Welcome to the Label Tech Inc Blog.

Proofs - The Proof is in the Proofing

Proofs are important for ensuring accuracy, not just in color reproduction, but in content management and page layout - spelling and type errors, position issues, etc.  Proofs serve many purposes and are very important, one could relate them to the rough draft of an essay. It saves the cost of printing a final document that may contain errors or unexpected color changes.  The primary goal of proofing is to serve as a tool for customer verification of job accuracy. 

This blog will look at all the choices available to the customer when it comes to proofing.

When you place a custom label order you have a choice.  You can request a PDF proof of your artwork, a color proof or a press proof.

The biggest advantage of PDF proofs is speed.  Once the art is finalized, the prepress department sends a PDF proof to the customer.  With a PDF proof you can receive and approve your proof immediately after prepress has emailed it to you.  It is always going to be the quickest proofing method.  If your artwork is fairly simple, with just text and some basic graphics then a PDF proof may be right for you.  You can view your proof on your screen or print it out on your inkjet or laser printer.  Keep in mind that the colors will be different from your finished labels.

Color proofs, also called match prints are proofs printed using color management.  Software associated with the printer utilizes sophisticated technology to simulate the printing behavior of diverse printing technologies.  This software analyses color from a specific device.  For example, a press and applies that to a profile.  This color profile is then applied to the job upon printing for an accurate color representation.

With press proofs you get to see exactly how your labels will look.  If your label is being printed digitally, you can request a digital press proof.  This proof is printed on the same press that will print the finished labels, so the color will be exactly the same.  You can even cut out the label from the proof sheet and stick it on a jar or container to see how it looks there, thus avoiding any surprises.

If your labels are being printed on a flexographic press, a press proof would be too costly.  This is because the whole press would need to be set up with stock, plates and colors just for one press proof.  The alternative, if color is critical, is to be involved in the printing process.  Being on press while the label is manufactured allows the customer to see the final product.  If the color isn’t to the customer’s liking, plates can be adjusted to meet the customer’s needs.

Proof Example

Whichever proofing method you choose, always proofread your label artwork carefully.  It is good to have someone else proofread it as well. It is a lot less expensive to fix a problem before the artwork goes to press than after you receive your labels.  When you think your art is fine, just proof it one more time.  We have learned from experience that the more time you spend studying your proof, the less likely a mistake will make it through to press.

Click me

Topics: color consistency Color Proofing Proofs Proofing

Is Your Label Printer Color Blind??

In today's digital environment where most communication occurs online, getting color consistency can be a challenge for some printers. If your printer is color blind, your business could be suffering! We had a chance to sit down with our pre-press department this week to talk about getting color right the first time around. Here is what Clayton Nau, resident expert on color, had to say about it.

color,blind,test,dollar,symbol,economy c84f2b974182edd8a02432d0e283764a m

Obtaining predictable color reproduction in the digital age can be a huge challenge because each device - camera, scanner, monitor, or printer - responds to or produces color differently.

Color Science is a big world, and producing accurate color means taking steps and putting into practice good color management. We use the EFI Colorproof XF Color Management System.  Using a dedicated Color Rip (computer) and a state of the art quality proofing device (large-format multi-color ink jet printer), we can produce proofs for our customers that best represent what their label will look like.

We have created our own custom color profiles that allow our proofing devices to match the expected output from our press. Essentially we have fingerprinted our presses to our pre-press proofing system so the customer sees a proof that is identical to what their label will look like. This allows us to compare our color-managed output to industry standard profiles and make adjustments to the output file so the printed piece looks like the label the customer is looking for.

Also, if a specific label changes from a digital print job to a flexo-printed label, or there is a stock or finishing change, we can better anticipate any color shifts that might occur because of these changes and make adjustments accordingly. This can be advantageous for companies who's volumes are getting to that tipping point of moving on to a flexo press from a digital one.

Today, more and more customers supply digital files to us without any hard-copy proof, making color management even more important.  In a perfect world, you push a button and the perfect label pops out.  In the real world, a lot of talented, professional people work hard to assure a print job meets the customer’s expectations.  Color management is one of the fine tools we use to make great looking printed labels a reality.

Stay tuned for more information on printing and how to improve the quality of your labels! Thanks for tuning in!

Click me

Topics: digital printing Color match issues for labels color consistency color inconsistency labels flexographic label printing

What the Heck is Four-Color Process? AKA 4CP.

What the heck is four-color process or what is commonly referred to as full color? Well, don’t feel bad about not knowing or having limited knowledge on the subject. In flexographic printing and digital printing it is good to have a brief understanding of what 4CP stands for and what it can do for your labels. CMYK and full color are both commonly referred to terms in label printing. Full color is not anything special so don't worry about your friends laughing at you for not understanding what it means. It is just a commonly referred to term for 4CP. CMYK is important. CMYK refers to the colors that are used in four-color process: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. The true meaning of the K is for Key Plate, however to make things simple let's just refer to it as the black plate. Click here to find out about our prepress department. Printing in 4CP allows for the printer to construct any color in the Pantone (PMS) book from these four colors. In doing so it allows the graphic designer who is creating your labels to get way more creative in designing your labels.

170px CMYK color swatches.svg

Side note: if you want a "spot color" then you are referring to us picking an actual PMS number out of the pantone book. If you look in a "bridge" book then you can see the difference between making a color out of 4CP versus using the actual color itself. It is a subtle difference but good to take in to consideration when designing a label.

The CMYK process works by partially or entirely subtracting reflective light from whatever surface it is covering. In most cases the surface is white and often times when a Flexographic printer is printing on clear surfaces they will first lay down a coat of white to get a better color reflection, much like a painter laying down a base coat. 

Label Tech Inc has become an expert at four-color process printing. We run 4CP on many of our flexographic Mark Andy presses and we also run 4CP on our digital press. 

Printing a four-color process image and then laying down one or more spot colors can make for a label that has pop or more shelf appeal then your competitors. Stay tuned for more info from Label Tech Inc on labels and labeling. 

Topics: four color process 4CP labels label tech inc digital printing salsa label multiple sku printing Color match issues for labels color consistency color inconsistency labels coupon labels Pressure Sensitive Labels beverage labels food labels flexographic label printing cosmetic labels pharmaceutical labels consumer product labels

Color Match Issues for Food Labels Conquered by Label Tech Inc Again!

Virginia Chutney is a family owned company based in Rappahannock county, VA. The company has been making specialty chutney's ranging in flavors from Balsamic Fig to Spicy Plum, Rhubarb and many others since Clare and Neville Turner founded the company and settled in VA. 

As a manufacturer of specialty chutneys the company grew and eventually needed a line for filling jars. Once the line was set up to run it was time to order food labels. Filling jars that are hot fill can be tricky when it is time for labeling. When the product is filled in the jar, often times the jar remains hot for some time. Placing a label on a hot jar may sound simple, but if your flexographic label printer isn't adhesive savy, it can make for messy labels. Their label problems didn't end with poor adhesive selection. 

Virginia Chutney was also experiencing issues with consistent label color. If your label printer is sending you inconsistent labels with every shipment, chances are either one of two things is going on: one, he's not printing the labels for you and he's subbing out the work to other printers each time for to find the best margins to make money off of you. If you are buying from a print distributor instead of going direct to a label manufacturer you are most likely paying 15-30% more than you should be for your labels. Or two- he doesn't know what he's doing. If you combine the issues that Virginia Chutney was having with their labels, chances are that's enough for you to look at a new vendor. 

mini crate 295x300

Label Tech Inc is also a family owned and operated business and they were ready to make a difference for Virginia Chutney. 

Solving color issues is something we are very familiar with. Virginia Chutney has many different products that are all run with the same size label. This allowed Label Tech Inc to switch them over to a digital press for superior four color process label printing and unmatched color consistency. Our HP Indigo Digital press sits in a climate controlled room and our press operators mark down all the color readings on the job ticket. This allowed our press operators to match color exactly on all future repeat orders for Virginia Chutney. 

Freezer grade adhesive allowed us to run hot fill labels for them with no bubbling or peeling of the label after it was applied to the hot jar. Simple solutions are easy once you've been down that road before. Here is what Clare Turner had to say about Label Tech Inc's most recent order for Virginia Chutney: 

Just wanted to thank you for doing such a wonderful job with the Cranfiggy labels - we asked for a rushed job on a small amount of labels and then sent you the wrong UPC and yet you still managed to get them to us well ahead of time.

Our experience with printers has always been complicated but working with Label Tech Inc is a joy and we will recommend you at every opportunity we get.  We will be at the Fancy Food Show (Booth 3026) next week and if you plan to attend please try and visit us.

Thanks very much

Clare

Clare Turner
The Virginia Chutney Company

Label Tech Inc has over 25 years of experience in the label manufacturing business. We have been ISO Certified since 1998 and have a quality control procedure in place for every thing that we do. Please allow us to fix your label problems or take a look at us as a new vendor. 

Click me

Topics: four color process 4CP labels label tech inc digital printing hot fill labels glass jar labeling bubbling labels label not sticking label application multiple sku printing Color match issues for labels color consistency color inconsistency labels in line labeling chutney labels labels peeling Pressure Sensitive Labels food labels flexographic label printing food label printer
<--- Sales Loft Tracking Code ---> <--- End Sales Loft Tracking Code --->