We are TTB Label Submission Experts
Government label approvals are never much fun, but we are TTB Label Submission Experts so we can help demystify the process. We won’t make it fun, or even easy, but we can help you know what to expect and take away some of the confusion. This is a general overview that is subject to change with regulations and personnel changes, but as of today, the label approval atmosphere is about as good as it has been recently.
Your wine is your passion – sharing it with the world excites you. Whether this is your first bottling year or your 20th, it pays to learn (or review) the rules. TTB has made it easier than ever with these online resources. Do your homework, know the rules, and work with TTB Wine Label Submission Experts.
- This 2 page PDF really hits the high points for your label submission. TTB published it and we offer it here on our site. Things change over time, but if you only have a few minutes, start here. Click here to download the TTB Wine Label Guide (PDF)
- With a bit more time, you can dig into the 20+ resource links offered on the TTB’s own website. The site has specific sections about flavorings, sulfites, organic claims and more. Click here to go to their site TTB Wine Label Resource website
- One of the best features on the TTB site is a real-time processing backlog. As of today, the backlog for labels is only 4 days for wine labels! This obviously changes throughout the season, but it is worth checking from time to time. Please, be mindful of this and don’t ask your label company to make up for all the time lost waiting in line at TTB for COLA (certificate of label approval). Click here for the real time updates – Current Label Processing Times (updated daily)
Work with a qualified Label Designer
Consider all the blood, sweat and tears you have put into your amazing wine. The hours and agony to get the blending just right. Lots of time, effort and money, right? Then please, don’t go cheap on the wine label designer! This is some of the best money you will spend and it is worth every penny. Many consumer studies show that wine is among the most ‘label influenced’ of all retail purchase categories. Use a seasoned professional, not an intern or a relative in design school. We only do basic changes and typesetting internally, but we have an excellent list of top notch wine label designers. Use a professional and your results will be amazing.
What to Expect from Us
Because we are the TTB Label Submission Experts, we have developed a very specific work flow to make sure your job gets printed right the first time. We don’t vary from this proven process because it works. Here is the work flow:
- Adobe Illustrator (AI) files submitted by you our your designer – Your professional designer will know why we need Vector format art – read more in this PDF – File formats and color models explained You don’t really need to know this stuff because a solid designer will provide an excellent file with all fonts, placed images, links, and color call outs. Emboss areas and foil areas will be clearly identified and die cut lines will be separated from the main artwork. This is why you work with a professional.
- PDF proof back from us to you for final approval – We are very good, but we do make mistakes and files get lost in translation. For this reason, we ALWAYS send a PDF proof back just to make sure that we got what you intended. PDF is our file format of choice because at this point it is still editable. If we do need to change an alcohol percentage or fix a typo in your back label story, we can do that very easily in the PDF format. We don’ change format until the PDF is approved.
- JPG files sent to you for TTB submission – when you LOVE the PDF, you give a conditional approval and request JPG files for TTB submission. We know these have to be actual size, 300 dpi, with front and back labels in separate files, and no additional notations on the files. We know this because we are TTB Label Submission Experts!
- Your Final Approval – once the TTB gives their blessing, you contact us with final approval to run the job. At this point the job is released to production.
- Print, Die Cut, Foil Stamp, Emboss, QC, and deliver! – depending on the complexity, the job may run through 2, 3, 4 or more machines before it arrives to you.
Finally, if you have done all your homework, selected a great designer, and partnered closely with us, you will be thrilled on bottling day. Your labels will look great on the bottle – what a wonderful feeling!
Summary and Conclusion
Thank you for trusting us and letting us be a part of this amazing process. Your trust is why we are TTB Label Submission Experts. We have been writing about this topic since 2010 in these two posts – click here to see that old post. Please contact us early in the process so we can make sure your jobs run properly the first time. We have connections to designers, mobile bottlers, glass suppliers, label approval lawyers and other great professionals to make the experience as painless as possible.