Covid-19 Causes Switch to Shrink Sleeves

Once considered the new kid in town, shrink sleeves continue to grow. In fact, since the Covid-19 outbreak, some  brands that previously printed directly onto containers have switched to shrink sleeves.  This is due to shorter lead times, cost and because this type of packaging allows manufacturers to produce lower quantities.

Other benefits include 360 degree visuals, product protection, masking uneven fill lines, and tamper-proof packaging. But to avoid any sleeve slip-ups, it’s important that you’re working with an experienced label professional.

Seeing is believing.
Click here for a free sample kit.

Material Mishaps

Some US printers have had material shortages because they purchased their shrink film overseas. But even before the pandemic, Overnight Labels always felt that film from overseas was inferior.  All of our material is made in the US, and we are well stocked.  This means that even at the height of Covid-19, our customers did not face any supply chain issues because of packaging.

Design Disasters

Despite their many benefits, shrink sleeves have their own set of challenges.  When bottles with dramatic curvatures and reliefs are utilized, designers must have a clear understanding of how the artwork will distort. If the art isn’t up to spec and proofed properly, mistakes can happen.

“We size the container and provide the specifications. Then we send you a layout noting any areas of concern (i.e. high shrink areas) as well as fold and seam positioning,” said Overnight Labels President Don Earl.

Solvent  Slip-ups

Don’t forget about your label’s seam! In addition to a good design, correct converting practices are a must to ensure accurate application of the solvent used to join the label seam.  Use of the wrong solvent can cause multiple problems that impact seams.  They can lift, causing a sharp edge or split, which could cause the sleeve to fall off.  An experienced label printer will guide you to make the right choice.

Printing Pros

In business since 1987, Overnight Labels has deep experience in this category.  In fact, we have a dedicated team just for shrinks. That’s why we are able to offer lower minimums and faster turnaround times than industry averages.

In addition to shrink sleeves, Overnight Labels prints flexible packaging and pressure sensitive labelsClick here for a  free sample kit.  For a quote, email to custservice@overnightlabels.com or call  631-242-4240.

Covid-19 Causes Flexible Packaging Sachets to Surge

The flexible packaging marketing was still growing in 2019, but  slowing because of consumer demand for eco-friendly materials.  But Covid-19 has dramatically shifted consumer priorities.  Sustainability has taken a back seat to safety.   Now, flexible packaging sample-size sachets will be a major factor in health, beauty, and personal care sales for the foreseeable future.

Contactless is Crucial

Even before the pandemic, there were concerns about bacteria being transmitted through in-store makeup tester shared samples. But these sectors rely on salesperson application or customers experimenting with a tester to drive purchase.  While some stores like Sephora and Ulta have announced virtual try-on tools, research shows that customers are four times more likely to buy a product only when they personally test it. That’s why retailers are opting for a hybrid approach to sampling that includes, technology, salesperson self-demonstration and single-use sampling.

Seeing is believing.
Click here for a free sample kit.

Sachet Solutions

Sachets are ideal because they are affordable, hygienic and allow customers to safely engage with products.  These small packs are made by sealing flexible packaging material on all four sides.  They are appropriate for dry products, tablets and capsules, liquids, creams, and powders.  In addition to in-store environments, sachets are emerging as a top marketing tool when paired with curbside pickups, ecommerce, and direct mail.

Capable Converter

Not all printers have presses that can produce flexible packaging.  Some that have this capability, require very large orders, or have turnaround times that can exceed two months.  Overnight Labels is able to offer minimums and lead times that are lower than industry averages.  Only high-quality, domestically sourced films are ever used, which is key to the supply chain during the Covid-19 crisis.

Flexible PackagingIn addition to sachets, Overnight Labels prints bags, pouches, and stick packs; as well as shrink sleeves and pressure sensitive labels.  Click here for a  free sample kit.  For a quote, email to custservice@overnightlabels.com or call  800.472.5753.

Covid-19 Causes Tamper-Evident Labels Tick-up

Just a few short months ago, sustainable packaging and holographic effects were two label trends that were gaining popularity.  But since Covid-19 lockdowns began in March, we have seen noticeable shifts in the industry. This new “normal” of living through a pandemic has given rise to an increase in tamper-evident labels.

Since they are an important component in cannabis packaging, there was already some growth in this category. But now that restaurant/grocery deliveries and ecommerce have all dramatically surged, these seals are essential for consumer peace of mind.

According to research by adhesive and substrate provider Avery Dennison, since COVID-19 began, safety is top of mind for consumers.  Because of this concern, they report that most delivery orders use some sort of tamper-evident seal.

Seeing is believing.
Click here for a free sample kit.

Scary Start

This very functional security label has actually been around for decades.  It was born out of the infamous 1983 incident when someone laced Tylenol bottles with cyanide resulting in seven deaths.  That event led to the development an entire category of tamper-resistant packaging including the breakable plastic rings on beverages, individual seals on over-the-counter medications and tamper-evident labels.

Secure Solutions

Regardless if the material is film and paper stock, it is clear that tamper evident labels improve the security of any item by forming a seal that will indicate if someone has attempted to open it without permission.  They also act as an impactful visual deterrent.   Some options include:

Jar and Bag Seals: These basic pressure sensitive labels wrap around the top of your product to show that they have not been opened.  An added plus is that they provide extra space for branding.  Commonly used shapes include narrow rectangles, circles, square s, and barbells.Barbell-shaped pressure sensitive seal

Perforated safety tabs: Functions as a seal by adding material, usually film, that overlaps with the lid or opening of a product. It’s attached using a perforation that rips from the main label when opened.   Cosmetic companies often use this for lip sticks, gloss, and balms.

Void Labels: Help identify a compromised item by leaving a message on both the label and the product that it is adhered to. When the label is removed from the substrate, it leaves an imprinted “void” pattern, which means it has been tampered with.

Neck Bands: Great for bottled products and are commonly used in the pharmaceutical, food & beverage, and health & beauty industries.  In addition to security, these heat shrinkable seals offer several benefits such as covering the fill line, increasing the design space, and helping to keep the cap and neck ring clean and dust free.

It has been almost 40 years since tamper-evident labels were first created.  It is clear that they are still playing a vital role today in helping consumers feel less anxious and more confident about their purchases.  Thinking of adding a tamper-evident label to your product?  Email samples@overnightlabels.com and we will send you a sample kit.

 

We’re Giving the “Green Light” to a Comprehensive Eco-Friendly Packaging Portfolio

Overnight Labels has been focused on sustainability in the packaging industry for more than a decade.  In fact, we started winning awards for sustainable packaging in 2007 and are vigilant in researching the newest innovations.  Over time, we realized that there was more to “going green” than just recycled paper stock.  That’s why we’re unveiling an entire eco-friendly packaging  portfolio – from stocks, to adhesive and even industry certifications – to address customers desires to be environmentally conscious.

“Just two years ago, when talking to customers about sustainable packaging, there were only a few items available and most would not work for their needs, said Don Earl, president of Overnight Labels.  “It’s  gratifying to see the changes in the packaging industry and to be able to offer an entire portfolio of packaging options.”

eco friendly labels Eco-Friendly Packaging Portfolio Materials:

  • Tree-free stock made from hemp, bamboo, bagasse, cotton linters and used burlap coffee bags.
  • Sustainable Shrink Sleeves, Multi-packs and Neck Bands are made with Smartcycle, which is produced from recycled PET bottles. This option is more resilient than previous eco-friendly shrink films.  We also offer EarthFirst® PLA, made from corn, which is 100% compostable.
  • Compostable Flexible Packaging
  • Water-based inks with limited VOCs (volatile organic compounds)
  • CleanFlake™ Adhesive: 560 million PET bottles are wasted every year in the recycling process, largely due to incompatible label materials. CleanFlake™ is a water-based recyclable adhesive that cleanly separates during the PET Plastic recycling process.

Certifications:Sustainable Green Printing Partnership

Rounding out the portfolio is being a certified member of the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership.  When a printing facility is a certified Sustainable Green Printer, they must follow sustainability best practices, including and beyond regulatory compliance and reduce their environmental impact.

Ready to talk about really going green? Contact Overnight Labels at 631-242-4240 or info@overnightlabels.com.

New to the Hand Sanitizer Business? The Right Label Materials Matter.

We all know that Covid-19 has dramatically changed most businesses for the foreseeable future.  No one could have predicted that fashion companies would be making face masks. Or that beer, wine and spirit brands would be producing hand sanitizer.

In fact, sales of gel-based hand sanitizers saw a 73% spike in March 2020 and the US hand sanitizer market is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 20% through 2025.  With store shelves and online outlets of this important item out of stock, both established and new businesses are ramping up production lines to help. But, switching gears with your product not only means a new label design.  Because of the high alcohol content, it may also require a change to your label material.

For example, many wine brands tend to print their labels on a high-end paper stock.  This allows them to choose something that may be textured and typically gives an old world look.  Some use specialty techniques like embossing to add a luxury quality and help their brand stand out.  But these stocks and effects won’t cut it for a hand sanitizer.  You run the risk that the labels will peel off, the printed ink will run/smear, and important information about the product will be illegible.

Better With BOPP

For hand sanitizers, a biaxially oriented polypropelyne material, commonly known as BOPP is highly recommended.  The moisture and solvent resistance qualities of BOPP have made it a popular material for personal care, household and food & beverage items. It’s preferred because it is durable, non-toxic and the ink will not migrate. BOPP is available in white, clear or silver with either gloss or matte laminates.  BOPP is an ideal material to use if your business is using a container that is new to the brand and want a straight forward label shape to save time on overall design.  You can also add Also a high end tactile lamination to add a little pizazz to a basic product label.

Shrink Sleeves LabelsShrink Sleeve Success

Shrink sleeves are a perfect fit for hand sanitizers that will be produced in uniquely shaped bottles and containers. This packaging allows for a 360 degree view of graphics, added protection from breakage, and can mask uneven fill lines.  Shrink Sleeves are ideal for companies that will be using the same containers as previously produced products, so they won’t have the added time usually needed in the sleeve templating process.

The Correct Combination

In addition to material, other considerations include ink, adhesive and lamination.  It’s crucial that your label supplier has the expertise to recommend that right combination of all three.  Overnight Labels has been in business for over 30 years and has an expertise in knowing the appropriate products to use that can withstand the high alcohol content found in hand sanitizers, disinfectant wipes and other in-demand Covid-19 products.  We’re open and here to help.

For a quote or more information, email custservice@overnightlabels.com or call 631-242-4240.

Attending NPEW? Here’s Why You Should Visit Booth 3464

 

  • Award-winning labels, shrink sleeves, flexible packaging and prototypes
  • SGP Certified (Sustainable Green Printing Partnership) and a leader in the eco-friendly printing movement
  • An extensive background in all phases of co-packing and filling
  • Over 30 years of experience in a wide range of industries, including nutraceuticals, sports nutrition pet, food, beverage, health & beauty
  • Expertise in high-end finishes, foils and specialty varnishes

    Free Possibilities Kit

    Click for a free sample kit or email: samples@overnightlabels.com

  • All processes, including plate making, ink mixing, and proof generation, are done in-house.
  • Low minimums and set up costs
  • 14 presses that produce over 400,000,000 printed units per year
  • One of only five U.S. Label printers with a Platinum Level GMI Certification for Target, Walgreen’s & CVS

 

IS 2020 FINALLY THE BREAKOUT YEAR FOR A SUSTAINABLE LABEL?

Last year one of our blogs pondered the question: Is Sustainable Packaging a Fairy Tale? Until now, eco-friendly choices have been limited and have not performed as well as traditional materials.  When clients come to us with a long list of requirements for their packaging including sustainable labels, often we need to manage expectations on what is actually achievable.

However, with the start of 2020, we’ve been testing out a few new eco-friendly substrate options, and we’re feeling a bit more optimistic!

Under Pressure

In the pressure sensitive category, Hemp label stock is a newer alternative that we are excited about.  It’s high quality, durable and brighter than previous recyclable choices.

Film At Eleven

Given the rise in popularity of shrink sleeves and flexible packaging, breakthroughs in film are especially needed.  We are starting to see some significant advances in plastic resins and extrusions, resulting in both recyclable and compostable options for film packaging:

  • In the shrink sleeve category, we are working with SmartCycle, which is actually produced from recycled PET bottles. This option is more resilient than previous shrink films and has the potential to be a sustainable packaging game changer.
  • For flexible packaging, we are currently testing a plastic-free compostable film product that’s heat sealable and resistant to oils and greases.

We’ve Already Got The Green Light 

Because Overnight Labels is a certified member of the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP), we are at the forefront of what is available today.  These new options round out Overnight Labels current portfolio of eco-friendly products, which include:

  • CleanFlake™ Adhesive – Too much recyclable PET plastic ends up in the waste stream because of contamination from conventional labels, which don’t separate cleanly during the recycling process. This breakthrough adhesive allows the label and package to neatly detach during the recycling process, resulting in pure PET flakes, the conservation of virgin PET resources, and less landfill waste.
  • Additional eco-friendly stocks like ,tree-free stock made from bamboo, bagasse, and cotton linterseco friendly labels
  • Water-based inks with limited VOCs (volatile organic compounds)

Although the packaging industry has just scratched the surface, it has made great strides regarding sustainability.  We are starting to see the gap between what brands’ desire and what is possible narrowing.  While it’s still about choosing what works best, these recent developments suggest that sustainable packaging is not just a fairy tale…it’s a true story that’s here to stay.

 For a free sample kit, email your contact information to samples@overnightlabels.com

OVERNIGHT LABELS IS NOW CERTIFIED BY GMI TO PRINT LABELS, SHRINK SLEEVES AND FLEXIBLE PACKAGING FOR TARGET

We are very excited to announce that Overnight Labels have been certified by GMI to print flexo and digital labels, shrink sleeves and flexible packaging for Target.  This means that we are now included in an elite network of certified printers approved to produce packaging for the retailer’s in-house brands. ONL is certified by GMI to print labels for Walgreens and CVS, and we were recently awarded Platinum level status by GMI.

GMI, which stands for Graphic Measures International, partners with brands to ensure consistent brand appearance by establishing detailed requirements and monitoring each aspect of print quality and color management. It ensures brand integrity, ongoing production run sample measurement and in-store packaging assessments. Overnight Labels is one of only 5 label printers nationwide to have achieved the Platinum designation, which is the highest available in the GMI ratings system.   In order to achieve Platinum level, printers must score 95% or above on their submissions for at least 36 months running.

“Overnight Labels is proud to add a celebrated retailer like Target to our GMI certification. Our philosophy has always been that quality + color consistency = label printing excellence, said Don Earl, president of Overnight Labels.  “Extending our reach within the GMI network shows all of our customers that we work hard every day to achieve stellar results.”

Our original certification was awarded in 2016 following an intensive on-site audit involving independent testing and inspections of company-wide processes and capabilities.  It included an in-depth focus on graphics and color management. Other areas evaluated included press quality (registration, trapping, die-line accuracy, finishing) and quality assurance (process implementation, audits, traceability, barcode readability, non-compliance protocol).

Packaging is Under the Influence … of Social Media

We all know that packaging influences customer purchases. But less than 10 years ago, products only needed to stand out on store shelves.  Amazon, Instagram, Facebook and all things digital have significantly changed the playing field.  Now, social media influences packaging.

Marketers must ensure that their packaging is not only easy to identify on traditional media platforms, but also need to consider social media recognition.  Moreover, the imagery has to work for viewing on a phone, tablet or a desktop. Additionally, if it is being sold online, smart brands make packaging decisions based on how products look as thumbnails.

Have you noticed that label trends have favored a clean minimalist look or showcase bold colors with a metallic or glitter accent?  The common denominator between these trends? When photographed and posted online, the imagery pops.

Social media has also given a powerful voice to consumers. If they like something about a product, they’ll probably  let their followers know about it by posting a photo on their favorite social platform.   Therefore, creating packaging that has the potential to be sharable, adds considerable buzz to a brand and ultimately increases sales.

Here are a few steps you can take to create socially savvy packaging:

  • Splurge on Specialty Effects and Finishes – Glitter, holographic, metallic, high-gloss spot coatings and other specialty label effects have risen to the top of packaging trends. They are an effective touch to get your packaging spotted on social.  With so many different options today, it’s important to work with an experienced printer to ensure that the combination of artwork, substrate and printing technique will achieve your vision.
  • Material Matters – To some degree, brands have ceded partial control over their images to consumers. It’s the fans who dictate the lighting and angle used to take product photos.  That’s why it’s important to “stack the deck” as much as possible by using quality material that contributes to your label design and enhances “amateur” photography.
  • Prototyping Perfects – Working with a professional prototyping service allows brands to try out packaging effectiveness by reviewing and testing its color, shape, brand identity and manufacturing viability before finalizing the design. Savvy marketers will use social media to poll their followers and have them weigh in on the design they like best.  This instant, no-cost focus group not only engages your online community, it also helps you finalize the best design.
  • Fonts are Fundamental – Your packaging design should be easy to recognize at a glance on any social media platform. Consider font sizes and weights that maximize readability and extend your overall branding. This should also be a huge consideration when designing your logo, as it has the ability to cut through the internet clutter and attract attention in less than a second.

Is your packaging a brick & mortar and digital star? If not, a label redesign can be a game changer.  With 30+ years of experience, Overnight Labels has an expertise in color, specialty effects/ finishes and prototyping.  We can utilize numerous printing techniques to help you create eye-catching labels, shrink sleeves or flexible packaging that won’t break your budget.

For a free sample kit, email samples@overnightlabels.com. For a quote, email custservice@overnightlabels.com.

Overnight Labels Designated Platinum Level By Graphic Measures International (GMI)

Overnight Labels, Inc. has gone from Gold (previously called Blue) to Platinum Level status in our certification from Graphic Measures International (GMI).  Only 5 label printers nationwide have achieved the Platinum designation, which is the highest available in the GMI ratings system. Certification is a process that holds packaging suppliers accountable to established brand owner standards.  It ensures brand integrity, ongoing production run sample measurement and in-store packaging assessments.  Being certified allows us inclusion on a network of printers who are approved to produce flexo and digital labels, shrink sleeves and flexible packaging for many retailer/CPG companies who utilize the GMI service, including Target, CVS and Walgreens.

In order for Overnight Labels to achieve Platinum status, we met the following criteria:

  • Combined pass rate/score from all GMI-SGS PQM programs is 95% or above, AND
  • Yearly average pass rate/score is 95% or above for 36-months running, AND
  • Total number of submissions is equal to or greater than 25 over the last 36 months

Our original certification was awarded in 2016 following an intensive on-site audit involving independent testing and inspections of company-wide processes and capabilities.  It included an in-depth focus on graphics and color management to verify that we utilize the latest technology in our print and color management processes.  Other areas evaluated included press quality (registration, trapping, die-line accuracy, finishing) and quality assurance (process implementation, audits, traceability, barcode readability, non-compliance protocol).

“Overnight Labels is proud of our new GMI Platinum level status because it recognizes the quality we strive to achieve every day, said Don Earl, President of Overnight Labels. “Whether a company requires a GMI printer or not, color consistency has always been an area of expertise for us.  All of our customers are extra secure in knowing that we print to specific numbers and standards, not a subjective set of rules,” he added.

In addition to our Platinum Level GMI certification, we are also a Disney and Walmart certified printer and a Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP) printer.