The label-making process can either be simple or simply a nightmare, especially in the highly competitive Food, Wine and Beverage sectors.
Fortunately, the difference can be made with one simple yet often taken for granted step: communicating with an experienced label printer. One who is akin to a reliable partner, who can advise you every step of the way and wants the best for your business.
Speaking to an experienced label printer can really help you start your label-printing journey on the right foot. Here are some of the things an experienced label printer and great partner should be able to help you with, in order to create a seamless label-making experience.
Standing out from the crowd
The Food and Beverage industry is saturated with millions of different brands and products, which is why it is so important that you make sure your product stands out in the sea of competition. One of the best ways to give presence to your product is to have an attractive label design.
Knowing what your customers like or respond to and also understanding what you wish to communicate about your brand / product, will enable a design to be created that stands out and catches the potential customers’ eye.
Once you have created the design, you’ll need to consider how it’s printed and the media you will use. This part can be tricky, as there are many different materials offering different textures, looks, functions and performance capabilities. Various finishes and embellishments such as varnishing, foiling and embossing can also enhance your label. If applicable, you may need to think how your label may look under the rigours of cold storage or under certain lighting. You might need to consider which adhesive you require, as some labels will not apply or perform well in cold or wet conditions.
A lot of designers lack the technical knowledge regarding embellishing a label. They can create designs near impossible to achieve via some print methods or on certain materials. That’s why it is a good idea to get an experienced printing partner involved in the process when your label design is about 70% complete. This way you can discuss finishes and spot problems before they surface. It is at this stage an experienced label printer can also add value by exploring various finishes that can be achieved via different print methods and materials.
Understanding labelling needs and environments
From conventional to digital, the label printing industry offers a wide range of label printing solutions, which is why knowing the advantages and disadvantages can really help in determining the best label printing solution for your food and beverage product. To start, ask yourself:
- What is the environment in which the label will be used?
- Is the label meant for short-term or long-term use?
- What sort of brand image would I like to portray?
- Will my label design translate well in the printing process?
- Do I want to convey an entry, medium or premium quality product to the customer?
- How quickly do I need the labels?
These are just some of the basic questions. There’s plenty more to identify in order to get the label printing solution that best suits your needs and avoid unnecessary drawbacks such as inaccurate and inconsistent colours, major – even minor – imperfections and poor print quality.
Fortunately, some of these problems can be easily solved by working with an experienced label printer. For example, poor print quality can sometimes be due to a low-resolution file or a design that does not do well with a certain printing method. An experienced label printer will be able to advise you about poor artwork prior to printing or make slight design changes that can greatly improve the label’s final printed result.
Identifying the best printing solution
There are two major types of technologies in label printing today: digital and conventional – including Letterpress, Offset and Flexo (Flexographic). Established label printers like Peacock Bros offer and advise these options. Each technology comes with pros and cons, so it’s important to know your priorities and for your label printer to be experienced enough to advise you.
Benefits of digital printing
Digital printing works great for short to medium runs with multiple version changes as there are no printing plates required. Without the need for printing plates, the cost is generally lower and set up time greatly reduced. Additionally, if you wish to personalise each label or print various designs within the same roll, digital printing can help change the way you communicate with your customer.
No longer do you have to over-order on certain labels to try and get a better unit price. Digital Print can help reduce your stock holdings and increase your purchasing power by combining small-run items together, or with your medium to larger run lines. As file preparation for digital print is significantly cheaper and the changeover time between designs is quicker than traditional print, the use of common sized labels will allow you to group label orders together (even in relatively small quantities) to achieve a lower unit price.
If you’re going for high-quality and high-volume digital printing, you may be interested to know that Peacock Bros. is the first printer in the ANZ region to incorporate the innovative HP Indigo 8000 Digital Press. It can deliver high-resolution printing as well as accurate and repeatable perfect colour-to-colour registration, even on heat-sensitive materials. It also supports the widest range of media in digital production.
Flexo is ideal for longer runs involving fewer types of label designs and for labels requiring specific PMS colours such as fluoro colours, gold, silver and other colours that can’t be digitally matched. Unfortunately, printing plates are required for each colour printed and the cost of these plates quickly adds up. It also takes more time to set up a traditional plate & film press. For a complex job, set-up time can be as long as several hours. Generally, the biggest drawback of a flexo would be its inability to accommodate version changes without spending large sums remaking multiple plates… something to consider!
DIY with Desktop Label Printers
In the case of small manufacturing or low volume contract packaging, printing labels with desktop inkjet printers might suffice and could save you time and money. For example, if you need to print very small volumes (20, 50, 100 labels at a time), or if you only have a few days to print your labels, a label printer like the Epson Colorworks TC3500 or C7500 would be perfect.
Peacock Bros. offer all of these solutions and more, and can work closely with you to choose a label printing solution that works best for you. Our colour specialists can not only help you with print quality and pricing, but also offer ways to increase your own business, via the inclusion of contract packaging or manufacturing that may have previously been too difficult to incorporate into your existing labelling processes.
While a good label can maximize visual appeal, a great label will increase market share, reinforce branding and communicate with your customers better. At Peacock Bros. we not only pride ourselves on being able to provide you with great labels but also the ability to add value beyond just the labelling of your product.
Many people make purchasing decisions based on the first impression. If you want consumers to pick your product over others, it’s vitally important that you ensure your label grabs their attention!
To learn more or discuss the needs of your particular application, contact our consultants today.
Colour Label Specialist at Peacock Bros.
Marcus Horvat has 25 years of experience in the printing industry. He started his career in the offset industry and has worked in various areas of the print and associated industries including: large format digital print, signage and office & shop fit-outs. He spent the last 12 years in labels, both plain and printed, and specialising in the food, wine and chemical industries. He draws on this experience and tries to educate new and even experienced customers on avoiding pitfalls and how to get most value out of their labels.