There has been many a time when we have been asked to print labels for a customer because they were not happy with the labels provided by an alternative company. Now, this other label printing company most likely is good at what they do but one of two things can go wrong.
Firstly, the company did not ask enough questions to ensure the labels printed were exactly what the customer needed. This could be different from what the customer asked for. Less reputable label printing companies will steer a customer towards getting the labels printed on their presses even if the result in terms of the purpose for the labels and price is not what the customer needs.
In recent times, we have had many questions from new product based businesses requiring quotations for their first batch of professionally printed labels. Label printing is one of the most complex items to quote in the printing field as there are so many variables. To make it easier for you to get an accurate quote, we like you to answer eight questions. If you know your products and the reason for obtaining the quotation, then these eight questions will be simple to answer. These questions are listed under the Instant Quotes on the Home Page for Renton’s Labels.
Even after receiving an Instant Quote from our company, you will still be asked to confirm more details. Without these details, the quotation may not relate exactly to the labels you need for your specific purpose. Here are these eight questions. Whoever you decide to print your labels with, provide answers to these eight questions.
8 Questions Your Label Printing Company Should Be Asking You
- What size and shape are your printed labels? If you are reprinting an existing label, then this is easy. If you have a new product, then this answer is not obvious. We always recommend you get your container organised initially. This could be a bottle or tube or plastic container. Then you should prepare your artwork or at least a rough outline of what you need printed on your label. Naturally, we would prefer to receive the exact size of your label but we can still help you if you do not know the size. Our production department has several common bottles and containers and we can if requested recommend a size that will fit those common bottles and containers.Your container will also partly determine the shape of your label. The most common shapes are rectangles, squares, circles and ovals but with today’s digital label printing technology, you can have virtually any shape you like. In fact, you can use custom shaped product labels to fit your container or to make your labels stand out.
- How many variations of labels do you have? If you require multiple different kinds of labels you will require multiple variations of labels. For example, if you have 5 different scents of candles that you require labels for, that would be five different variations. A variation could be as small as one word changing, or it could be a whole different size and shape of label. You will save money when you order different labels at the same time, especially if they are all the same size. If they are different sizes, then there is still some saving in your label printing costs if the labels are printed on the same stock. However, it will be slightly dearer to print 5 * 100 labels than 500 labels even if the labels are the same size. Your label printing costs will escalate if you printed these five different kinds of labels a month apart as five different runs of 100 labels at different times will be more expensive than printing these labels at the same time.
- What is the total quantity of printed labels needed? Digital label printing technology has meant that small runs of labels, i.e. 100 to 5,000 are more economical to print today than ever before. However, as with all printing, the more you print, the lower your unit price. When you get more than 10,000 labels printed, there can be even more savings available to you as you may be able to receive the benefits of having your labels printed on faster and bigger machines and the setup costs can be more easily absorbed into the price of the labels.
- What are the labels stuck onto?
- What is your product?
- Are your labels exposed to any harsh conditions, e.g. freezers, fridges, the outdoors, moisture, etc?
I have grouped questions 4, 5 and 6 together as they are all related to the same thing, i.e. the label material type. It is essential that you hire an experienced label printing company to print your labels as the choice of label material is where the problems occur and it is why we are often asked to fix errors from other suppliers. If you provide us with the answers in questions 4, 5 and 6, then we will do two things. Firstly, we will choose the right label material for your printed labels and secondly, we will ensure you do not pay too much by choosing a label that is much stronger than what you need for your purpose.
- Are your labels hand applied or machine applied? Before we can print any labels, we need to know how to present these labels to you. In particular, if your labels are to be applied by machine, then there are certain ways that your labels need to be prepared so as to easily be applied to your machine. Below are the 8 industry standard roll directions.
- When do you require your labels? As our company gets busier and busier, it is becoming increasingly difficult for us to print all labels within three working days. We can do some orders this quickly but most orders are despatched within 7-10 working days at present. We do intend to bring this time frame down as we invest in more capital equipment. One thing we will always try and do is to meet your deadlines. For example, if you have a weekend trade show, we will always try and have labels ready for you. It is worth noting that the label printing process is a complex one and there is time needed to get your labels printed to your needs.
This list of eight questions is not an exhaustive list. Barcodes and variable data are other things to consider. If you are ordering printed labels for the first time, then this list will help you to get the labels you need.