Primed for Profits
Gain an edge with innovative primary labels
By Eric Fiedler
Undeniably, prime labels are important. In stores, they are the sales force, the advertising team and the spokesman for a product and a company.
Because of this, most companies are willing to spend a little extra to get perfect prime labels, making them a profitable and challenging product to market.
"Your only limitation is your im-agination," said John Shanley, president of Labels West, Woodinville, Wash. "Distributors need to understand the possibilities in order to sell prime labels effectively."
The prime labels of today don't look like they did 10 years ago; the colors are richer and the overall quality rivals photography. The process, however, hasn't changed much in the past few decades. "The printing machinery has been basically the same for 30 years," noted Shanley.
Using flexography, Labels West has been able to produce some creative prime labels. These include scratch-off contests, peel-away cou-pons, multi-level and scented ink labels. Labels West also offers la-bels on rolls or sheets, with UV varnish, foil stamping and embossing.
Shanley said that while lithography still yields better quality than flexography, the gap is narrowing. "You are able to use a much wider range of materials with flexography, while most lithos are confined to non-adhesives," he added.
Flexography is especially useful, for example, when the label is the product's packaging.
According to Shanley, many end-users purchase generic packaging and put a fancy label on it. This way, if there is a change in the logo or label information, the only change needed would be a new label.