Environmental Commitments in Printing & Packaging

More and more brand owners are taking into consideration the environmental impact of their packaging. It’s not just the “green” thing to do so their brand plays to the market. Many have made commitments to their customers, employees, and stockholders that they will make target dates to reduce their carbon footprint. For many the changes, they need to make will require significant sacrifices in their budget, but they remain committed to practicing conservation and eco-friendly methods and operations.

Not only do supplies and materials need to be upgraded to accommodate enviro healthy packaging and printing, but you need to make sure your printing and packaging vendor can provide environmentally friendly ink coatings, and materials. Imagine buying a plant-based sandwich from a fast food restaurant only to discover they cooked it on the same grill used for beef and chicken? You wouldn’t be very happy about it after making a commitment to reduce your carbon footprint. The same is true for businesses making an effort to intentionally change to greener approaches. So it’s better than ok to ask your providers and vendors what they use in relation to your product.

Many companies are going to biodegradable packaging for certain products. Others are eliminating glass and plastic, or they are using more recyclable materials in their manufacturing process than ever before including friendly packaging labels.

Many manufacturers are using environmental assessments which include carbon footprint and waste calculators to get an idea of how they are helping or contributing to the problem. Other firms are taking a long look at their logistics in terms of delivery, or service vehicles to make sure they are making the most of their time on the road and eliminating needless trips.

Companies around the globe are making significant changes to improve their footprint and many are sharing their “secret sauce” so everyone can do their part. One example from the January PackagingStrategies.com featured a story of how Colgate is in the process of producing recyclable toothpaste tubes and sharing the technology with their competitors in hopes of a concerted effort to save on waste. Previously toothpaste tubes could not be recycled.

Manufacturers are also exploring rigid packaging solutions in their effort to reduce plastic waste and increase sustainability. Rigid plastic packaging has an 18% rate for recycling compared to 13% for flexible plastic according to the EPA. However, many products simply can’t employ rigid packaging because of the nature of the product. Those companies are still exploring ways to increase sustainability and minimize environmental damage such as biodegradable packaging.

At Century Printing & Packaging we have been printing and packaging sustainable and recyclable products in increasing measure. We continue to seek ways within our industry and company to increase sustainability, conserve and treat the environment with respect. We are continually exploring opportunities to help our customers reduce their footprint. We don’t do “one size fits all” printing and packaging. Every customer is treated personally and our work is customized for their desired outcomes. Contact us if you want a partner in your effort to yes, go green!

Ben Waldrop, President
Century Printing and Packaging, Inc.
Greer, SC 29651
800.344.7509

Retro/Vintage Printing & Packaging

Who doesn’t grab a Cheerwine, or NeHi Grape from an old country store out in the boonies and smile? Retro-vintage labels and packaging are in. Why? They stand out and they evoke a nostalgic memory for consumers. A new wave of packaging is hot for 2020.

It’s called Retro-Futurism.

Pamela Webber from @99Designs notes in the January edition of “Packaging Strategies”:

The next twelve months will see designers using the current gradient trend as a jumping-off point for creating packaging that pairs both futuristic and retro design elements to create remarkable designs that will appeal to a wide variety of consumers.

What does that mean in terms of packaging design, printing, and labels? Think of neon signs, an ancient art touting the bar or store on the corner open for business, a beer, or full-service gas pumps. There will be plenty of neon designs coming forth, simple, yet bold in pastels and other bright colors with daring simplicity. The call to something from the past and foreign, but strangely modern even futuristic.

Manufacturers need to make sure they have a printing and packaging company that can handle these demands. Consumers are all-in on these designs and are even attracted to them at the point of sale. These unique yet simple designs stand out from the rest of the competition.

While everyone else is going with the nuevo you could be in the driver’s seat by taking the risk to do something totally different from the rest of the competition. Separate yourself from the pack, but make sure you have a printing and packaging company that can accommodate your demands. Digital printing offers incredible detail and color in printing and packaging. Retro has to be clean, bright and bold. Make sure your printer understands the demands of the nostalgic look and feel.

Vintage packaging can be seen at any nearby Cracker Barrel. Check out the Ford hats, shirts and clocks. Peruse the John Deere hats and toys. Look upon the bottled Orange Crush, Nehi and assorted candies. Consumers are responding to these offerings and your craft beer may be the product they’ve been looking for in a new, but vintage dressing.

Most exciting is the fact that these products/packages are using sustainable and recyclable materials. So you are not only appealing to a specific demographic, but you are being environmentally friendly. Go green with vintage-future printing and packaging!

Century Printing and Packaging understands the demands of today’s printing and packaging needs. We have studied and we get the retro/vintage packaging appeal. Call or contact us today to discuss your unique printing and packaging needs.

Ben Waldrop
President
Century Printing & Packaging
Greer, SC 29651
800.344.7509

Images https://unsplash.com

Packaging & Printing Material Changes

Does your label, or packaging material look, or feel different than it used too? Is it still performing as it has in the past with your environmentally sensitive product? Packaging and printing materials are constantly changing. Manufacturers are always tweaking to improve their products, but also to cut production or manufacturing costs. Knowing whether or not your label material has changed is important, but if you rely on your printing and packaging company to inform you of any changes you may never know.

Material changes are constant. Your product labels might have the same look and feel, but suddenly not work in the same environment as the previous production runs. The possible culprit is a material change. If your printer is unaware of the change it’s more likely you won’t know either.

Labels and packaging supplies or materials are made all over the world. In a global economy, cheaper is not always better. For example, some of the materials made in China, or other parts of the world are comprised of substances that look similar to your old label but provide a subpar performance for various reasons. Even the slightest change in adhesives can impact label performance when subjected to increased humidity, or temperatures. The last thing you need is a label that isn’t sticking to the product.

Wise are the companies and manufacturers that ask their printing and packaging suppliers about material changes. You need to know if your supplier is flexible and can adapt to the changes, or will they refuse inferior products even if they pass a “look and feel” test. Recent tariff increases have impacted the cost within the materials market as well.

High quality and dependable printing and packaging companies will also know if certain vendors or suppliers have been flagged by various state government agencies like an attorney general or secretary of state. For example, if a particular chemical has been used that is not in compliance with U.S. regulations it could create a delay in production for your printing needs.

So ask your printing and packaging provider if any materials have recently changed to their knowledge in your labels, or printing. Regularly check the performance quality of your labels. Certain car manufacturers randomly pull cars off the line to perform additional inspections to their normal post-production quality assurance. Ask your vendor to also provide a few extra labels or packages to give them a look and feel test. Also, report any labels that are underperforming to your provider as soon as you notice one. A reputable vendor will want to know asap.

At Century Printing and Packaging we talk about, plan and implement innovative ideas as it relates to printing and packaging. Call, or contact us today to see what we can do together in the new decade.

Ben & Neil Waldrop, Owners
Century Printing & Packaging
Greer, SC 29651
800.344.7509

Packaging Trends for 2020

As 2019 fades away there are a lot of trends we are seeing in the area of packaging and printing for 2020. So without prejudice here is what we see happening in the area of printing and packaging for the New Year. These observations are based on product orders. They are customer-driven and produced on data from actual orders and trends we see for the new year and decade ahead. In 2020 these are some of the trends we see developing:

  1. Matte laminate is the way to go. Two to three years ago it was a “glossy” approach from our customers. Every printer was switching their quotes to a gloss finish exclusively. Matte finish is the look and feel for the new decade.
  2. In 2020 more and more customers are going to pursue film with sustainable packaging. “Green” is the watchword and sustainable packaging the capitalizes on protecting future generations is vogue. More and more manufacturers are exploring ways they can go “green” and conserve materials by investing in more sustainable options.
  3. Manufacturers are seeking ways to connect the content/copy of two labels into one through a single label. Saving money and being environmentally conscious by using less paper and taking advantage of a single stream to produce multiple copy space where before, they were using multiple streams of paper/film. Less paper + more content = sustainable environment.
  4. Individualized SKUs and label specialization or packaging to match product specialization.
  5. Hinged labels offering more copy and print room in high performing labels for #CBD tincture, #CBD oils, nutraceuticals, and #craft beer/spirit labels.

The market continues to reveal that old approaches are not getting it done. New, creative and innovative approaches to printing and packaging are the wave of the future. Manufacturers and producers need to face reality and the trends of innovation for the future. The old ways aren’t going to last in an emerging economy. Only those companies who realize and empower new ways of thinking and packaging are going to survive and succeed.

Make sure your printing/packaging company can produce these trends in real numbers and provide them with high quality and affordable terms. It’s not enough to say you can deliver, it requires more to deliver within the parameters of the order, on time, within budget and within the highest quality possible.

This is the reality of printing and packaging in the new decade. Why would you engage a company, or supplier still working and producing in protocols of the last decade? Every day is passing you by and leads are fleeting under the old school approaches. Engage companies that are catching the wave and seeking to improve your bottom line in the arena of printing and packaging.

At Century Printing and Packaging we talk about, plan and implement innovative ideas as it relates to printing and packaging. Call, or contact us today to see what we can do together in the new decade.

Ben Waldrop
President
Century Printing & Packaging
Greer, SC 29651
800.344.7509

How To Distinguish Your Product & Label

Slapping a so-so label on a product is like rolling dice. You never know what you are going to get. Smart manufacturers understand the importance of killer packaging and labeling.

Your product largely determines your wrapping. If you are producing and distributing food and beverage products there are different requirements compared to dry goods, or non-food items. However, there are some principles that apply to all products.

Be intentional in your design. Just because your pencils are longer lasting, sturdier, U.S. made and better than the competition doesn’t mean you are going to move more pencils to students and office managers. Try to avoid using multiple fonts, competing graphics, or the urge to fill every big of “white space”. Let the competition confuse the consumer while you focus on simply telling what it is and why the consumer needs your version. The simplest designs are often the best and remove any doubt about what the product is, or how it is used.

Be compelling but not overwhelming. You want your package to stand out from the pack, but not in the way an ugly package-label does. Be creative and relevant to what you are selling. You wouldn’t package shampoo the same way you package beer, or a silicone lubricant. Intrigue is never bad. Having a curious consumer investigate your product on the shelf apart from others is an advantage. Why should they look, hold, grab, or read about your product versus the rest of the competition?

Packaging colors and size matter. Much has been researched concerning the human brain and color interpretation. Colors send messages and evoke different emotions. They can impact a consumer’s initial reaction to a product. For example, neutral colors like beige are calming, red is a power color, strong and denotes love/passion, yellow evokes joy, happiness, blue is calming and serene. So your colors are important and should match the product look and feel. Having the right packaging size is important. You don’t want your product to get lost in oversized packaging.

Tell consumers what the product is and how to use it. Don’t assume every potential buyer knows what your product is, or how to use it. How many times have you gotten home with a purchase and opened the package only to be disappointed with what you bought? It happens every day and when consumers are your target you need to be very clear that your all new “Periodontal Toothbrush” is for people recovering from oral gum surgery, and sensitive gums, and those consumers should be able to find it.

It’s okay to stand out from the competition, but know what’s off-limits, or a possible product killer. Don’t be afraid to be creative in your graphic, design, colors, package shape, etc. Tell your story as only you can. Sell yourself. Why should they buy/try your product? What makes you different? Tell it with colors, graphics, shapes and yes, words. Think long and hard about breaking industry standards. Pushing the envelope is fine, but burning it is going too far.

Make sure your printer understands your design and has extensive experience with label and packaging printing. Saving a buck at the expense of quality is costly. Most printers understand shelf space, product end sale position, size and market. This is what they do every day with clients. They can provide wisdom and valuable input for your product. They know how to help clients distinguish themselves from the pack.

At Century Printing and Packaging we understand the importance of labels and packaging, it’s what we do! Contact us today to discuss your printing questions, ideas, and options.

Ben Waldrop, President
Century Printing & Packaging
Greer, SC 29651
800.344.7509