A Simple Guide to Your Label Printing Order Flow

A Simple Guide to Your Label Printing Order Flow

Have you ever wondered how your label order goes from a mere idea to a tangible, beautifully printed label? If you’re considering ordering custom labels for your product, this post is for you. Let’s take a delightful journey together through the order flow at Rose City Label.

1. Get a Current Price Quote – Your First Step!

Before anything else happens, you need to get current pricing.  For some of our regular customers, the pricing stays consistent, but if you only order occasionally, it is good to get a current, complete quotation:

  • Decide on Specifications: Think about the size, color, design, material, and quantity of the labels you need.
  • Submit Details: Using our online quote form or through direct consultation, provide all your label details and any special instructions.
  • Receive Quote: We’ll then give you a price quote based on your requirements.

2. Submit Your PO – this is where the fun begins.

  • Submit your written PO (if you use them), current Credit Card information (if not on N30 terms), and artwork. 
  • If it is a NEW or Changed order, please submit a high-resolution PDF or Adobe Illustrator files. If there are any edits to the artwork, please list those edits clearly.
  • Pro-tip! Even if the artwork was submitted with the quote, it is very helpful to resubmit the most current, final artwork with your order.
  • Once the order is entered, a workspace is created for any artwork needed, press time is reserved, and material is checked and ordered as needed.

3. New or changed item? Enter the Magical World of PDF Proofs

Once you’ve placed your order and handed over your design, you might wonder, “How will I know it will print the way I envisioned it?” Enter the world of PDF proofs!

  • Proof Creation: Our amazing design team will prepare a PDF proof. This is a digital representation of how your label will look once printed.
  • Your Approval: Review the proof thoroughly. Check every detail – colors, fonts, positions, and more. If something doesn’t look right or you change your mind about a detail, this your chance to let us know! Our priority is to get it just right for you!
  • We can provide digital (Adobe-Sign) proofs for online approval, or you can print, sign, and return your proofs manually.  It is critical that we get a signature on the proof itself, rather than just an email reply.  We want to have the exact proof approved for you.
  • If your order is DIGITAL, you may request a physical printed proof.  This will be on your exact label stock, printed on our production press.  This is nearly identical to the final label, but it isn’t varnished or die-cut.  This is the final and most accurate way to approve your final label.  This press proof adds time and cost but avoids big mistakes.
  • If your order is TRADITIONAL, we can schedule an on-site press check to view the job on press, sign it off, and begin production right away.  This is a great way to see the final product and protect yourself from problems.
  • Finalization: Once you give the thumbs up, the design is locked in. We will now move forward with the actual printing process.

4. Processing & Printing – The Exciting Part!

This is where the magic really happens!

  • Preparation: Rose City Label’s design team ensures your label is print-ready, considering factors like bleed, resolution, and color accuracy.  Digital orders are sent directly to the press print for printing, die cutting, and any other embellishments.  Traditional orders are sent to our in-house plate making department.  
  • Printing: Using top-notch machines and quality materials, your labels are printed with precision and care.
  • Quality Check: Before anything gets sent out, a quality control team ensures everything looks as it should. We’re talking color, clarity, and overall awesomeness!

5. Your Beautiful Labels are on the Way!

With everything printed and checked, your labels are packaged and shipped to you. Before you know it, a package arrives at your office, filled with your gorgeous, custom-designed labels.

Only after the labels are printed, checked and shipped will you be invoiced.  At that point, if you are paying by Credit Card, your card will be charged and an electronic receipt will be sent.

Ordering custom labels isn’t just about slapping a design on some material and hoping for the best. It’s a meticulous process that ensures your vision comes to life just as you imagined it. Next time you receive a custom label, take a moment to appreciate the journey it’s been on. And if you’re ready to start your own label journey, now you know just what to expect!

Download the one-pager order flow

G7 Master Print Qualification

G7 Master Print Qualification

Certified World Class  Quality

Recently Rose City Label upgraded our print quality standards to match the most stringent G7 quality standard in the printing world.  With a multi-day onsite audit, we were able to demonstrate our ability to precisely match print targets. This is a true mathematical proof that our print quality meets or exceeds the highest international standards.  Check the certificate by clicking here.

Why Get Certified?

The Idealiance website says it best, and we couldn’t agree more.  Print is competitive, and to be successful, you have to be VERY GOOD at your craft.  We are raising the bar so we can keep meeting your needs.  Measuring ourselves against high standards means we always produce certified world class quality.  Learn more about G7 quality here.

Print service providers of all types know that a measurable, predictable, and uniform color management process provides significant business advantages. For printers to make money, orders must be turned around quickly, they must be consistent and they must predictable.

Investing in People, too!

Besides recognizing our facility, the auditors also look at the technical quality of our people.  Both of our graphics people – Lisa and Amy – were awarded a separate certification for their expertise.  We have high standards.  We invest in our people and they do their best to meet our customer needs every day.  It is a team effort and we all enjoy working together to make outstanding labels.

And, WE ARE HIRING! We always need a ready supply of highly trained peole to keep up with our workload.  If being a part of a team like this sounds good, please contact us today.

Precise Servo Technology

Beautiful, repeatable labels

Printing is an art – and it always will be. But, there is a massive amount of science built into the art of printing. For repeatable, high quality labels, we need measurable standards and targets.  Our production team is using more technology and automation everyday to ensure that our quality keeps rising over time. ‘Eye ball color’ isn’t good enough today.  With this certification we are demonstrating to ourselves and our customers that we are committed to measurable quality.  

Continuous Improvement – Forever and Always!

This certification is just one of many ways we challenge ourselves to get better over time.  Today we print more labels, with better quality, than we ever have before.  We measure and we improve over time in our print quality, our business performance, and in our environmental stewardship.  This is a long game.  As a 94 year old family business we have a unique perspective.  We are here for the future to keep meeting all our customers’ needs.  Call us today if you want to partner with a leader that is always getting better.

New Press Coming!

New Press Coming!

New Press for Faster Labels

This Fall Rose City Label is again investing in new technology to serve more customers.  This new servo driven press will provide the fastest, most economical option for mid and long run labels.  Our digital business is booming with the small to mid length runs, and this press will round out our capabilities.

Fastest Speed and Precise Registration

As wonderful as our HP Indigo Digital Press is, it still has limitations. This new press is designed to run up to 4x (400%) faster than the HP press.  On longer runs, that massive speed increase means faster deliveries and lower cost to you, our customer.  And, the quality is unmatched in the traditional press arena.  The full 8 color capabilities mean that we can print a beautiful 4C (CMYK) image, along with a specific pantone color for a logo element, and keep all the colors in precise register tolerance.  This is a whole new level of long run quality.  New Press for Faster Labels – for you!

Precise Servo Technology

Computer Controlled Technology

Even though we have done traditional printing for over 50 years, this takes the game to a new level.  This is computer controlled, servo driven quality.  This means faster learning for our press operators, more reliable operation, and the ability for factory service with remote diagnostics.  This machine has all the modern features of a 21st century digital press, with the speed of a traditional press.  This is the perfect combination to serve more customers in the coming years.  This technology will keep the press running reliably for years to come – New Press for Faster Labels.

Embellish Inline!

Currently, we have to emboss and foil stamp labels on a second machine.  Not anymore.  With precision in-line foil stamping, we can run a mid to long run job with foil stamping on one press at full press speed.  We can also emboss on that same single run.  Things that took days will now take hours.  We have massive new capabilities and we need your creativity to make the most of them.

This press is built by Mark Andy, the world wide leader in production label presses.  They have a huge lead on every other press company, and they are based in St. Louis, MO to provide local, US-based service into the future.  Check out more details by clicking here.

Sheets and Rolls – total flexibility

With all these options, we are better positioned than ever to serve all your label needs.  Rolls and sheets, backside printing, complex die cutting.  All the options you have enjoyed at Rose City Label are getting even better.  Faster run speeds and lower waste make us even more environmentally friendly.  Call us today.  We are ready to serve all your label needs.

Consistent Color over Time – here’s how!

Consistent Color over Time – here’s how!

Consistent Color Over Time – RRWC

In our business, many of or new label print jobs are considered ‘RRWC’ – Re-Run With Change.  This is not a NEW item (something we have never printed) and not an exact reprint – it is somewhere in the middle.  The most common example in our business is wine labels.  If we printed 2018 Chardonnay last year, and then this year you want another run – 2019 Chardonnay – then this item is RRWC.  We have printed Chardonnay before, but we are updating (changing) to the new vintage and often a new alcohol percentage.


Baled Cans

Revising the Current File – Best Option

When we get an order for Rerun with Change, the BEST option is for Rose City Label to revise our current file and send a proof for approval.  This is the best way to ensure a color match with the existing item.  This is the best way to have consistent color printing.  Providing a new file is not required – and can be detrimental – on RRWC jobs.  Letting us make the file changes per your specification is the best option for the most consistent color printing.  

Fine Tuning After the File is Submitted 

Part of the difficulty with the submission of new files on RRWC jobs is that internally we do several additional processes to your submitted files after the proof is signed.  There is considerable calibration, setup for die cutting and potential foil stamping, and several other steps before the file is ready to print.  And, then we color correct the output to match the desired end sample.  All of this work has to be redone from scratch when you submit a new file.  This is a huge additional task that adds no value to your label production and actually slows down delivery of your labels.

Unintentional Changes = Big Time Wasters

Finally, sometimes when a new file is submitted for a RRWC job, there can be very small, unintended changes that throw off the color match to the previous label.  One small change in how a logo was built, one small change in a background image… Any of these changes can make a big difference and add hours to the label production. Because we don’t generally know what has been changed, we end up spending extra time playing detective to find the correct formula to match the prior label.  This is wasteful in time and material, and adds no value to the final label.

RRWC – Don’t Submit a File, Just Submit your Edits

For best results, trust the experts at Rose City Label to make your edits and send corrected proofs for approval.  Don’t waste time and energy sending new files unless you want a different look!  If you want consistent color printing, let us use the existing file as the base to work from, and edit from there.  Together, this will allow us to get the best results with the fastest turn around time.

Thank you for partnering with us and trusting our 94 years of label experience work for you.  Questions?  Call us today!

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.