What’s The Verdict on Creating a Customized QR Code?

How Adding a QR Code to Your Custom Labels Can Enhance Aesthetic Appeal and Conversions

Have you seen those boxes of fuzzy dots arranged in a square pattern like the one below popping up all over print media?

Create your Custom Labels with a Customized QR Code

These images, called QRC (Quick Response Codes), are useful bookmarks for smart phones to open a webpage or landing page. It has become an increasingly useful tool for consumer advertising initiatives. In addition to the added consumer convenience, these codes increase conversion rates for marketing efforts. They also have the added functionality of allowing companies to better track how effective their print media ads are. QR codes provide value on both the consumer and adverting ends. Compounding these advantages with the ever-increasing number of smartphones and tablets, the proliferation of QR codes will only continue. So how best to leverage these little squares?

Consider Adding a Custom QR Code to your Custom Product Labels

It seems logical to turn the QR code’s real estate into something visually appealing and useful. Creating a customized QR code on your custom product label can have a synergistic impact.  According to the infographic, little research has been done until now. This infographic study shows that 90 percent of respondents said they would scan more codes if they were customized. I also liked the smash up of a customized vs. standard QR code. The customized code immediately pops visually and includes a product image. I certainly would be more inclined to scan the customized code. Also, according to the study, only 11 percent have seen a custom QR code. Therefore, there is opportunity to differentiate your company’s labels from your competitors’ with a customized QR code.

The Many Applications of QR Codes

Give your graphics department a call, or jump on Photoshop yourself, and include a QR code in your next custom labels order. According to Mashable.com, there are several applications. Add them to any print advertising, flyers, posters, invites, TV ads, and more containing:

  • Product details
  • Contact details
  • Offer details
  • Event details
  • Competition details
  • A coupon
  • Twitter, Facebook, MySpace IDs
  • A link to your YouTube video

If you are ready to add QR codes to your custom label or stickers, request a quote and order by Sept. 30, 2012 to receive 15%* off new label orders! Use code CELEBRATE. Good luck label makers! As always, we can’t wait to see the great design ideas you come up with!

*15% off CELEBRATE offer valid on new label orders. Does not apply to reorders. Maximum discount is $1000. Free ground shipping applies to orders in the U.S. and Canada. Applies to regularly priced orders only. Enter code at checkout. This offer cannot be combined with any other offers or promotion.

What Do The Numbers Say

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Is Going Green Good for Your Bottom Line?

How Ordering Eco-Friendly Custom Labels Can Be Good for Your Profits And The Environment

Are corporate profits and environmental preservation mutually exclusive? Not necessarily. According to the recent study “Green Practices and Worker Productivity Go Hand In Hand,” published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior, the research shows that companies who have environmentally friendly practices benefit from increased employee productivity as well. “On average, employees at companies that observe eco-friendly practices were 16 percent more productive than average employees.”  Going “Green” has additional benefits other than just supporting the environment.  We’re proud to be among the growing number of companies that adopt green practices.

Our Commitment to the Environment

At LightningLabels we strive to be eco-friendly. We pride ourselves on being a new kind of label printing company. In addition to leveraging the latest digital technology to print labels, we utilize environmentally friendly printing materials for our custom labels. We currently carry many eco- friendly label options:

Eco-Friendly Label Materials

  • EarthFirst PLA – New Eco-friendly alternative for labels that is made from corn instead of petroleum
  • BioStone - biodegradable and compostable material made from stone, not trees
  • Recycled Kraft - Recycled from 100% post-consumer waste with Earthy, organic look and feel
  • Recycled Vellum – Recycled from 100% post-consumer waste

Commit to the Environment with Eco-Friendly Custom Labels

There have been a lot of companies jumping on the green bandwagon recently.  Now there is another reason for your company to go “Green” – your employees. Not only is utilizing our eco-friendly labeling material a great way to demonstrate your commitment to the environment to your customers, but it is also a great way to show your environmental commitment to your employees. In addition to the added environmental benefits, perhaps your employees will be inspired to be more productive too. In this case environmentally friendly labels are good for the bottom line and the environment.

If you are ready to order your eco-friendly labels or stickers request a quote and order by Sept. 30, 2012 to receive 15%* off new label orders! Use code CELEBRATE. Good luck label makers! We can’t wait to see the great design ideas you come up with!

*15% off CELEBRATE offer valid on new label orders. Does not apply to reorders. Maximum discount is $1000. Free ground shipping applies to orders in the U.S. and Canada. Applies to regularly priced orders only. Enter code at checkout. This offer cannot be combined with any other offers or promotion.

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This graphic is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

How to Show Consumers Your Bath & Body Products Are Safe for Skin

What's Your Skin Eating

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How to Market Your Organic Bath & Body Labels

The bath and body product sector, like the organic food movement, has become increasingly mainstream in recent years. Mom’s old adage “you are what you eat” has become a new paradigm in maintaining health and wellness. I came across the above infographic and its title What Is Your Skin Eating struck a chord.  If your body’s largest organ is skin, shouldn’t we be conscious of the chemicals we put on it? According to this infographic, “our skin absorbs 60 percent of any topical product we use.” That means more chemicals enter through our skin than our mouths! And people are taking notice of what they put into their body. TABS Group, Inc. and its Organic Product Research reports that “the percentage of all consumers stating they purchased Organics rose from 39.8 percent in January 2011 to 41.8 percent in January 2012, a 5 percent increase.”

Many companies have been coming out with products that are in line with the FDA’s certified organic standards. From a marketing standpoint, it is important to highlight on the label  that your products are organic and biologically safe.

3 Key Things to Highlight on Your Bath and Body Product Labels

Show your customers that you care and that your Bath & Body Products are safe for the skin. Enhance your custom Bath and Body Product Labels with the following helpful tips:

1. Point out that you don’t include harmful chemicals.

I was surprised to read that lipstick, the most universally used makeup, includes some of the most dangerous chemicals including lead–and, yes, we are putting those chemicals on our mouths! State clearly on the label if you don’t include harmful toxins, such as lead. Others to watch include carcinogens, toxic chemicals, synthetic preservatives, or artificial fragrance, color, and minerals. The bottom line is if your organic bath and body products don’t contain these chemicals state it on your label.

2. Try to avoid Pinkwashing.

Pinkwashing is when products include a pink ribbon banner on the label to show support for breast cancer but include the very same chemicals that experts link with cancer. Part of the organic movement is consumer awareness and being conscious of product label details. Incongruent messaging between product statements and ingredients can turn off potential consumers.

3. Highlight pure and natural ingredients used.

On your custom product label tell customers that you are taking care of their most visible organ. Organic Bath and Body products include pure and natural pigments, oils, fragrances, and butters. Mentioning these and their beneficial properties can help lure in the customer, especially when 41.8 percent of them purchase Organics.

Use these 3 tips when creating your custom labels for bath and body products. Request a quote and order by Sept. 30, 2012 to receive 15%* off new label orders! Use code CELEBRATE. Good luck label makers! We can’t wait to see the great design ideas you come up with!

*15% off CELEBRATE offer valid on new label orders. Does not apply to reorders. Maximum discount is $1000. Free ground shipping applies to orders in the U.S. and Canada. Applies to regularly priced orders only. Enter code at checkout. This offer cannot be combined with any other offers or promotion.


5 Tips for Designing Full Color Labels

The Psychology of Colors

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Easy Guidelines to Follow When Designing Labels

For some of us it’s overwhelming to acknowledge all of the necessary details when it comes to designing labels. There are so many essential components like color, text, and imagery that require careful placement and consideration on a label. In order to simplify the daunting task of designing a label, I’ve compiled a list of the top 5 design tips to focus on.

Our Tips on Designing Full Color Labels

1. Color choice is key.

As the flow chart demonstrates, colors evoke different feelings and associations. The color scheme you choose for your full color labels should fit with the tone of your product. There are warm colors (i.e. reds, yellows, oranges) and cool colors (i.e. blues, purples, greens). Depending on the mood of your labels, you’ll also want to take color harmony and color contrast into consideration. Color harmony implies colors that are similar like reds and oranges or blues and greens, whereas color contrast implies opposing colors on the color wheel. The most basic examples of color contrast are red and green, blue and orange, and yellow and purple. Using color contrast can help to make an image, graphic, and or text really pop!

2. Use high-quality images.

If you’re going to use an image, you should always opt for the highest quality for your full color labels. Resolution matters and, depending on the size of your custom labels, you want the image(s) to be in focus when your labels are printed. A blurry, pixilated, or unclear image will not attract buyers. It’s crucial that the image(s) have clarity in their actual size upon your labels. Please refer to our label artwork specs for design file requirements.

3. Font & text matter.

There are thousands of fonts to choose from, so get creative! Don’t use the common everyday fonts like Helvetica or Times New Roman, or even Papyrus. You want to create unique custom labels with their own unique font. Keep in mind that the font needs to be legible and easy to read in order to attract consumers.

Also, what you write on your labels affects product sales. Use appropriate language and be relevant! If you’re designing custom labels for a product subjected to government regulations (i.e. food product labels and cosmetic labels), be aware of the legal guidelines for your labels.

4. Clarity & readability is essential.

I touched on this above, but consumers have to be able to easily read and understand your label. Realistically, you only have a few seconds to grab the attention of the consumer. Your label design should stand out amongst other similar products by being clear and legible.

5. Assimilate your label design with other marketing messages.

Here’s a new interesting thought: consider the design aesthetic of your website and/or advertisements and apply that same aesthetic to your labels. You’re building a brand and it’s important to keep it cohesive and consistent. It will be more recognizable if your labels and other marketing messages utilize similar colors, texts, images, and fonts.


Request a quote and order by Sept. 30, 2012 and receive 15%* off new label orders! Use code CELEBRATE. Good luck label makers! We can’t wait to see the great design ideas you come up with!


*15% off CELEBRATE offer valid on new label orders. Does not apply to reorders. Maximum discount is $1000. Free ground shipping applies to orders in the U.S. and Canada. Applies to regularly priced orders only. Enter code at checkout. This offer cannot be combined with any other offers or promotion.


Custom Labels Heat Up With Humor and Timely Ties

Winemakers and Brewers Bring Label Cheer

Winemakers and brewers are adding creative flair to their custom labels this season.  The Republican National Convention wrapped up in Tampa, Florida earlier this week and the Democratic National Convention ended last night in Charlotte, North Carolina.  In a salute to Election 2012, Reuters reported in August that the White House has created a unique label for a home-brewed beer, called White House Honey Ale.  The honey comes from first lady Michelle Obama’s garden beehive and the cost of production comes from the Obama’s own pocket.  These red and white labels feature an image of the White House and are bringing smiles on the campaign trail.

Celebrity Gossip Spurs Cheeky Custom Label Idea

There are more smiles popping up this season from the custom labels of Sheldon’s Wine Cellars.  As Prince Harry discovered this summer, what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay there.  The Prince was photographed playing billiards in his Vegas hotel room—naked.  This royal gossip spread fast and Sheldon’s Wine Cellars ran almost as quickly with a playful beverage label idea.  As reported by the Cotswold Journal in early September 2012, the winemaker redesigned their rose wine label to feature a cartoon-take on Harry’s compromised situation for bottles of their “Royal Blush” wine.  The Cotswold Journal noted that sales for the bottles jumped 200 percent!

Refresh Your Own Product Packages Today

Winemakers Get Creative with Custom LabelsDo you have inspired ideas for your product packages, like those pictured here from Adirondack Winery?  Lightning Labels is celebrating customers’ creativity and sharing a special End of Summer Sale that ends today.  Through Friday, September 7, 2012, use order code LLBRD100* at checkout to receive $100 off orders of $750 or more.  As usual, Lightning Labels offers free ground shipping to orders in the U.S. and Canada and an estimated two to three day turnaround.  As summer comes to a close, upcoming fall and winter holidays provide many opportunities for custom label variation.

*$100 off LLBRD100 offer valid on new label orders.  Does not apply to reorders.  Maximum discount is $1,000.  Applies to regularly priced orders only.  Enter code at checkout.  This offer cannot be combined with any other offers or promotion.

See How Easy it is to ‘Place & Pay’ for Your Online Order at 10% Off Regular Prices, Now Through Friday

Online payment now accepted - Lightning Labels

Lightning Labels now accepts online payments using most major credit cards.

Lightning Labels now accepts online payment, making it more convenient than ever to order custom labels. This means that when you place an order at LightningLabels.com, you can pay for it right then and there using a *credit card.

To really understand the benefits of this new feature, you should try it yourself. If you ‘place & pay’ for your online order now through Friday, August 17, 2012, you will receive a 10% **discount. You’ll also receive free ground shipping to US and Canada, and our Lightning Fast turnaround time of two to three days. To claim your discount, use coupon code LLWEB10.

You may recall that we kicked off the New Year right by freshening up the look and feel of  LightningLabels.com. We received rave reviews from our customers, and many compliments from other website visitors. We think you’ll like the upgraded functionality of our website as well, and would love to get your feedback.

To share your thoughts on our new online payment ordering feature, please leave your comments below; or send me an email.


*Most major credit cards accepted. See Lightning Labels website for details when placing an order. **Discount does not apply to reorders. Maximum discount is $1,000. Applies to regularly priced orders only. The offer cannot be combined with any other offers or promotions.

Product Label Photo Contest Huge Success

The response to our 2012 Photo Contest was outstanding. Our customers submitted hundreds of photographs of their best product labels. This was one tough competition, to say the least. And the winners are …

1st Place – $1,000 Winner
David Lawrence of Joshua Tree Products

2nd Place – $500 Winner
Mari Dart of Suuthe by Mari

3rd Place – $250 Winner
Lars Ringsrud of Snowdrift Cider Co.

Joshua Tree Product’s first place photo is pictured above. To view all three winning product label photos, please visit our website.

Many thanks to everyone who participated in the contest, including our judges. Continue reading “Product Label Photo Contest Huge Success” »

Tips for Streamlining Nutraceutical Label Prep & Printing

Screenshot of Nutraceuticals World web article on digital label printing

Lightning Labels authors give Nutraceuticals World readers tips on getting the most from digital label printing in their online exclusive feature article.

Digital label printing is attractive to many neutraceutical companies because of its affordability, versatility, and quick turn times. This technology offers so many options, in fact, that preparing a new label order can be overwhelming without the proper guidance.

Fortunately, there are some great resources available to make ordering your custom-printed digital labels a smooth experience. If you are in the market for ordering nutraceutical labels, I highly recommending reading Tips to Maximize Your Digital Label Printing Experience. In this exclusive online feature article for Nutraceuticals World, Lightning Labels General Manager James Lowry and Marketing and Communications Professional Mark Lusky help readers simplify the decision-making process for ordering digitally printed product labels.

Here are just a few of the tips James and Mark give in their article that will help you maximize your return on digital labels with minimal stress:

When choosing label stock, think about the message you want your label stock to convey regarding the core values and culture of the company. If you want to make a dramatic “entrance,” select a stock that will make graphics and colors pop. High-end products targeting niche audiences generally need a label stock that promotes a crisp, clear look while also being extremely resistant to the elements. As the nutraceuticals market grows, so is a trend toward emulating big pharma with buttoned-down businesslike label stocks and printing. Continue reading “Tips for Streamlining Nutraceutical Label Prep & Printing” »

No Barcode Left Behind

If companies are making products that they want to be sold at retail — regardless of whether it’s at a grocery store or electronics outlet — it’s crucial that they have barcodes printed on their labels.

In most western countries, the required barcode is the Universal Product Code (UPC), which is a scannable strip of black bars and white spaces. The UPC system was first developed in 1932 and was popularized by several grocery associations in the 1970s. It is still an easy way for retailers to ring up merchandise and for product makers to authenticate their products.

To get a UPC, companies need to become a member of the Uniform Code Council’s GS1 U.S. Partner Connections initiative. The amount businesses have to pay varies depending on the number of products sold and their gross revenue.

When designing product labels, it’s important to remember to include space for the UPC. While this design step is mandatory for any product label that will end up on retail shelves, it’s also one that can be easily forgotten.

The Proof is in the Label

You’ve designed your product label and have chosen a professional printer — such as Lightning Labels — to do the job. But before you go ahead and give the final word, you should always ask to see a proof before printing an entire batch of labels, as it could help you save money by preventing crucial oversights in the long run.

A proof, quite simply, is an image of the label as it will look when printed. Most label companies will offer one of two different types of proofs — PDF and press. PDF proofs are digital versions of the label that can easily be sent between printer and client, or to key takeholders. These proofs are accurate for the most part. The colors, however, will likely be slightly different depending on factors the client uses to view the PDF proof (e.g., computer monitors, printers, and inks.)

Extra cautious business owners will want to look into press proofs, which are samples of labels actually printed on the press. Press proofs are a physical sample of your final product. You can even test them on your product container for fit, adhesion, and durability!

We are proud to be one of the few label printers that offers our customers their first set of press proofs free of charge. All they pay for is shipping costs. For more information on PDF and press proofs, visit our Label Learning Center; or send us an email.