Color Label Solutions

Color Label Solutions

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sweet & Tasty Idea

For over 50 years, Rossmoor Pastries (  has been providing tempting cakes, delicious gourmet desserts, scrumptious pastries, breads and breakfast treats. Serving Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego and Riverside counties, Rossmoor Pastries take pride in being a part of their customer’s special event. Visit their storefront location in the lovely community of Signal Hill, to see, smell, taste and experience all of Rossmoor Pastries. They are Long Beach’s local bakery!

After printing black-only, thermal transfer labels for their products for years, Rossmoor decided to add on-demand color labels.  According to Michael Glover of Rossmoor, “we wanted to add images to our labels to improve the look of our products.  Further, we had opportunities to co-pack products for other companies.  These companies wanted their products produced with nice looking labels.”

Based on their requirements, Rossmoor Pastries contacted BCS Solutions (   BCS Solutions is a 20-year old reseller and systems integrator specializing in Wireless & Mobility Systems and, now, advanced RFID systems.  Headquartered in Garden Grove, California, BCS has sales and systems offices throughout the U.S.  The strength of BCS Solutions comes from working closely with their customers to determine their specific requirements.  Then they present the best options to deliver the optimal solution to meet their customer’s requirements.

After understanding the requirements, Fred Braun, Sales with BCS recommended the TM-C3400.  According to Fred, “I had worked with Guy on solutions for a few other companies including FX Luminaire ( knew the TM-C3400 would meet the requirements of Rossmoor.”

After speaking with Fred, I arranged to provide Rossmoor with a demo printer and training in their office.  Within a few minutes, we had Michael printing using the TM-C3400 and their label software, Labelview from Teklynx (  With Labelview, be sure to set up in the Epson driver the label format/size first; and then select this size/design in the Labelview application when designing a label.

According to Michael, “ we are now printing 4” x 2” and 4” x 3.5” die cut labels we purchase from Fred at BCS.  Based on the production schedule, we print from a few hundred to up to 5,000 labels at a time.”


“In addition, we now co-pack for a few companies like Cruz Sports Nutrition.  With our ability to produce labels using our customer’s brands, we plan to begin producing for other similar companies.  For a small baker, color labels on-demand is much better than printing black only labels or using preprinted labels”, says Michael.


You may want to review my earlier posts covering bakeries:

For bakeries, on-demand color labels are a great idea.  If you are a baker or if your customers are bakers, talk to them about using on-demand color labels.   It’s a “sweet and tasty” idea!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

"Slide" Into On-Demand Color Wristbands

Wild River Country ( is Arkansas largest waterpark.  Located in North Little Rock, Wild River Country has attractions like “Cyclone”, “Vertigo”, “Pipeline” and “Sidewinder” as well as fun-filled areas for younger guests.  Check out their Facebook page to learn more:

As a part of their business, Wild River Country hosts birthday parties, as many as 10 to 30 in a single day.  To track birthday party visitors, Wild River Country used plain, solid color wristbands purchased from an office supply store or amusement retailer.  According to Kerrigan Ambers, Ticketing Manager, for Wild River Country, “The downfall to using a solid color band is that anyone could go to their local amusement/carnival store and purchase a box on their own.  Or they could use it another day if they could find a way to slip it off.”

“As a perk of booking a birthday party, guests receive unlimited drinks or free food.  With up to 30 parties in an 8 hour day, we needed a way to differentiate quickly the different party packages.  It was a top priority for us this season” says Kerrigan.

After some research, Wild River Country contacted Peak Technologies (  to purchase a color wristband printer.  After understanding Wild River Country’s requirements including using their existing software, the Peak Representative contacted me about using the TM-C3400.  Once I was involved, I connected Peak to Wristband Resources ( who manufacturers wristbands that work with the TM-C3400.   The mission of Wristband Resources is to provide every customer with value beyond compare in the wristband identification marketplace.  They stand committed to making sure that every one of their customers is satisfied with their purchase. 

Wristband Resources produces a band made from a poly material and with a tamper evident enclosure.  According to Nate Olson, Sales, with Wristband Resources, “We’ve received extremely positive feedback for our wristbands when used in conjunction with the Epson TM-C3400 printer. This combination has opened doors to a number of venues who never thought on-demand printing of wristbands was possible.”    

After purchasing the printer and wristbands from Peak, Wild River contacted me to help them configure the printer to work with Word.  Initially, we had to change several settings in the page setup function in Word to get the wristband to print.  Then we had to adjust the vertical position of the image on the band to place the image in the correct spot.


The new wristbands have been a big hit at Wild River country.  “The new color, on-demand wristbands have helped our employees differentiate between guests that paid for one of our birthday packages versus the general public.  This solution has saved us hundreds of dollars” says Kerrigan.

For my post, Kerrigan was very gracious as he gathered comments from others at Wild River Country:

“Before we had to ask guests several questions to determine which party they were with. Now all we have to do is look at the wristband and direct the guest in the right direction without all the questions.  Two Thumbs up!”-Randall

“The color on-demand wristbands make us (birthday deck team) look more professional & organized.”-Buck

“Using the TM-C3400 to print our color on-demand wristbands is simple as 1,2,3.”-Anthony

“The new color on-demand wristbands are cool & unique.”-Rendi

If you or your customers use wristbands as a part of your operation, consider how on-demand color will improve your operation; and save you money.

Guy Mikel

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Complex, Yet Elegant GHS Label Solution

Originally founded in January 1980, Dymax Corporation (  is an ISO 9001 certified, leading manufacturer of 100% solvent-free UV light curing, industrial adhesives and light curing systems for the worldwide medical, electronic, optical, glass, plastic, metal, masking and packaging OEM markets.  From the design phase through performance testing, Dymax assists manufacturers in solving their most complex application problems. With an innovative R&D staff, experienced applications engineers, technically-proficient sales managers, and a knowledgeable customer support team, Dymax is dedicated to providing cost-saving assembly and coating solutions to manufacturers.

Scan of Not Finalized Label

As a manufacturer of chemical-based products, Dymax needs to comply with the United Nations based initiative, Global Harmonized System of Labeling (GHS).  To learn more about this new requirement, check out my earlier blog post.

As an international company that produces labels in 17 different languages and sells products into a large number of countries, meeting the GHS requirements is very complex project.  According to Alison Jeannin, Regulatory Specialist for Dymax, “we use software from The Wercs (  to produce the content for our labels.  However, we needed to find other components, including printers and media, to produce the total GHS solution.  As a goal, we decided to have our GHS solution in production by the end of 2012.”

To build their GHS solution, Dymax started the process last November by looking for a color label printer.  During their review, Dymax look at a large variety of printers, including some costing thousands of dollars.  According to Alison, “our IT managers led our search, insuring we purchased printers that met all of our requirements, including network capability, on-going maintenance, and global support.  With operations in the US, Germany, Korea and China, we needed an Ethernet-capable color label printer from a company with a worldwide presence.  Based on the review and our specific requirements, we selected the Epson TM-C3400.”

After selecting the printer, Dymax had to find media that worked in the color label printer as well as met their aesthetic requirements.  Prior to needing to comply with GHS, Dymax used thermal transfer printers using blue ribbons to produce their labels.


Initially, Dymax tested media from a source I recommended.  Although suitable, it had a slightly different face stock color from their existing stock.  Based on this difference, Dymax worked with their existing label vendor to find material that matched their existing stock, yet worked in the TM-C3400.  According to Alison, “the process to select our label media has taken longer than we originally expected.  Although we still need to decide whether or not to use die-cut or continuous media, we have media that meets our requirements for GHS labels.  ”

After selecting the print and media, Dymax needed to integrate the Wercs Software.  “Although Wercs provides all of the text, symbols and icons required, we need to add variable data to each GHS label, including lot number and expiration date.  Our IT team built an interface that enables us to add this information manually just prior to printing.”

ghs label
Scan of Not Finalized Label
Now that the basic solution is selected, Dymax still has a lot of work to do to implement the solution.  Alison says, “Although following the GHS requirements, different countries have slightly different requirements and timelines.  For example, the EU, Australia, and Korea all have different label content and formatting requirements for their labels.   China requires a border on the outside of their GHS labels on product shipped into their country; but will allow black pictograms for labels on internally produced and shipped products.  And it seems the United States will move to meet the GHS requirements by July 2015.”  To meet all of their various worldwide requirements, Dymax will build a GHS “Cell” on their factory floor.  This cell approach will enable them to meet the various requirements when needed.

At the end of our discussion, I asked Alison what was the one thing she learned by going through the complex process to implement GHS labels.  Laughing, Alison said “be nice to IT co-workers and ask for favors sparingly.” 

Learning about the implementation at Dymax, its clear moving to GHS labeling is a complex task.  But Dymax has built an elegant solution that meets the compliance requirements as well as their needs.

Guy Mikel

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Six Degrees Of Separation

Last week, we (a VAR and I) sold 4 TM-C3400 printers to a manufacturer of plumbing supplies.  With 19,000 SKU’s using 32 different label formats, this hardware manufacturer is a perfect prospect for on-demand color labels.  As we have not as yet installed, I want to wait until the customer is satisfied to tell you more. 

Although not telling the story, I did have an idea.  Why not use the concept of Six Degrees of Separation to find more prospects like the hardware manufacturer above?  If you don’t know this concept, Six Degrees of Separation is the idea that everyone in the world is separated from everyone else by six links.

So I went to my neighborhood Lowe’s store walking up and down the plumbing and electrical aisles looking for similar prospects to give them to you.  Take a look at these labels on Flicker:

But what type of hardware manufacturer makes a good prospect?  First, the manufacturer has lots of SKU’s.


Although I don’t know Kenney Manufacturing, it seems they have many SKU’s; as they have lots of shelf space.  Manufactures with a limited number of SKU’s, don’t have to worry about maintaining an inventory of labels; and dealing with waste when labels go out-of-date.  The greater the number of SKU’s, the better the candidate.  Take a look at the FX Luminaire success story:

Second, the manufacturer should use or want to use color Secondary Labels.


 The best definition of a secondary label is what it’s not:  it’s not a prime label.  A prime label is designed to attract the attention and entice the primary target customer; with instant shelf appeal.   A secondary label is used more to identify the product and provide supportive information; and used commonly with a simple brown or white container (see above).  With the move to large box hardware retailers, manufacturers need more color, images and graphics on their secondary labels.  Check out a similar story covering Jaclo: 

Third, the manufacturer has pictures, graphics and color text on their labels:


This label from Raindrip includes an image of the product, the Raindrip logo, and a color background for important text information all on a white background.  This product/company seems to be a perfect candidate to move to on-demand color labels.  By moving to on-demand color, a company like Raindrip may save a significant amount of money on labels.  Check out how Mercury Medical reduced their labeling costs by 67%. 

Fourth, the manufacturer does not use labels with 100% coverage.  Take a look what I mean in the picture of the label below:


When you “flood coat” or paint a label with ink, the cost to produce the label increases dramatically.  Further, any imperfections arising during printing are more likely to show up on the label.  On-Demand color labels work best when you want to add an image, graphics or color text on a white label.  In the list on Flikr, you see several pictures of labels that have 100% coverage.  But some of these companies may be amiable to changing their labels slightly to get all the benefits that on-demand color labels offer.

During my short trip to Lowe’s, I found approximately 40 plumbing and electrical hardware manufacturers that would seem to be good prospects for on-demand color labels.  Instead of trying to contact these companies myself, I thought a better idea would be to send the list to you.  As I said above, I believe some of you may have these companies as customers already.  Take another look at the pictures of labels of manufacturing prospects to see if your customers are in the list:

If you have a customer in the list of label photos, contact me so we can plan how to demonstrate to them the benefits of on-demand color labels. 

If you work in an area with one of these manufactures, I recommend you try to find the correct individual to contact in the company.  Ask him or her about using on-demand color labels; and about their preprinted thermal transfer labels.  Who knows what other business you may get by making the initial contact to discuss the on-demand color technology?

Using Six Degrees of Separation, we’ll find good prospects for on-demand color labels.

Guy Mikel

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Tea-RRific In-Store Color Labels

Opening the first store in 2005, The Spice & Tea Exchange® (TSTE) ( dedicated to bringing to market a huge selection of gourmet spices - everything from Aleppo Pepper to Zahtar Blend; including a huge assortment of custom blends, exclusive teas, specialty salts and more. TSTE's selection of fresh gourmet spices is second to none. If their customers can't find it at TSTE, it probably does not exist! Freshness and variety are their mottos. 

TSTE combines traditional and exotic gourmet spices, cooking herbs and seasonings from around the globe in the preparation of their 60+ hand-mixed signature blends and rubs. Packaging by the ounce allows their customers to experiment as they journey through the vast selection of spices and seasonings.

With over 300 products in each of their 28+ stores, TSTE™ had some challenges with product labeling, especially their custom blends.  According to Jesse Hanson, Graphic Designer for TSTE, “For our custom blend products, we use 8.5” x 11” sheets of preprinted labels.  When selling a custom blended product, we would take one of the labels off the sheet in our inventory and hand-write the number of ounces.  This process was difficult, created wasted labels, and did not produce the quality of label we wanted on our products.”


Looking to find an alternative method to producing labels for their products, Jesse contacted J.D. Mervis, Vice President of Pattco Printer Systems (  Pattco is a printer distributor/reseller for all leading brands of commercial printers. With offices in Marietta, GA, Nashville and Knoxville, TN and Frederick, MD, their goal is to provide the best printing solution for their customer’s printing needs, including service and supplies.

 “I wanted to find a solution that fit the requirements of TSTE; and wanted to see for myself that the solution I propose would work for my customer,” says J.D.  After speaking with Jesse, J.D. contacted me. 

Initially, I provided printed label samples for J.D. to present to Jesse.

After the samples were reviewed, I provided Pattco a demonstration printer, media and training.  After this training, J.D. demonstrated the TM-C3400 printer to Jesse and the team at TSTE.  After the demonstration, TSTE purchased a printer to test in their St. Augustine location.

During testing, Jesse found the printer worked well.  Jesse says “The TM-C3400 produces a high quality label fast.  I designed new labels as PDF’s.  Using these formats, the sales people in the store can input the number of ounces, making the finished labels look professional.   Also, it makes distributing new product labels easy.  For our locations in Portland and San Francisco, which now have a TM-C3400 printer, I simply sent a zip file with all of the new labels formats.”

According to Jesse, one part of the solution that was a bit complicated was media.  “It took time to find the best media for our labels.  Plus, we had to purchase a special die to produce the label shape we wanted; an oval with the squared-off sides” says Jesse.

Keeping a large inventory of labels at each location, costs money and creates additional waste.   I suggest you do what The Spice & Tea Exchange® is doing; move to on-demand color labels.

Guy Mikel