Archive for the ‘Technical Articles’ Category

It Just Makes Sense

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

For many of our customers the retail store is their battleground. As a consumer approaches your product’s aisle the vast majority of shoppers do not know what brand of product they will buy that day. Oft-quoted marketing research claims that 70-75% of consumer packaged goods buying decisions are made at the shelf. That’s a scary statistic if you are a small business owner or entrepreneur, trying to gain sales momentum through retail distribution. Jane or Joe Consumer doesn’t realize how hard you’ve worked to develop your recipe or formula. They have no idea that you spent endless hours with a designer until your package design and product label conveyed the perfect brand message. In the blink of an eye, that consumer will make an impulsive decision whether to choose your product or Product X. It’s not fair! Why doesn’t the consumer see how much better your product is?

food11Fear not. Thankfully, your product is not defenseless against a whimsical and fickle consumer. Consumer buying behavior has been studied and analyzed by a multitude of researchers, scholars, and consultants. We can learn from their work to get a glimpse into the consumer’s mind. So what influences a shopper as they stare at the options? As you know, human beings have many senses. Some of our basic senses are sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. All five basic senses can influence a consumer to say “I am going to buy Product X!” But which of our senses is the most important? At the risk of sending perfume testers and food samplers to the unemployment line, I’m pretty sure it’s the sense of Sight. Research has determined that 92.6% of consumers put the most importance on visual factors when purchasing products (source: Seoul International Color Expo 2004). In a separate study, they claim that people make a subconscious evaluation about a person, environment or product within 90 seconds of their initial viewing (source: CCICOLOR  Institute for Color Research). Not much time for your packaging to give it’s silent sales pitch!

So as a packaging engineer, entrepreneur, or small business owner what can you do? I have a simple, albeit biased, suggestion: Focus on your product’s packaging. Look through this checklist and honestly evaluate your packaging:

Emotion:

Does your package evoke an emotion that stimulates a purchase?

Efficacy:

Your labeling should communicate the benefits and effectiveness of your product.

Up-to-date:

Even iconic brands must be changed regularly to stay fresh

Unique:

Does your brand stand out on a me-too shelf?

Information:

Make sure your label gives the consumer the info they seek

Give us a call today at Custom Label. Let us help you build the optimum packaging for your brand and product. That’s why our tag line is:

YOUR PRODUCT - OUR PURPOSE

What is a “Corner Radius”? Do I need one?

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

“Corner Radius”(CR) describes how rounded the corners are on a rectangular die-cut.  The term “corner radius” refers to the radius of the circle created by extended the corner arc to form a complete circle.

What is an RCR?

Rounded Corner Rectangle (RCR) describes a rectangle with a corner radius greater than 0.0 (the radius of a square corner).

Why Do Labels Have a Corner Radius?

1) The need for high speed automatic label application led to Pressure Sensitive Labels - labels with adhesive already on them adhered to a carrier liner.  The liner is pulled across a sharp edge, causing the label to dispense onto the container.  A square cornered label does not release as easily from a PS liner - thus corner radius is used to help ease automatic application.

2)  Graphic Designers will often choose rounded corners or square corners to enhance a design concept.  For example, many wine labels have square corners to evoke the look of old-school cut and glue labels.  Other designers use large radius rounded corners to differentiate their products on the shelf against traditional 1/8″ corner radius labels.

How do I measure the Corner Radius of a label?corner-radius1

Click the thumbnail on the right to open a full page Corner Radius Chart.   Print the page and hold the label against the corner radius examples until you find a match.

What Corner Radius should I use?

This is a matter of preference.  The packaging industry standard is 1/8″ corner radius.  This size radius is not unsightly, but allows ease of manufacturing and application.  For customers desiring “square corners” we often recommend 1/64″ (0.015625″) as the smallest CR we can consistently convert.  For machine application projects Custom Label recommends consulting your production team or contract packager before purchasing labels with less than a 1/8″ CR.

Custom Label receives ISO 9001-2008 Certification!

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

It began with the goal of updating the company’s quality system. That simple goal evolved into a comprehensive charter to improve all areas of our business. Each department in the company participated -finding better ways to satisfy our customers. Countless hours and nearly one year later, ABS Quality Evaluations conducted an on-site audit and granted our Certificate of Conformance! Effective June 16, 2009 Custom Label is ISO 9001:2008 Registered.

iso-certificateIn light of our recent certification, it’s probably helpful to summarize the benefits of ISO 9001. From our experience one of the key benefits is the integration of all quality initiatives into one system. Many company’s evolve with quality procedures, documents, and forms scattered throughout the business. With ISO 9001, the Quality Management System organizes and maintains these various processes. The heart of the QMS is the Quality Policy and Quality Goals and Objectives. All other procedures are developed to support the company’s quality vision. As each area builds systems and procedures that support the Quality Policy and Quality Goals the improvement is seen in all areas. Key benefits reported by ISO Registered company’s include:

- Less re-work
- Lower defect rates
- Material waste improvement
- Shorter lead-time

All of these benefits lead to one key indicator: Improved Customer Satisfaction. Since Custom Label has received our ISO 9001:2008 certification we’ve had an overwhelming voice of support from our valued customers, many of whom recognize the hard work it took to achieve our certification. We’re looking forward to hosting many of our customers on-site and showing them the many changes we’ve made to our Quality Management System!

Earth Day and Your Labels

Monday, April 20th, 2009

green-light-bulbWith Earth Day nearly at an end, I started wondering. Who declared the first Earth Day, and why? Did they realize how important environmental awareness would become, and at the same time how polarizing an issue?

The first official Earth Day in the United States was celebrated in spring 1970, at the urging of a Wisconsin Senator, Gaylord Nelson. The limited bounty of earth’s natural resources were of concern, but ironically the focus was not on conservation. At that time, the more popular movement was for population control! Nelson was quoted as saying “The bigger the population gets, the more serious the problems become … We have to address the population issue… every country is green-globeresponsible for stabilizing its own population. It can be done.” Quite a different spin on environmentalism! Even more ironic, one popular environmental concern cited “imminent cooling” of the earth’s surface and “glaciation” as a significant threat to our environment! A downward temperature trend was observed during the 30 year period preceding 1970 which alarmed some scientists, and led to the popular fear of “Global Cooling”.

green-snakeWhether our planet is cooling or heating, one thing is certain. We should all do our best to use earth’s resources wisely and reduce waste. Custom Label is ready to help you find packaging materials that are environmentally friendly. Our Digital Label press is a perfect example. Digital printing has significantly lower material waste than traditional flexography, letterpress, or rotogravure. By running an order digitally we avoid the need to “set-up” the press while running waste stock through the press. Selecting an eco-friendly label stock is also a way to green up your package. We offer a range of facestocks that have higher post-consumer-waste content. There are also bio-degradable and compostable materials that Custom Label can propose for your labels. We even have renewable materials, such as tree-free bamboo papers, where the source plant can be replenished faster than the consumption rate. Give your representative a call, Custom Label would welcome the opportunity to help you create a more eco-friendly package!