Outstanding Branding Advice from Professionals

Outstanding Branding Advice from Professionals

Begin with the End In Mind

Remember that every part of your business that the customer sees has an impact – positive or negative – whether it is intentional or accidental.  Everything WILL have an impact, and by being proactive and thoughtful, you can shape that impact.  Think about the feelings you want people to have when they come to your store, view your packaging, or use your product.  How do they feel?  These are all good and viable feelings your product could invoke, but they are all very different.

  • Happy?
  • Confident?
  • Giddy?
  • Bad A$$?

Be sure that when you set out to create or update your brand, you begin with this end in mind.  Start with you you want them to feel when they interact with you, then work backwards to create that feeling.

Labels are Only Part of the Package

We love labels!  Labels are our life – but we know that they are only a small part of the brand.  Labels only ‘work’ to the extent that they reinforce and build on your web design, your on-premise look and feel, your menu, your actual product in the bag, box, or bottle.  The owners’ personality also plays into this – if you are an owner-operator, or otherwise serve as the ‘face’ of the business, then how you interact matters too.  Again, we don’t want to minimize the value of labels (never!) but we realize they are part of a larger branding system.  Read more about that in the great article below.

Start with your Authentic Brand

Begin with your message and your brand voice.  A presentation by our friend Clare Carver was the inspiration for this Authentic Brand blog post.  Check it out.  This is covered in more detail in the tutorial below.

Check out this Cool Tutorial from Codo

This is one of the most comprehensive, well written guides to branding that we have seen.  This is specifically targeted to Craft Beer (which is a big part of our business) but it could equally apply to any product company with a consumer product in a bag, box, or bottle.  Anyone with any business could learn from this guide. Check it by clicking here

Need Label Help?

Once you have the complete branding package complete, and you need to bring that brand vision into the world, please call us!  We can help reinforce your brand and bring it to life in the hands of your consumers.  We have great printing technology and people ready to help.  Call us today!

TLMI Calvin Frost Environmental Leadership Award

TLMI Calvin Frost Environmental Leadership Award

Rose City Label Recognized with TLMI Environmental Leadership Award for 2018

Rose City Label won the Environmental Leadership Award at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the top label printers in America.  This Environmental Leadership Award is given annually to one printer and one supplier based on judging Environmental Leadership Awardthe association environmental community.  The award recognizes specific programs, demonstrated results, and a cultural commitment to the environment.  We are very honored to join the list of past winners and we will never stop on our eco-friendly journey.  This year, the awards were renamed in honor of Calvin Frost – a true environmental leader in the printing industry.  There is nothing better than a cold frosty beer from our customer in the commemorative ‘Frosty 2018’ mug.

Results Matter

Trying hard and having commitment are important, but for the TLMI Environmental Leadership Award, results matter:

  1. Five Year Water Reduction of 47%
  2. Five Year Natural Gas Reduction of 43%
  3. Small reductions in Garbage and Electricity as well

All measures are indexed to manufacturing output as our business has grown considerably in the past 5 years.  Complete details and annual graphs of these measures can be found in this blog post.

Small Things that Every Business Can Apply

Besides these dramatic results, the committee was impressed with the programs and projects the company has championed.  These include:

  1. Encouraging employee bicycle commuting
  2. Providing excess pallets for employee home garden projects
  3. Recycling pallet wrap at the local supermarket
  4. Giving away excess pallets on Craigslist for local projects
  5. Shipping via direct courier service whenever possible
  6. Reusing items in the press room during production runs

More about these innovative programs can be found at these two blog posts click here for part 1 and click here for part 2.

Make Conscious Choices

The final area called out by the judges in this award was a leadership commitment to the environment. This philosophy is baked into the business so deeply that an employee recently lobbied for an electric car charging station – she knew it would align with our values (and with her new car), but also would provide marketing value and would contribute to this award criteria.  All team members know we are focused on the environment.  Some additional major indicators:

  1. Conversion to 100% wind power – read more here
  2. Water wash printing plates – among the first on the West Coast to adopt this system – read more here
  3. Monthly review of eco-metrics along with financial performance

Honoring the Label Eco-Legend – Calvin Frost

Environmental Leadership AwardThis award was particularly important to us since it was renamed in honor of our longtime friend and vendor, Calvin Frost.  Calvin has been the voice of the sustainability movement for decades and his message is finally being heard far and wide in the industry.  Calvin’s company, Channelled Resources, is basically one big recycling business.   For over 40 years, the company has inspected and salvaged potentially damaged product.  This stock would be destined for the landfill if his company didn’t take the time to sort and save the (large percentage) of this material.

Winning this award any year would be great, but to the first ever ‘Frosty’ award winner is even better!

Thank You – Call Us Today

We are ready to help others become more ‘green’.  Any success we have is a team effort and we want to help you on your journey.  Are you just getting started? Or need some pro-level tips?  Please call us today.  If you buy labels, that is fantastic, but we will help any business with a true desire to learn and grow in their eco-journey.  Cheers!

Simplify with Can Labels!

Simplify with Can Labels!

Can Labels Pop!

Bright colors catch consumer eyes.  You only have a few seconds to grab them and entice them into picking up your product.  Can labels pop off the shelf.  Printed cans have their place at times. Look at the vibrant color you get with a label!  Once the consumer locks onto your can, it’s up to the beer (or other product) to sell them the second time. The first time is very dependent on your packaging. Can labels pop and they help new consumers try your product.

Simplify your Life (and Inventory)

How great would it be if you only had to inventory ONE can?  If you didn’t have to tie up cash and warehouse space for 200,000 EACH of 5 different SKUs, your life would be much simpler.  Can labels pop, but that is only one of the advantages.  Having a more responsive, nimble inventory management can allow you to focus on making more great beer!

The Shelf Image is Dramatic

Check out this previous post to see the vibrant colors – click here

There is a VALUE to the cost

Bright Inks Pop off the LabelYes, premium can labels from 7c up to 25c or more for low volume specialty labels.  This is significant, but what is the value that comes with this cost?  What is the additional shelf impact, the lifetime value of customers that find you for the first time?  There is tremendous value in a simplified inventory system, right?  What is the value of giving your brewer the flexibility to try new, exciting recipes?  The actual financial cost is easy to measure, but the value gained from this packaging upgrade is difficult to quantify – but it is real.

Call us Today

We delivered these can labels in less than a week when a good customer was in a jam.  Going with can labels adds flexibility and speed to your production.  We have the material and the technology to help you with 12oz, 16oz, and crowler can labels.  Call us today!

Can Labels For Flexible Flavors

Can Labels For Flexible Flavors

Beer Can Labels Give Great Options

Beer can labels allow brewers to experiment, collaborate, and bring new products faster.  Small batch sizes, quick delivery, and great quality make can labels a good option for specialty products.  Beer can labels add cost, but with premium, small batch products commanding a higher price, the can label pays for itself.  And, not having to order 200,000+ of each SKU saves money and space.

12oz or 16oz – We CAN Help

We have the standard sizes for 6-pack (12oz) and 4-pack (16oz) labels.  And, we can do them on both our traditional press (long run) format and the short-mid run digital press.  Whatever the beer can label need – we CAN help!

RCL Can Labels Run Well

Beer can label customers rave about how well the labels stick to wet, cold cans and how durable they are in the retail environment.  Because cans don’t have a protective panel like glass bottles, can labels need a laminate to protect the ink. We learned this the hard way on early runs, but now we have the system dialed in.

Design Options and Special InksBright Inks Pop off the Label

Because you aren’t committing to 200,000 printed cans, your designs can be flexible and fun.  Also consider adding metallic or fluorescent inks to make your designs pop off the retail shelf.  Printed cans are great, but they just don’t have the graphic options that a beer can label offers.

Small or Large Quantities

Because of our flexible press options, we can print 500 to 100,000 can labels in a fast, high quality, cost effective manner.  Some can labels cost as little as 7.5c per label.

Thank You

We appreciate all the great beer customers that have trusted us as the moved from glass to beer can labels.  Please call us today for all your beer can label needs.

Oregon Beer Wins Big – World Beer Awards

Oregon Beer Wins Big – World Beer Awards

Rose City Label Customers Win Big!

We are proud to be partners with some of the best brewers in Oregon and beyond.  Making great beer is the most fundamental thing that will help these people grow their business, and they really are making great beer.  From all different styles and different sized breweries, the Oregon brewers took home many, many awards this year.

World Beer Cup – National Competition

This event isn’t for shy people – the competition is fierce and nobody likes to lose.  But winners like these don’t back down – they want to know how good they really are, so they enter competition to find out.

Seventeen Oregon Breweries won awards this year – click here to see the Oregon List

More than half of these are current and former Rose City Label customers – way to go!

The full list of all award winners can be found on the World Beer cup website by clicking here.

Great Beer Needs Great Packaging

Having great beer is the foundation, but in order to really build your brand, you need great packaging.  Labels matter too!  Click here to learn more about Beer Label Design. We are proud to help these great brewers tell their authentic brand story.  Great beer is the key, but to win over the long term, you need the total package – great beer, fun on-premise experience, and excellent packaging in the bottle shop.  We can help make sure the beer in the bottle or can looks as good as it tastes.

Thank You

Customers have choices – we are very thankful for all the brewers that choose us for their label needs.  Beer remains a very solid part of our business, but we would love to talk to new breweries too.  Call us today if you want to kick up the quality on your beer labels.  Cheers!

Design Week – Rough Draught – Beer Label Design

Design Week – Rough Draught – Beer Label Design

Beer label design is critical to building your brand and we like staying on the cutting edge with events like this.  This sold out event was fun and inspiring as we work with our customers to keep their beer label design fresh.

Live Design in Real Time

Beer Label DesignLed by beer label design guru Ryan Wheaton, the Rough Draught event featured four designers doing live design in a compressed 90 minute time frame.  Each designer was paired with a specific beer that was released for the event.  Attendees were invited to taste the beer and come up with catchy names for the beers.  Ultimately, in 90 minutes, the beers were named and labels were designed on site. This was likely the fastest beer label design they had ever done.  Hearing the designers talk about their inspiration and process was very interesting.

Learning while They Draw

Harvey Shepard – founder of Oh Beautiful Beer gave us a fantastic history lesson while the designers were hard at work.  Starting DesignWeekPortlandwith the very first packaging – which was not controlled by the brewery or standardized – through prohibition, we learned about all the ups and downs of beer packaging through the ages.  More important for many was the commentary on the current proliferation of specialty, one-off, short run products (and labels).  Harvey did a good job of pointing out that all trends run in cycles and what is working now may not be viable in 5 years.  Speaking of 5 years, this was a general guideline for a brand refresh.  Every case is different – and elements of a brand may need a refresh much sooner – but this was an interesting and helpful part of the Q&A session.

True to the Brand – Discipline

This was another great reinforcement of something we preach daily – the design has to be true to the brand.  Labels don’t exist in a vacuum, they are part of a larger brand story.  In order to be effective, this story has to be authentic and consistent.  Harvey was asked about how he avoids creating beer labels that all look the same and this was the answer – discipline.  Designers in his studio Blind Tiger Design in Seattle work very hard to listen and draw out the authentic brand story.  This discovery process is critical, and clearly one of the things that keeps their design fresh, fun, and authentic to the brands they serve.

Design is Key

Why does Rose City Label care about design this much?  Design is key.  Without great design partners, the label printing process is boring and our customers aren’t likely to succeed.  We don’t do in-house design, but we do have a wonderful group of design partners that we can refer you to.  Thanks to Ryan, Harvey, and our friends at Hopworks for hosting this fun, interesting event.