Most of us understand the difference between affordable and cheap. Diligent bargain hunting is a learned skill, and there are certainly benefits to finding products and services with comparable quality to big brand equivalents sold for premium prices. When you buy cheap labels you get what you pay for.
“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”
With label printing, there are several factors to consider when trying to determine the difference between a quality affordable label product and a cheap low-quality label packaging.
100% of your customers will see your labels. Labels act as advertisements and salespeople for your products on the retail shelf. They are in constant competition with your competitors. These days, even store brand products are competing with established premium brands. Labels and packaging are not places to cut corners on quality.
Labels are made up of several parts; typically a liner, an adhesive, a facestock, a top coating of protective varnish or laminate, and special finishes like an emboss or hot stamp. Labels are also produced on a wide array of printing equipment. Critically, press operators produce labels. Just like material quality, there is a measurable difference in press operator quality; their experience, ability, and attention to detail being foremost.
Discount label companies may offer cut-rate products using lower quality materials, printed on lower quality press equipment, produced by inexperienced or inattentive operators.
The two primary factors of a quality label are appearance and performance:
Attractive labels rely on professional designs printed by expert label printers. Accurate, vivid color reproduction and razor-sharp registration bring label designs to life. Consistency across label orders ensures your brand's colors are the same every time. Tight registration allows the finest details of your designs to be printed clean and sharp, including fine print. Premium label materials (the facestock) allow for uniform ink absorption and ink brightness. High quality flexographic and digital printing presses produce excellent ink coverage. Taken together, these factors are all integral to producing beautiful labels.
Labels will appear amateurish or unprofessional if they have dull, muted colors, low-quality paper, poor registration and fuzzy details with difficult to read text. Labels produced from unattractive designs will look bad regardless.
How labels last out in the real world is just as important as how they look coming off the printing press. A great looking label will look terrible on a retail shelf if it has started to peel off your bottle or gotten scratched and scuffed during shipping and transit. Labels that do not properly fit your container may wrinkle, and cheap label materials may fail with changes in their environment such as heat and humidity, or cold and moisture.
Poorly produced labels may also resist separating from the label liner and jam up application equipment. Budget label adhesives may fail to keep your labels on your containers, or they may just slide around a bit at the time of application and be crooked and inconsistently applied.
How is Label Quality Ensured?
Label quality starts with commitment. Quality cannot be faked, and it does not happen overnight.
Label quality relies on good design, printed by experienced press operators on professional presses using high-quality materials. We check and verify quality during the print run.
A label company using inferior press equipment will fail to produce quality labels. Likewise, utilizing poor materials will produce poor labels. Even when good label printing equipment is available, inexperienced press operators will be unable to produce consistent quality.
Quality Control for Labels
Producing quality labels is the goal of every reputable label printer.
Quality takes time and requires ongoing investments in the best technology and equipment. Consistent training on the equipment ensures we produce the best possible labels. We use materials and adhesives from industry-leading suppliers.
In addition to ongoing training, top-of-the-line equipment, and superior adhesives and materials, Advanced Labels employs a Quality Control Manager. With experience in graphic design, printing, proofreading, attention to detail and quality control, our Quality Control Manager is a vital part of our commitment to quality. We make every attempt to meet the goal of 100% defect-free labels as we continually seek to meet or exceed our client's expectations.
Browse our label gallery, check out some featured client labels, request free printed label samples, see the awards we've won, and contact Advanced Labels NW today to learn more about the difference high-quality labels can make for your products.