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


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 For a quote, email

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.

Overnight Labels Is Featured In Beauty Packaging

Metallic Attraction

The luminous glow of metallic effects, gleaming metal finishes, and gilded components instantly elevate all types of packaging.

Metal is luxurious—and metallic effects make a package sparkle, shine and attract attention. Beauty and fragrance brands are using metals and metallic effects on all types of packaging, from lipstick and jars to labels and boxes, in a multitude of ways.

“Consumers like the ‘eye appeal’,” says Anthony Di Maio, chief operating officer, Cameo Metal Products. “Metals and metallics stand out on shelf. There is no comparison to a plain color versus metallic, in terms of appeal,” he says, adding, “Metallic looks are associated with luxury goods—and convey ‘high value’ to consumers.”

“Metallics give a product a high-end look—it’s that ‘something extra’ that the consumer notices and equates with value,” comments Diane Pannizzo, sales, Overnight Labels.

Pannizzo credits the printing industry with being very responsive to trends in the market. “Printing technologies have advanced in recent years,” she says. “Not too long ago, we saw lots of basic laminations and soft-touch finishes, but there are many new developments now. We can do labels that feel like velvet, or have a sand-like texture—some of the latest options are pretty incredible,” she says.

Advanced Solutions

As beauty brands fuel the need for packaging that shines with metallic features, suppliers are offering new solutions. One of Amfora’s specialties is metallizing glass, which is no easy task, the supplier says. Anomatic can now metallize a plastic hinge closure, which is an industry-wide innovation, the team says. Cameo Metal has the equipment to color-match “better than most,” says Di Maio.

Achieving a consistent metallic look across a range of materials and substrates is one of Overnight Labels’ specialties, and Pannizzo says she often works with brands to develop custom solutions.

A Toned-Down Metallic Look

Overnight Labels printed Eden BodyWorks new labels usinga soft-touch laminate film with cold foil application

Overnight Labels printed Eden BodyWorks new labels for the Almond Marshmallow line, which feature a soft-touch laminate film with cold foil application

Using foils doesn’t always mean ‘flashy’ looks. Overnight Labels’ Pannizzo says that when metallic foils are used on packaging, such as a label, applying a varnish or special finish over the foil will completely change its look—and can mute its ‘sparkle.’ “More brands are using metallics with softer finishes. This creates a more high-end look,” says Pannizzo. “I see a move away from super glossy shine,” she says.

Pannizzo says a toned-down look can be achieved by mixing matte finishes with foils. “Indie brands are using this style, successfully. Larger, established brands won’t change their look too often, no matter what the trends are,” she says.

Overnight Labels recently worked with Eden BodyWorks to produce labels for its hair care line. The labels feature a soft metallic finish. “We ‘matted’ the foil’s shine, for an understated elegance. A metallic foil label doesn’t always have to scream from the mountaintops,” she says. “I also see more brands choose brush foils, in place of highly reflective metallics,” Pannizzo adds.

“There are also new options in varnishes. Motion designs imprint a pattern into the varnish. And glitter varnishes add sparkle to a top coating,” she explains.

Color-Matching and Compatibility

The package development process is not often simple and glitch-free—and using metals and metallics requires planning for new sets of issues. “The biggest problem when working with metallics is trying to match a non-metallic substrate with an actual metal part. The backing on the substrate isn’t the same as raw metal, so the finishes are hard to match up,” says Cameo’s Di Maio.

When working with foils on labels, Overnight Labels’ Pannizzo says each project is unique, but various decorating processes can be combined in different ways and every combination will result in a different look. “We have to consider each case one-by-one,” Pannizzo says.

She offers a final tip, “Choose a supplier that is up to the challenge of knowing which route to take, to best achieve the desired result.”

To read the full story, click here

Is Sustainable Packaging a Fairy Tale? It’s Up to You.

These days it’s rare to have a conversation about packaging and labels without discussing the “S” word…sustainable.  We have them every day and they usually go like this, “We want a waterproof label with metallic and holographic effects that is 100% recyclable.  Just one last thing, my budget is limited.”

In theory that sounds wonderful, but for now, and until the industry catches up with society’s push toward using 100% environmentally friendly materials, this customer may be looking for a unicorn.

There’s More to the Story

Since we’ve been focused on sustainability for more than a decade, we think it’s crucial to educate anyone involved in packaging on what can be achieved today.  So can you get a waterproof label with metallic finishes that is 100% recyclable?  Perhaps, but probably not for the budget that you had in mind.  Even if money is no object, you still may not be able to claim 100% sustainability.  In fact, if you say no to even one of these questions, then you are not completely sustainable:

  • Is your packaging as light or as small as it needs to be?
  • Are the inks you are printing with produced from limited volatile organic compounds?
  • Are you using an adhesive that cleanly separates during the recycling process?
  • Are you working with a certified Sustainable Green Printing Partnership printer?

Like Goldilocks, You’ve Got Some Decisions to Make

There are sustainable options available now that will get you closer to your vision. It’s more about choosing what works best for your brand.  Sure you can use recycled paper stock, but it has some limitations, including cost, design and shelf life.  In fact, we’ve tested most of them and have yet to find a material to that fits perfectly like Cinderella’s glass slipper.

We are probably a few years away from packaging that offers the right combination of being fully sustainable, affordable, protective, and can showcase high-end finishes.  But don’t give up your packaging dreams just yet.

  • Cut down on CO2 emissions by reducing the size of your packaging
  • Limit VOCs (volatile organic compounds) by making sure that you only use water-based inks
  • Work with a certified Sustainable Green Printing Partnership printer like Overnight Labels.  As a member, we must follow sustainability best practices, including and beyond regulatory compliance to reduce our environmental impact.  It also means that we are at the forefront of what is available today.  Including:
    • Avery Dennison CleanFlake™ technology:  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 resulting in pure PET flakes, the conservation of virgin PET resources, and less landfill waste.
    • Flexible packaging uses fewer resources, generates fewer emissions and creates less waste. Shipping the products also requires less fuel than heavy glass bottles or metal cans, which reduces the carbon footprint.
    • Eco-friendly stocks like lost-consumer waste substrates, tree-free stock and kona paper

Just like you, we can’t wait until there are endless green packaging options that work for every budget and design.  Until then, get in touch so we can work together on finding the right combination for your brand.

 For a free sample kit, email your contact information to

Business is on a Roll. Is it time to Outsource Your Label Printing?

Business is booming and the future looks bright.  Larger retailers have started to take notice and you’ve beaten your sales goals several months in a row. But with all this great news, comes a reality check.  There are not enough hours in the day to handle your thriving business, and you’re already outgrowing your facility.  If you are looking for ways to decrease stress, increase your availability and free up some office space, it’s probably time to start outsourcing your labels to a commercial printer.

“At first glance, buying a printer and producing your labels in house seems like a great way to save money. Oftentimes it’s the only option for some businesses when they are just launching,” said Don Earl, president of Overnight Labels.  “However, when companies start to gain momentum, they’ll find it’s actually more cost effective to ditch the DIY label printing and turn to a professional printer.”

Need convincing?  Check out the Top 5 Reasons to Outsource Label Printing

  • “Pressure Sensitive”: Increased responsibilities put more pressure on business owners in terms of finances, manpower, and space to hold additional ink, stock and equipment. By outsourcing labels, they can focus on expansion.
  • Ask the Experts: If you want to see your product on store shelves your packaging needs to be perfect. Leave the label printing to the experts who are focused on high quality, beautiful labels all day long.
  • The Correct Combo: You could say that an experienced label printer is a chemist.  They know the right combination of adhesive, substrate, printing technique, ink and finish to ensure labels effectiveness. One wrong part can result in the label falling off during transition or an illegible label by the time it reaches store shelves.  This is definitely not the impression you want to make with your new customers.
  • “Flexible” Packaging – Sometimes you need the flexibility to produce short run labels for newer products to market, and then long run production as the product gains traction. Working with the right size label printer, with both digital and flexographic presses and redundant technologies to accommodate in-hand requirements, ensures you can meet your production demands.
  •  Material World: Label printers keep a wide range of label materials in stock so you don’t have to. They are also up on new items, including eco-friendly stocks, smart labels, and more.

Ready to make the switch?  For a free sample kit, email

For a price quote, please email

What it Means to Be Certified As a Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP) Printer

Did you know that Overnight Labels has been focused on sustainability for more than a decade?  In fact, we started winning awards for our sustainable packaging back in 2007.  Over the last few years we saw that there was a growing movement in the packaging industry.  We felt that it was important to be verified by an independent auditor, so we began our certification process with the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP) in 2015.

SGP certification is given to facilities that have met the rigorous standards of their criteria, which include operational improvements and waste reductions.  Certified Sustainable Green Printers must follow sustainability best practices, including and beyond regulatory compliance.

Adhering to SGP’s certification criteria has been a challenge, but very worthwhile.

We have always made the effort to embrace new technology and run our shop efficiently.  We believe that operating an efficient facility is just as important to the sustainability movement as printing on compostable or recycled materials.  Since certifying, our main area of focus has been on decreasing overall ink and paper waste, and keeping a closer eye on any other opportunities for reduction.Overnight Labels reduces ink wast with the Nova Ink Flow System

We have seen a drastic reduction in ink waste by utilizing our Nova Flow ink mixing system.  In fact, when we received our SGP certification, we went from 23,668 pounds of ink waste to just 4,886 lbs!

Providing Customers with an Eco-cation

As a member of the Natural Products Association, and as an exhibitor of numerous Natural Product Expos, we work with many companies where sustainable packaging is a top priority.  Surprisingly, the people who we meet through these organizations don’t realize that being “green” is more than just using recycled paper stock.  Once we educate them about the importance of taking a 360 degree approach, they truly appreciate our efforts and expertise.

eco friendly labelsNot only are we able to provide customers with acceptable eco-friendly substrates, we also offer water-based inks with limited VOCs (volatile organic compounds).  Currently, we are working with a new adhesive from Avery Dennison called CleanFlake, which helps aid the recycling process.  Our beverage customers are especially excited that we have brought this new innovation to their attention.

Start Your Sustainability Journey

Changing the way you’ve been running your facility can seem daunting, so the best thing to do is to begin by making some small steps.  No one expects you to go to 100% sustainable, however it is beneficial to lay out some tangible goals and measure them along the way. Slight changes in the right direction are still positive changes for your business.  Once you see some small success, continue to raise the bar. CleanFlake adhesive ensures that bottles can be recycled.

It’s also important to involve your employees and stakeholders in your sustainable initiatives.  Not only will your customers appreciate your efforts, it will also help motivate all participants to fully commit and proactively contribute to your sustainable journey.


 Ready to talk about really going green? Give us a call at 800-472-5753, or email  

For a free sample kit, click here

How To Work With a Label Designer: Tips to Make the Process a Success

You’ve caught lightning in a bottle (or jar, pouch, tube, can, etc.) The next step is to bring in the thunder by creating the packaging and more specifically the label. More often than not, this means that you will be working with graphic design expert to make your vision a reality. If you don’t have a label design background, you may find the process a bit daunting. That’s why we’ve broken it down with these step-by-step tips.

Hire a Designer

• Start with their portfolio. If you find someone with similar sensibilities to yours in terms of their work, style and taste, chances are it’s a good fit.
• Ask if they have packaging experience. Designing a label is very different than designing an ad or logo. Since you may not be adept about this aspect of your product development, it’s best if your designer has an expertise in packaging to help guide you through the process.
• Did you know that Overnight Labels has a resource page with a number of graphic designers that we highly recommend?

Create a brief

A creative brief outlines your vision and ensures that you and the designer are on the same page. It details the objectives, messaging, etc. Start by including the following details:

  • Are there specific colors you want to use or avoid? Have you chosen a font yet? These are important decisions to share with your designer. If you are undecided, a good designer will help guide you to something that fits the DNA of your brand.
  • Is there a style of artwork, finish or effect you are drawn to? Present some examples of other labels you like and what elements are especially pleasing.
  • What copy and/or images must be included? It’s important to let your designer know from the start, as this will impact the design. It’s always best to provide final copy to expedite revisions.
  • Label Type and Shape: This is one of the most important decisions you will make, as it will ultimately define a large part of the design. For example, with flexible packaging or shrink sleeves there is a much larger area to be designed. In fact, shrink sleeves require 360 degrees of design. Also, what are the dimensions and shape of your container? Proper measuring is a must to ensure that your label not only fits onto it smoothly, but also complements its shape.
  • Consider how much of the actual product you want to show. In the past, labels covered a lot of the landscape of the container. However, with the rise in popularity of “clean labels,” a clear-label look where you can see the actual product is on the rise.

Let Go and Trust the Process

  • Once you and your designer are in sync, and after an agreed upon period of time, they’ll present you with a few options.
  •  Don’t forget that you’ve hired a graphic designer for the expertise and experience that you don’t have. When they present a new idea, keep an open mind and listen to why they think that might be helpful for your product.
  • It’s also imperative that you are open and honest with your feedback, but most importantly, very clear. Don’t say something vague like, “something’s just not right.” Instead offer concrete ideas such as, “I don’t think like the font and would like something bolder,” or “make the background lighter because the text is too hard to read.”

Now that you’ve got an amazing design, give Overnight Labels a call! We can take that artwork and make it come alive using the right paper stock, lamination and effects.

For a free sample kit, click here and write “blog” as your referral.

Overnight Labels Wins 2018 Gold Ink Award

Overnight Labels has received Printing Impressions’ 2018 Gold Ink Award’s top prize in the Digital Printing, Labels & Packaging category.  The winning entry was for Ultra Human’s Ultra Keto + MCTS nutritional supplement. The striking mat black label features copper and white accents and a pop of yellow and pink to highlight the raspberry lemonade flavor.  It was digitally printed on a silver metallic BOPP substrate with a Soft Touch lamination and spot UV gloss varnish.  Black and Soft Touch were two big trends this year according to the competition judges.

In addition to a Gold Ink Award, this same label took second place in the packagePRINTING Excellence Awards.  Over the last ten years, Overnight Labels has won numerous industry awards, including a 2016 Gold Ink Award in Flexible Packaging Category.

Don Earl, president of Overnight Labels said, “We knew when we printed this label that it was an eye-catching piece worthy of submission.   We work hard to maintain a level of excellence on every one of the 400,000,000 pieces that we print each year, and are honored that the judges recognized us for our craftsmanship.”

This year’s winners were among nearly 600 entries submitted within 49 different categories. Winning pieces were chosen based on print quality, technical difficulty, and overall visual effect.  All winners can be found at

About Overnight Labels

Established in 1987, Overnight Labels is an award-winning printer of custom labels, shrink sleeves and flexible packaging.  They specialize in cold foil embossing, rotary silkscreen, seamless cylinders, tactile and other specialty finishes.  They have broad experience in numerous industries, including nutraceuticals, sports nutrition, pet, food, beverage, wine & spirits, health and beauty, and household products.  In addition to being a Blue Level Graphic Measures International (GMI) Walgreens and CVS certified printer the firm is also a Disney certified printer, a Walmart certified printer and a Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP) printer.