquid labels require high-quality and uniform label materials that will not fade or smudge.

While it is possible to print e-liquid labels using DIY methods, it is not ideal. Professional printers offer a diverse range of expertise that will elevate the appearance and quality of your e-juice bottle labels. Printing labels on your own requires you to acquire and maintain your own printer, label paper, and ink. The price of your first batch of labels can easily reach $500, and this is before laminating or varnishing to keep the label protected. In contrast, partnering with a labeling professional can produce high-quality labels with a quick turnaround time and lower upfront costs.

Custom Labels from Star Label Products

Labeling e-liquid products requires close attention to FDA regulations and eye-catching, consistent branding to earn consumers’ attention and trust. At Star Label Products, we put our customers first, providing advice and support from start to finish. Our printing capabilities allow us to create vibrant labels that will stand the test of time and help your product jump out among the competition. We also promise the fastest lead times in the industry.

Contact us to learn more about our custom label printing services.

An Intro to Custom Printed Flexible Packaging

What Is Flexible Packaging?

What Is Flexible Packaging(Click to Expand)

Flexible packaging refers to packaging materials made from non-rigid materials, such as paper, plastic, and foil. This packaging solution is highly versatile as a variety of containers can be created to suit different products, including bags and pouches. Additionally, the containers can be customized to various functional and aesthetic requirements, ensuring they exactly meet the needs of the customer.

Give Your Brand An Advantage: Benefits of Using Flexible Packaging

There are many benefits to using flexible packaging. For example:

  • It extends the shelf life of products. If the right design and material are chosen, flexible packaging containers can maintain the temperature, moisture, and/or oxygen levels required to keep packaged goods fresh. This ability is especially important for food and beverage products.
  • It offers better portability, usability, and reusability. Flexible packaging containers come with various design options, such as the ability to reseal. These features can improve the customer experience, increasing the chance that they will repurchase the product.
  • It requires less water and energy to produce. Since flexible packaging is made using less water and energy than rigid packaging, it can be considered a greener packaging option.
  • It enhances the shelf appeal of products. The broad range of packaging designs and customization options enables flexible packaging containers to be optimized for shelf appeal, which improves the likelihood of the product catching the eye of potential customers.
  • It reduces shipping and handling costs. Flexible packaging containers are generally lighter than comparable rigid packaging containers, making them easier and, consequently, cheaper to handle and ship.

Finding the Right Fit: Types of Flexible Packaging

Flexible packaging is available in various designs, materials, and sizes. It also comes in formed (pre-shaped containers ready for in-house filled and sealing operations) and unformed (rolls of materials intended to be sent to co-packers for forming, filling, and sealing) configurations. Examples of flexible packaging containers include stock bags, pouches, sachets, and printed roll stock.

Flexible Packaging vs. Rigid Packaging

Both flexible packaging and rigid packaging are widely used by product manufacturers. The key difference between them is that flexible packaging is made from materials that can be easily bent without risk of breaking, while rigid packaging is made from materials that cannot be easily bent without risk of breaking. This material difference makes flexible packaging better suited for products that require durable, portable, and lightweight containers and rigid packaging better suited for products that require highly protective containers. Typical products packaged in flexible packaging containers include chips, milk, frozen food, biscuits, bread, sour cream, and yogurt. Typical products packaged in rigid packaging containers include aerosols sprays, soups, water, laundry detergent, liquor, and perfumes.

Ensure Your Product Stands Out on the Shelves With Star Label Products

The customizability of flexible packaging enables you to tailor your containers to suit your exact functional and aesthetic needs. However, it is important to partner with an experienced flexible packaging manufacturer to ensure they have the knowledge and skills to produce them to your specifications and standards.

At Star Label Products, we are one of a handful of label manufacturers that offer flexible packaging solutions. Our in-housing printing capabilities allow us to create custom printed flexible packaging roll stock that is co-packer ready. If you need a co-packer recommendation for form and filling operations, we have an extensive list of reliable companies we trust. We can act as a liaison between you and the co-packer, including directly shipping the printed rolls to them for streamlined operations.

Typical products for which we provide flexible packaging solutions include:

If you’re looking for a single-source provider of custom flexible packaging solutions, contact us today. Our free sample packets ensure you find the solution that is perfect for you, while our 1-2 week turnaround time makes certain you receive your solution quickly.

A Guide to Custom Labels

custom labels

Product labels serve different functions depending on the interested party—e.g., supplier vs. consumer. For product manufacturers and distributors, they enable them to differentiate between different items within a line, convey product information, and market their company’s brand to consumers. However, how a label is designed and manufactured significantly impacts how effective it is at performing the above functions. For this reason, many companies use custom labels when manufacturing and marketing their products.

Custom labels are a way to ensure a product—and its important information—is easily identifiable by consumers. They also allow industry professionals to customize the design of the product’s packaging—such as the graphics, textures, and finishes—to suit their brand’s aesthetic. While many industries use custom labels for their products, ranging from cosmetics and personal care products to cannabis and craft beers, ensuring they stand out in the marketplace often necessitates partnering with an experienced and knowledgeable service provider with superior graphic services.

The following article provides an overview of custom labels, covering how to make a custom label stand out, key manufacturing processes, and typical applications.

Key Design Considerations for Custom Labels

When designing custom labels for products, there is no one-size-fits-all format that will ensure the products catch a consumer’s eye. However, there are several design elements to consider that make a label more compelling and appealing, both in the in-store and online markets. Some of the design considerations to keep in mind are:

1. Material

The first step in designing a label is choosing a material. The material selected sets a tone and limitations for all other design elements. For example, an opaque white material offers considerable design freedom as it can be colored over or left as is for the graphics and texts, while a clear material highlights a product’s internal contents. 

2. Color

The choice of color can draw attention to a product, increasing the likelihood of a consumer picking it up. Additionally, label colors that contrast with those of competing products make it easy for consumers to distinguish a product on a retail shelf or web page.

When choosing a color, it’s important to consider the overall package. The colors of the label should work with the colors of the packaging and the product contents. Otherwise, the product as a whole may be less visually attractive.

3. Graphics

Similar to color, graphics affect the overall effectiveness of a label. Graphics that are visually appealing attract more consumer attention. Additionally, if well-designed, they can reduce the amount of text required to convey the necessary product and brand information, resulting in a more streamlined and polished label design.  

4. Font

The font chosen for a label is critical. It must draw attention from consumers without sacrificing readability. When selecting one, you should avoid both overly common fonts and overly decorative fonts. You may also choose to invest in a custom font that fits your brand’s aesthetic taste.

5. Finish

The finish of a label largely depends on your company’s taste and the effect you want to achieve. Both glossy and matte finishes offer their own advantages; the reflective and shiny look of a glossy finish adds impact, while the subdued look of a matte finish makes for a simpler and more classic look.

6. Size

The size of a product label should correspond with other aspects of the product’s packaging, including the size and shape of the packaging container. For example, for large round containers, you may use either one wraparound label or individual smaller labels for the front and back sides. Regardless of which option you choose, it is important to keep the branding information centered in the front as it is what draws consumer attention to your product.

7. Shape

In addition to color, graphics, and text font, consumers take notice of a label’s shape. Unusually and interestingly shaped labels are more recognizable and memorable. Alternatively, you can use color to mimic the effect of a custom shaped label by printing the shape on clear material.

8. Theme

Product lines with multiple variations—e.g., different flavors—should have labels with consistent design themes. While each label should clearly identify the variation, it should be easy for the consumer to recognize all variations as belonging to the same line.

9. Contact Information

Labels are multi-functional. In addition to attracting attention from consumers, they serve as a method of putting your brand out there. You should capitalize on the advertising space provided by product labels by adding contact information—such as a phone number or website—that allows consumers to interact with you directly if desired.

5 Processes Used to Create High-Quality Custom Labels

Industry professionals employ a variety of different processes to manufacture labels. When creating high-quality custom labels, five of the most commonly used methods are:

1. Flexographic Printing

Flexographic printing is a high-speed rotary printing process that uses a flexible printing plate to transfer ink—including metallics, pastels, and opaque whites—to various substrates. It offers fast and efficient printing, including for large swathes of color and on non-porous materials, in low to high volume production runs.

2. Digital Printing

Compared to traditional printing methods, the digital printing process offers greater precision and accuracy with shorter lead times and lower costs. It employs digital software and printing equipment—such as an HP Indigo digital press—to produce high-resolution images and text. As it does not require conventional printing plates and physical inking, it comes with much lower material and labor costs. 

Additionally, its use of digital design software allows you to make alterations to a label’s design, at little to no additional cost, to meet changing needs. Altogether, these qualities make the process suitable for prototyping and small-medium volume runs.

3. Extended Content Label Production

Extended content labels are used for products that have a significant amount of information that needs to be conveyed to consumers, such as pharmaceutical products. They feature multiple layers, providing a larger surface area on which text and graphics can be printed.

4. Embellishment

Embellishment operations allow you to customize your label further to improve its effectiveness. For example, you can laminate the label which increases its durability and longevity while adding textures and finishes that help it stand out. Some examples are leather, linen, and soft touch (silky). 

5. Thermal, Laser, and Dot Matrix Printing

Some applications require labels with variable information, meaning each label features different information from every other label in the roll. One example is “best by” labels. For these situations, thermal printing, laser printing, and dot-matrix printing all serve as an ideal solution. These processes accommodate and apply a variety of ink colors to specified areas of a label, allowing for information to be added as needed.

Regardless of the type of label manufacturing method employed, having a design file for your label ready significantly facilitates production operations and better ensures the final product meets your exact specifications. 

For assistance preparing a design file, see our How to Prepare an Art File page.

Applications of Custom Labels

Custom labels find application in a wide range of industries. At Star Label Products, we have extensive experience designing and delivering the following types:

Custom Cannabis Labels

Recent legalization efforts have led to a growing market for cannabis-infused products. While legal standings vary from state to state, for areas where cannabis products are allowed, the industry carries specific guidelines on what information should be included on product labels. Key factors include strain name, date tested, lab name and test confirmation number, net weight in grams, CBD percentage, and THC percentage. How this information should be displayed, however, depends on the state. Non-compliance with the state’s requirements can lead to the product being pulled from the shelves.  

If you want to bring a new cannabis product to market, turn to the experts at Star Label Products. We can produce cost-effective custom cannabis labels that showcase your products and comply with all applicable federal and state requirements. As cannabis industry regulations are constantly changing, our digital printing capabilities—which accommodate prototyping and short-run projects—make us the ideal partner. We also offer flexographic printing capabilities for longer runs. Some of the cannabis products we regularly make labels for include flower, edibles, tinctures, oil, topicals, and more.

Custom Cosmetic Labels and Custom Personal Care Product Labels

Our design and printing capabilities—including UV flexographic printing, digital printing, and rotary screen printing—accommodate a wide range of cosmetic and personal care product label needs. Equipped with over 40 years of printing experience, our expert team has the knowledge and skills to produce high-quality, durable, and eye-catching labels that suit your company’s aesthetic and all applicable industry requirements. 

We provide labels in a variety of materials, designs, shapes, and colors to suit different cosmetic and personal care products, including eye shadow, lipstick, nail polish, shampoo, and soap.

Custom Craft Beer Labels

The popularity of craft beer is rising, and with it comes a growing demand for craft beer bottle labels. For new and existing craft breweries, our digital printing services are an ideal solution for their beer label needs. We offer a variety of face stock and adhesive options to produce attractive and long-lasting digitally printed custom labels for bottles and cans at a low cost. Each label features all pertinent brand and government-mandated information (e.g., alcohol content and surgeon general warning)

Custom Food Labels and Custom Beverage Labels

For food and beverages, labels often serve as the first point of contact between the product and the consumer. The quality of the design can spell the difference between a successful product and a failed product. If the label does not convey the necessary product information (as dictated by the FDA) or establish an adequate understanding of your brand in the consumer, there is a much lower risk of a repeat purchase.

By working with us, you can guarantee your custom food or beverage labels comply with FDA guidelines and showcase your brand. We accommodate a variety of food and beverage products—including dairy, candies, condiments, dressings, meat and seafood, pastries, soups and stews, and more—with our digital label printing, flexographic printing, and embellishment processes.

Custom Household Product Labels

The two main challenges faced when producing labels for household goods are the nature of the products (i.e., the product ingredients degrade the label) and the irregularly shaped product packaging (i.e., the packaging shape prevents the label from adequately adhering).

At Star Label Products, our digital printing, UV flexographic printing, and extended content label production methods overcome both of these challenges. We produce high-quality labels for a variety of household products, such as all-purpose, specialty, and floor and furniture cleaners.

Custom Pharmaceutical Labels and Custom Nutraceutical Labels

Like many products intended for human consumption, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products come with strict packaging and labeling requirements. Our in-depth knowledge of the standards and best practices of both industries enables us to design, develop, and deliver compliant custom labels for their many products, such as medicines, supplements, and vitamins.  

Custom Promotional Labels

Promotional labels are marketing materials used to draw additional attention to products without making changes to their packaging. Equipped with an adhesive backing, they can be easily applied when needed.

Our team is well-versed in the design and production of these labels. Regardless of the simplicity or complexity of the design, if you need a custom promotional label, we can produce it to your exact specifications.

Custom Proposition 65 Warning Labels

Proposition 65 refers to the Safe Drinking and Toxic Enforcement act—also known as the “right to know” law. Effective as of 1986, it dictates that California-based businesses with 10 or more employees must provide “clear and reasonable” warnings regarding exposure to compounds that can cause birth defects, cancer, or reproductive issues. Ultimately, the law aims to prevent California residents from ingesting water that may contain these substances. As such, any company that manufactures, distributes, or sells products in California must have compliant product labels.

The Star Label Products team is well aware of the label requirements outlined by the law. We can produce full-color custom prop 65 labels in a variety of materials and sizes, either as a standalone solution or by integrating the warning into an existing design.

Custom Security Labels

Security labels protect products from tampering, counterfeiting, and illegal handling. Our high-quality security label solutions defend your consumers and your brand’s integrity. We can print your labels with custom barcodes, text, or serial numbers as needed. Microtext and invisible ink are just two additional examples of how Star Label Products can offer increased security for your products. 

Custom UL/CSA Labels

UL and CSA labels identify a product as in compliance with UL standards and CSA standards, respectively. At Star Label Products, we are authorized to print UL registered certification marks for products that meet UL standards. We also supply blank UL recognized labels so you can print your own labels in-house. All of our UL and CSA labels are designed and constructed to UL and CSA standards.

Help Your Custom Labels Stand Out With Our Superior Graphic Services

In addition to our label manufacturing capabilities, we also provide graphic services to help customers develop a label design that meets their exact needs. Armed with extensive experience and state-of-the-art design software and hardware, our graphics department is well-equipped to produce artwork for any label application.

Partner With Star Label Products for High-Quality Custom Label Solutions

At Star Label Products, we design and deliver high-quality custom labels for a wide range of industries. By partnering with us for your custom label needs, you benefit from our:

  • Over four decades of industry experience
  • Extensive label manufacturing services, including design assistance, printing, and the addition of embellishment techniques 
  • A broad range of material, color, size, and other label customization options

To find out more about our custom label capabilities or request a quote, contact us today.

5 Tips For Perfect CBD Product Labels

CBD and hemp-derived products contain no THC (the psychoactive component found in cannabis) so there are no hallucinogenic effects felt by the user. This area of the cannabis industry continues to grow as its applications for both medicinal and recreational uses expand. Rules and regulations surrounding these cannabis products are constantly evolving. It is the responsibility of the producer and seller to ensure product compliance. Working with Star Label Products on your cannabis project will allow you to represent your brand in both an attractive and compliant manner.

5 Tips For Perfect CBD Product Labels

Prior to production, it is important that brand owners verify that their product labels comply with local and federal laws. The 5 tips below are a great starting point for you and your brand!

1. Intended Use

What kind of CBD product is it? Is it a drug or dietary supplement? All of this determines the CBD product’s legality and should therefore be included on all CBD product labels.

2. CBD Content

This information will be displayed on the nutrition facts panel for food and beverage CBD labels, and will be listed under the supplement facts for other types of CBD products. CBD content must be listed as per serving.

3. Volume or Amount

You must be clear about how much of the product is inside of the package. Information such as net weight or count needs to be included depending on the type of CBD product that you are packaging. CBD brands should refer to their local and federal guidelines to ensure compliance.

4. Accurate Item Description

Always make sure that you’re including every bit of important information that the user should know about. Transparency is essential (and regulated!) in the cannabis industry. The greater the transparency offered to consumers, the more revered the cannabis brand will be for being open and honest about their products.

5. Zero Unprovable Claims

Avoid making any medical claims that suggest your product can treat life-threatening illnesses or other ailments. Congress has made it their mission to eliminate this bad practice from the industry, as these claims have not yet been tested and proven to be true.

Star Label Products Can Help

When you decide to work with Star Label Products, not only do you receive perfectly printed labels that bring your brand to life–you get top notch customer service as well. Our customer service team is here to serve you! We pride ourselves on our rapid response times and ability to turn jobs around for customers in record time. Our digital and flexographic printing capabilities make us a great fit for you no matter the size of your business. We can handle it all!

Visit our website at and submit a quote request to get started. One of our customer service representatives will reach out to you shortly after submission.

We look forward to serving you and watching your brand grow!

CBD product labels

Beauty Box Subscriptions and Product Sample Pouches Gain Popularity – Have You Tried Them?

Around the web and across social networks, it’s increasingly common to find companies and sites devoted to distributing free product samples, or selling monthly beauty box subscriptions. The idea is that by allowing consumers to “try before you buy,” brands can gain more exposure for their products. This is especially common for personal care items, including shampoo, conditioner, lotions, and other cosmetics.


The products come in convenient sample pouches, or sachets. They can be attached to a full size product on display (such as a packet of conditioner hanging from the neck of a shampoo bottle); they can be mailed directly to interested prospects; or they can be included in subscription boxes that contain samples of different products according to a person’s interests. Sometimes, you’ll even find tandem sample pouches that are attached side-by-side, which is common for new lines of shampoo and conditioner.

But a product sample can only go so far without proper branding. Without recognizable colors and logos, customers might forget which product samples they preferred by the time they get to the local store. For this reason, it’s important to maintain consistency between regular-sized products’ labels, and their smaller sample pouch counterparts. At Star Label Products, we not only print traditional product labels; we also supply flexible packaging options. We print company branding onto flat film, and then send it off for co-packing, where it is formed, filled and heat sealed into the finished pouch. By having a co-packing partner, we’re saving our customers’ time and taking one more task off their to-do list.

To learn more about our production capabilities, please visit us online or contact uswith your specific requirements. We look forward to hearing from you!

Instant Redeemable Coupons Benefit Shoppers, Retailers, and Brands

As you browse through the aisles of your local supermarket or convenience store, you’re bound to see at least a few products with a special bonus attached – an instant redeemable coupon (IRC). These coupons can be removed from a product at the time of the sale and discounted right from the register.

For consumer brands, IRCs are appealing because they can be used for product promotion as well as moving out old inventory. If a food or beverage lot is approaching expiration, rather than risk the loss of that entire group, attaching IRCs motivates shoppers to buy those specific items while they are still fit to be consumed. Other products that must be used within a certain time-period, including disposable contact lenses and medical supplies such as diabetes testing strips, can also benefit from IRCs that get them off shelves and into shopping carts.

For products that can pose a challenge for common adhesives, such as frozen and refrigerated goods, special low temperature, moisture-resistant adhesives secure the carrier to the product. And when a coupon is removed from the carrier, the coupon itself doesn’t have any sticky glue attached, making it easy to handle and store for retailers that then send the coupons back to a processing center for reimbursement.

Another benefit of having the IRC carrier still attached to the product packaging is that when the coupon is removed, brands can have special messages or logos printed in the carrier. This can enhance brand recognition, and can be used to direct customers to other company assets, including web sites and social media accounts.

For more information about instant redeemable coupon printing and applications, feel free to contact Star Label Products and request a quote.

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.


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.

Why Supporting American Manufacturing is More Important Than Ever

With Manufacturing Day finally here, and Manufacturing Month continuing through October, there’s no better time to reflect of the importance of Made in America products and services. Keeping jobs onshore, and reshoring ones that have left are making for a stronger economic recovery as more people are able to get back to work.

Additionally, by keeping production within our borders, we’re better able to ensure that products and materials meet certain safety requirements. This is especially important for areas like food production. Having close access to facilities means that managers can frequently make trips to inspect equipment and shop conditions, while making sure that food is properly prepared and safe for consumption.

When most people think of manufacturing, they might first think of heavy machinery like cars and airplanes. But just look in your pantry and imagine all of the work that went into getting that food onto your shelves. The food itself was likely weighed, sorted, and cleaned by high-tech instruments. Then, it was moved to a filling station (the packaging containers were also produced somewhere, after all) before being labeled, sealed, and sent off for shipping. Each step plays a vital role, and together we all represent American manufacturers working hard to put quality products into the hands of our customers.

By supplying labels to numerous industries in the United States, Star Label is doing our part and contributing to American production. Separately, we each make a difference to our local economies and workforce. Together, we’re building up an entire country, one job at a time.

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.


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.