Upgrading Water Wash Plates Again!

Upgrading Water Wash Plates Again!

Help From our Friends

Our printing plates have been made with a water wash system since 2016. We were recognized for our eco friendly business practices for this move. Recently, the machine that makes these plates had an electrical issue. Thankfully, we were able to buy a backup machine from a friend in California. The timing couldn’t have worked out better, and it is a reminder of why the label industry is so special – people really pull together to help each other.

Since we were upgrading to a newer version of the machine, we took this time to clean up the room that houses the machine. Having a clean, bright environment is vital to getting the highest quality printing plates on press.

Quick Delivery — Minimal Downtime

Because our friends already had the machine ready for sale, they were able to get it on a truck within 24 hours. What started out as a plea to borrow a few parts turned into a full upgrade of our system. The timing couldn’t have been better. And, since our production manager, Jim, had worked with the California company in the past and has a very solid reputation, they shipped the unit to us immediately. It pays to have a solid reputation in the printing industry. You never know when you will need help from your friends.

APR to the Rescue

Even with the machine here in our building, we still needed the factory technician to come in from Chicago to help install it. All Print Resources (APR) came to our rescue and helped us get back up and running in record time. What a comforting feeling to have a partner like APR. Check this recent case study in an industry magazine to learn more about our partnership with APR.

Thank You Team

This was a stressful time at Rose City Label, but our team worked together and got the job done – with no disruption to our customers. We have a newer, fully calibrated and optimized plate maker and we are ready to help more customers with amazing labels. Thank your team!

Digital File Problems to Avoid

Digital File Problems to Avoid

FIRST Logo Small

Certified Professionals

Our success at Rose City Label is due to the quality of our people.  The people that do the work in our business every day are dedicated, experienced, and committed to our customers.  Our job – as a business – is to provide them the tools, training, and motivation to be excellent at their jobs.  Part of that effort includes ongoing training and certifications.  In the last year, our prepress graphics team was Level 3 certified by FIRST – the leading authority in our type of long run, traditional press printing.  This certification was largely a review, but also had good reminders about the basic principles of printing, ink, dot gain, and other factors.  All these play into our ability to create beautiful labels for our customers.

Top Graphics Errors

  1. Fonts not included or Outlined.  The font used in a label is actually a separate file that must be delivered with the label art file.  We have many, many fonts on our system, but if you have a very specific font you need on your label, please include it.  Or, as an alternative, you can outline your text.  This basically turns the text into a graphic element so spell check won’t work and we don’t have any way to edit the file.
  2. Images missing or incorrect.  If your design includes a placed photograph or other image, please include the original image. Again, like the fonts above, this is generally a separate raster image file (not vector).  Also, make sure the resolution is sufficient for a clean, crisp printed label.  300dpi or higher resolution is preferred.
  3. Asking for Edits when No Fonts Provided. This is related to #1 above. If you send your wine label without fonts, and outline the text, then we will have no trouble printing your label this year. But, for next year when we have to update the vintage and alcohol percentage, we won’t be able to since we don’t have the required fonts.

More Advanced Errors

  1. White Ink Layer. If you are printing on clear or metallic label stock, you may want a white layer beneath some of the graphics.  This has to be a specifically named layer in the file.  If it is not clearly labeled and called out in the design, the layer can easily be missed.  Depending on the press platform, white layers can be omitted if not properly formatted.
  2. Overprint layers incorrect.  In printing, the inks can often only be laid down in one order.  This is usually lightest color to darkest, but if you are using layers or special effects of one color on top of another, please contact us to discuss.  This is especially true with foil stamping and embossing – it is always down last, so no ink can print over those effects.
  3. Legacy File Formats in Adobe Illustrator.  We are on a subscription program with Adobe so we always have the latest versions of Adobe Illustrator and other front end software.  However, the back end RIP and imposition software that does the heavy lifting is not updated as regularly as Adobe Illustrator so please save your files in Legacy format so they are backward compatible.
Artwork Matters

Your Artwork Matters

We have talked about quality design previously in this post, but by working with our team and following these tips, we can bring your beautiful creation to life.  The design, the prepress, and the printing press all have to work together to get the desired results.  Thank you for partnering with us and allowing us to print beautiful labels for your products.  We appreciate you and the faith you put in our team.

Precision Quality Printing – Watch Details

Precision Quality Printing – Watch Details

Precision Details Matter

Everything in the label business requires a very high level of attention to detail. Precision details matter.  Even the smallest defect in a product or process can cause an entire job to be rejected.  We always check and double check all the details on our work.  We also rely on our customers and designer partners to provide correct artwork and check their proofs carefully.  Sometimes, even with all these QC procedures in place, we still miss things and have to go back to the drawing board.

In this case, the ORDER of the colors was not fully contemplated in the design process.  As good as computer design software is, it still can’t simulate every situation on press.

Foil Always Down Last (mostly)

In our company, hot stamping foil and embossing are nearly always the last operation in the label production process.  It is possible to add other embellishments to a label after foil, but in general, the foil goes down last.  This means, the foil layer can’t be spread to print under the adjacent colors.  This is a part of the trapping process, which is explained in more detail here.  The important thing for us to catch internally, and for our designer partners to keep in mind, is that foil is always down last.  The image above shows an outline of the digital printing, and the foil set to underprint the digital print, which is not possible.  The result, in this case, was an unwanted part of the foil showing an ugly effect over the primary digital printing.  It took quite a bit of work to figure out the problem, but after a few hours of troubleshooting, we found it. 

brass plate rose city label

The Solution was a New Plate

In this particular situation, the answer was to buy a new printing plate.  This is a lesson learned for everyone in the process – especially us.  This is the kind of thing we work very hard to catch in prepress, but it is a small, obscure detail that is easy to miss.  After a few hours of frustration, and some hand wringing about missed schedules, we were able to come up with a solution.  This job will be back on press with a new plate in about a week, and the end result will be very satisfying for us, the designer, and the end client.  Go team!

Call Us Today – We can help

Since 1928, we have worked hard to solve complicated printing problems to create beautiful labels.  Our collective expertise, along with excellent designer partners, has allowed us produce some beautiful, award winning labels for our customers.  Our ultimate goal is to help the producers – wine, beer, food, and other consumer product companies – connect with their end users.  Beautiful labels help with that.

Marketing in a COVID-19 World – Dave DeMots

Marketing in a COVID-19 World – Dave DeMots

Marketing Update with Dave DeMots

Dave DeMots from DHX Advertising presented a great marketing overview recently.  He hit on great points for all businesses to consider as we come out of this COVID-19 slump in the economy.  One of the major points he highlighted is that all business is seasonal – we have different times of year, or points in the economic macro cycle that each business thrives.  Now, for the first time ever, all our businesses are reset to the same point in their personal business cycle.  Everyone has been impacted – some more than others – and everyone will come out of the COVID-19 lockdown at the same time.  This provides an interesting way to recallibrate and reconsider your business plans going forward.

Don’t Let a Crisis Go to Waste

This is a scary time – both personally and professionally – but what can we do to take advantage of this time?  Dave suggests that we make use of this time to make sure we come out of this as a strong, well structured business focused on the future. 

  • Start with the Brand Promise – what is the promise to your customer?
  • Why?  Watch the Simon Sinek TED Talk and remember WHY you are in business
  • Make hard decisions about markets, products, and people – don’t wait
  • Retool your marketing infrastructure – be ready for the future

About DHX

We’re an independent ad agency from Portland, Oregon. We’ve been at this for over 20 years, which is to say we’ve sharpened every tool in our toolkit. And while we have been there and done that more times than most, we still approach each and every project with the talent, raw enthusiasm and hunger that got us into this business in the first place.

Click Here to Download the Slides

If part of your retooling includes new labels, we can help.  As Dave noted in his presentation, don’t let this time go to waste?  Do you need a brand refresh and an updated label to better reflect your organizational vibe?  Have you shifted your focus?  Should your label reflect a new strategy, product lineup, price point, or other special feature?  If the answer is yes to any of these, we can help.

For anyone with a product in a bag, box or bottle, your label is a critical touch point with the customer.  Along with your logo, website, recipie and retail environment,, make sure your labels reflect your new strategy and brand promise in the post COVID-19 business world.  Call us today – we can help.

Label of The Month – Beautiful Blakeslee Vineyards Rose’

Label of The Month – Beautiful Blakeslee Vineyards Rose’

Label of The Month

This is the first in our series highlighting beautiful, eye catching labels.  We will select labels that showcase excellent design from our designer partners, but also highlight the technical expertise of Rose City Label.  Our aim is always to communicate the desired message on your product, and to do it in the most cost effective way possible.  By using our expertise and maximizing the capabilities of our equipment, we get the very best outcome for you – our very important customer.

This first label is the Rose’ of Pinot Noir from Blakeslee Vineyard Estate in Sherwood, OR.  This premium wine producer has a tasting room with indoor and outdoor seating (very COVID-19 safe) and a breathtaking view.  On top of that, the wine is fantastic and Bill and Sheila Blakeslee are wonderful to work with.  If you love good wine, this is definitely one to put on your list for tasting.

Design and Execution

This amazing Label of the Month was designed by our friend Chris Noud at Now Design Creative Services.  We are happy that Chris trusted us to execute his design for our mutual client.  We take this responsibility seriously.  Using our Premium Digital Printing and Foil/Embossing presses, we are able to deliver these labels reliably, on time, at a very fair price.  Another important part of this label is the premium paper we use that is specifically designed for wines that are stored in cold, wet conditions.  This is specifically designed to survive an ice bucket – the killer of lower quality labels.

Key Challenges

  • Very tight tolerance embossing and foil stamping
  • Fine, closely spaced parallel lines that have to be foil stamped cleanly
  • Detailed image of bird logo
  • Durability in Ice Bucket environment

Label of the Month

If you have a great product, and a passion to connect with your consumer, please call us today.  We are label experts!  Challenging labels that allow us to elevate your brand – these are the things we love to work on.  Maybe if we work together well, your label could be featured as a Label of the Month in a future post.  Call us today at (503) 777-4711.