Labeling Your Product with Shrink Sleeves

The process of creating brand identity is not an easy on by any means. There are all kinds of strategies and methods that can be implemented of this purpose, but one of the most popular right now and most notorious for branding is the shrink sleeve label. In case you are wondering what this is, you have probably seen products like yogurt bottles that are covered in a plastic that adapts the shape of the container perfectly. Almost like some kind of spandex made out of plastic with printed graphics. That is what shrink sleeves are.

Shrink Sleeve Coloring

One of the most important things about shrink sleeve labels is that they can have very vibrant prints due to the use of plastic that is very print friendly. This is the main reason why so many corporations and also small business ventures are using this method of branding because it has become quite accessible.

Shrink Sleeve Appeal

These shrink sleeve labels are becoming extremely popular all over the world because products look notoriously appealing in supermarkets when they are on shelves with this kind of packaging and printing. It has been proven that people are more likely to buy products that have an initial visual appeal. They will feel more attracted to the labels than to any product that might contain better ingredients.

Shrink Sleeve Marketing

One of the most reliable marketing tactics that anyone can use is visual appeal. This is definitely a very powerful strategy and that is the reason why the shrink sleeve is so popular now. Being able to create the best looking designs all over the wrapping of your product is an extremely essential part of the process.

Shrink Sleeve Graphics

Hiring a good graphic designer that can give you the most effective graphics for your shrink sleeve prints is very important. This allows people to get the most out of the design when they first look at it on shelves. Marketing experts have mentioned that the shrink sleeve is probably the best product labeling method you could ever use.

Final Thoughts on Shrink Sleeves

If you are looking for the most efficient strategies for your product marketing, it should all start with the immediate appeal that people will get from the presentation of that product. This is going to help you maximize the conversion and get more people to choose your products over the competition. Once this is achieved the rest is easy.

Learn more about Anchor Printing and their vast line of custom product label & packaging options including: Shrink Sleeve Labels, Flexible Packaging, Roll-Fed Labeling, Pressure Sensitive and Cut & Stack Labels at To contact one of our label specialists call toll free at 800.748.0209 or via email at

Using Flexible Pouches over Traditional Package

Flexible pouches are changing the face of product packaging and improving product value chain globally. It is doing more than just having a package to house a product but also enhancing the aesthetics of the product. Buyers are attracted to beautiful things, and that is what flexible pouches offer the packaging industry today. When compared to traditional packaging and labeling packaging alternatives, using flexible pouches stand a world of difference far away from its conventional cousins.

Flexible Pouches Can Be Seen Everywhere

From industrial to domestic use items, flexible pouches can be seen changing the face and attraction of products everywhere you go. It is not only beautiful but its flexible feature also helps in reducing the bulkiness of products makes it easy to carry around. No wonder flexible packaging is used today in almost every facet of the packaging industry from pharmaceutical to fast food and groceries stores.

Manufacturers are using flexible packaging because, apart from supporting the delivery of their products to the final consumer, it offers more advantages in marketing and sales of the products. It is easy to brand the flexible pouches than it is possible with the traditional packaging options.

Benefits Of Flexible Pouches

Overall, the flexible pouches offer the following benefits to it users:

  • Highly adaptive: Flexible packaging can conform to the requirement of packaging any product without going through a whole new chain of activities to meet a new product packaging. It does not matter the shape of the product; the same branded flexible pouch can meet all product shape requirements without losing the quality or sacrifice the branding. Therefore, it does not only give manufacturers a cost-efficient benefit; it offers hassle-free packaging, so there is no need worrying about packaging once the product is ready.
  • It’s always beautiful. The average consumer is attracted to beautiful things and the aesthetics of the product packaging isn’t an exception. Flexible pouches being a product of the highest quality and beauty gives manufacturers the tool to attract customers to buy their product just by looking at the package.
  • Innovation and creativity. When a manufacturer feels like bringing innovation and creativity to their product packaging, like identifying with a cause, it is easier to do that with flexible packaging. World stars in music, sport and science can be branded on flexible packaging to enhance the sales of a product and bring more goodwill to the brand.
  • Innovation and creativity. When a manufacturer feels like bringing innovation and creativity to their product packaging, like identifying with a cause, it is easier to do that with flexible packaging. World stars in music, sport and science can be branded on flexible packaging to enhance the sales of a product and bring more goodwill to the brand.
  • Environmental friendly. There is a wall of difference between a metal can of milk and a dairy product in flexible packaging when it comes to disposal of the used item. Of course, flexible pouches are easier to dispose of and recycled than with traditional packaging materials. In most cases, flexible packaging with zip locks and re-sealable design can be used over and over again after the initial product it came with was consumed.

Flexible pouches are all users friendly

While the manufacturers find the flexible pouch so useful for packaging their products, the end consumers also find the packaging re-usable after they are done with the product. For the environment, it is an eco-friendly option that keeps the earth clean. In term of cost, flexible pouch is cheaper, easy to label and better than traditional packaging.

Learn more about Anchor Printing and their vast line of custom product label & packaging options including: Shrink Sleeve Labels, Flexible Packaging, Roll-Fed Labeling, Pressure Sensitive and Cut & Stack Labels at To contact one of our label specialists call toll free at 800.748.0209 or via email at

Fashion, fun, and entertainment inspire granola bite graphics

Breaking the mold for what better-for-you, nutritious snack packaging should look like, Nourish Snacks has redesigned the graphics for its flexible stand-up pouch packaging with a festival of colors and patterns that convey the snack’s playful and delicious position. Nourish founder, Joy Bauer, is a registered dietitian, a health expert on NBC’s Today show, and a New York Times best-selling author. Says Libby Inchalik, Brand Manager for Nourish, “Keeping in mind that a strong voice travels far, our expectations for our new design were to bring Joy’s personality, as well as the personality of the brand, to life.”

Nourish was founded in 2014 with the belief that snacks should be both delicious and good for you—an idea the company calls “nourishing indulgence.” The original packaging for its granola bite snacks, however, failed to convey that message. “In a word, our old packaging was conventional,” says Inchalik. “Let’s be honest, the better-for-you snack aisle is cluttered with snacks that focus on trends and food certifications du jour. Nourish Snacks has something new to say, and we wanted our packaging to reflect that. Our story is all about the nutrient-rich ingredients we use and their benefit to your body.”

Working with design firm Collins in summer 2017, Nourish sought inspiration though a category audit, interviews with experts in the food space, consumer ethnographies, in-store shopalongs, and in-home interviews. What it learned was that people are actively seeking healthier food options, but they hate having to sacrifice taste in order to do so. Nourish felt it could meet this unmet need, and its packaging was an integral part of conveying that to consumers.

The new design is arresting, standing out from the competition on shelf. It consists of bold colors that Inchalik says were inspired by the purposeful ingredients used in the granola bites. The patterns—circles against diagonal stripes—are drawn from fashion, venues of fun and entertainment, and food itself. With registered dietician Joy Bauer developing all of the snacks, the circular logo is meant to be reminiscent of a seal of approval. The Nourish name is also presented with each letter—in lower case—held in a different circle. Other circles hold product variety names and product information.

“Even our approach to front-of-pack product photography is fresh,” says Inchalik. “In the age of air-brushed magazine covers, consumers are calling the bluff on unrealistic food photography. While we do show a granola bar on the front, we allow the colors and patterns to cue taste appeal, then let the back of our pack tell our nutrition story. The contrast in the front-of-pack and back-of-pack designs helps us convey both our indulgent and nourishing values—a true nourishing indulgence.”

The 1- and 4-oz gusseted, low-density polyethylene bags hold five varieties of granola bites. The pouches are flexo-printed in eight colors plus a matte varnish by CL&D, which Inchalik says created a unique touch plate that allows the colors to be printed right up to the edge of the package, for a “virtually seamless canvas.”

The new packaging was rolled out in May 2017, and Inchalik says consumers love it. “We’ve received countless compliments for breaking the mold, and people love that our packaging is truly standout—nothing at all like what’s currently in the grocery aisles,” she says. “It sparks smiles and conversation. It’s something people can see living with at home, in their bags, in their cars—an accessory to their everyday lives.”

Nourish Snacks’ are sold in Target, Wegmans, Safeway, and Stop & Shop, in hundreds of travel, business, industry, and education foodservice accounts, and on Amazon.

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Original Date: Oct 23 2017

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A Look at Commercial Printers Entering Packaging Markets

There are many factors that commercial printers should consider when adding package printing into their mix of offerings. An industry expert and commercial printers share what they have learned along the way.

As package printers are well aware, the packaging segment of the printing industry is one of consistent growth. Meanwhile, many commercial printers that have either found their growth at a plateau, or even on a decline, have caught onto this trend and are looking into adding packaging services to their repertoires.

Shown is part of the digital print area within OTC Group’s facility.

According to Kevin Karstedt, CEO of Karstedt Partners, the folding carton market is a good place to start for commercial printers because it relies mostly on sheetfed offset printing. But before a printer can go ahead and start printing packaging jobs on an offset press, Karstedt says it’s important for them to assess whether their current equipment is up to the challenge.

“If a commercial printer only has a four-color press, they’re going to be challenged for producing packaging, unless they can produce work that is CMYK oriented, and there are no special or corporate colors,” Karstedt says. “Some older sheetfed presses also don’t handle paperboard very well, so they’re not going to be able to produce folding cartons.”

Karstedt adds that commercial printers should determine if their diecutting equipment can be used for folding cartons, and if they have the prepress capabilities in-house to be able to do prepress for packaging. “If printers don’t have these capabilities, they should look to outsource that work to local companies and establish a relationship,” Karstedt explains. “Work like diecutting, folding and gluing, embossing and foil stamping, if not completed in-house, can be outsourced.”

As part of his consulting work, Karstedt says he holds “voice of the customer” meetings, in which he talks to commercial printers interested in packaging to learn first hand about their interest in the label or folding carton markets.

He explains that the two main drivers for commercial printers to seek out opportunities in packaging are that it can provide an additional source of revenue and, if they already serve small or boutique brands, it can serve as an opportunity to enter the market. If a printer is doing commercial work for a client in need of packaging, adding these capabilities can help them bring that work in-house.

“Commercial printers are looking for ways to strengthen their product offerings and their bottom lines; packaging may be a way to do that,” he explains. “Another reason to consider packaging is the growth in small business, such as the recent surge of microbreweries and small wineries.”

Short-Run Packaging Specialist

One example of a commercial printer that has added a substantial portion of packaging to its mix of services is The OTC Group, headquartered in London, Ontario. According to Adam Egan, VP of high-performance packaging, entering the packaging segment seemed like the next logical move to help fill in work on its press during the slower periods. Today, short-run packaging accounts for about 30% of the print jobs that the company produces.

Kevin Karstedt, CEO of Karstedt Partners, shares what commercial printers should consider right away when deciding to branch out into the package printing market.

Click to enlarge)

The OTC Group outputs highly serialized and highly variable packaging for the pharmaceutical industry, and produces both consumer packaged goods and food products. In addition, the company prints labels for a number of markets, including small wineries and pharmaceutical companies.

Additionally, with its short-run capabilities, Egan says The OTC Group has partnered with traditional folding carton print shops that are not as well-positioned for short runs. “We’ve worked a lot with other folding carton manufacturers producing short-run orders for them,” he says. “By developing these relationships, we were able to take on a lot of their short-run work that was costing them money to produce.”

The vast majority of the packaging work The OTC Group produces is printed on its five Xerox iGen digital presses and Egan says the company plans to add more printing capacity. Additionally, the company has two coating machines, three gluers and two diecutters.

When entering the packaging market from the commercial world, The OTC Group did encounter some challenges, ranging from substrate issues to catching print errors. “You’re not printing on paper anymore; you’re printing on box board,” he says. “So there’s the whole finishing element, which is different. I wouldn’t say it’s harder, but it’s different than [traditional] bindery services. Mistakes can also be costly. If there’s an error in running a job, and it makes its way through the plant, it will cost a lot more than what would have happened in the same sort of scenario in the commercial printing world.”

Exploring New Market Opportunities

Color Ink, a Sussex, Wis.-based commercial printer, along with FunDeco, its consumer products division, added packaging capabilities after seeking out new ways to utilize its existing equipment and enter new markets with minimal investment.

When first considering the package printing market, Todd Meissner, president of Color Ink, says the company needed to learn what was needed to design a package and the infrastructure that would be required to accomplish that.

“We asked ourselves how we could design a folding carton from a structural standpoint to get the best yield on paper,” he recalls. “And how we could automate every part of the process — to be able to print efficiently, diecut and then scrap, fold and glue that carton efficiently. We also needed to invest in training our people in the structural and graphic aspect of package design.”

Color Ink and FunDeco now produce litho labels, direct-to-corrugated, clamshell inserts and sample runs of prototype folding cartons. It utilizes both offset and digital printing presses, running longer-run jobs on its six-color, 40˝ Komori Lithrone press configured with UV printing and coating capabilities. Shorter runs are produced on a Fujifilm J Press 720S cut-sheet inkjet press, along with a five-color Ryobi 755 press with UV coater.

“We’re seeing that digital printing processes are really being used much more than they were before, at least with our customers,” Meissner says. “For short-run cartons, it’s very cost-effective to be able to print digitally, so we’re printing a lot of packaging digitally.”

Acquiring Expertise Proved Challenging

While many commercial printers have actively sought out opportunities in packaging, Asheville, N.C.-based BP Solutions Group entered the packaging space in 2005 at the request of one of its commercial customers. Packaging now comprises 35% of its product mix, and VP Scott Cotten expects to see that number increase.

This package was made using 15 mil clear PETG and 18-pt. C1S SBS, printed digitally on an Inca Onset Q40i wide-format press. Image courtesy of Color Ink.

This package was made using 15 mil clear PETG and 18-pt. C1S SBS, printed digitally on an Inca Onset Q40i wide-format press. Image courtesy of Color Ink.

Cotten reveals that one of the biggest challenges the company faced initally was finding packaging expertise to bring in-house. Coming from the commercial world, BP Solutions Group did not anticipate the additional knowledge required to produce packaging.

“The cost of the equipment was the first thing we considered when looking for equipment but, looking back, the first thing we should have considered was the knowledge and experience needed to produce the packaging,” he recalls. “There’s an awful lot of knowledge and experience that goes into diecutting and folding and gluing that is not immediately apparent to a commercial printer when you’re getting into the business.”

At first, heid was using a standard commercial press for packaging but, as it took on additional packaging work, the company found that the press was prone to marking when printing heavy-weight board stocks. So the company installed a Heidelberg Speedmaster CD 74 press that’s designed to run heavy-weight paper board. A Xerox iGen 4 digital press is used to create prototypes.

Cotten advises that when first entering the packaging market, try to network with companies that are already experienced in the space. As long as they’re not competing directly, many package printers will be happy to spread their knowledge to the commercial world.

“The easiest way I’ve found to do that the past couple years is to attend the annual Digital Packaging Summit in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.,” Cotten says. “I’ve made friends with several printers from across the U.S. who would never compete with us. They’ve even asked if I would like to visit their facilities to learn how they handle package printing production.”

Written By: Julie Greenbaum

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Product Introduction Using Shrink Sleeves

Shrink sleeve labels are changing the way consumer marketers introduce and push new products onto the market.  Shrink labels wrap around products such as bottles to allow the marketer 360 degrees of space to entice potential consumer to purchase their product.  Shrink sleeves are made from a material that allows for high impact graphics to stand out on the grocery store shelves.  The use of noticeable inks and patters on labels grab attention.  Many shoppers will make purchase they did not intend to because of the label alone.

Shrink Sleeves Used For New Product Introduction

Sleeve labeling is an inexpensive and effective way to introduce a new product without spending heavily on media advertising buys.  Traditionally a new product rollout would be very expensive costing several hundred thousand dollars just to get minimal consumer awareness.  Some campaigns are upwards of a million.  This is an expensive gamble to make especially if in the end the product does not take off as expected.

Product Branding With Shrink Sleeves

Shrink sleeve labels are one of the primary ways to brand your product without breaking the bank.  The next time you are walking through the grocery store take notice that products ranging from kitty litter to soft drinks use this manner of labeling.  There are many different reasons for this but here are the five main reasons that this type of marketing works:

  • Shrink sleeves can fit over any shape of the product. If you are selling a case of raisins that is shaped like the sun with little points jutting out from it, then you will find it hard to fit other types of labels on it.  Shrink sleeves are always an option because if they cannot somehow fit around the product then it can always encase the product within the label.  They conform to any shape product imaginable.
  • The sleeves can provide an unparalleled degree of safety from product tampering. If you choose this type of label to completely cover and conform to the shape of the product as mentioned earlier, then it makes it much harder to tamper with.  That is why so many food manufacturers use this type of label on their products.
  • If you use a standard label then you will most likely put it on the front of the package only. That leaves the sides and back as dead space.  This type of labeling provides a 360 degree arc of prime, marketable real estate that can be seen from any direction.
  • Marketing has always been an expensive undertaking for any product manufacturer. You have to be very careful with the types of labels that you make because they are so expensive to produce that you probably won’t change then often.  Shrink sleeve labels are made from a thin-film of plastic and are one of the cheapest ways to add advertising to your product.  Since it is so much cheaper to use shrink sleeves it allows you to change your advertising more frequently to try new things.
  • Another big selling point of shrink sleeve labeling is the vast array of looks and options that are available. You can have the labels printed with metallic, pearlescent, thematic or even make it look like etched glass.  If you want the look of your product to shine through the label then you can have the sleeves manufactured in semi-opaque that gives it that invisible look.

Final Thought On Shrink Sleeves

These labels even allow for changes that may stimulate selling of existing store products.  Some products even though they are of high quality may through time start to seem outdated.  A new label can add spice and appeal.  Their use can stimulate sales and grab an increasing share of the product demand.

Learn more about Anchor Printing and their vast line of custom product label & packaging options including: Shrink Sleeve Labels, Flexible Packaging, Roll-Fed Labeling, Pressure Sensitive and Cut & Stack Labels at  To contact one of our label specialists call toll free at 800.748.0209 or via email at

New, High Performance Binder for Lamination Inks

The flexible packaging industry is growing in complexity: as the variety of substrates widens and they become increasingly sophisticated, printing inks need to meet numerous, ever more demanding requirements. Inks for laminations have to withstand the lamination process and deliver the bond strength necessary for the respective application. They must also allow high speed printing and ensure excellent graphic quality.

Binders are a crucial component of lamination printing inks. HI-THANE™ A-890K from SONGWON is an aliphatic, solvent based polyurethane ink binder for use in the manufacture of gravure printing inks for a variety of laminates.

This new binder is distinguished by its exceptionally high lamination bonding strength on various plastic films, especially PET, nylon and OPP. Its outstanding heat resistance makes it suitable for use in both retortable and non-retortable flexible packaging laminates. With its very high re-solubility, HI-THANE™ A-890K counteracts scale formation in gravure printing cells, improving print quality and reducing machine maintenance. Thanks to its low viscosity, this versatile binder helps to boost the color strength of inks, promoting top quality printing results.

HI-THANE™ A-890K is suitable for use in pigment grinding to help achieve the required rheological properties and the smaller particle sizes that increase the color strength of prints. It can be used on its own or together with other binders, such as vinyl chloride vinyl acetate and polyvinyl butyral copolymers.

SONGWON will be giving a technical paper at the NPIRI Fall Technical Conference 2017, the venue for technical training, information exchange and professional networking in the graphic arts disciplines. The Conference takes place from October 10-12 at the Hilton Chicago Oak Brook Hills Resort and Conference Center.

Original Source:

Original Date: October 9 2017


Matte finish now available on aluminum cans

The high contrast of matte and gloss printed on packaging has added a sensory element that compels consumers to touch; and once a package is in hand, it’s often added to the cart. A new decorating option now gives aluminum cans this visual and tactile sensation.

The Matte & Mirror Impact is a direct print solution that will be commercially available in 2018 from Ardagh. Visitors to Drinktec 2017 (Sept. 11-15; Munich, Germany) can see samples of Matte & Mirror Impact in the Ardagh Group booth, #A1.539.

Nikola Kerkhoff, product manager for Ardagh Metal Beverage, tells us more.


What printing technology are you using to create this?

Kerkhoff: A special ink creates the matte effect in certain areas on the can. More information to follow in our press release within the next couple of weeks.

On this Standard can, the background is matte and the zebra is glossy.

On the Slim style can, the matte finish is on the zebra, with the background glossy.


Did it require any capital investment? If so, what?

Kerkhoff: We work closely with our customers to understand what they are seeking to do with their brand and their business so that we can innovate and create together a package and process, from conversion to filling to distribution to retail display, that delivers on their objectives and we invest appropriate resources into each project.


How does this compete with the trend towards shrink labels on cans?

Kerkhoff: Here are several aspects to consider:

Complexity: Printing the can directly in our production process enables our customers to get a can, including the nice finishing, without the necessary step to apply shrink wraps or labels later on.

Design: The can offers a 360-degree surface for brand communication. Additionally, you have the possibility to create a united design, such as by choosing the corresponding shell color.

Sustainability: From a sustainability perspective, it is wise to choose a permanent material like glass or metal. Metal is 100% and infinitely recyclable and a can can be back in the shelf within 60 days.


Is any brand owner using this yet? If so, who, how and where?

Kerkhoff: We are currently in the process of working through options with customers to launch in the coming months. More to come later this year.

Original Source:

Original Date: August 23 2017

Original Author: Lisa McTigue Pierce


Flexible Packaging Makes On-The-Go Simple

Flexible Packaging Industry

One of the rapidly growing aspects of the packaging industry is flexible packaging. It combines the best characteristics of film, plastic, aluminum foil, and paper to convey a broad range of protective properties while utilizing less material as possible. Ordinarily taking the form of a liner, pouch, bag, or overwrap, flexible packaging is characterized as any package or part of a package that can change quickly in shape.

Flexible packages are utilized for institutional and consumers items and in industrial applications, to market, protect, and distribute a vast array of items. As the leading packaging innovation, flexible packaging adds marketability and value to food and non-food items alike. From guaranteeing the safety of food and extending shelf life, to offering to protect from heating, boundary insurance, re-sealing, ease of use and printability, the industry keeps on progressing at a remarkable rate.

Flexible Packaging Life Cycle

The life cycle details of flexible pouches show a variety of sustainable benefits. Flexible pouches begin with less garbage, thus greatly reducing landfill disposals. Technology and innovation have empowered flexible packaging industries to utilize less natural resources in the production of their packaging, and changes production process have lessened energy and water consumption, volatile organic compounds and greenhouse gas emissions.  What’s more, lighter-weight flexible pouches brings about less transportation-related energy and consumption of fossil fuel and pollution of the environment

Flexible packaging is at the forefront of important packaging trends in packaging design and performance, production protection, consumer convenience, and sustainability which impact the consumers, environment, and businesses positively.

In the past of packaging world, Cellophane was of highest popularity. Since the 1960s, technology and innovation have prompted the development of printable substrates which contributed to the revolution of lighter weight packaging that incorporates continued enhancement in product protection, shelf appeal, strength, and the ability to be sealed.

With its custom qualities, versatility, sustainability, and efficiency in conserving resources, it’s smart to consider flexible pouches for your new product line or to upgrade existing package.

Benefits of Flexible Packaging

  • Flexible pouches are lightweight and simple to carry, store, open and reseal
  • It extends the life of many items, particularly food, and has a positive profile of sustainability
  • It requires less energy to produce and to transport and releases small amounts of greenhouse gases on its while transported to the market.
  • It results in less consumer waste being sent to sanitary landfills
  • Creative
  • Broadly extendible into different item categories
  • Gives options in resealing and dispensing
  • Indicates and  maintains freshness
  • Provide consumer conveniences
  • Is easy to transport and store
  • Creates shelf appeal
  • Uses less energy
  • Enables visibility of contents
  • Creates fewer emissions
  • Provides efficient product to package ratio

Learn more about Anchor Printing and their vast line of custom product label & packaging options including: Shrink Sleeve Labels, Flexible Packaging, Roll-Fed Labeling, Pressure Sensitive and Cut & Stack Labels at  To contact one of our label specialists call toll free at 800.748.0209 or via email at