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Top Things to Ask Your Digital Printer

Monday, June 7, 2021 9:21 AM

Top Things To Ask Your Digital Label Printing Company

With the creation of digital label printers, the label printing industry has become more accessible to the masses. That being said there are a few things to keep in mind when speaking with printing companies about your pressure sensitive labels.

1. Label Quantities

Printers used to create plates that transferred ink to the label material in a printing press. Each color used a different plate. This led to higher costs, especially if you wanted a small quantity of labels. With digital printing there are no plates, enabling very short runs instantly. 

You're also able to make frequent changes to the label itself without having to recreate those expensive plates. You can find out more about what printing plates are HERE.

2. Printing Turnaround Times

Without the need for printing plates to be created, you can usually shave off a few weeks of time to get your labels. Some companies have express printing options that can get your labels done in a matter of days. 

3. Inexpensive SKU Changes

The price on shorter label runs or runs with multiple skus on the older styles of printing were astronomical. Because there aren't any plates to be recreated for each change, the cost drops significantly.  Speak to the representative at the label printer of your choice, they should be able to give you fast and accurate quotes to include as many SKUs as you'd like.  We think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how little the label changes will cost you. 

4. Label Customization

Be sure to check with your printer if you're wanting embossed labels or specialized shapes. These types of items will generally cost you more but they'll definitely add to the look and feel of your label leading to high quality labels. 

5. Label Colors

Printing labels uses a color process that combines CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Black) in order to get full color labels. You can get additional spot colors that are usually a very precise color not found in any combination that can be made using CMYK.  

Be sure to get a proof or test run by your printer of choice to ensure that the print quality is good and the color you want is the color you get.  The reason this can be an issue is that the colors on your monitor are RGB (red, green & blue). With RGB you can produce super vivid and saturated colors that sometimes don't translate well to CMYK.

6. Label Applicators

Every label printer will ask you a few questions about how you're going to be applying custom roll labels to the container.  It's a good idea to coordinate with the label printer and the labeling machine company to ensure that the labels will be able to be used as intended.  

One of the most important things is called 'label orientation'. This basically is describing which edge of the label comes off the roll first.  Here is our label orientation page so you can see exactly what those orientations look like.  

Another question they sometimes ask is whether or not you would like 'machine applied' or 'hand applied'. This is a very misleading question and doesn't really address the information in a way that informs you, the customer.  

Machine applied generally means that the backing or substrate that the label sits on is a clear plastic, designed to withstand fully automated labeling lines.  These types of backings do not really work well on table top applicators due to static electricity causing the material to bunch up. 

Hand applied generally means that the backing is a waxed paper.  This is generally what you'll be using if desktop or table top labeling machines are what you will be using. 

Read our post about How much it costs to print color labels. Visit our Afinia Digital Printer page where we offer sales and support of an industry leading label printer!