To keep costs down when your product labels have multiple sizes and designs is not easy. This is virtually impossible if your labels are printed the old-fashioned way with plates. Offset printing as this process is known does give greater colour accuracy and matching because the exact percentage of Cyan (C), Magenta (M), Yellow (Y) and Black (K), the four primary printing colours, can be more easily done with offset printing. In fact, offset printing enables exact PMS colours for your printed labels. As offset printing is faster than digital printing, it is preferred for longer runs.
Digital label printing still varies from one machine to another. The plates mean that the quality of the printed labels should be higher and more consistent with offset printing but that quality advantage is getting less over time as digital label printing technology continues to bridge the quality gap with its offset competitors. For many digital label printing machines, the printing speed is improving but does still fall short of the speeds of most label offset printing processes.
Offset printing relies on longer runs to absorb the higher setup costs. We are regularly required to print product labels with multiple designs but the same size. This makes life easy in getting your product labels cut to size in the best way. When your labels are the same size, then they can be die-cut, laser cut or digitally cut.
Die-cutting is the most accurate way to cut your labels to size because the die is fixed and will not vary and is recommended when your labels are machine applied. The machinery requires the labels to be exactly the same size and the gap between labels cannot vary either.
Offset printing is done this way. Firstly, plates are prepared, i.e. mostly four plates for the colours cyan, magenta, yellow and black. If you have a label that is going to be printed in long runs and reprinted regularly, then offset printing is recommended. However, if you have multiple designs for different products and flavours, then your preparation costs are going to be around $100 per plate and this equates to about $400 per full colour label design. We often get orders for ten or more designs and we naturally print these digitally as offset printing would push up the preparation costs to $4,000 or more before a single label is even printed.
Digital Label Printing Is Preferred When Your Product Labels Have Multiple Designs
It is clear that digital label printing is preferred when your product labels have multiple designs. What do you do if your labels are in multiple sizes? This is a common practice today as labels are provided for different volumes and weights for different containers. The labels could be die-cut but again the preparation costs will increase if you do not have a die available. The problem with die-cutting is that you are always getting new dies.
Laser cutting is an option as this cuts the labels quickly and quite accurately but the laser cuts on an angle and this can cause a thin white line around the border of the label. Our preferred cutting method is digital cutting using our ADSI Centra Finisher as this enables the labels to be cut to size using a computer generated knife.
In summary, when you have product labels and different sizes, the best way to save is by digital label printing and digital cutting. Contact Renton’s Labels today if you have lots of variations for your labels.