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Labels convey mission-critical information and that makes choosing a label supplier mission-critical too. How do you make sure you’ve chosen a vendor that can not only support your program, but actually improve it? You might try throwing them a curve ball to see if they can hit a home run. Find out if your label supplier is a true expert based on their response to these five “foul tips.” 

1. Don’t offer any information on your brand or your target market.

After all, why would your label supplier need to know that? Surely they can’t offer design recommendations. Or can they? An expert supplier will get to know your corporate identity and your market in order to make design suggestions that promote and protect your brand. Whether it’s a special technique like foil stamping or embossing, an image-enhancing die or even a new design, your supplier should offer options that ensure your label is a positive reflection of your company and engages your audience’s attention.

2. Don’t give them a sample of your labels.

You can also accomplish the same effect by providing vague specifications, like forgetting to mention that the labels need to be imprinted after production, are full-color instead of spot color, have a bleed, must be removable or need to be exactly 2 3/16” by 4 1/16” in order to fit in the intended spot. The truth is any supplier worth their salt will want samples and/or detailed specs so they can analyze your label program and make recommendations to produce your labels in the most cost-effective way possible without sacrificing quality.

3. Don’t give them any information about the product that the label will be applied to.

Glass bottle, cardboard box, plastic toy, outdoor sign…it’s all the same. Right? Not exactly. Applying labels can get really “sticky” if you don’t use the proper label material with the correct adhesive for the final product’s particular shape and composition. And those issues are further complicated if the final product will be used or stored under harsh or unusual conditions such as extreme humidity, dryness, cold or heat. Bottom line: real label experts know what kinds of materials, adhesives, coatings and application processes work best under specific conditions. And they consider all of these aspects so your labels do the job they need to do and look good throughout their working life.

4. Don’t tell them anything about the temperature under which the label will be applied.

Does it really matter if the label is to be applied at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or 45 degrees? What’s five little degrees? It may not matter when deciding whether to wear a winter coat or not, but to your label supplier, it makes all the difference in the world. Once applied, most labels can withstand temperatures down to -65F, but the temperature of the product and the air temperature in which the label will be applied are critical. Lower temperatures demand special application techniques.  If your supplier doesn’t need to know the application temperature, you need a new supplier.

5. Don’t provide an estimate regarding usage volume or how often your labels change.

Everyone knows the higher the quantity, the lower the cost per label…but a million labels with your old logo or outdated instructions are worthless no matter what price break you got. A savvy supplier will recommend the right printing solution so you reach that perfect balance of minimizing per label price and obsolescence while maximizing your ability to make quick, economical revisions, rebrands and updates.

OK. Perhaps that was a little tongue-in-cheek, but you get the point. A high-quality label supplier will make sure they help you address all of those questions before they even get started. And they’ll have the expertise and production capabilities to support you no matter what the answers are…short-run digital labels for cost-effective flexibility, long-run flexographic labels for the highest economies of scale, roll or sheet fed, spot color or 4-color process, with an infinite variety of substrates, adhesives, on-hand dies and finishing techniques.

When you’re ready to “uncomplicate” your labels, call your local rep or fill out the “How Can We Help You” form on our website at