Not every project calls for the large quantities of mass produced labels. Limited edition and seasonal labels continue to gain in popularity and are becoming more and more available in premium quality low volume runs. The combination of today’s technology, and faster to market short-batch production runs are able to create the sense of craftsmanship that standard mass-produced labels lack. Here are 7 hidden (or not so hidden) facts to make your labels work harder.
1. LOW VOLUME
Digitally printed labels remove the high costs of minimum order quantities and long lead times of high volume printing. It is a perfect solution for craft brewers and low volume packaging. By printing the exact quantity, it cuts down on storage costs vs. large production runs where you need to store excess inventory.
Digitally printed labels today are able to achieve a 95% match to pantone colors. The also have impeccable registration calibration to deliver clean, crisp images. What it boils down to is: design flexibility, speed, and value.
Diecuts, whether subtle and simple or bold and elaborate, can add visual depth and power to your design. From plotter cutters to letterpress dies or detailed laser cut, there are many ways to achieve crisp iecuts for smaller runs. Diecuts give you many options from custom shapes to perforations for tear aways.Consider: How the custom shape will wrap the bottle. How intricate the die is, and will it hold up in the retail environment. Most importantly, what is the diecut label adding to the overall aesthetic of the product
4. CREATIVE APPLICATIONS
Break free from flat featureless surfaces. Flagged labels are one way to introduce an attention-grabbing message delivery system on shelf. Think of flagged labels as the mini shelf talkers for your product. Things to consider; how the product will fit on the shelf. If not merchandised correctly, they may become crowded and appear cluttered and poorly designed.
5. ACCENT LABELS
Full coverage labels aren’t for everyone. Labels can be used to accent a design, create a layered effect, deliver variable data, or identify product variations. Many designers love the direct print look, but don’t have the budget. Almanac Beer Co. is a great example. They direct print a single design for their entire Farm to Barrel series and then add a pressure sensitive label around the bottom of the bottles to identify each specific brew.
6. DIGITALLY PRINTED SHRINK SLEEVES
Shrink sleeves are not labels, but they are a great alternative for cans that can be printed digitally. They are a low cost low volume way to challenge bottles on shelf for the craft brewers. They are a great alternative to directly printing large quantities of cans. Shrink sleeves are not only for cans; they can be used on bottles as well as a variety of other items. No matter what the product is, designers must be aware of “smiling” (warping) that occurs around the curves of the object.
7. DON’T LIMIT YOURSELF
Labels come in many substrates today from poly films to wood veneers. Labels have the opportunity to create a tactile connection with consumers, and leave deep-rooted sensory recall memories. Exploit that opportunity by carefully selecting the right material to communicate your brand. Other unique options for low volume runs are black vellum, brushed platinum, or metalized labels.
As you can see there is much more you can do with labels than your average applications. I challenge you to find more ways to creatively break the norm, and push brands forward by using unique label applications.