March 20th, 2012
MR Label Co., often receives phone calls from customers in a frenzy because they ran out of labels and their product must ship!!! The customer usually explains how they just got a hot order from their client or they simply forgot to re-stock. Of course we are going to do everything possible from overnighting materials, making new printing plates, and switching presses to get our customers their labels. But sometimes, it seems that customers do not realize the true efforts it takes to make a label. It’s certainly not as easy as changing a few settings and then pressing the print button on your computer!
There is a lot of prep work involved in producing custom labels. First we have to start with designing your artwork and making sure it fits within your company’s policies (from PMS colors, to logo sizes, etc.) Sometimes we even have to submit artwork to UL to obtain an issue number, and the timing of UL’s response it out of our control. Once we get the initial artwork going, we have to look through our list of custom label tooling on hand. And even that is not simple, because each tool is made specifically for different label material substrates. From paper with our without adhesive, to polyesters or vinyl, or with or without an over-laminate… So we might have that (2” x 4”) die you are looking for but it might only be able to cut through paper label stock or it might not be able to finish the labels in the correct roll chart for automatic application.
Let’s just say we fast forward and MR Label Co., designed your artwork, we have the exact tool in the shop that works with your roll chart, we have the material with the perfect adhesive for your label application in the warehouse… Now we still have to make printing plates (because you need high volume, durable labels that MUST be printed on a flexographic press). This is about the time you, our customer, calls MR Label Co., in a panic wanting your labels “yesterday.” So, of course your trusted label experts provide you with personalized service and pull every string possible in order to get your labels produced in record time. (Well in our minds we think that’s how it goes.) Presumably you are content, because you received your labels and were able to ship out your product. But do you truly understand the label printing process and how long it truly takes to produce just one label?
Check out this instructional video used by a printing school depicting how to set up a flexo press. Hopefully after you check out the video, you will realize the true efforts that go into printing labels.