Labels Need a Shape
Nearly all the labels we produce are die cut to a specific shape. Some are simple rectangles, but many are custom shapes. Regardless of the specific shape nearly all our labels to through the process of high speed rotary die cutting before they get to the customer.
Engraved Dies for Long Life
Many of our labels use very flexible, in expensive magnetic dies now. Our off line die cutter used for digital production uses only magnetic dies. Check out the video of this machine here. Even with this rapid growth, engraved (solid) dies are still very popular and useful on our longer run flexographic label presses.
Across and Around
Because the die image is engraved on the rotary tool, we can’t change the orientation on press. The die can only run in one direction on the roll. Once the label is removed from the backing, you can turn it any direction for hand application, but if you are machine applying your labels, then the run direction is critical. Nobody wants labels upside down on their bottle! For clarity, we always refer to the ACROSS and AROUND dimension on a roll label. This image shows the difference, so please be sure your labels are oriented the correct way.
Call Us Today – We Can Help
With 90 years in business and millions of labels printed, we have thousands of cutting dies to choose from. Sometimes (but not often) we have the same label size running in multiple directions on the roll. If the roll unwind is important to you, please clarify that up front before you design your labels to fit a particular cutting die.
Thank you! Call us at 503-777-4711 today!
Small Rolls are a Pain to Apply!
Many of our wine customers use a mobile bottling service like Signature or Casteel. Mobile bottlers are economical for many reasons, including inline label application. This video shows labels being applied on a Signature bottling line. Because of the speed and cost of these bottling lines, nobody wants down time. One of the things that can kill productivity is having to stop to change a label roll. Therefore, everyone wants rolls as large as possible – often up to 12-14″ in diameter.
Filling the Press Web is Cost Effective
The problem comes with our customers that do many small batches of wine. Some have 3-5 different blocks of grapes that each go into a specific, very special wine. If you only produce 50 cases of something, the label roll will never be very big – but it gets even worse! We try to be as cost effective as possible so we fill the press web (13″ wide paper in the press).
This image of a label in productions shows that we are running the label 3-across the web to save time and money for the customer. The press web is filled, allowing us to print 3 labels at a time. The problem, however, is that this results in even smaller rolls on the bottling line. If you print 900 labels (60 cases of a specialty wine), you will end up with 3 rolls of 300 each and a nightmare on the bottling line.
Wasting Material is Bad for Everyone
Not only does filling the web make the job more cost effective, it also saves the earth by wasting less paper. On our state of the art digital printing press, the machine requires a full 13″ web, regardless of the finished label size. This means if we want to print only one label across the web, we use 3x the paper for the run! And 3x the press time to get the job done. This is wasteful but also more expensive for the customer.
Splices are Bad, too!
Another (bad) option is splicing the three small rolls together. A splice is basically just taping three rolls together. This is bad because these splices frequently break on the bottling line due to high tension on the rolls. And, this also opens the option for a very big problem – accidentally splicing two different items onto the same roll! For these reasons, we don’t recommend splicing these small rolls.
Total Applied Cost
The label job isn’t really done until the label is on the bottle, in the retail store, and sold to a consumer. The cost of packaging is very complicated and much more than just the individual label price. The total applied cost – the final cost of the label on the bottle – is what really matters. For this reason, we have some very specific recommendations for small batch wineries.
You Decide – Our recommendation
Ultimately, the customer decides what is best for their particular situation. But, based on our 92 years of label experience, we strongly suggest you pay a bit more to get full sized rolls, without splices, to maximize your up time on the bottling line. This doesn’t apply to hand applied labels – only machine applied items on a high speed bottling line. Nobody likes to pay extra for labels, or to waste material, but for us, paying a bit more for the label is worth it to keep your total applied cost down.
Questions? Please call us today at 503-777-4711. We look forward to printing for you again very soon!
Premium Label Foil Stamping and Embossing
Premium labels can be enhanced with foil stamping and embossing. Rose City Label is a premium label foil stamping and embossing expert. We can help with all kinds of premium labels. The image above shows the deep, impact-producing effects of an embossed label. The back of the label and the brown label backing show this deep impression – that is the magic of embossing.
Clear Foil Makes an Impact
Nothing makes an impact quite like clear foil. The two-tone gloss/matte contrast makes a label catch your eye on the store shelf. Some printers use a spot varnish, but clear foil is generally more effective and impactful. Read this previous post about amazing clear foil
Foil Stamping – Make it Shine!
Premium gourmet foods can benefit from foil stamping. Gold shows a very specific message in the minds of our customers.
Silver, copper, bronze – all of these foils look good in their own way. Work with your designer to make sure your branding is consistent. If you are providing a premium product, your packaging has to measure up. Small details can’t be printed with a foil plate, and overdoing the use of foil can ruin the effect. Use it sparingly, and foil stamping will help your label shine (literally!).
Read our previous premium Foil Stamping Post
Foil Stamping in Action – YouTube!
Reading is great, but seeing the press in this 4 minute video will also help you understand the technology. The results of embossing can be seen in this wine label. The main company name and the icon is raised on the label. You can feel the texture and quality when you touch the bottle. Look for it in a wine shop near you!
Check out the press in action Foil Stamp Press Video
Call Us Today
Rose City Label has been foil stamping since the 1980s – we have the experience, expertise, and equipment to upgrade your label. Foil stamping and embossing are great ways to show off your product on the retail shelf. Call 503-777-4711 to schedule a consultation today.
What is the best label color?
This is a complex question with conflicting research on all sides. Regardless, one thing is clear – the best label color is the one that reinforces your authentic brand. Your brand voice must be established first before a label color can be selected to bring that voice to the market. Check out this post about Your Authentic Brand and Clare Carver’s rules to build your brand here
Once the brand and the brand voice are solid, you can begin to work on the best label color.
Is it important? Yes!
According to Emerald Insight and others (full study here), people make up their minds about a product or person – including your beer, wine, soap – within 90 seconds. And, importantly for us, 62-90% of that initial reaction is based on color. That’s right – color! Having the best label color is critical.
What does each color say – what makes the best label color?
Begin with the end in mind – what emotion are you trying to evoke? Happy? Angry? Fired up to Party? Each of these desired consumer reactions will require a different best label color. Yes – as always – it depends. If you know your intended reaction, and your brand voice, then finding the best label color is easy.
Specific examples of Best Label Color
Real Simple magazine has a great breakdown of 10 different colors and the reactions they evoke. Read the full article by clicking here. Here are a few examples, but read the full article for more detailed explanations.
- Black – the signature color of sophistication. Where do you want your brand positioned in the mind of your target consumer?
- Blue – everyone likes blue. It connotes trust and dependability. A blue logo can increase loyalty and feelings of security. Is this the reaction you want? Maybe this is your best label color?
- Burgundy – rich and refined. Think of full bodied, bold (expensive) wines. Luxury.
- Orange – fair and affordable are typical reactions from this color.
- Red – This may be your best label color is you want a hot, excited consumer, but red also means ‘stop’ or caution or danger to many people. Choose carefully.
There are five more great colors, and links to other research, in the full article link above.
Summary and Next Actions
Begin with your well defined brand image and voice. From there, layer on the reaction you want from your target consumer. From there, the best label color decision is much easier and logical. With all this data, you also need to add in a touch of your own flair and gut feeling. These are guidelines that are very helpful, but ultimately your decision is up to you. Make sure you are being consistent with your ultimate business goals – read this post for more information about brand alignment.
Still Stuck? Call us Today
We can help solve the best label color problem. We do it for many customers each year and we are happy to help you, too. With our new HP Indigo Press, printing great labels has never been easier. Cheers!
State of the Art Label Printing – HP 6900 Press
Our new HP Indigo 6900 is coming next month! This machine is a massive upgrade to our digital department. We will be able to help more people with more high-quality digital labels than ever. This machine provides the most sustainable digital label platform. Here are a few of the highlights.
Read This First – ORDER EARLY!
While we are upgrading the press and getting factory operator training, we will be down for two weeks in December 2018. Please order early if you need labels before the Holidays.
Better Image Quality
Because of the improved laser writing head, the image resolution is better than ever. This means brighter, more vibrant colors, crisp text, and even more precise color matching. State of the Art Label Printing – HP 6900 Press
Double Print Speed
At nearly 100 feet per minute, this press rivals traditional print speed. No setup and virtually no waste mean faster delivery for customers.
More Efficient Press Layout
Besides the faster speed, the press is more efficient. This is a web press with labels delivered in rolls, but the images are transferred to the material in pages (called ‘frames’ in HP lingo). This press has more than double the page size of the previous machine. Maximum label size is now 12″x 38″. More importantly, we can fit more labels of any size into this frame size which means less waste, faster printing, and better results for customers.
Better Color Consistency
Rather than just measuring ink density during the run, this press actually sees color and corrects itself on the fly! With ‘Continuous Color Calibration’ the machine constantly makes micro adjustments during the print run to keep the tightest color in the industry. This also improves run to run color consistency. Repeat orders with exact color matching are easier than ever.
The inks on the press are formed by a mixture of pigment (the consistency of toothpaste) and imaging oil to carry the color. Previously, this imaging oil was flushed from the press and discarded. Now, the press recycles its own oil! Rather than doing an ‘oil change’ periodically, only a small amount of oil is added to the system as needed.
Fluorescent and Metallic Silver Ink
For the first time, true specialty inks are available on a digital press. This adds to our very wide 7C color gamut to add distinctive color to your label.
More Powerful Variable Data
Want a unique number, barcode, or QR code on each label? We can do that faster and more accurately than ever. With a huge computing power upgrade, variable data jobs that previously took hours (and cost more) are now instantaneous.
Supportable for the Future
Built on the latest 2018 technology, this press will be supported for many years. With parts, service, and training readily available, you have a reliable, consistent source for all your labels.
Keeping Consumers Safe with a Prop 65 Label
There is a huge new burden on manufacturers that sell products to consumers in California – and it may require a label update:
All manufacturers, producers, packagers, importers, suppliers, and distributors, regardless of whether they are located in California or out of state, must provide a warning if their products cause exposures to any listed chemical to individuals in California.
If you are selling anything with ingredients on the prohibited list, you may need to update the language on your labels. The NFIB has an excellent summary of the newly updated law on their website. According to NFIB,
More specifically, a warning label is required if the chemical included has either a 1 in 100,000 chance of causing cancer over a 70 year period, or unless it may be said that exposure to 1000 times the amount of the chemical within the product has no observable effect on reproductive health
The update effective in August 2018 is actually just a more strict interpretation of the law passed in 1986 – Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act This law requires disclosures if any of 900 listed chemicals are present in your product. Read the full NFIB article by clicking here.
California even has a specific website dedicated to the new law. Check more on that site by clicking www.p65warnings.ca.gov
We are All About Full Disclosure
This law seems onerous, but it is no more so than the mandate 20+ years ago to provide nutrition facts on all food packaging. Now, this consumer information seems standard, but at one time, it was a big change for all food producers. This will be the same. Besides marketing and branding, your labels need to give consumers clear and complete information.
We aren’t a graphic design company, but we can help with basic layout changes. Editing your label to be compliant and still be attractive – we can do that. We are experts at fitting lots of information onto a small label. The cost for this redesign is very affordable in most cases. And, if you need a full rebranding, we can refer you to some excellent design agencies. Adding a separate Prop 65 label to your packaging is another option – we can help with that too.
Other Label Questions? We can help
As always, we are here to help with any and all label questions. We can help with technical, aesthetic and financial questions related to your label project. Please call us today. We would be happy to help.
This article is intended to provide Oregon and Washington businesses with general information and is not intended to serve as legal advice regarding any specific matter; information should not be acted upon without legal advice.