The Perf-ect Plan
After a year fraught with industry shake-ups, government red tape and global strife, many are turning to 2014 for hope. For distributors, hope translates to stability and profits—both of which can be found in the label and tag market. Just ask Sandy Brown, plant manager for New Dimension Labels – a Graphic Dimensions Company, Austell, Ga.
"I have heard the term 'Print is dead' so many times and it is simply not true. Labels and tags are the future," she said. "They will always be needed, and as technology continues to create new adhesives, face sheets and print methods, the sky is the limit."
Brown's optimism is backed by encouraging statistics. According to the Freedonia Group's July 2013 study on the label market, product demand in the United States is projected to climb 4.2 percent annually to $19.1 billion in 2017. To stay on track, labels and tags are getting a little help from their friends. Thanks to digital enhancements like QR codes, these pieces are positioned to engage their audience in exciting ways. Richard Phelps, owner and director of marketing for Allen-Bailey Tag & Label Inc., Caledonia, N.Y., offered more information.
"The QR code can be static or consecutive and have a GUID (globally unique identifier) associated with it," he explained. "Allen-Bailey has some proprietary ways in which it addresses these requirements and distributors should not be afraid of the new requirements. They should capture as much information as they can from their customer in regard to the use of the product, and convey that to their manufacturing partner."
Certain printing processes are also creating opportunities for distributors. John Shanley, president of Labels West, Woodinville, Wash., pointed to flexography as one example. Because of advances in press design and plate making technology, the quality of flexo printed products has grown exponentially compared to just a few years ago. As a result, customers are afforded more flexibility in what they choose to print on their label, giving distributors an easier sell, Shanley said.