Elegant Hot Stamp Foil Printing

Elegant Hot Stamp Foil Printing

Elegant Hot Stamp Foil Printing

As we come out of COVID-19 every consumer product will be looking to grow their impact.  Every bottle of beer, wine, spirits and soda will be vying for new customer eyes.  Shopping will be a new beginning and old brand loyalties will largely be forgotten.  Getting out of the gate strong, making a huge impact on your ‘new’ customers right away, can be a game changer for many brands.  Think of this restart after COVID-19 as a blank slate – a true rebirth of physical products in the marketplace.  All the old loyalties and prejudices are gone – everyone is shopping in your category for the first time.

Nothing improves your image more than hot stamp foil printing on your label.  Foil pops off the shelf.  The lighting in a retail shelf or cold case interacts with the label in a way that catches the consumer.  You have read many scientific studies about how consumer eyes track around a shelf – you have milliseconds  to grab customer attention. Using elegant hot stamp foil on your label gives you that edge – the slight margin you need to capture new eyeballs and new customers.  Don’t waste this opportunity to grab your consumer for the first time.

The Machine

Although we have been hot stamp foil printing for years, we upgraded our machine a few years ago to a full servo-driven, state of the art press.  See the machine in action on our YouTube channel.  Basically, the process is the same as it Foil Platehas always been – you heat a magnesium, copper, or brass plate up to 220 degrees and smash the foil onto the label with tremendous force.  The process is the same, but this press is much more precise.  These are the key features explained in the video:

  • Large image area – 9″ x 9″ image area allows us to run very large labels, or run many at a time for better economy.
  • Stable steel frame to transfer needed force with precision.
  • Servo driven register for exacting foil placement.
  • Modern electronics for reliable production into the future.
  • Backed by a world wide company and a US-based service technician.

For all these reasons, the new machine is a fantastic addition to our lineup.  We are thrilled to have this technology in house – staffed by our own people – so we can always meet your needs for hot stamp foil label printing.  When you need an edge in the market after COVID-19, we are here to help.

Design Considerations

Elegant Hot Stamp FoilBecause this is a bit of a crude printing technology, the design must be appropriate.  Fade screens, photos, and extreme detail is not possible with hot stamp foil printing.  The printing plate seen in this image is etched or engraved (depending on the metal) and the fine details are not possible.  Besides the plate detail, the physical process of smashing foil into paper is not as elegant as our other printing press options.  Typically bold logos, sans serif type, and borders are good candidates for hot stamp foil printing.  If you have a design in mind, please send it to us for review.  We can make suggestions to help maximize the impact of your foil elements without wasting money on areas that won’t print well.  Fine lines – especially parallel lines together – can be very difficult.  The result can be a crude, blocky appearance that defeats the effect you are trying to create.  Send us your file for review – we can help get the foil in the right places for maximum impact.

Call Us Today – We have 35 YEARS of Hot Stamp Foil Printing!

We are experts in this area.  For nearly 35 years we have been industry leaders in elegant hot stamp foil printing.  Other label printers send jobs to us!  We are respected in this area because of our knowlege, experience, and results.  This COVID-19 crisis has been brutal on many of our customers.  We are here for you and want to see you rise from this with a better business than ever.  Elegant Hot Stamp foil printing can make a difference in your recovery.  Call us today.  We can help!


Textured Varnish – Feel the Luxury!

Textured Varnish – Feel the Luxury!

Textured Label Varnish

Textured label varnish helps your product stand out. The pictures don’t really do it justice, but we can send physical samples – you will be amazed at the tactile feel of this premium textured label varnish. When it is in yoiur hand, itTextured label varnish just feels different than most labels – you know you are drinking something special.  In this case, the front label on the bottle is a deeply embossed placard that complements this label very well.  Together, they make a premium package for your product.

How do we do that?

Some customers are fascinated with the technology behind their labels, and some really just want the results.  If you like knowing how we get your labels to pop off the shelf, this is the paragraph for you.  One of the key components of high quality label printing is the delivery of ink and coating to the label stock.  The ink (or in this case, coating) is dispensed by a very expensive, finely engraved roller with microscopic ‘cups’ that carry and release coating onto the printing plate.  These rollers have various line screens – numbers of cavities per linear inch.  As the number of cells is increased, the volume of ink dispensed is reduced.  In this case, we used a very coarse, high volume roller to deliver a very thick coating of varnish to the label surface.  The textured label varnish is also enhanced with a fine grain additive – almost like putting sand into the label coating.  Together with the proper volume, pressure, and press speed, this label ends up with a very distinctive tactile feel.

What does it cost?

Now that we have developed this process through trial and error with customrs, all our customers benefit from this knowledge.  Because the textured label varnish slows down the press and uses more expensive materials, it is an upcharge from standard varnish, but it is worth it!  The cost increase is only 5-10% over a standard flat varnsih.  It isn’t for everyone, but if you like the feel in your hand, you will immediately see that it is worth the additional cost.

Call us today!

We have several different special techniques to offer.  Hot and Cold foil treatments, embossing, specialty die cutting and this textured label varnish.  We love printing, but often it is the other embellisments beyond printing that help your product stand out on the shelf.  Call us today for more information.  Now more than ever, you need your labels to stand out to the consumer, and we can make that happen for you.

Spring is Coming – We are Ready!

Spring is Coming – We are Ready!

Spring is Coming!

At Rose City Label we know Spring is coming.  We have been around since 1928.  Our people have seen wars, recessions, assassinations, and 9/11. And now, we have seen COVID-19.  All of these tragic events are followed by a rebound and a strong upside.  It’s never easy or fun, but we always get through.  Learning lessons from the past help us to keep perspective.  This post talks about our expectations for the future based on our surviving and thriving after the 2008 financial crisis.

Looking Toward the Future

Spring flowers are comingOnce we get back to some form of ‘new normal’ we will be ready to expand and serve even more people.  This time – the crisis lock down – won’t last forever.  It will end.  The way we come out of this to survive and thrive will depend on HOW we use this time.  Yes, the uncertainty makes it very difficult to be positive, but the time will pass. Spring follows winter, every year.  There is a natural order to things, and we are using our time wisely.

  • Cleaning and organizging our shop
  • Cross training and exposing areas for future training
  • Reaching out to current and new customers
  • Updating areas on the website for easier quotes
  • Watching our business closely to be ready for the future

Remainder of 2020 – we’ll see what comes

Many have said 2020 is a lost year for their business.  Survival is the watchword right now.  We can’t argue with that. This is a scary time, but Spring is coming.  Part of the new normal may be an appreciation for the business we do have – every customer is a gift to us.  Every day we are open and operating, we are thankful.  Going to work doesn’t seem as bad as it once did (although it was never really very bad!).  People need to be cautious but also optimistic.  We can’t sit on our hands and let competition pass us by, but we also can’t be reckless.  Protecting the downside has a new meaning now, since there is a whole new unexpected downside.  Steady, cautions, smart – but still moving forward and growing.  That is our plan for 2020.  Spring is coming.


Spring flowers Rose City LabelWe remain thankful for all our amazing, resilient customers.  This season of COVID-19 will not be soon forgotten.  We will redouble our efforts to be prepared to survive and thrive no matter what comes our way.  All of us will be better business leaders based on the learning and experience we gained from this pandemic.  Going through tough times is never fun, but it is how we learn valuable lessons for the future.  Hopefully you and your business have grown and learned through this process.  Our team is smarter and more connected.  We are thankful for having survived and we know that Spring is coming.

If part of your Post COVID-19 strategy includes a re branding or label makeover, please call us today.  We can help.

We Know Trapping (but what is it?)…

We Know Trapping (but what is it?)…

We Know Trapping

We know trapping!  Trapping is a critical part of making sure all the elements of a label fit together.  This is most critical in traditional press printing – it is the compensation for the inherit movement on a mechanical printing press.  Read more to see the details of what it is and how we do it, but rest assured that we know trapping!

High quality labels reflect on your brand, and we take this responsibility very seriously, which is why we pay attention to the details like trapping.WeKnowTrapping - High Quality Printing

Chokes and Spreads

Traditional printing presses have gears and rollers.  There will always be a degree of movement between color stations.  Because of that, we need to create an ‘overlap’ between adjacent colors.  Putting colors next to each other (1:1) with no overlap gives no margin for error and it results in gaps and white lines between adjacent colors.  “Chokes and Spreads” are the common terms to describe expanding one color to cover the other.  This is all done in prepress before we make the printing plates.

Choke Example

Choke We Know TrappingA ‘Choke’ is a contraction or reduction of size of an element.  In this example, a full color image is surrounded by a black border.  They are designed to fit adjacent to each other with no overlap.  However, on a press, holding that perfect alignment isn’t possible, which can result in a white line between the elements, like this (the ‘before’ image).  In order to fix this, we ‘choked’ the outside black border into the color image in the center.  This addition of a very, very small stroke around the border ensures that even with a bit of movement, there is never a white line showing.  We can spot this problem in the graphics phase when plates are being made to avoid a white line like this.  We know trapping.

Spread Example

The opposite of a ‘choke’ is a ‘spread’ and this can mean several different things.  In the example at left, we could have spread the full color image out under the existing black border, but We Know Trapping Rose City Labelfor cost and simplicity, we chose to choke the outside border into the image.  The other very common use of a ‘spread’ is to compensate for the expansion of ink as it is transferred from the printing plate to the label stock.  Without the sread, small reverse type like this would fill in.  Again, this image on the right is a ‘before’ picture of what would happen without proper trapping.  By opening up those white letters, we compensate for the natural filling in.  Trapping is critical to getting you high quality labels, and we know trapping!


We know trapping, so you don’t have to!  Some customers are very curious about the details of our process, so we like to share our expertise. That is great – we love to share our expertise. If you want even more technical information about our type of printing, click here. But, if you only want to see the final result, and don’t care about the technical steps along the way, that is fine with us too.  We are label experts so you don’t have to be.  Rely on us and we will always get you top quality labels, delivered on time, at a fair price. Call us today!

COVID-19 Update – April 9, 2020

COVID-19 Update – April 9, 2020

Rose City Label is committed to full communication and transparency during this crisis.  We have weathered storms, recessions, wars, and many other catastrophic events.  We will survive and thrive through this crisis together and come out better on the other side.  Read our thoughts on coming out of the crisis here.

State of the Union

We are working hard to keep our staff and customers safe.  So far everyone is cooperating and stepping up, but there is a level of stress and unease.  People are uncertain about the outcome of this pandemic and we are doing our best to support them, while still getting things done for our customers.

Limiting Visitors – No Will Call Pickups

Perhaps the biggest impact for our customers is that we are not allowing Will Call pick ups at our facility.  We are not doing any press checks, tours, or sales appointments.  Our outside sales team is now working via phone only and we hope to roll out some vitrual (Zoom) sales calls with clients in the future, depending on how long all this lasts.  We will be safe and continue to do our part until everything is fully back to normal and safe.

Measures we are Taking

Our team has been wonderful and understanding. Anyone that shared an office is out of that office.  Some have moved into open cubes, and in one case, we transformed our conference room into an office.  We aren’t having any visitors, so no need for a conference room!  Twice daily we have a production meeting to keep the schedule on track.  Now, instead of sitting around a conference table, we are all backed away from the table to create a huge social distance between us.  Nobody is close, so physical contact is very limited.  Also, one of our amazing team members used her down time to sew face masks for us.  She brought them in and gave them away.  Very kind and much appreciated.  Check out a sample here in this post!

Staggered Work Schedules

People are also adjusting their hours to make sure fewer people are in the building at one time.  Most people run machines that are big enough that they are social distancing by default.  They just don’t work that closely.  But, in cases where people do work closely, we have staggered with people working three 12 hour shifts each week.  Some work M-W, some W-F and some have come up with other job sharing rotations so we always have coverage, but limit the contact with co-workers. So far it is working well.

Testing, testing…

We are taking a very conservative stance on returning to work after any type of illness, cough, or flu-like symptoms.  A few people have done tele-medicine visits and none have been referred to a clinic for a full test.  Still, we feel good that everyone is protected.  Nobody comes back to work after a sick day without a doctor’s note clearing them.

Thank You – We will Survive and Thrive together!

 This is a tough challenge for everyone, including our customers, families and staff.  Sadly, several people will be personally affected and someone may even have a family member infected with this terrible disease.  It will also be a massive financial impact on several of our customers – especially food and beverage producers.  Financial struggles are ahead for all of us, but we will make it through this together!  THANK YOU for all of your ongoing support.  Rose City Label was founded in 1928 and we have been through many tough times since then – recession, depression, war, elections and impeachments.  We have seen stock market crashes and all forms of tragedy, but we have also seen people rise and thrive after all these events.  Together, we will get through this.