Color Label Solutions

Color Label Solutions

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Earning Positive ROI; Even From Shipping Labels

As a proponent of print on-demand color labels, I recently found an article that provides expert reasoning for making the switch to print on-demand color labels.

Jill Morton of ColorCom (  is a Color Psychologist and Branding Expert.  As one of the most knowledgeable color experts and researchers in the world today, she holds a Master’s Degree in Design and has served as faculty at several universities.

As founder of Colorcom, she brings the highest level of technical and professional knowledge about color to a wide range of projects. Psychological color impact, innovative color combinations, attractive color harmonies, visual ergonomics and marketing trends are the critical factors she addresses in prescribing successful solutions for her global clients.

In the post, Why Color Matters, (, Jill provides several broad rational that should apply for moving from monochrome, black only to print on-demand color labels.  

While reviewing this article, I wondered how the most basic label, a Shipping Label, would benefit by adding color.  I understand shipping labels are primarily read using a barcode scanner with little to no human interaction.   But humans do read some and see all shipping labels. 

Based on Jill’s post, I summarized 6 key points to show how a company benefits by adding color; even to a shipping label;

  1. In the section Color and Marketing, Jill shows research that states 62% to 90% of a person’s judgment about a product comes from color within the first 90 seconds.  Therefore, when a customer or even a third party sees a monochrome label, they make a judgment or receive a message about the product immediately.  Given this instant product positioning, you need to ask, what message or judgment could a color shipping label convey about your product and company? Nothing but positive from my perspective.
  2. In the section Color and Brand Identity, Jill provides research from Loyola Maryland University that color increases brand recognition by 80%.  With no color, a shipping label which is read by the ultimate customer and a lot of potential buyers along the way, is missing the opportunity to strengthen the brand.  Would your brand benefit from an increase in identity for practically zero cost?
  3. In Color Engages and Increases Participation, Jill restates data that shows color ads are read by up to 42% more than black and white.  Imagine how increased readership of a shipping label would benefit the reader; as well as the company applying the label.  Fewer shipping errors, faster service and more importantly, stronger branding and positioning.
  4. In Color Informs, Jill shows how color increases readership by 40%, increases learning to 78% and improves comprehension by 73%.  As stated above, improved readership, increased learning and improved comprehension would work especially on a shipping label.  Imagine the additional information you could add to a shipping label in color that people would read, comprehend and retain.  This benefit could mean a tremendous ROI by moving to color.
  5. In Color Attracts Attention, Jill shares data that monochrome documents sustain readership for less than .67 seconds, whereas color retains attention over 2 seconds.  This increased attention enables humans to process information better.  Companies should emphasize important and critical information in color, making these labels more effective. With billions of shipping labels produced and read annually, imagine how this increase in readership would affect your products, supply chain and customers.
  6. In Power of Color, Jill shows a summary of research by Xerox and the International Communication Research that would provide significant benefits to organizations from using color.  If valid, this research alone documents the tremendous potential benefit of color shipping labels
    • 92% Believe color presents an image of impressive quality.  Color on shipping labels would differentiate your company positioning it as higher quality
    • 90% Feel color can assist in attracting new customers.  Would you like the prospects who see your shipping labels to remember your company
    • 90% Believe customers remember documents better when color is used.  Would you like your customers and 3rd parties to remember your shipping labels and the important information on them better?
    • 83% Believe color makes them appear more successful.  Would you like to position your company as successful?
    • 81% Think color gives them a competitive edge.  Would you like an inexpensive way to gain a competitive edge?
    • 76% Believe that the use of color makes their business appear larger to clients.  Would you like your small business to appear larger?

Jill’s post provides valid, documented research to move to more color; on all labels including ones even used for shipping.  If interested, you may find other posts I’ve written on “why color” of value:

If you’ve ever wondered about using color on more labels, contact us.  We’ll help you select the best print on-demand color label solution for your business.

Guy Mikel

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Innovativation: With Color Labels

Armflags ( is an exciting new spirit-wear company providing innovative and unique spirit-wear products for fans to wear in support of their favorite teams and causes. ARMFLAGS is a licensed provider of NCAA and High-School Teams and is quickly expanding its assortment and offerings across the country and beyond.

The story behind ARMFLAGS is GREAT!  In 2012, while watching the BCS Championship Game in New Orleans, Michael O’Leary, the founder, became committed to putting “Armsleeves with logos” on all fans! Together with his friend and former colleague, Jonas Thelin, they created “ARMFLAGS”, focused on providing high quality Armsleeves with Team LOGOS and IMAGES; allowing fans and supporters to show their passion for their teams and causes alike.

When starting the business, Michael knew intuitively that they would need to print color labels on-demand.  According to Michael, “ With 4 different sizes and thousands of universities and high schools, we had to have a way to print the labels as needed.  Although new, we have 1,600 different products already available; and plan to have many more universities and high schools signed up by the end of the year.”

For ARMFLAGS, color is important.  Continuing, Michael says “We wanted to have our products stand out on the shelf or on a peg at the store.  To make our product unique, we selected a non-traditional square cap.  In addition, we decided to make our caps black in color.  Although I was concerned about the color selection initially, my partner Jonas Thelin pushed for this color combination.  Now I think the black and red look great.” 

For our logo’s, ARMFLAGS print them on a white label to place on the cap.  “The white label/logo with the black background works well”, says Michael.  “The color contrast makes the team logo really stand out.  Initially, we printed them on matte paper; but have since switched to gloss paper. The gloss paper looks better and stands out even more.”

To print the labels, ARMFLAGS purchased a TM-C3500 label printer, 3 years Spare-in-the-Air warranty, ink and labels.  When asked about the TM-C3500, Michael says “Works like a champ.  This printer is easy to operate and learn to use.  Plus, Color Label Solutions has provided outstanding support.”

ARMFLAGS sell for $19.95 a pair; and we’ll be available soon to purchase on their website.  In their first full week of operation, ARMFLAG sold 2,500 pairs to 3 wholesale customers.  WOW!  Be sure to help me support ARMFLAGS by Liking” their Facebook page,

 It’s exciting to work with customers like ARMFLAGS; niche manufacturers with great ideas, led by wonderful people.  Plus I appreciate the willingness to use different processes such as print on-demand color labels to produce their products.  If you need print color labels only when you need them, be sure to contact us. We’ll help you as well.

Guy Mikel

Sunday, August 10, 2014

GHS Laboratory Labels; Quickly & Easily

Advanced Analytical Technologies, Inc. (AATI),, simplifies complex genomics workflows to accelerate research and discovery in pharmaceuticals, life science, biofuels, biotechnology and healthcare. 

Developing, manufacturing and marketing high-throughput, fully-automated nucleic acid and genetic analysis systems, AATI’s products have both commercial and research applications.  The company’s product portfolio includes instruments for the parallel analysis of biomolecules, DNA, RNA, genomic DNA, double-stranded DNA, pharmaceutical compounds and proteins using capillary electrophoresis (CE) with fluorescence detection or UV absorbance.

Recently, AATI decided to look for a better way to produce color labels on demand.  According to Sherry Goodwin, Scientist at AATI, “we need an easy way to differentiate our Gel products.  We have found having different colors on the labels was a very easy method to help our customers identify the correct gels to use.”
AATI Test GHS Label

Given the need for color labels, AATI began using a Primera label printer and Nicelabel.  After 2 years of using this solution, they decided to look for an alternative method to print color labels on demand.   Sherry says, “we were not very satisfied with their labels.  After printing, we had to let the labels cure; as the ink would smear.  In addition, the labels would fade and not adhere well to our products once we put them in the freezer.  Given their nature, we store our products at temperatures down to -80 degrees.  Overall the labels were just not very crisp and clear looking.”

After deciding to look for alternatives, AATI begin discussions with Color Label Solutions on options to print better looking and more cold resistant labels.  For those of you interested in cold storage of labels, you may want to review an earlier post from my blog:

Based on the requirements, I recommended the TM-C3500 along with durable poly labels made with Kimdura:  In addition, I showed AATI BarTender and the ease of adding color logo’s, images and text; including the way to download a free version of BarTender to test:  

After sharing this information, Sherry requested print samples to test in the freezer as well as the prices of the labels and ink.  I sent AATI samples to place on their products and test in freezer conditions.  AATI confirmed the labels worked.

To show the approximate ink costs, I sent AATI images of other labels and their estimated cost of ink.  For example, here is an image of a 2.625” x 1” label I sent with the estimated ink costs:

C = $17.50/17707 =$0.0010
M = $17.50/15133 = $0.0011
Y= $17.50/17910 = $0.0010
K = $17.50/25050 =$0.0007
Total = $0.004

Based on the test results and estimated costs, AATI purchased a TM-C3500, ink, Spare-in-the-Air (SITA) Extended warranty, and 4” x 2” poly labels to start printing new labels.  After selling the printer and labels, I gave AATI online training to insure they start printing quickly and easily.

Although AATI is printing, we still have two follow up issues to address to meet all of their requirements.  First, they need small labels; 1” x .5”.  The smallest labels you can print with the TM-C3500 is 1.2” wide and .6” long.  According to Sherry, “it’s possible; we need to make our labels larger, given the new GHS requirements.  We hope to put these new labels not only on the product, but on the packaging as well.” 

Second, AATI needs clear film labels in addition to the standard white poly.  To date, Epson has not qualified any clear film labels to use with their label printers.  However, I have found a film material that appears water fast and freezer resistant.  With further testing, this label material may work for AATI.

If you work in a laboratory or need labels like AATI, you might find another recent post on one of our lab customers of interest as well:  

AATI is a great new customer for Color Label Solutions; especially given their commitment to using print on-demand color labels.  I admire the due diligence Sherry and AATI took to gather information and test the options presented.  If you need labels for your biotechnology or laboratory products; or just need to comply with the GHS requirements, contact us.  We’ll make sure you get printing great looking labels quickly and easily.

Guy Mikel

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Setting Off Alarms With Labels

Aqualarm ( is a manufacturer and distributor that has been supplying alarms and monitoring products to the boating industry for the past 40 years.  Selling on-line and through their channel of worldwide dealers, Aqualarm offers more choices in alarms and security solutions than any other boating-oriented company.

Recently, Aqualarm decided to replace the inserts they use with their products with clamshell packaging with labels.  According to John West, Owner of Aqualarm, “We have been using inserts for years.  Recently, however, our dealers wanted to move to hanging our products on store shelves.  Plus, we found that slapping a label on a clamshell was easier than adding product inserts.”

Continuing, John adds “now we are offering folded cartons with labels as well as the clamshell packaging.  Many of our dealers prefer this type of packaging.  With either type of packaging, color labels were very important, we wanted to create “eye-popping” glossy labels that attract our customer’s attention.  We want glossy labels as they seem to add to the overall image of our products.”

To meet his color label requirements, John purchased a TM-C3500 from the Color Label Solutions store:   Plus he purchased Spare-in-the-Air (SITA) warranty, additional ink and 3”/4” continuous gloss paper labels from us. 

Normally, we provide an on-line session to our customers to help them install and configure the printer to insure they start printing labels quickly.  John decided to tackle this work by himself.  Although it took more time, John felt he learned more about the printer.  If you have a TM-C3500, be sure to contact us if you ever need support.  Or check out our Does-Don’ts for Printing with the TM-C3500:

 After working with the TM-C3500, John’s initial impression is positive.  “I’m very happy with the TM-C3500; especially like the cutting feature.  The built-in cutter and continuous labels allows us to produce several different label sizes. Also, the easy access of the ink cartridges is nice feature”, says John.

As John has found, the built-in cutter enables you to create labels in variable lengths.  With many different products (148 listed on the Aqualarm website), you can minimize your label inventory by using continuous media.  You can find our gloss paper labels here: .

I appreciate exerts like John who been selling marine parts for more than 40 years.  And companies like Aqualarm; who are the leading or preferred supplier in their niche.  Aqualarm is a great example of how manufacturing companies  can save money, improve their processes and strengthen their brand by moving to print on-demand color labels.

If you have a company similar to Aqualarm, contact us and we’ll help you too.

Guy Mikel