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Unconventional Ideas For Label Engagement
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Unconventional Ideas For Label Engagement

So, you want to enhance what you offer for label engagement. Do something unique and unpredictable. Entice customers into picking up your product in the grocery store aisle by doing something your competition isn’t. Provide them with a value they can’t get anywhere else.

10. Link To Music Recommendations

Like a secret menu or a speakeasy bar, link to an unmentioned musical recommendation using NFC (Near Field Communication) technology. No matter what your product is, it’s likely that music can be enjoyed while your customer uses the product. So, partner with musicians local to the area your product is shipping to. Or, generally, create a promotion for recognizing underground artists in the most underground way.

 

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9. Show a New Way To Re-Use The Packaging On Each Label

Create a small graphic that promotes sustainability by highlighting a new way to repurpose the product. Or, re-enforce brand humor by making the solution completely ridiculous each time. Still, this particularly makes sense when using sustainable labeling stocks. Instead of walking the walk, first, talk the talk.

 

8. Use Techniques to Create a Magic Eye Style Design

Or any visual trick, really. Start with a smart concept that requires a second look. Then, enhance it with foiling, a tactile coating, Motion Coat, and even Cast & Cure. This is a sure-fire way to get people picking up your product to take a closer look. It even creates a nostalgic positive association that then, in turn, is associated with your brand. With texture, the haptic aspect of the design also creates positive, subconscious associations.

 

7. Link To Something Random, Yet Related to The Brand

Some brands lean into random, irreverent humor to their advantage. If you’re a craft beer brand, linking to information on how beer is made, beer memes, viral videos featuring beer, or pictures of hops are all worth surprising your customers with. Better still, instead of getting permission to use random user-generated content, create your own. Faux memes, faux viral videos, behind the scenes pictures, cartoon panel style jokes, etc. Offer something completely personal and unique that customers won’t see anywhere else. Better still, your product will be in it every single time.

 

6. Include Funny & Peculiar Reviews

Did you get a strange or goofy review? Share it! When you include silly product reviews you reveal that you’re a laidback brand with a sense of humor. Plus, it shows customers that you’re connected to the community and, for better or worse, their feedback will be heard. In fact, it may provide encouragement for customers to leave more reviews.

glitter actega sheet Label by Great Lakes Label - increasing label engagement

5. Interesting, Outlandish Textures Promote Label Engagement

Increase label engagement on a tactile level by including unconventional textures. Glitter, Grit Coat, Motion Coat, and even Tactile Screen offer unique textures customers will want to pick up and touch. So, add sand castles, glitter dresses, and shining plant details that benefit from such techniques.

 

4. The Opposite of a Vintage Resurgance

Be a trendsetter. Instead of doing a vintage resurgence and re-using past designs, create packaging you anticipate for the future. Get outrageous. The more humor, the better. Will materials be sustainable? Will the shape of the packaging change? Does the label itself also fold into a bow? Of course, abide by regulations, but instead of looking back, take a step forward.

 

3. Profile The End Users

Sometimes owners write their bio for the product’s label. Or, sometimes the company’s team members show up to provide a more personal touch. While these are great ideas, why not take it a step further? What’s more personal than highlighting the stories your customers have to tell? Consider how these stories are displayed. Should they be written out on the label, or linked using a QR code for blog content on your website? It’s even simple enough to get these stories. Either request them through the use of a hashtag, an email or a direct social media message. Community content is right there at your fingertips, so go get it!

 

2. Origami Booklet-Style Labels

The booklet-style label peels for a reason. While it offers extended content space, it also offers the ability to be repurposed into something beautiful. Include a simple guide for turning the cover into an origami animal. This is especially perfect for kids’ products. Once they’re done playing with toy dough, they can then turn the label into a boat for their dough fisherman. Instead of giving customers easy content, gamify the process and let them get creative with it. The hands-on approach is fun and laid back. So, don’t take things so seriously. Allow some space for play.

 

1. A Global Chain of Giving

Can you add a link to your label that provides customers the opportunity to buy the product again, but this time, for someone they care about? Maybe it’s a coffee for a colleague, lipstick for a friend, or golf balls for a family member. Give people the opportunity to pass on some generosity. A simpler method is to create a chain of compliments using a hashtag, or by linking to a post on social media people can peruse at their leisure. Even strangers will complement other strangers when prompted. All they need is the idea to join in by complimenting someone else in the comments after checking out their profile. Use your label engagement for good.

 

Learn more about the labeling solutions Great Lakes Label offers.  We offer a variety of inks and coatings that create a label that excites customers. Download our e-book, The Resource Guide To All Things Inks & Coatings.

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Create A Consistent Brand Voice on Labels
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Create A Consistent Brand Voice on Labels

A brand voice consists of the tone, language, and messages used online and off. This is one part of the larger picture for your brand. So, set aside color schemes, innovative labeling techniques, and product photography for now. We’re solely focused on communication.

inconsistent brand voice on website, social media and label - stout beer bottle label sampleAn Inconsistent Brand Voice Negatively Impacts Business

Imagine a brand uses casual and colloquial language on social media, a formal and minimalistic language on the label, then lengthy and overly-descriptive language on their website. It would be confusing. As though a completely different person wrote for each source. Or, as though the business is fluid and unfocused. It works against the brand, implying a lack of direction for their values and sense of identity.

 

Quick, Simple Ways To Ensure Consistency

Create a brand rulebook or guideline. Make it clear and distinct. Maybe you’re a down-to-earth craft beer company using wordplay, colloquialisms and is fast and loose with adverbs. Or, maybe you’re a pharmaceutical brand and to ensure customer confidence, only professional and to-the-point language is used. You can see how the two examples shouldn’t mix. Ultimately these rules impact and work together with imagery, reinforcing the brand with visual components.

 

Keywords Create Focus

Don’t know where to start? Consider the keywords that reflect your brand and focus your writing on them. On social media, these keywords work double duty as hashtags If you’re a yarn and craft brand, your keywords will likely be words like, “yarn,” “craft,” “knitting,” and “crochet.” So, a casual, gentle, and personal tone naturally emerge. Then, ensure those hashtags consistently show up on your labels, website pages, and social media posts. It’s a subtle, simple and impactful way to create consistency.

 

Learn more about what Great Lakes Label offers and how to incorporate various techniques into your label design. Download our e-book, Complete Labeling Solutions.

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Customer Spotlight: Prairie City Bakery
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Customer Spotlight: Prairie City Bakery

Prairie City Bakery’s mission is to “wow” customers with simplified baking. It’s clear that everything they do is with the customer in mind, and providing them with a high quality, handcrafted-style product. They began with only muffin tops and now Prairie City Bakery offers more than 70 products. A fast-growing company.

Prairie City Bakery Cookie Label by Great Lakes Label 1

Prairie City Bakery Labels

Although the product says super-sized, be aware, the image is not to scale. What’s lovely about the design is that the wavy edges create an imperfect, handcrafted look. It’s a lot like a cookie, don’t you think? The color scheme is bold which makes the product as a whole stand out. On top of that, the label also features a lot of information. It uses the small space it has to create a big impact.

 

Learn more about what Great Lakes Label offers and how to incorporate various techniques into your label design. Download our e-book, Complete Labeling Solutions.

Labeling Solutions E-Book

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Booklet-Style Labels Answer All Packaging Problems
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Booklet-Style Labels Answer All Packaging Problems

A booklet-style label is a label comprising of 4 sides:

    1. The cover, or the front of the label
    2. The left-hand panel, or the backside of the cover
    3. The right-hand panel
    4. The back, where the adhesive applies your label to the container

Naturally, by working with more pages, you have more design options. With more design options, you have more opportunities to delight and engage the customer. Through that, you increase your chances of them buying your item and becoming a repeat customer. This makes booklet-style labels the ideal solution for packaging.

Costa Farms booklet-style Label by Great Lakes Label

Booklet-Style Labels Provide Space For Labeling Requirements

From the nutritional information chart to GMO labeling requirements (and more), there is a lot of information to include on food labels. In other industries, these requirements may change to safety graphics for chemical products, cruelty-free logos for cosmetics, or growing location for horticulture growers. While the location of this information needs to remain the same, booklet-style labels provide more room for everything else.

Now, instructions, tips, and translations can easily fit inside the label. With more pages, new design concepts can be tested inside, or it can even act as an instant redeemable coupon to be peeled off and brought back to the point of purchase. The possibilities are endless.

 

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Engage Customers With Smart Packaging & Expanded Content

Smart packaging is an ever-growing trend where labels offer the customer something extra to enhance their experience, often using technology. This can include goodies like QR codes that link customers to helpful videos, NFC (near field communication) or RFID (radio frequency identification) labeling that takes customers straight to their app when their phone gets close to the label. Social media hashtags can also be used to enter contests, connect with the brand directly, or other customers. With booklet-style labels, you now have the space to design instructions in using this technology or even placing simple text-based information that customers will value.

Entice Your Customers To Pick Up Your Product To Increase Sales

Sensory marketing is a strategy to get customers to engage their senses with your product in order to connect with them on a deeper level and nurture a sale. Comforting textures, delightful sounds, and yes, engaging booklet pages aid in this goal. Once the customer picks up your product and opens your label, they are now more attached to the product. If you incorporate smart packaging content inside that label, consider it a win-win for both the customer and your brand.

Remember, the customer comes first. How can you create packaging that tells them everything they need to know, nurture a more personal connection with your brand and provide them with valuable content? Easy. Booklet-style labels.

Learn more about what Great Lakes Label offers and how to incorporate various techniques into your label design. Download our e-book, Complete Labeling Solutions.

Labeling Solutions E-Book

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Breaking Down AI File Requirements For Label Design
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Breaking Down AI File Requirements For Label Design

Learn how to optimize your Adobe Illustrator, or Ai file for flexographic and digital printing. There are some differences between the two, covered in this blog, as well what’s required for both processes.

Flexographic Printing VS. Digital Printing

Flexographic labels are printed using a flexographic press where a flexible relief plate is used to imprint the image onto the label stock, color by color. Digital printers use inkjet or laser printer technology instead. Learn the differences between the two processes in more detail here.

 

Requirements For Your AI File – Flexographic Printing

Great Lakes Label Flexographic printed label in adobe illustrator

This is what a “flexo ready” illustrator file looks like.

Calling Out Labeling Techniques

If the above label was going to use foiling over the “Oktoberfest” title, you would not create them with gradient color as seen above. While the proof shines a light on what the final product will look like, leave the color as one and call out the effect in text beside the image. Same goes for using metallic stock. Do not include a gradient color when you plan to use gradient stock.

Or, if using MiraFoil, a precise foiling ink, you can likely get away with a gradient should that specific look be what you are going for. Speak to your Great Lakes Label rep for more information if this is the case. Communicating how these techniques is a crucial part of the process before printing.

 

Art Proof Approval Bar

Art Proof Approval bar Great Lakes Label adobe illustrator label design

The below bar is added by your rep at Great Lakes Label. It looks overwhelming, but once you break it down piece by piece, it’s all practical information to help us print your design. First, the left-hand box is to be signed and dated once the proof is complete and ready to be printed. This lets us know everything has been approved and the design is suitable to move forward in the printing process. The middle box under “Finishing” shows our team how you would like the roll to be wound. This is crucial if you are using a labeling automation system since some systems need labels to be wound and loaded in a specific way.

Lastly, the right-hand box details what colors are used in your design. We ensure quality by using PMS colors and check for accuracy while printing. This is the area where the specific PMS colors would be communicated.

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In our video, Meet Great Lakes Label, our owner Tony Cook discusses the color matching process. He says, “We start off with color matching the ink prior to sending it to press. Then at the end of the press, we also use a digital tool called a spectrophotometer that we measure the hue and balance of the ink and we make sure that is within industry standard specified by the customer.”

Meet Great Lakes Label

Since 1994, Great Lakes Label LLC has been dedicated to producing and delivering quality products. We print cutting edge labels and distribute custom labeling applicators to a wide range of industries. Our experts work closely with each and every customer to solve your toughest packaging design requirements.

Requirements For You AI File – Digital Printing

Great Lakes Label digital printed label in adobe illustrator - ai fileThis is what an illustrator file looks like when the label is ready for digital printing.

Digital Printing Makes For A Simple AI File

What you see above is what you get for digital printing. No “Art Proof Approval” bar is needed since no ink is used to create color accuracy. At Great Lakes Label, all innovative labeling techniques are printed using the flexographic press, so on digital, nothing needs to be called out. While size would be good to communicate like the above example, here it is not used.

Standard Requirements & Practices

Bleeds

Great Lakes Label bleed line of adobe illustrator label design file

All files should have the background flow past the trim edge. This is called a bleed and they are a crucial element to designing a label. If there is any slight shifting when printing, the bleed ensures a seamless look. As a general rule, you should always give yourself at least 0.125 inches past the trim. You should also be sure to keep your images and text away from the edge in order to prevent them being cut off. Unless that is, of course, you want the image to spill over past the trim. The general rule is that all information should remain contained within 0.125 inches from the trim line. Although the trim line is not shown above, you can see it in the next example.

Edges

Great Lakes Label bleed lines in adobe illustrator for label design

It is generally considered that rounded edges are much more appealing and a standard when it comes to label design. Sometimes, however, there are exceptions to the rule like the Lake Day Chardonnay label example used in this blog. If a label is supposed to wrap around and touch with a flat edge, naturally you might want to discuss using a sharp corner with your Great Lakes Label rep.

Accuracy in Sizing in Your Ai File

When designing your label in Adobe Illustrator, always size your document to be true to life and call out your measurements as seen in the Oktoberfest design. If your label is going to be printed at 1 inch by 1 inch, do not scale it down to 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch. If you are working in the metric system, do not scale the label down to 1cm by 1cm. It also makes it easier to communicate and design in inches instead of converting your measurements. Otherwise, communication tends to get muddied and makes for unnecessary stresses along the way.

 

Beyond that, get creative and never hesitate to ask us questions along the way. Best of luck with your labeling project!

 

Learn more about the labeling solutions Great Lakes Label offers. Now that you’ve learned the design basics, take your vision to the next level. Download our e-book, Complete Labeling Solutions.

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Visit Us at PLMA!
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Visit Us at PLMA!

Visit us at PLMA and also learn more about how our labeling solutions can work for you. From digitally printed labels to flexographic labels, it’ll all be there. Come see our innovative labeling techniques in person. Once you visit our booth, you’ll see the value techniques offer. Because of the luxury market increase, you’ll also see how to revamp high-end product lines

Meijer Sandwiches Labels by Great Lakes LabelMeijer R&D Trail Mix & Nuts Bag LabelsCVS Label by Great Lakes LabelBissell Cast & Cure - Great Lakes LabelPLMA – Booth #F4225

Rosemont Convention Center – Chicago

November 12th – 14th, 2017

 

Learning more about what Great Lakes Label offers, or how to incorporate these techniques into your label design. Download our e-book, Complete Labeling Solutions.

Labeling Solutions E-Book

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Black is The New Black in Packaging Design
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Black is The New Black in Packaging Design

This article from Brand Packaging suggests that black is making a comeback as a prominent color choice in packaging design. With Halloween quickly approaching, this trend is growing just in time for businesses to take advantage of striking looks in promotional labeling. Looking to incorporate this new scheme into your standard product line? Here are our tips for finding label design success.

Chateau Du Parc Wine Label with bronze foiling and black embossing
Chateau Du Parc Wine Label

Don’t Go Overboard If It Doesn’t Fit Your Brand

We’ve previously looked at how light packaging is ideal for health food products. So, if your brand success relies on your established color scheme, avoid switching it out for darker tones. Instead, incorporate darker colors on a secondary label, such as around the bottle neck. Or, incorporate a new image where the black only serves to make the bright colors pop. Keep it subtle.

 

Take Advantage of Innovative Labeling Techniques

If your product is able to take advantage of the trend, such as the above wine label, innovative techniques will take it to the next level. As seen above, simply adding embossing over your black label creates sensory interest that will entice customers into picking up your product. Once the product is in their hands, they will be more likely to buy it as well. Accenting with bronze, silver or gold foiling is a classic way to create a luxurious look.

 

Mixing Matte Black With Glossy Black

Are you creating a single color label? Mixing matte with glossy (or a tactile screen) is a fantastic way for your label to remain legible. The two textures contrast each other so much in the light that it creates a compelling aesthetic. This technique can often be found in beauty product packaging design. It’s simple but elegant.

 

Learn about how innovative labeling techniques can bring your spooky design to life! Download our e-book, The Complete Guide to Innovative Labeling Techniques.

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Metallic Stock Glistens in Light
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Metallic Stock Glistens in Light

Learn more about metallic stock and the various ways it can be used in any industry. No matter what aesthetic your brand uses, this labeling stock enhances design features to work with your look. Check out how some of our clients used it! Or, take a look at how metallic stock pairs with other innovative labeling techniques we offer.

 

Metallic Stock as a Design Feature

Although this Monrovia label is blank, the message is clear. The branded colors are spot on, and the design is minimalistic allowing the stock to really catch the light and catch customers’ eyes. The look is neutral enough that any plant with any color of blooms will stand out. What’s great about using metallic stock is that any color can be printed over top, allowing branded colors to match perfectly.

 

Monrovia Label by Great Lakes Label

Subtle Elegance

This Plot 88 wine label uses metallic stock in a much more subtle way. For luxury products, this matte look still allows the stock to shine but isn’t flashy enough to detract from the over aesthetic. The simple gold and red also provide a royal touch, emphasizing the luxuriousness. As the luxury market increases, so will the popularity of this label stock.

 

Plot 88 wine label - wine traders - great lakes label

Product Lines That Pop

Monrovia Label by Great Lakes Label

Monrovia Label by Great Lakes Label

These other Monrovia plant labels use metallic stock to highlight the details in the design. It incorporates green, gold and purple shimmer to match branded colors and create a striking look. Customers will be doing a double take when walking by these plants.

 

As you can see, incorporating metallic stock in whole product lines offers a subtle cohesive touch. The main color used on the label changes, but the shining details remain.

 

Are you interested in learning more about the labeling techniques Great Lakes Label offers? Download The Complete Guide to Innovative Labeling Techniques.

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Top 5 Labeling Innovations of 2016
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Top 5 Labeling Innovations of 2016

Check out these Top 5 Labeling Innovations of 2016. We look back at some of the most promising trends, ideas, and even techniques over the past year. However, are these trends unfamiliar? Scroll all the way to the bottom for more information on each one also. Links to previous blogs covering these topics provided.

top 5 labeling innovations of 2016 infographic

1. Technology & Accessibility

Braille Labels

A fantastic way to create a more inclusive label is by adding braille. Because it can simply be added using tactile coating. Braille helps potential customers understand your product as well as makes it accessible.

Smart Labels

Smart labels primarily use RFID technology. These labels aid the customer in getting the most out of their purchase. Instead of the standard, it creates a more engaging, personal, helpful experience.

Booklet-Style Labels

Booklet-style labels open up to reveal more information in addition to the front panel. This technique is perfect for the horticulture label since it can require a lot of information on caring for a plant. Tri-Panel labels come in many shapes and sizes also. Contact us for more information.

 

2. Adjusting to Anti-Packaging

Edible Packaging

Developments have been made to create packaging out of milk proteins. This discovery may also be instrumental in the anti-packaging movement. Which, if you haven’t heard yet, is a movement geared toward eliminating packaging. Therefore, it aims to create a more sustainable future.

Sustainable Materials

In addition, materials that are biodegradable are coming to the forefront. So are labeling materials that come from sustainable sources. All of this progress aims for a greener world instead of a disposable oriented one.

 

3. Minimalism

Label Design

Minimalistic label design has been a hot trend for a while now. So, naturally, this design style has been as strong as ever in 2016. This simplification takes the focus away from flashy images and onto the product.

Packaging

In lieu of the anti-packaging movement, removing unnecessary packaging has become a hot topic. Many find this wasteful and unnecessary. Some claim it helps keep produce fresh. It seems as innovations are made in packaging materials, this side of the industry may go through some significant changes.

 

4. A New Generation

Gen Z Personalizes Shopping

Gen Z is a generation that thrives off of personal interactions, especially online. This generation is shaping the way we label and package products. Using smart technology can be instrumental in getting that personal touch.

 

5. Luxury Style

Techniques Improve Rising Trend

The luxury packaging market is increasing. With it, labeling techniques become important in making your product stand out.  From embossing to foiling, to MotionCoat, we have something for every luxury item.

Learn even more about how our labeling solutions can increase sales. So, download The Complete Guide to Innovative Labeling Techniques.

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All About Mirafoil, Cold Foil & Hot Stamp
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All About Mirafoil, Cold Foil & Hot Stamp

There are significant differences between Mirafoil, Cold Foil and Hot Stamp. Not only are the processes different, but so are the results. Find out which option is right for your label.

 

The Cold Foil Process

As seen below, the adhesive is first applied to the plate. The foil is then applied and cured with ultra-violet light. What’s left is the metallic design on your label. With cold foiling, you choose between using gold, silver or red foil stock. If you want any other color for your cold foiling details, it must be added overtop of the silver foiling.

 

Cold Foil process step one

 

 Cold Foil process step two

 

Cold Foil process step three

 

The Hot Stamp Process

For the difference between cold foil and hot stamp, see our previous blog!

 

The MiraFoil process

MiraFoil is applied the same way color is. Sweet and simple. As seen below, it rolls on to the plate and voila! Looking for variance? To add any PMS color, print over the foil with another plate. This creates your one of a kind label.

 

MiraFoil process

 

What’s the difference between the two? Or, which one is right for your label?

 

Brewhouse beer - Great Lakes Label
Hot Stamp
  • non-polluting since materials are dry
  • brilliant shine
  • color accuracy
  • the foil is a one time use

 

swarm beer label - Great Lakes Label

Cold Foil
  • must run at slower speeds due to curing
  • accurate with color specificity
  •  the foil is a one time use
  • must purchase foil and adhesive for process
  • brilliant shine

Don Anselmo Label by Great Lakes Label

Mira Foil
  • run at higher speeds since this foil doesn’t need time to cure
  • displays finer details
  • accurate with color specificity
  • use with any substrate (yes, even including rougher stock)
  • no waste, use as much of the liquid as needed

 

Learn more about how our labeling solutions can increase sales. Download The Complete Guide to Innovative Labeling Techniques.

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