The Primera CX1200/ FX1200 and Rose City Label – What A Team!
Scott Pillsbury, President, Rose City Label, “This is a great and established company. My family bought the business in the 1970s. My sister and I came to work here both about the same time, in the early ’90s. We’re getting close to 20 years in the business, and it’s always been a custom label manufacturing company, printing labels for businesses to go on their products for identification and marketing.
We’ve always been a long run, flexographic printer, and that’s still the majority of our work. We’ve brokered some digital work from time to time from other digital printers that had other machines, but having the machine in-house and being able to really learn its capabilities and learn the things that we didn’t know we could do, that’s been a great way to just broaden our product line and really help a lot more customers.”
Whitney Pillsbury, Vice President, Rose City Label, “The size of the press was a good fit for our company and our customers, as well as the price point was excellent. It was something that was affordable for us, and we’d be able to provide a nice addition to customers. Some customers are still using other traditional methods, but this has been an enhancement for the right product as far as short runs.
It seems like we have found our niche in the Primera Press. It was very hands-on. It was user-friendly. We’ve had great backup on it as far as information and troubleshooting. It was just a nice machine to be able to fold into our existing company as well as the experience that our operators have. So it was very hands-on and user-friendly. So it’s been an excellent fit for our company.”
Scott Pillsbury, “The FX, the digital die cutter, was a really huge part of that, not having to deal with custom dies. Again, most of the work that we do is long run, repeat work, and you can go a whole lot faster on a conventional press. So you just bite the bullet and purchase the die. But for short runs, custom shapes, that is a fantastic thing to be able to offer the customers.
You can have any size you want within these parameters. We have 1,000 cutting dies in the building, but inevitably somebody wants something an eighth of an inch bigger or a quarter of an inch smaller, and they’ve got to compromise. With the FX cutting system, they’re not compromising.
As a testament to the Primera machine, we took it out of the box, uncrated it, installed it, and started using it. I think we were printing sellable labels within a week, which probably wouldn’t happen with a conventional press for someone with no training. We’ve got, like I said, very experienced people here, and I elected to use a pre-press person who is a computer and graphic design person to run the press.”
Lisa Helfrich, Art Director, Rose City Label, “It just really allows us to do whatever we want to do because flexo printing, which is what we do normally, has a lot of limitations. So now I don’t have to worry about any limitations, like gradients and colors going out of the spectrum. Sure, they’re gone in the printing, but I get more variety in the color spectrum in the printing with the CX1200.
Before with flexo printing, we have a two day turnaround time for a change because we have to make the physical plate still and that takes five or six hours because the plate has to cure. Now it’s boom, fix it, get it done. It’s done. You just put it back on the press, and we’re ready to go again, which has happened too.
I’d even recommend us having two of them if they keep up this order. It’s just been busy. I’ve been working a lot of overtime since it’s been here, so two would probably be a good idea.”
Colin, Head Distiller, House Spirits Distillery, “House Spirits started in 2005 and really got going with Aviation Gin in that same year. Since then, it’s grown into a brand of aquavit as well, Krogstad Aquavit, and then a branded house line of limited release products. like the coffee liqueur, rums, some whiskeys, aged aquavit, and some small things in the past, shochu, other specialty products that we wanted to have fun with and things like that.
The design started with we’re going for a more retro feel, a sort of “out of the cellar” look, and that was because we started selling it just at the storefront here at the distillery. It would make it to a few bars and things like that, but it was something that we did in small batches and wanted to share with our loyal customers, people who wanted to come and check out the place.
The texture, the simplicity, the already weathered approach was important. We had started with letter pressing, and because of the volume, we had to move on to the digital printing. That’s where Rose City was able to kick up the aesthetic pretty nicely.
The quality and the cost helped a lot. The letter pressing quality is really tough to beat just on that one mark alone. They have the ability to replicate that at a good cost and also be light on their feet with things like working the cap stripping and doing some color changes and things like that.”
Scott, Director of Marketing, HydroRush, “HydroRush is a water treatment product that promotes healthy white root growth. Because of the healthy white root growth, you get better nutrient uptake. Better nutrient uptake, more efficient plant processes, bigger, better, faster growth.
It exceeded my expectations. The quality of Scott’s digital printing is outstanding, way beyond my expectations. As a bootstrap startup company, everything is due two weeks ago. Because of Scott and his digital printing capabilities, it was a perfect fit for HydroRush.
I kind of made him jump through some unreasonable hoops and he delivered. In my business, as the Director of Marketing, image is everything. If we don’t make that first impression and hit a home run with it, then we’re out, we’re gone. We’ve lost an opportunity. So the quality that Rose City Label is able to produce is outstanding.”
Yeshi, Production Manager, Portland Roasting, “We are a roaster wholesaler. We sell roast coffee and green coffee, buy green coffee and roast coffee, and then sell it to grocery stores, coffee shops, universities, hotels. Sometimes when you buy something from some vendors and they have lead times, sometimes they cannot rush it. Rose City Label was really great at that, rushing things for you and getting things done on time.
For us to have money stuck in inventory for a really long time is not really business savvy for us. So it’s really nice when we can order 500 labels instead of 5,000 labels, which we can do with Scott and Rose City Labels.”
David, Head Brewer, Lompoc Brewery, “Lompoc is a brewery in Portland. I think we were ninth last year in the Pacific Northwest as far as brew pubs go. So we’re getting there. We’re getting higher and higher up the rung on the ladder. We do a lot of beer, about 3,500 barrels this year, and it makes us a moderate player in the Northwest scene.
It’s a signature for us. We need to have that yellow logo on there first and foremost. Some of these beers we’ve spent up to four years making. They’ve been in barrels. They’ve been moved from stainless to barrels, back to barrels. They’ve been re-infused. They’ve been inoculated with wild yeast. There’s a lot of work that goes in, and just to slap something on would not work for us at all.
It’s got to have the Lompoc logo on the Beer label. It’s got to look good. It’s got to look tight, and it’s got to be fun too. It’s got to be something we enjoy. That’s the whole deal with beer. It’s fun, it’s enjoyable, it’s a passion of life for sure.
45 cases is just over 500 bottles, so not much at all. We can get 1,000 rolling and be good, and that’s great that we can turn that around. We don’t have to order 10,000 or anything like that, and the quality is just as good and the price is as well.”
Scott Pillsbury, “I can tell you the machine has been busy. There’s no shortage of demand, and like I said, I think we’re pricing the products competitively, but we’re making money. So if we haven’t paid for the machine yet, we’re real close.”