How Design Crowdsourcing Websites Can Save You Money

While the economy is slowly bouncing back, many businesses are being forced to cut costs wherever they can. This thrifty mindset extends to every business activity, ranging from marketing to actual production. Businesses looking to save on expensive graphic design costs may also consider leveraging design crowdsourcing websites such as MycroBurst and 99designs.

Let me be clear. When it comes to designing and creating new labels, hiring a local graphic designer is the best way to create high-quality label designs that match your packaging, products, and brand perfectly. But if you can’t afford to do this, utilizing design crowdsourcing websites may very well be your next-best option.

If you choose to use one of these websites, they will help you host a design contest. You will answer several questions about the the type of label design you need and how much you are willing to pay for it. Most websites like this require you to pay for your design upfront. Some design crowdsourcing websites such as 99designs offer combo packages that save you money if you have multiple design projects, and a few even offer money-back guarantees if you aren’t presented with a suitable design.

Once your label design contest launches, graphic designers will submit their design concepts for your consideration. You can post feedback on the designs, which may or may not inspire some designers to tweak their original submission in hopes of winning the contest (and the payment that comes with it). Some websites allow you to invite friends and colleagues to vote on their favorite designs or rank them in order of preference. Ultimately, though, you make the final decision.

This strategy can be very effective for two reasons. First, it’s cost efficient. Rather than paying one artist a high price, companies get multiple designers to compete for the same job. Second, it gives you more options — rather than being limited to a single artist’s creative mind, you can choose from several different designers who each view the world uniquely.

Once the label design has been finalized and you have the rights to use it, you can then send it to a custom label printing company such as Lightning Labels to be produced.

A World Without Full Color Labels

We tend to take the full spectrum of colors for granted.

Let’s take a look at some of the companies whose products or brands would suffer without the benefit of a full color label.

Popsicle

Popsicle Brand - Color LabelPopsicle - Grayscale label

Before, we have a box of glisteningly sweet, cold, refreshing, fruit-flavored frozen delicacies. After, we have… what? A McCarthy-era warning about the feared superiority of Soviet nuclear missiles? Turn-of-the-century, retro-futuristic depictions of 21st century buildings (named after fruits, for some reason)? Whatever it is, on first glance, I certainly don’t want my children sucking on them. Full color labels help make subtle promises to the consumer like the relief of an impossibly-colored frozen treat on a hot summer day. It appears that sweet things are especially dependent on vibrant colors to sell.

Google

Google - Color LogoGoogle - Grayscale Logo

The world’s most popular search engine has undergone many changes over the years. Google’s full color logo features primary colors, softening their tech-y image to be more friendly and familiar to its users. Looking at the logo after we drain out its friendly colors, Google’s eye looks more like an Orwellian horror—the all-seeing eye of the Internet, copying your every keystroke and compiling your profile to more efficiently target you. Actually, now that you put it that way…

Toy R’ Us

Toys 'R' Us - Color logoToys 'R' Us - Grayscale logo

Toys R’ Us, the toy superstore whose star rose, fell, and rose again over the period of 20-odd years, has undergone a number of redesigns during its rollercoaster of a life. Like Google, we see the friendly use of primary colors. The Toys R’ Us logo takes its softening efforts even further with its logo with rounded edges and a friendly, bouncy text. While the effect isn’t completely lost when you suck out its colors, it’s safe to say the Toys R’ Us doesn’t appear quite as kid-friendly as before.

American Flag

American Flag - ColorAmerican flag - Grayscale

Even with the colors drained, the flag’s too iconic to lose its meaning. It’s almost as if my eyes are filling in the colors where they ought to be. Still, I wouldn’t want to go slapping an American flag on my products without the bright red, white and blue. Just doesn’t seem right.

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake label - ColorStrawberry shortcake label - Grayscale

Once again, we have a “sweet” logo drained of its sweetness without color, only this time, it’s a doll. Strawberry Shortcake doesn’t look quite as friendly without her ginger locks, and her strawberries look more like shrunken heads from a cheap 80’s voodoo horror film. Our minds are tuned to expect color in some situations; blacks and grays in the place of pinks and reds can feel “wrong,” “off,” “off-putting,” or plain “scary.” Is that a glint of malice I see in the B&W Shortcake doll’s eyes?

I suppose the point of all of this is to demonstrate the importance of full color labels in many situations. While it’s true that some products’ labels don’t require color, many of our favorite brands and products would have a hard time coming off the shelf if they chose black and white labels.

Lightning Labels Minimizes Cost of Reaching for the Stars

Minimum Order Reduced from 100 to 50 Labels per Version

Ladder to the Stars - Lightning LabelsIf you’re a business owner, you know you need to take chances — lots of them — to be successful. Unfortunately, taking chances can become quite pricey.

Thankfully, though, we’ve just lowered our minimum order from 100 to 50 labels per version. This is great news because it gives your business more opportunities to control costs and save money. Money you can use to start chasing your dreams (for real this time.)

Ordering small quantities of labels allows you to manage your product label inventory more efficiently by minimizing storage space, reducing waste, and controlling purchasing costs. With our quick turnaround time (2 to 3 days following proof approval), you can order labels as you need them. This is good news not only for start-ups, but for any product manufacturer that could benefit from the ability to order 50 labels at a time. Health, beauty, and specialty food product makers come to mind since they have a large number of SKUs. Continue reading “Lightning Labels Minimizes Cost of Reaching for the Stars” »

How to Drive Brand Engagement with RFID Tags

Thanks to advances in technology, labels can be so much more than simple stickers used to differentiate products at retail.

For example, many product manufacturers are now using near field communication radio frequency ID (RFID) tags with their labels to further engage consumers. When consumers approach products that use this technology, special messages can be relayed to their phones.

If product manufacturers are trying to boost sales, they may set their labels to broadcast coupons. Or they could simply send messages asserting the value of buying that product over another. Some companies even use the tags to encourage customers to sign up for email newsletters or follow them on Twitter or Facebook.

RFID tags don’t need to be limited to promotions, either. For example, recycling information or user manuals could also be conveyed through the technology.

There are all sorts of considerations that can improve the performance of labels at retail. You should consult a professional labeling company such as Lightning Labels for more information.

Chocolate Crisis Center Relieves Suffering Caused by Widespread Condition

LL Gets CCC to Open Up About Chocolate Crisis Condition,
Fails to Obtain Dr. Hottie’s Number

This month’s Customer Spotlight is on the Denver-based chocolate purveyor Chocolate Crisis Center (CCC). Lightning Labels conducted the following interview with Will M. Bellish, Top Flack of the CCC’s Public Relations Department.

Daily Dose labels - CCCWhat is the “Chocolate Crisis Condition”?
The condition manifests itself as a tendency for sufferers to employ chocolate as a way of coping with intense nonspecific cravings, unfocused mental meanderings, bizarre interactions with coworkers and family, fantasies of torturing superiors, and the stress of expensive and pointless psychotherapy sessions. Chocolate has been shown to have immediate positive effects on the Prefrontal Choco-Cortex, Cacao Nibulum, Left Cerebral Chocosphere, Reptilian Craving Complex and other areas of the brain related to ecstatic enjoyment and immediate gratification. Research continues at the Center to find new treatments for sufferers.

Dr. Ernst Angst is credited with identified the Chocolate Crisis ConditionWhat types of treatments does the CCC offer its patients?
Dr. Ernst Angst, the discoverer of the condition and founder of the Chocolate Crisis Center, learned that he could achieve the same or better results for most of his patients by administering quality Belgian chocolate at the beginning of therapy sessions, then ending the session immediately so everyone had another 55 minutes to do something constructive. He has since developed a full line of chocolate bars, truffles, caramels, fruits and nuts that can achieve the same results in under a minute. Needless to say, session work has dropped off considerably. Continue reading “Chocolate Crisis Center Relieves Suffering Caused by Widespread Condition” »

Improving Pharmaceutical Labels to Avoid Deaths

A recent poll reveals that 60 percent of people using prescription drugs have made errors in taking medications. An estimated 100,000 people in the US die every year because of medication errors, and those mistakes are the fourth leading cause of death in the country (msnbc.com). These deaths are preventable, and better pharmaceutical labels may be one of the best methods of prevention.

People who take several different medications at various times, in various doses, on empty stomachs or with meals may have a difficult time remembering all the directions involved. And, when several people in one household take prescription medications, it is easy for someone to take another person’s prescription by mistake—the orange and white bottles all look the same! If pharmaceutical labels were easier to read, people could avoid making potentially dangerous errors when they take medications.

Studies of pharmaceutical labels have shown that the pharmacy name was usually the most prominent item on many medication labels, and information for the pharmacists’ use was sometimes printed with bold print, highlighting and color, but instructions and warnings for the patients were printed with black ink in smaller font sizes. It should be a simple matter to reverse this practice by enlarging the print for the most important information on the pharmaceutical labels and decreasing it for less vital details like the pharmacy name. Additionally, most pill bottles are round and narrow, so patients must keep rotating the bottle to read the label. Continue reading “Improving Pharmaceutical Labels to Avoid Deaths” »

How to Throw a Good Wine Label Party

You know that we here at Lightning Labels love a good label, so, we thought, why not have a funny wine labels celebration? A label party might sound strange to you, but it’s a great way to get your friends together and have some laughs. The only rule is that you must bring a wine bottle with a funny label. Because many wineries opt to give their blends creative monikers and humorous labels, we’re sure you’ll get some you’ve never seen before. Here are a couple ideas to start off your adhesive celebration:

Toad Hollow Wine Label1. Toad Hollow
Wines from <a href=http://www.toadhollow.com>Toad Hollow</a> seek to be delicious and affordable. Each bottle includes whimsical artwork that is reminiscent of a child’s storybook. The name originates from the company’s founders, two old friends known as Dr. Toad and The Dancing Badger.

House Wine Label2. House Wine
Everyone at your party will love the simple, no-frills approach that House Wine takes. House Wine is the main brand of The Magnificent Wine Company. With these blends, they aim to make top wines available at low prices. The labels are sparse and effective, featuring a childlike house drawing and bold lettering.

Girly Girl Pinot Gris Wine Label3. Girly Girl
Girly Girl wines are the perfect choice for a night with your girlfriends. Their bottles are feminine and elegant, and each blend features a different girl. You’ll love meeting Kayla, the Merlot, or Mia, the Chardonnay. Enjoy a bottle of Girly Girl on the weekends or after a long day at work. Continue reading “How to Throw a Good Wine Label Party” »

Going Green to Make Green: Appeal to Shoppers with Biodegradable Labels

Americans are becoming increasingly cognizant of their environmental impact and are making purchases from brands they feel also respect the earth. As a result, many companies have begun switching to green operating methods.

This is especially true with product packaging. Plastics and other products have long been the focus of many environmental agencies, as they tend to pile up in landfills. In response, many companies are adjusting their labeling and packaging approaches. As Yahoo notes, the need for green packaging solutions is anticipated to rise 6 percent each year through 2015.

If businesses want to reduce their impact on the environment and make their products more appealing to consumers, they too should consider switching to green packaging solutions.

Some label printing companies, including Lightning Labels, can assist manufacturers in this process. At Lightning Labels, we now have an entire line of eco-friendly labels, including BioStone. This paper material is on the the cutting edge of green packaging. It is a biodegradable, compostable material made from stone. Yes, stone!

To view our full lineup of green label materials, visit us online; or order free label samples.

The Fight Over Bubbly Continues

A few weeks ago, I blogged about the 1891 Treaty of Madrid. This international law officially designates the Champagne region of France as the only wine-making region in the world allowed to slap the word “Champagne” on their bottles. This treaty officially allows agents from the Interprofessional du Vin de Champagne, those James Bond-like secret agents of sparkling wine, to seize any mislabeled wine and summarily destroy the living schnapps out of an entire crop’s worth of mislabeled wine.

champagnelabelAt least, that’s the idea. As anyone who’s recently visited their local Albertson’s or Sam’s Club in search of a sparkling wine can tell you, not many American winemakers pay two corks’ worth of attention to that law. The problem is that some countries still haven’t officially recognized the treaty, a century or so after its signing. The United States has paid some lip service to the law, but (according to a study by Gomberg, Fredrickson & Associates) still allowed 50% of the nearly 100 million bottles of sparkling wine consumed in America each year to be mislabeled as “Champagne.”

US winemakers say that we wine drinkers only know “sparkling wine” as “Champagne” (like how some of us substitute “Tylenol” for “analgesic painkiller” or “Kleenex” for “tissue”), and that we assign some extra value to sparkling wine when it’s labeled as “Champagne.” It’s not fair, they say, for a particular region to “own” a word when it’s been adopted by the public to stand in for a generic type of product. Continue reading “The Fight Over Bubbly Continues” »

Getting to Grips with Label Adhesives

Labels can be ordered online from a quality printing company in a variety of shapes and sizes, and supplied in rolls or sheets. Labels are as diverse as the designs printed on them. All labels, however, have at least one common denominator: adhesive.  All labels feature an adhesive on one side, which is capable of bonding to another surface when pressure is applied.

There are three main types of label adhesive families, and the success of your label will often depend on whether or not you choose the right none. So think carefully before you order a roll of labels, and get expert advice on which label adhesive is the right one for you and your product.

Here are some label adhesives on the market today. One of them is certainly the right fit for you.

Removable Label Adhesives
These labels are all pressure sensitive, and can be removed without damaging the label or the product. They are ideal when selling products designed to be given as gifts, or when labels are used to seal products shut. Examples of applications where removable label adhesives could be used include curved surfaces such as test tubes, and rough surfaces like corrugated cardboard.

Freezer Adhesive
This type of label adhesives is ideal when items need to be kept either frozen or chilled. Different label adhesives are available that correspond to different temperature. These labels are used for items that are to be kept in a chiller cabinet of a store, frozen food, and for the labeling of specimens.

Permanent Label Adhesive
High ultimate adhesion categorizes this type of label, which means attempts to remove it will probably result in its destruction. Permanent industrial strength labels fall into this category as do standard permanent adhesives, which are ideal for corrugated board, films and non-polar surfaces. Highly curved surfaces, however, may not be suitable. Other applications may include direct labeling of food and wine bottles.

Repositionable Label Adhesive
These can be peeled off and used again in a different location, with the label remaining intact. Many types of window cling labels fall into this category. This also means that if a label is poorly applied, it’s possible to peel it off and try again.

Printed labels that display your product in the best light possible can make a difference to your business, so shop around and get the best. Before you do, however, do a bit of research about what type of label – and label adhesive – best fits your product. Your company deserves the best custom adhesive labels it can get.