What’s at stake with label quality? More than you think.
Like it or not, what’s on the outside of a box or package affects consumer perceptions of what’s inside. When a product is displayed on a densely-packed store shelf, a poor-quality label can be make the difference between an attention-getting package or one gets ignored by consumers. When you only have a few seconds to capture their attention, a high-quality label is a must.
So what should you expect from your label converter? What questions should you ask of them to ensure that label production quality is uniformly high? Here are some suggestions:
What causes poor label quality during print runs?
The causes are often concentrated in a few key areas:
- Material and mechanical: The converter may not be using the material that was originally specified for the job. Printing equipment may not be maintained properly. Ink densities may vary, causing noticeable variations in the color and density of the label design.
- Human: The most common human causes of poor label quality are an inexperienced press operator, lack of diligence on the part of the pressman and poor quality control.
Questions to ask your converter:
- What procedures do you have in place to ensure excellent label quality during print runs?
- When and where do you do quality checks – not only during the production process, but all the way to packaging and shipping?
- How many years of experience do your press operators have?
Preventing inconsistencies in label quality
One of the challenges of ongoing print label orders is ensuring consistent quality from one order to the next. Your brand is at stake; it needs to be represented consistently on your product labels.
Here are steps your converter should take to ensure consistently high label quality:
- Verify the correct material for each order.
- Use the same press to run each order of your labels.
- Accurately monitor and marking bad product within the rolls.
- Check the quality of the product at the rewinding stage.
- Check the product again at the packaging/shipping stage.
In addition to these production tips, your converter should also keep samples of labels you’re your past print orders on hand, so they can do side-by-side visual comparisons for color and design consistency.
In closing, keep your expectations high: The labels your converter runs for you 6, 12 or 24 months from now should look consistent. You need to be confident in the labels your converter produces for you. Their quality control procedures should be well-developed and refined enough that there should be no surprises.