Correct Label Technology

Theory and background are important, but now it is time to really begin printing your labels! You need to have the background work done – read more about that in a previous post by clicking here. Once you have laid the foundation and you have a solid brand, it is time to dive into the details of getting your perfect labels printed.  Follow the path laid out here, and you will be able to select the correct label technology for your project.

If you believe your new food, beverage, tool or gadget is really going to make people happy or improve their lives, you owe it to the world to get your product out there – don’t keep it to yourself. Go out and make it happen today.

  • How Complex and How Stable is Your Design?

If you have a full color or photographic design, then digital and conventional printing are both very good options.  If your design is more of a classic, simple layout, like a traditional wine label printed with one or two colors, then you will have a cost advantage with traditional press printing – more colors mean more cost on a traditional press.  How likely are you to revise your design on the next run?  If you aren’t in love with the design, this will lean you toward the digital production option because there are no setup fees and no penalties for changing the design on your future orders.  Simple design? Consider traditional press.  Very rough, unstable design? Lean toward digital printing.

  • How many labels can you commit to right now?

The more labels you buy, the cheaper they will be – this is true across all print platforms.  Sometimes it makes sense to select a fixed budget – ‘how many labels can I get for $700?’, but sometimes it makes more sense to base the quantity on your sales projections, or your batch quantity for production of your beer, wine, or peanut butter.  We never recommend buying more than a year’s supply of labels – buying more than this, generally, won’t lower your cost that much but it will add more risk of wasting labels – in case you move, change ingredients, or decide you want to give your labels a facelift.  Depending on the quantity you decide on, smaller quantities generally tend to favor digital production options.  The size of the label weighs on this decision too, but in most cases, 50-1000 labels should be printed on our Economy Digital platform, 1,000 to 10,000 labels belong in our Premium Digital department, and initial orders over 10,000 labels run best on our Traditional Press area.

  • Do you need metallic inks, perforation, special adhesive or other special operations?

Traditional press printing is still 70% of our business, despite the rapid growth of digital.  Because of this, we have many more material choices in the traditional press department – both label materials and adhesives.  We also have many, many more standard cutting dies available.  Metallic inks, inline embossing, perforation, top scoring, and many other special operations are ONLY available on the traditional press.  Finally, because the press is so much larger and faster, the very lowest cost labels will always be produced on the traditional printing press in almost all cases.

  • Do you want to add ‘bling’ like embossing or foil stamping?

Once you have decided on the primary printing technology, you get to look at the dessert menu.  What do you want to add onto the top of the beautiful label you just produced?  With our state of the art foil and embossing equipment, we can add a little extra ‘spice’ to any label – regardless of which press technology was used to print it.  Embossing and foil stamping make a label ‘pop’ and stand out on the shelf.  These secondary operations aren’t for everyone, and they aren’t cheap, but they do give a dimension to your product that you can’t get any other way.  Maybe you have a full line of food, beverage, or consumer products?  Consider embossing or foil stamping for your top tier product – the Private Reserve level – this will make it stand out, but still remain obviously recognizable as a part of your product family.

  • That’s It – Go Make it Happen!

Once we have the printing technology selected (Economy Digital, Premium Digital, or Traditional Press) and we have confirmed the need for secondary upgrades (adding the ‘bling’), we are ready to submit an order!  All orders are quoted and confirmed within 48 hours.  PDF proofs are sent back within 3 business days.  After PDF approval, typical lead time is about 7-9 working days.  That’s it!  Your product is ready to be released to the world – go out and make it happen.  If you believe your new food, beverage, tool or gadget is really going to make people happy or improve their lives, you owe it to the world to get your product out there – don’t keep it to yourself. Go out and make it happen today.

More questions?  No problem – we can help.  Follow this checklist and you will be on your way to making the right decisions, but don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way.  We do this every day, so we have many more ideas to help you launch your product with great success.

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This blog post was written by Scott

President of Rose City Label - I am the primary blogger and marketing driver for our company. I can help with just about any label challenge - let my 24 years experience work for you!

One Response to 5 Steps to Find the Correct Label Technology
  1. I really like the point you make about understanding how simple or complex you want your label to be. Like you mention, when you want a more simple to design, it would be more cost effective to do traditional printing, and if not, you will want more of a digital production option. So I would imagine before going in and getting a label figured out, design it first, see if it is complex or simple, then decided what kind of print to go with.


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