Posted by Star Label on | Comments Off on A Guide to 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Posted by Star Label on | Comments Off on 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!
Posted by Star Label on | Comments Off on 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.
Posted by Star Label on | Comments Off on 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.
Posted by Star Label on | Comments Off on 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.
Posted by Star Label on | Comments Off on 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.
Posted by Star Label on | Comments Off on 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.
Posted by Star Label on | Comments Off on What Goes into an Ineffective Private Label Design?
In striving for an effective private label design, it is also important to consider what makes for an ineffective private label design. The number one misstep to avoid is making the label too busy. This can result in confusion, and can cause customers to question what exactly your product is. There’s a fine line between intriguing and confusing, and it’s the difference between stopping busy shoppers in their tracks and sending them in the other direction.
It’s also important that your label designer be aware of all necessary regulatory requirements. There are rules governing everything from minimum font sizes for pharmaceutical and food items, to the proper way to lay out a nutrition fact label. These regulations are ever changing, and it’s inherent that your designer always be knowledgeable on the most up-to-date requirements.
Lastly, it’s imperative that your label be printable. A design may look great on a computer monitor, but if it can’t be manufactured then there’s not much you can do with it. At Star Label our production graphic artists are excellent designers, and they’re experts at achieving the best results with our printing processes. Even if our customers supply their own designs, we’ll preflight the design files to make sure we can print them. If there are elements that don’t work, such as a font that’s too small or a logo that’s too close to the edge of the label, we’ll work with our customers to modify the design and make it printable. If you’re curious about how to prepare an art file, visit our website: https://www.starlabel.com/how-to-prepare-an-art-file.html.
An effective private label design will entice your customers to pick your product up off the shelf. By working with a designer that helps you avoid common pitfalls and adhere to all the necessary regulatory requirements, you can rest assured that your design is working for you and not against you.
Posted by Star Label on | Comments Off on What Goes into an Effective Private Label Design?
When it comes to retail products, there’s limited shelf space and a whole lot of competition. With dozens of products that seem to do the same thing, how do you get a shopper to pick up yours? Different labeling effects and decorating techniques can help do the trick.
The ultimate goal is to get a shopper to pick your product up off the shelf. One way to accomplish this is by using tactile varnishes on your label. Whether it’s raised dots of varnish that look like braille, or soft touch plastics that feel like suede, interesting textures will help intrigue customers and encourage them to grab your product and feel it for themselves.
Iridescent and holographic films are also effective. By changing colors as customers walk by, they can catch customers’ eyes and cause them to look in the direction of your product. Your entire label can be made of these light bending films, or they can be used sparingly as one element of the overall label design.
Another strategy that many private label manufacturers have employed with great success is the inclusion of IRCs—instant redeemable coupons—with their products. These are separate labels that easily peel off of your product, offering shoppers instant savings. Many times this technique is used in conjunction with bundling, whereby a manufacturer will package one product with another related product. Often times this is done to promote a new item, such as shrink wrapping a new shaving gel with a package of razors, or a small stick of deodorant with a bottle of body wash.
Be sure to come back for our next blog, where we look at what goes into an ineffective label design.
Posted by Star Label on | Comments Off on Challenges in Label Design – Shampoo Bottles
One of the most challenging products to label is, believe it or not, a shampoo bottle. The beginning considerations are pretty basic: What kind of plastic is the bottle made of? Is it a fully squeezable bottle? Semi-squeezable? Fully rigid? This lets us know how flexible the label needs to be.
The real challenge comes from silicone. You know those sticker sheets you used to get as a kid where the stickers would peel easily off of that smooth, white paper? The reason the stickers came off so easily is because the paper was silicone treated. Plastic shampoo bottles are typically made through a process known as plastic injection molding, where liquid plastic is injected into a mold hollowed into the desired shampoo bottle shape. To get the finished bottles to release from the molds faster, shops often coat the molds with a silicon release agent, similar to the one used on sticker sheets. This release agent winds up coating the bottles as well.
As you can imagine, a coating designed for easy release makes it difficult for a label to adhere. Some bottles are flame treated, a process that burns off the silicone without melting the bottle. Flame treated bottles are much easier to label. Sometimes however, the silicone release agent is actually mixed into the plastic itself, so flame treating it away simply isn’t an option.
Don’t get us wrong, we can supply a label for each of these scenarios. It’s simply a matter of knowing what we’re up against so we can provide a label that’s up to the task. That’s why we ask the questions we do. Most companies don’t know how their bottles are made, but a quick inquiry to their manufacturer can save rounds of failed label designs.