Color Shift

The journey from monochrome to on demand color labels

All Color Labels are NOT Created Equally

Label Room

Since digital color label printing technologies have been around for decades, it’s common for end users to ask, “Why should I change my process now?” They have good reason to ask.

The problem isn’t with print quality or durability; today’s labels meet very stringent requirements. However, with customization and private branding needs increasing, today’s manufacturers face challenges of flexibility within the color label printing process.

For example, some manufacturers use a two-step approach: 1) pre-printing all of the labels with their fixed imagery, followed by 2) adding variable data later through a thermal transfer black printer. While this process offers some level of flexibility, it has downsides: storage costs and waste.

First, in order to keep per-label costs down, companies pre-print labels in large quantities and store the resulting stock in “label rooms.” The more SKUs the company carries, the more “label room” space is required, adding to real estate costs.

Second, the strategy works well until some change is introduced into a label’s design. Consider what happens when the marketing department changes an image, description or logo. Or, what happens if the package size changes? In both cases, pre-printed labels are likely being thrown away, potentially costing manufacturers tens of thousands of dollars every year.

Some companies are addressing these problems through another method: using desktop printers to print fewer labels more frequently. If you’re contemplating this option, here are some success stories from companies who’ve already made the transition.

Photo Credit: Guy Mikel

1 Comment

  1. Mike Hodge says:

    Variable data can be added during the printing process using digital printing. There is very little waste and no plates to set up.

Leave a comment

Note: we cannot answer customer support questions in blog comments. If you have a customer support question, please visit our Customer Support Page. We encourage fans to comment on our Epson Blogs. It is our policy to moderate all comments according to the following house rules:

We will delete comments that:

  • a) are libelous, profane, defamatory, disparaging, hateful, harassing, chronic, manic, taunting, badgering, threatening, or obscene,
  • b) reference Epson channel partners,
  • c) condone or promote illegal activity, violate copyright or intellectual property laws, or violate any local, state, federal, and/or international laws or regulations,
  • d) are fraudulent, deceptive or misleading,
  • e) are otherwise sexual or offensive graphically or in tone,
  • f) contain spam, are written in ALL CAPS or are intended to cause technical disruptions to this page,
  • g) contain non-relevant comments or links,
  • h) and are off-topic or reference pricing or competitor’s products

It is our intent to accept or reject comments within one business day.