Color Label Solutions

Color Label Solutions
www.colorlabelsolutions.com

Sunday, July 21, 2019

New QL-120 Offers


I’m pleased to announce a new product that we’re now selling; along with a price decrease.

QL-120 Price Decrease Announcement
QL-120 Price Decrease Announcement 




AstroNova just announced a price decrease on the QL-120; now $6,995.  This price change makes the QL-120 a very competitive label printer.  Let me tell you when I believe this printer may fit your operation.

First, I would recommend the QL-120 for printing all black artwork; especially on matte finished labels.

QL-120 Prints All Black
QL-120 Prints All Black
This printer uses a new dye-based ink, that typically produces more vibrant colors.  As black is the most difficult color to print well, the dye-based inks print black better. Therefore, if you have artwork that is mostly black, the QL-120 should work well for you.


In the past, I’ve recommended gloss poly labels for all black: 


Second, the QL-120 can print labels down to .5” wide; versus alternatives that have an official minimum print width of 2”.  Typically, we produce “Multiple Up” labels, 2 or 3 in a row to enable the production of narrow labels: such as discussed here: 


https://colorlabelsondemand.blogspot.com/2014/10/printing-narrow-color-labels.html


Or hear for printing 1” labels:


https://colorlabelsondemand.blogspot.com/2017/07/1-solution.html


The “multiple up” works well except when you use a label applicator.  In this situation, you need to print only a single column of labels.  With the QL-120, you can print and rewind very narrow labels to place on your label applicator. 

Third, the QL-120 can cut individual labels; or can be configured to cut at any interval of labels.  This cutting feature will help when you need to cut every individual label.  This cutting slows down the printer, but is still relatively fast compared to other label printers.  You can watch the QL-120 printer cut labels at the end of this video:




In the past, I’ve worried about the Kiaro printers given they have replaceable printheads.  The process and cost to replace printheads seemed onerous.  With the new QL-120, the process seems more straight-forward; watch this video to learn about replacing the printhead on the QL-120:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TB28OqYjA8&t=7s

QL-120 One Color Printhead
QL-120 One Color Printhead
As for the cost to replace a QL-120 printhead, it’s still not inexpensive at $699.00 for one color.  However, AstroNova now guarantees the printhead for one year.  This guarantee combined with the seemingly easier process to replace the printhead makes the QL-120, a good option; especially when you need true black color, narrow labels and a cutter for every label as well as a label printer for less than $7,000.

To purchase the QL-120, visit our store:

https://colorlabelsolutions.com/product/kiaro-ql-120-professional-tabletop-digital-label-printer/

To purchase ink for the QL-120, visit our store here:

https://colorlabelsolutions.com/product-category/ink-cartridges/quicklabel-ql-120/

To purchase the QL-120 3-year Customer Support Package (includes up to one site visit (as needed).  Quickswap parts replacement Service, and unlimited telephone and email support) visit our store here:

https://colorlabelsolutions.com/product/kiaro-ql-120-customer-support-package-for-3-years/

QL-120 Color Label Printer
QL-120 Color Label Printer

Contact us if we can help with you with QL-120. 

Guy Mikel
855-962-7670

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Cannabis Branding Battle Ahead

In the Forbes article titled, Cannabis Branding Battle Ahead, 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/paultalbot/2018/07/13/the-cannabis-branding-battle-ahead/#2eae30ac7857

The author opines, “where is the source of the Brand Value” as the main question around cannabis branding?  Newly introduced Fireball Cannabis Gummies, https://www.fireballcannabis.com/, has developed an outstanding marketing strategy, that includes packaging and labeling from Color Label Solutions.

Fireball Cannabis Gummies
Fireball Cannabis Gummies
Let me tell you about the work Fireball Cannabis did to bring this exciting new brand to market; and our work with them.

Some time ago, Kevin Forde and Mike Sandrin of Fireball Cannabis, contacted us about our containers, MPACKS.  MPACKS are the first new pharmacy vial since the 50’s.  This package is child resistant and tamper evident as well as offers 5X more label real estate than the traditional vial.  According to Mike Sandrin, “we needed a tested and approved child resistant package for our gummies.  We found the MPACK was a good choice for our brand.”  In addition, Kevin Forde added, “the MPACKS travel well; and do not crush in pant pockets.  Plus the MPACK is almost water and air tight.”

MPACK Colors
MPACK Colors
In the past, I’ve written about our MPACK package for cannabis.  You may remember this post covering District Edibles and their use of the MPACK.



Based on the benefits, Mike, Kevin and the team at Fireball Brand selected the Silver MPACK for their package.  The silver color worked well with the Fireball brand.  

Once the MPACK was selected, we then turned our attention to labels.  To label the MPACK, we suggested two options: 1, 8” label that wrapped the entire package and included the test data.  Or 2 labels, one 6.38” brand label and a 1.5” secondary white label for the test data.  Both options include a perforation to act as a “tamper evident” seal.

Fireball Gummies Label Artwork
Fireball Gummies Label Artwork
To create the label artwork, Mike and his graphic artist created several iterations to create the best possible look and feel.  As the brand label had only 1 version, Fireball Cannabis decided to purchase preprinted labels. To make sure the colors and text were correct, we produced “press proofs for Fireball Cannabis to approve.

And I just happened to be in the plant when we were slitting and rewinding the labels after production.




For the secondary, lab test data, we recommended a traditional thermal transfer printer to produce the black only text.

When asked, what was the most difficult part of bringing the Fireball brand to market, Mike said, “the blister packs.  We purchased a custom machine and had to tune the viscosity of the materials in order to fill the blister packs correctly.  This process took time and a lot of work.”

Fireball Blister Packs
As I’m not from the packaging world, I can only imagine the work this process took; and the risk involved to get the packaging correct.


After getting the blister packs and MPACKS, Fireball Cannabis had to apply labels; correctly.  With the requirement to place the label perforation correctly over the seam between the top and bottom of the MPACK, they elect to use a Take-A-Label applicator with a custom-made jig to hold the package in place. The affordable label applicator insures the labels are placed in the correct position every time.  Watch the operator use this applicator to apply the labels:



With the product ready, Fireball launched their gummies, to great success.  At a recent Fireball Pop-Up event (find an event near you here):


Fireball Gummies Pop Up Event
Fireball Gummies Pop Up Event

I asked Kevin about the success of the launch. “We’ve had great success with our gummies, both in terms of sales and market share. Instead of large-scale advertising, we’re spending our time in dispensaries like this pop-up event today, demonstrating to Budtenders, how to sale our product.  Our brand ambassadors work with budtenders to recommend and sell the gummies.  So far, this training strategy has worked well”.

Fireball Gummies Marketing Efforts
Fireball Gummies Marketing Efforts


In the article “Cannabis Branding Battle Ahead”, the author states, “Many of the branding tenets and practices that have served marketing savvy brewers, distillers, and vintners so well will take root in the cannabis industry.”  The success of Fireball Cannabis demonstrates this statement as very true.

As for next steps, Mike says, “we’re currently working to launch our product into several new states.  California, Michigan and several other states are in our plans”.

I believe that Fireball Cannabis has done an outstanding job not only with the branding, but also with getting this complex product to market.  I admire their work; and their efforts to make this brand a success.  Given the success of their brand, as well as their product and marketing strategies, I had hoped to nominate them for the MJBIZDAILY’s Cannabis Industry awards:   


But alas, I can’t as I don’t have the confidential data to submit the application. So please visit the Fireball Cannabis website or purchase their gummies the next time you visit a Nevada Dispensary to show your support for their branding and marketing efforts.

If you need labeling and branding support, contact Color Label Solutions.  We’ll help you build your brands as well.

Guy Mikel
855-962-7670
info@colorlabelsolutions.com