Color Label Solutions

Color Label Solutions
www.colorlabelsolutions.com

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Best of 2017


During 2017, we published 31 original (32 if you count this one) posts on 

www.colorlabelsondemand.blogspot.com

which was more than our goal for the year.  As most of you don’t read every post, I’d though you might find a summary of these posts of interest.

Love's Oven Labels
Love's Oven Labels
As for most read, two stick out.  First, the post that was read the most covered Love Oven’s use of the C7500G.  These guys produce great looking, full-bleed labels. 

http://colorlabelsondemand.blogspot.com/2017/03/edible-love.html.   

Plus, I love how Katie from Love’s Oven built the printing solution herself.  Good work!

L301 label printer Afinia
L301 from Afinia
Second, the next most read post of 2017 was my review of the new L301 color label printer.  This printer produces great looking labels; at the most affordable hardware price of any label printer we sell.  

http://colorlabelsondemand.blogspot.com/2017/02/l301.html.

Color Badge Tag Printers
Color Badge Tag Printers
But the most read does not always represent my favorites.  My favorites are reserved for customers who have built and implemented great label printing solutions.  My two favorites for 2017 have us and BarTender in common.  First, CompuSystems built a great solution using BarTender and the C3500 for printing badges in color and on-demand:  

http://colorlabelsondemand.blogspot.com/2017/06/on-demand-color-badges.html.  

Plus, we worked hard to put together badge options; including matte paper, gloss paper and matte poly tags.  These different tags produce great looking badges.

Quickscrew Label
Quickscrew Label

Second, the Quickscrews used BarTender to pull text, images, color-codes and barcode data from their database to produce labels for 10’s of thousands of SKU’s. As the name of the post states, it’s the perfect example of a print on-demand color label solution.  

http://colorlabelsondemand.blogspot.com/2017/05/perfect-print-on-demand-color-label.html.

LX2000 vs C7500 Ink Cartridge
LX2000 vs C7500 Ink Cartridge


By far the most controversial post was my analysis of the differences between the C7500 and the LX2000.  As you may know, I add posts to Linked In after publishing.  On Linked In, this post created a lot of comments about the comparison, including one from the VP of Sales from Primera.  What do you think of this analysis? 

http://colorlabelsondemand.blogspot.com/2017/09/lx2000-vs-c7500.html

Guy Mikel at Label Expo Europe
Guy Mikel at Label Expo Europe
And by far the most difficult post was the report on my visit to Label Expo Europe.  Lots of pictures, video’s and links which make posting a lot more difficult. But I found the Expo very valuable.  See my perspective of the show here: 

http://colorlabelsondemand.blogspot.com/2017/09/label-expo-europe-2017.html

And in this post, you’ll see the new printer we’re launching at WestPack 2018 in Anaheim February 6 to 8.

I enjoy posting my opinions and customer stories covering printing color labels on-demand; It takes work.  But your readership of these posts is the real payoff for this effort.  To date, Google says we have 320,000 page-views from individuals all over the world.  I appreciate your readership; and I hope you find the information in these articles valuable.  May you have a great 2018.

Guy Mikel
855-962-9670

Monday, December 18, 2017

Affordable Digital Label Solution

If you are one of the two following types of companies:

  • A printer who wants to start printing professional looking labels
  • A manufacturer with lots of SKU’s who needs a large variety of sizes/types of labels


And neither one of these types of companies want to spend a lot of money.


We have a great solution for you; the C7500G combined with the Eclipse Mini Finishing Station.

Eclipse Mini Finishing Station
Eclipse Mini Finishing Station
For approximately $20,000, you can now print, laminate, die-cut and weed labels up to 4.25” wide; that look similar to labels produced by very expensive presses. 

I first saw the Eclipse Mini at Label Expo Europe.  Read about the Eclipse Mini here:  http://colorlabelsondemand.blogspot.com/2017/09/label-expo-europe-2017.html

Recently, I had the Eclipse Digital Label Finishing Machines, http://www.impressiontechnologyeurope.com/eclipse.html , which is a division of Impression Europe, print and finish labels for us.  Watch here the C7500G print labels:


By printing multi up, you can print any width labels up to 4.25” wide and up to 22” long using the C7500G in continuous mode; and combined with the Eclipse Mini Finishing Station.  Watch the Eclipse Mini finish these same labels here:


And you get great looking labels:

C7500G/Eclipse Mini Finished Labels
C7500G/Eclipse Mini Finished Labels

In addition to printing great looking, durable labels, you can produce labels relatively easily.  The most difficult aspect of printing/finishing the labels with the C7500G and Eclipse Mini is the process requires someone who understands Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw.  You need this expertise to add the die lines on the label artwork.  Once the correct die line template is establish, you use this same setup on each label of the same size.  If interested, we can send you the instructions to create the cut-line graphic for the Eclipse Mini.

The C7500G is the most affordable and easy to use means to produce professionally-looking and durable labels available.  If you are a printer who wants to start selling great looking labels, or a manufacturer with lots of SKU’s who wants to produce professionally looking labels in house, consider the C7500G and Eclipse Mini solution.

Guy Mikel
855-962-7670

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Meet Tim

Recently, our Support Manager, Tim Semic, reached a milestone in providing support to our customers: 1,000 support calls.


Color Label Solutions's Support Manager-Tim
You may have read some of Tim’s previous posts.





Tim’s first call entry was May 7th, 2015; about 2.5 years ago.  When I learned of Tim's call milestone, I asked, “what do you remember from your first call logged?”  According to Tim, “My first call was from a large beverage company and I remember being a bit nervous. The problem turned out to be a bug in the C3500 printer driver software that I was able to resolve by uninstalling and then reinstalling it using the Epson Install Navi. The Epson Install Navi is a more comprehensive installer and is helpful in installing label printers onto an Ethernet network. I have found that certain problems can be resolved by reinstalling the printer driver.”  Having never trained or worked as a Network Manager, I find these support situations the most difficult.

C7500 Install Navi
Install Navi 
I also thought immediately, how many calls did you take prior to starting a call log?  Tim said, “I took about fifty calls before I started logging them. At first, all I logged was the problem, but later for reference I noted what the fix was too.” Initially, I did a lot of the support calls.  But now Tim handles almost all of them.

C7500G
C7500G
When I provide support, I get frustrated easily; as I want to provide the answer to the issue quickly.  Given my personal experience, I asked Tim what he does not to get frustrated.  “If I begin to feel frustrated, I know it’s time to take a break.  I don’t want to burden our customer with this feeling. I just take it one step at a time and enjoy the work.”  Good idea.

But some calls are difficult.  I asked Tim what was his worst support call.  Tim said, “My worst call is any call where I find a hardware failure. I like to be able to solve problems for our customers.  When a device has a hardware failure, I can’t fix this kind of problem over the phone.  I have to give my customer the bad news. Depending upon the problem, the device may be unusable until it has been repaired. That's not the kind of resolution that I hope for when I take a call.  Machines and electronic devices are susceptible to failure. Ask yourself this, if a device you own fails, would that be an inconvenience or a catastrophe?  If the answer is catastrophe, you should have a plan in place for when that device fails.  All mechanical and electronic devices will eventually fail.  It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when, so please be prepared.”  Good advice Tim.  

But for the difficult calls, you get great calls as well.  I asked Tim what was the call that you provided the most support.  According to Tim, “I helped a chemical company set up their printing system.  After the setup was completed, I went on to create PDF format labels for them over the course of a year.  That on-going support was great as it allowed me to form a relationship with the customer." 

Tim continued, "Also, I recently took a call around 10 p.m. at night, where the customer was planning on just leaving me a message.  We wound up working together that night to set up his new label printer.  We finished up slightly before midnight.  He was very grateful for the late night assistance which allowed them to be up and printing the next day.  I was happy to help.”  All I can say it, thanks Tim for great customer support!  You're raising the bar for us high!

C3500
C3500 
At Color Label Solutions, we provide technical support to our customers, both initially to get them printing quickly and easily; and anytime they need additional help.  And we help them navigate the break/fix process when their printers need repair.  If you need a label printing solution, purchase from someone like us that is available to help when needed.

Guy Mikel
855-962-7670

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Seattle Cannabis

While traveling in Seattle, I had the opportunity to meet two of our customers in the cannabis market: Green Rush Cannabis and Georgetown Cannabis.


Green Rush Cannabis, http://catchtherush.com/,   is a WA i502 producer-processor located in the scenic Snohomish Valley. They produce a clean, sophisticated crop that has become a preferred brand for a number of top shops in Washington state known for their consistent terpene flavor, high quality, and deep impact.  GreenRush Cannabis is a recommend brand by expert budtenders.

Green Rush Cannabis
Green Rush Cannabis
Personally, I found Green Rush’s growing rooms, very clean and professional.

Mark Flanders, owner of Green Rush Cannabis, and I first met at Cannacon Seattle in February 2017.  At the time, Mark was looking for a means to print labels for their products with their logo, text and variable data.  Initially, Mark was looking for 4x2” and 3x2” matte or gloss paper labels produced on an affordable color label printer.  Based on these requirements, I recommended the C3500 printer.

Mark Flanders, Green Rush Cannabis
Mark Flanders, Green Rush Cannabis
After initially testing the paper, we found the labels “flagged” and came off the joint tubes. This flagging is not a result of the adhesive, rather the memory in the paper.  Based on these results, we switched to matte poly labels that have less memory and work better on the tubes.

Green Rush C3500 Label
Green Rush C3500 Label
In our discussions, I learned that Green Rush uses Grow Flow, https://getgrowflow.com/traceability and sales system.  According to Mark, “to produce our labels, we requested GrowFlow to design our label templates.  Inside GrowFlow, the variable data is pulled and sent to a format that is produced as a PDF.  This system works great for us”.

The Green Rush label artwork is perfect for the C3500.  It’s a basic white label with a logo, text, barcode and variable data.  For this application, the C3500 works great.  And the integration with GrowFlow is a great addition, adding value to their customers.

Based on their success, Green Rush is expanding.  Mark says, “We’re setting up another location, to cultivate as well extract.”  Based on my experience, I can see why Green Rush is a success.

Georgetown Cannabis Company, http://georgetowncannabisco.com/, experienced team is passionate about the cultivation of their naturally grown cannabis.  They trim their buds to ensure quality and bag appeal.  Georgetown cultivates cannabis as natural as possible, and staying away from pesticides with the use of beneficial insects. Though innovative growing methods and their no shortcut approach, Georgetown strives to bring their brand, “Legion of Plume” of high quality, cannabis to their customers.

Georgetown Cannabis "Legion of Plume " Label
Georgetown Cannabis "Legion of Plume " Label
I met Mark Brown, CEO, of Georgetown Cannabis originally via one of our partners.  Initially, Mark was looking not only for a label printer, but a label applicator as well.  Mark and his team, especially, Kendall Brown, were requiring a high resolution printer for labels for their “Legion of Plume” branded products.  Based on their label printing requirements, Georgetown purchased a C7500G printer and matte poly labels.  I recommended matte poly given Georgetown’s production of a lot of prerolls, labeling their joint tubes.

Georgetown Cannabis Prerolls
Georgetown Cannabis Prerolls
After getting some gloss poly labels to test, Kendall decided to switch away from matte.  “We really like the way the colors look on the gloss poly”, says Kendall. Continuing, “We have found the gloss poly labels don’t flag, adhering to the tubes well”.

C7500G Preroll Labels
C7500G Preroll Labels

With a background in design, I really like how Kendall has produced the labels for Georgetown, maximizing the print output from the C7500G.  She is using the Epson ColorTone Matching assistant to help her chose the best color range for labels for Georgetown’s new hybrids.

C7500G ColorTone Matching Assistant Print Output
C7500G ColorTone Matching Assistant Print Output
You can download the ColorTone Matching Assistant here: https://download.epson-biz.com/modules/colorworks/index.php?page=prod&pcat=35&pid=219

And I think these labels designed by Kendall and produced on the C7500G look great!

C7500G Printed Cannabis Labels
C7500G Printed Cannabis Labels
And Georgetown’s business is growing. According to Mark, “we’re growing, adding new dispensary customers all the time.  The branding and labeling of our premium products is helping our sale team grow our business”.

Green Rush Cannabis and Georgetown Cannabis are approaching their labeling differently; but both are successful in the marketing, branding and labeling of their products.  If you need help to insure your labels represent and promote your brand successfully, contact us.  We’ll help you find the best solution for your print on-demand color label requirements.

Guy Mikel
855-962-7670

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Direct Thermal Changes

If you use Direct Thermal Labels, you may know this already; the price of direct thermal labels and POS paper has/will increase substantially. 

For example, Jujo Thermal announced an 8% to 13% increase.

And Lecta announced an 8% to 10% increase;  After a 7% increase in May



As I understand, this latest price increase results from the closure of a Chinese chemical plant, Connect Chemical, that makes 30% to 35% of the world market for leuco dyes, one of the major ingredients for the manufacturer of direct thermal paper. 

This closure is a result of the Chinese government attempting to clean up the pollution affecting their country.  It seems China has closed 10’s of thousands of chemical plants in an effort to improve their pollution.   

Leuco dye is one of the 4 major chemicals used in the manufacture of direct thermal paper.

What was news to me is that thermal paper uses Bisphenol A (BPA) and Bisphenol C (BPC) which when combined with the leuco dye makes the color when heated.  Recently, BPA has been identified as an endocrine disruptor.  

Heating of the direct thermal POS paper and labels appears to expose the BPA more to people handing these materials.  From Wikipedia:

People who often get in contact with BPA coated receipts do have a higher level of BPA in their bodies than people with average contact. 

In addition to the production issue with the leuco dyes, the largest domestic manufacturer of thermal paper filed bankruptcy:  Appvion.

The combination of these two events has caused the price of direct thermal paper and labels to increase substantially.  Over one million tons of direct thermal paper are used each year. 

With the price increases, now may be a good time to switch away from direct thermal labels to a better, safer alternative that enables color. And the costs may not be that different.  Some time ago, this post explored the cost differences among label printer media:


At Color Label Solutions, we sell two, inexpensive options for producing colorful inkjet labels to replace direct thermal printers.  First, we sell the ClariSafe printer, which prints labels up to 2.5” wide. 

ClariSafe Color Label Printer
ClariSafe Color Label Printer

Learn more here:

Watch this printer produce labels direct from a browser:



At less than $700, this printer produces great looking labels. Perfect for adding color symbols/icons on POS paper or labels.

To replace direct thermal shipping or warehouse labels, consider the C3500; perfect for adding color images to 4” wide shipping labels.

C3500 Color Label Printer
C3500 Color Label Printer

Here is an earlier post about increasing the ROI from shipping labels by using color:


Even three years ago, the price difference between direct thermal and inkjet coated or even uncoated labels were not much. Pleasant Mattress replaced direct thermal printers with C3500 printers to produce color-coded labels.

You can purchase the C3500 here.

With the big increase in prices of direct thermal label media, maybe you should consider switching to a better, safer and more colorful label option.  We can help you with two affordable printer options; and the labels to go through these printers.  Contact us if you would consider moving away from Direct Thermal printers.

Guy Mikel
855-962-7670






Sunday, October 29, 2017

Meet Lacy

Meet Lacy, not only the Controller for Color Label Solutions, (www.colorlabel.solutions),

Lacy With Her C7500

But also the person who prints samples for our new customers.  Let me tell you more about Lacy and her printing responsibilities.

After joining us this year, Lacy began to work immediately to learn the business.  As we send print samples out to customers and prospects almost every day, Lacy came to see how important this activity was to our business.  While I was traveling, Lacy asked if she could help with printing label samples.  When asked why she wanted to learn this aspect of the business, Lacy said, “To gain a more rounded knowledge of the company, and understand better the products we offer.”

So of course I said great; and left almost immediately on a trip after spending a few minutes with Lacy on how to produce labels with the different printers.  She did work with Tim, our Support Manager, to some degree as well.  But according to Lacy, “to learn how to print labels, I read user manuals, watched YouTube videos and just learned from trial and error.”.

One Of Lacy's Printed Labels
On this project, Lacy printed thousands of labels for a customer.  Watch the video of the labels printing.  Very fast, full-bleed and high print quality.


So far, Lacy says the easiest aspect of label printing was using the C7500.  “The C7500 seems to just be a much more user friendly printer, at least for a novice like myself”, says Lacy.

And the most difficult I asked?  I remembered her frustration with the L301 at first.  What was difficult about using this printer? Lacy says, “Initially, I had some technical glitches from learning on the fly.  Most of the issues were getting the artwork aligned properly on the labels.  Once I figured out how to print full-bleed labels on the L301, it was easy to do.”

To read about using the L301, read here:

http://colorlabelsondemand.blogspot.com/2017/02/l301.html

To make your full-bleed label printing easier, read here about what we did for this customer:


Having Lacy able to print label samples and runs for customers and prospects has been a great relief for me and our company.  Plus all of the staff tell me she prints labels swearing a lot less than I do! (OK, network issues drive me crazy when I’m trying to get samples shipped prior to the end of the day).

Lacy’s new found skills at label printing demonstrate that anyone with some dedication and patience can learn the technics around printing color labels on-demand.  Let us help you begin printing color labels on-demand.  You’ll find it easy as well.

Guy Mikel
855-962-7670

Visit our store here:  https://colorlabel-solutions.com/shop/ 

Friday, October 20, 2017

#1 Trend In Labeling

In the spring of 2014, I wrote about Loftware’s annual survey of customers and their perception of changes in the future; especially involving print on-demand color labels.  Loftware, Inc. (https://www.loftware.com/)  is the global market leader in Enterprise Labeling Solutions with more than 5,000 customers in over 100 countries.

Loftware Color Labeling

In their 2013 report, they predicted a significant growth in print on-demand color labeling.  Read about it here:  http://colorlabelsondemand.blogspot.com/2014/04/enterprise-wide-color.html

In their latest 2016 survey, Loftware predicts a very large increase in color label printing.  Here you can watch their webinar specifically on this technology:  http://resources.loftware.com/Reduce-cost-overhead-color-label-printing-Thank-You.html

Or download the survey here:


Watching this webinar, you will find all the reasons to begin using the solutions we sell; and validates the Color Label Solutions business model.  The number 1 trend was the move to printing color labels on-demand.

Two key findings from this survey are as follows:
  • 90% of their customers believe color label printing will become more important
  • 60% of their customers plan to purchase color label printers.


WOW!  That’s a new buyers for the solutions we sell!

According to Loftware and their survey, the reasons driving this tremendous increase in color label printing are as follows:
  • Complying With Government Mandates.  If you following this blog, you’ve read about GHS (Global Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of chemicals) and the importance of color label printing.  In fact, we have currently 60 posts on our blog featuring GHS.   California Prop 65 warning is another example of a regulatory mandate that may require manufacturers to print color labels on demand:



  • Improving Brand Management.  Companies are placing more value on their brand; and want to convey their unique brands throughout the supply chain consistently. Also, color enables companies to distinguish between product lines/models/sizes quickly and easily across multiple languages.
  • Eliminating Preprinted Labels.  70% of Loftware’s customer use preprinted labels.  But preprinted labels come at a cost; Obsolescence, Storage, Lack of Design Flexibility, Process costs, etc.  Print on-demand color enable companies to print at the last possible moment, to enable design flexibility and reduce/eliminate label waste and storage.

Listening to Loftware’s webinar it’s clear; companies are learning the branding importance, cost savings and process improvements in moving to on-demand color.  That’s why Loftware created the native drivers for color label printers now available in their software.  Loftware offers drivers for Epson, QLS, CAB and even PCL based laser printers.  According to Loftware, native drivers simplifies deployments, enables large scale deployments, reduces network traffic (large data print streams) and optimizes printer performance.  Loftware seems to be on-board the color train!

Also, during the webinar, Loftware referenced a blog post written by Richa Groupa of VDC. VDC (http://www.vdcresearch.com/ delivers in-depth market insights to technology vendors, end users and investors across the globe; featuring reports in the AIDC market including label printing.  

VDC Color Label Printing

In her post,


Richa states their research showed 40% of their end user respondents use print on-demand color labels in their operation.  Although the perception that color costs more, preprinted labels create a lot of waste accounting for 9.3% of all label purchased. This waste along with all of the Branding, ID and Compliance benefits mentioned earlier will drive more companies to print on-demand color labeling.


My thanks to Maureen Perronil and Jessica Hutter of Loftware for their outstanding webinar.

If you are considering deploying Loftware and/or color label printers, contact us to help you decide how to proceed.  By focusing exclusively on this market, Color Label Solutions is your premier provider of systems to help you print color labels on-demand.


Guy Mikel
855-962-7670