Allow Us to Reintroduce Ourselves

At Blue Label, we’re subscribers to the idea of continuous improvement. This means we constantly strive to do a little bit better. Whether it’s updating a method to clean a printing press that prevents a breakdown, finding a new adhesive that is more reliable, or improving artwork software to catch more potential errors, we are always striving to improve.

That same principle applies to our name itself. Over the past few years, we have continued to work on what we do best: high quality labels and packaging with fast turnarounds. While doing this, we added new product lines. A few years ago, we started offering hang tags and keg collars. In 2019, we began producing shrink sleeves with the same high quality and quick turns our customers expect from us. All this to say, we are constantly evolving to better meet the demands of the people we serve.

With the evolution of our processes and product offerings, we felt our name needed to evolve too. From here on out, we are changing our name to Blue Label Packaging Company. We specialize in printing high quality packaging and labels with industry best turnarounds times, and that’s what we’ll always do. Blue Label will continue to focus on the customer service and the constant improvement that is the heart of our company.

A breakdown of the main aspects of Blue Label's new branding.

If you are taking the time to read this, I’d like to thank you for supporting Blue Label. This company has seen a lot of success over the past few years, and that success has made a lot of people’s (and quite a few dogs’ and cats’) lives better. We are very thankful for the opportunity to serve our customers and hopefully working with us has made your life a little easier.

So, allow us to introduce our new name: Blue Label Packaging Company. Just like the Blue Label you’ve always known, but slightly better.

Thanks for everything,
Andrew

How to Taper a Label for Your Products

Are you wondering how to put a label on a curved surface and how to apply them straight? Designing for a flat surface is pretty straightforward. A straight edge will still be straight, a square will still be a square, etc. Curved or inclined surfaces are more difficult. Depending on the shape of your container, especially if it’s tapered, this can be trickier than you expect.

A container is tapered when it isn’t perfectly cylindrical and gradually changes in width. An easy way to tell if your container has a tapered shape is tapered is to compare it to something that’s completely flat or straight, whether it’s something like a rectangular box or a ruler. If you stand both items next to each other and the side of your container isn’t flush against something flat, it has some degree of tapering to it.

Why Can’t You Use Rectangular Labels on Tapered Containers?

Tapered labels can create some problems for even the most basic of label shapes. Straight lines appear uneven when placed on tapered containers, even if the change in width is very slight. This can lead to crooked label placement or noticeable creases or bulges that result in an unprofessional overall packaging design.

While it may seem easy to simply switch to a non-tapered container, these labeling challenges shouldn’t scare you away from utilizing uniquely-shaped packaging that stands out to your consumers. Even standard beer bottles feature a tapered neck, so you may not be able to avoid some form of tapering depending on your container.

You also may not want to change your container. Tapered shapes can attract eyes and create an exclusive silhouette for your brand. Instead of settling for standard containers, you can create a curved dieline that will allow your custom product labels to account for the gradual tapering of your container.

Labels that were tapered for custom-shaped bottles.

How to Adjust Your Label to Fit a Tapered Container

One option is to downsize your label so that the effect of the tapering isn’t as noticeable. However, this limits the amount of label space you have to showcase your brand, describe your product, and include any necessary regulatory information.

The other option is to tailor your label to better suit the shape of your container. If you still want your label to look rectangular, you’ll need to create a curved dieline. You’ll need to do some math to figure out the right shape, but the process may not be as tricky as you think.

Step 1: Decide where your label should go

Before you can solve anything, you’ll need to acquire some information. First, figure out exactly where you want your label to stick to your container. Since the width of your container gradually changes, it’s important to measure exactly where a label needs to go or else your measurements could be wrong. This also means you should have an idea of whether you want a partial or full wrap for your label as that will greatly impact the width. Once you’re set, use a pen, pencil, tape, or some other item to mark where the top, bottom, and sides of your label should go.

Step 2: Measure your dimensions

Once you have your container marked, you’ll want to measure the following:

  • Width of the top of your label
  • Width of the bottom of your label
  • Height of your label

Regular rulers won’t be too helpful in this stage since you’ll need something that can curl around your container and measure the top and bottom parts of your label. If you don’t have a loose tape measure, contact your Blue Label representative and request a custom flexible ruler or you can download and print a paper ruler. Another is to wrap string around your container and mark or cut it to fit the right lengths.

Please note that if you measure completely around your container, those measurements will make for a full wrap label dieline. If you don’t want a full wrap label, you’ll want to factor in your desired gap into the measurements. Once you’re all set, you can use your measurements to create a curved shape in Adobe Illustrator.

Step 3: Use Adobe Illustrator to create a curved dieline

In order to turn your measurements into an actual curved shape, you’ll need to do some geometry. Fortunately, there’s a convenient online cone calculator that will do the hard work for you. All you need to do is plug in the height and widths from your container to generate the following measurements.

  • Arc angle
  • Radius 1
  • Radius 2

A cone with measurements used to taper product labels.

These numbers will allow you to create your exact custom container label shape in Illustrator. First, take each radius and create a pair of circles that share a common center (also known as concentric circles). Now you can use the drawing and transform tools to create a triangle that shares an apex point with the center of the two circles. The triangle should use the arc angle generated by the calculator and extend past the larger of the two circles. In the end, the two circles and triangle will intersect to create a curved dieline for your container.

Example dielines for rectangular and tapered labels.

Step 4: Identify an ideal rectangular shape

Even though you have a curved dieline, you still need to figure out how to warp your design to fit your container. To start, you’ll want to convert your curved dieline into an ideal rectangular shape.

Before you find your shape, make sure to add a bleed area that extends your design artwork at least 1/16” past the edges of your curved label dieline. This will add some extra insurance that your labels don’t have any accidental white spaces once they’re cut. It’s also important to add this now because you’ll need to measure the top and bottom chords of your label to identify your ideal rectangular shape. A chord is the straight line between two corners of a curved dieline.

Once you use Illustrator to find these measurements, you’ll then need to average the top and bottom length together. You can now build out your ideal rectangular shape with the measurements for the average chord length and your original height and use the Illustrator warp tool to curve your artwork.

Make Sure Your Labels Stay Ahead of the Curve

Preparing a label for a tapered container may seem like a lot of work, but it doesn’t mean you have to settle for something you don’t want. At Blue Label Packaging Company, our experts work directly with you to ensure that your labels are catered to your needs. That way, you don’t have to sacrifice your container or other important aspects of your packaging. If you need a professional designer to help you create a specific look for your products, we can even point you toward our approved designer directory.

Ready to wow your customers with tapered product labels by using our custom label printing? Contact us today to talk to one of our experts about your label design and project.

Types of Labels for Unique Containers: What You Need to Know

Uniquely-shaped product containers can make for eye-catching packaging. However, designing the right label to fit on the container may present some challenges. You’ll have to get creative as you factor in the shape and size of the containers and the different materials you can use to create your label. Below, we’ve outlined several different label considerations for your uniquely-shaped containers.

Specialty Die Cut Labels

Designing a specialty die cut label is the most common way to create the most versatile packaging for your container. These labels can be cut to your exact specifications, no matter the shape of your container, ensuring a perfect fit all around.

Die cut label

 

Tapered Labels

Tapered bottles or containers are unique in that they aren’t perfectly cylindrical. A standard label won’t lay flat when adhered to your container, which is when tapered labels come in handy. Instead, tapered labels can be made to form perfectly by calculating the degree of tapering on your container. Using this type of label will ensure it won’t crease or slant on your tapered container.

Double Sided Labels

Containers made of clear material may benefit from double-sided labels. These labels give you twice the space to market your products and can add depth and originality to your uniquely-shaped container. While important information like nutritional content and FDA warnings need to be clearly displayed on the front of your label, the second side can be used to add a surprise or accent like a patterned background or catchy slogan that you might have not have space for on the primary side.

Specialty Materials

In addition to the type of label, you’ll also want to consider the material of your label. For instance, if you’re in need of a label for a uniquely shaped bottle or tube that will be squeezed a lot, MDO film is a flexible, moldable material that’s much less rigid compared to a paper stock. For products like lotions or shampoos, when you squeeze the bottle, the MDO resists wrinkling and creasing. MDO is just one of hundreds of specialty materials that can be chosen to accommodate your containers needs and functionality.

Custom Packaging Labels

Whatever type of packaging or containers you use, it’s important to work with a digital label printing company that can create high-quality labels to meet your unique needs.

Blue Label is a digital printing company that will work with you to create custom labels for your unique packaging. Our state-of-the-art HP Indigo digital printing presses allow us to find the best solution to provide you with labels that not only attract eyes, but also best suits the needs of your product.

If you need help with your label design, check out our Designer Directory to find the right partner for your product. Once you’re ready to start your next project, contact us to talk to one of our experts about how we can create custom labels for your brand.

Minimalist Design Trends for Product Labels

The minimalist movement is making its way into label design as more brands are forgoing flashy and opting for simple. You’ve surely heard the phrase, “less is more,” which can be especially true when it comes to the design of your product and bottle labels.

A minimalist’s mantra is to remove the unnecessary. In an era of information overload, brands are realizing that customers appreciate minimal labeling. It’s an effective trend that works because of its simplicity. (more…)

6 Questions You Should Ask a Digital Label Printer

It takes a lot of hard work to put out a great product, so you shouldn’t damage your brand’s image with a subpar label. Great packaging plays a critical role in promoting your products, so it can be very advantageous for small businesses to invest in digital label printing.

However, you shouldn’t settle for just any digital label printing company. Some research and pointed questions can help you find the right label printing company for your business. To help your search, here are six key questions to ask a potential printing partner to gauge if they have the right blend of capabilities and customer service for your company.
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Digital Printing and Inventory Management

Inventory management is tough. There are plenty of business service firms out there that would have you believe they can solve your inventory problems, from ERP software, to consultants, to RFID tracking, but the reality is that inventory problems can’t be ‘solved.’ There will always be a tradeoff between keeping too much on hand so you never run out, which increases the chance of spoilage or obsolescence, or you’ll keep too little on hand, increasing the chance of stock outs and unmet demand. This is inventory management’s inherent tradeoff, and every business owner has to make the tough choice of what risk he or she prefers. As printers, we can’t solve your inventory problems for you, but we can make the decision easier. Digital print production allows printers to tailor a label and packaging solution to meet your unique inventory needs. Here is a broad overview of how digital printing makes inventory management easier.

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