We get it—most folks aren’t nearly as dorky as us when it comes to labels and printing. How could they be? Who else but a bunch of label-lovers would wax poetic on their adhesives, their embellishments, the feel of their paper stock? We admit it, Lorpon loves labels! And even though you might not admit it, maybe you do, too.
Over the years, quite a few real Lorpon customers have asked questions to try to understand our new print technology better. It occurred to us that in some small way they were falling under the spell of quality labels and packaging. We’re not surprised—after all, that’s what we design it to do.
We thought it might be fun to share some of these conversations with the rest of you. So, while we don’t expect you to geek out on the finer points of flexography, we’re pretty sure you’ll find something of interest (perchance, to love?) in these Q&As. Read on for some dorky label talk taken from conversations with real Lorpon customers.
Why can I feel a layer of ink when I run my fingers over some labels?
With inkjet printing, there’s a layer of ink that sits on top of the substrate, or label material. HP Indigo digital printing technology deposits ink with such precision that it’s absorbed right into it. When you run your fingers over our labels it’s as crisp and clean as your design.
What do we do if we have too much content for our labels because of regulations?
If you’re packaging cosmetics, agricultural chemicals, cleaning products, or garden centre goods you’ve probably run into this problem. There’s only so much room on a bottle or jar but regulators want an entire encyclopedia entry. That’s why we produce expanded content labels. These multi-layer labels are designed specifically to include all the information the regulators want while looking sharp for your customers.
How come my labels have thin lines or streaks?
We know exactly what you’re talking about. If you’ve ever printed mailing labels or CDs covers (remember them?) on your home machine you’ve seen these imperfections. Then, guided by your printer’s instructions, you’ve pressed a series of buttons and watched as it spit out large blocks of colour and lines until there was virtually nothing left in your ink well.
The problem is inkjet machines and the (non-label-loving) printers that use them. With inkjet technology, the process is to jet ink onto the label in really close lines. If one or more of those heads gets clogged or damaged, streaks appear on your label. This still happens even with the most modern commercial label inkjet presses in the market. There are plenty of tools to unclog the jets and improve the process, but these take time and waste ink.
We’re as offended by this as you are but it’s the nature of inkjet… which is why we use HP Indigo digital printing technology. No streaks or lines. Our HP Indigo presses are actually digital offset presses, the same type of technology used to print fancy magazines.
Why are our labels inconsistent in colour, even from one label to the next?
Colour imperfections or inconsistencies are terrible from a branding perspective! During the digital printing process the printer needs to periodically measure the colour. Most do this once per day or (shudder) once per week. Yes, it’s geeky, but we measure the colour while the job is running. You can’t get much more precise than that and that’s why our labels are consistent.
I can’t put my finger on it but how come my labels just don’t look quite right?
It’s because they aren’t right!If your labels were printed on an inkjet, your design was “stitched together” with multiple lines of ink. With each pass, the colours are layered to achieve your design. The result? The lines aren’t clean, and the colours rarely appear in perfect registration.
We mix colours, too, but they’re layered on the cylinder and applied to the substrate together at the same time. This makes the registration perfect. Inkjet is perfectly fine technology for some projects like fleet graphics or billboards, but it simply can’t produce the level of quality required for consumer products. Our HP Indigo press can get you the detail and crispness you want on your premium labels.
That wraps up this instalment of Label Talk and we think you should admit it: You’re just a little bit more in love with labels now, aren’t you?