Achieving the Flash for Cash


How to Design Chrome BOPP Labels That Set Your Products Apart from the Competition

In today’s cut-throat market, businesses are competing for the almighty dollar. You may have the most talented marketing staff, the biggest ad campaign, and the best product—but if your product label doesn’t grab the consumer’s attention within three to five seconds, you are throwing away a lot of money.

Whether you are an internationally recognized corporation like Hersheys™, or a small Missouri-based nutraceutical company such as NRG-X LABS™, the look and design of your product label can determine whether or not consumers will buy your product.

The question, then, is how to achieve the “flash for cash.” How do you design your most important marketing vehicle, your product label, to make your product stand out from the competition? You may think it’s complicated. The truth is, you can set yourself apart from the pack by simply having your labels printed on a chrome substrate.

A chrome substrate, also known as a metallic substrate, can be compared to the shiny side of aluminum foil. It has all the shine and gloss as aluminum foil, but can be printed on top of with a 4-color process like the one Lightning Labels uses. Consequentially, a label printed on a chrome substrate will reflect light better than a label printed on a white substrate. A chrome label stands out 200% brighter than other labels on a retail shelf, so using chrome labels is an excellent way to get a leg up on the competition.

Special Considerations for Designing Chrome Labels

Anyone can take their existing label design and have it printed on a metallic substrate to give it a bit of sparkle. However, you may not be happy with the end result, the look of a bottle completely wrapped in tin foil. This is because when printing ink on a metallic substrate in CMYK, the colors take on a different profile. Hue shift occurs, luminance is muted, and saturation is affected. This alters the colors that you are used to seeing printed on a normal white substrate.

With the knowledge of how inks appear on metallic and regular white substrates, a designer can combine the two to produce a final piece that will get everyone’s attention. How can this be done if the actual substrate is completely metallic?

The secret is to create your own (simulated) white substrate. Lightning Labels’ HP Indigo presses can lay down a PMS white ink before any other ink is put down to create a simulated white substrate. When CMYK inks are printed on top of this simulated white substrate, they will appear as if they were printed on an actual white substrate such as white BOPP.

Endless Creative Possibilities

But the creative design possibilities don’t stop there. For instance, you don’t need to “flood” the chrome label with white ink. Instead, you can selectively use it to achieve amazing effects.

For instance, if I was going to design a chrome label featuring the Lightning Labels logo, I would have the background printed in rich blues and purples on top of simulated white substrate, accent the brand name in pure chrome by leaving negative space in the design, and print the image of a lightning bolt directly on the chrome, giving its color a metallic sheen.

By combining the techniques of printing on top of white ink, printing directly on the chrome substrate, and leaving negative space that shows the chrome substrate, designers can create chrome labels that are harmonious and eye-catching.

Preparing Your Artwork Files

When preparing files for Lighting Labels to be printed on chrome, it is important that you assemble your artwork for success. A layered EPS is the easiest way to achieve the desired result One layer would need to be your 4-color artwork, with a second layer on top representing the placement of white ink. White ink is always printed first or behind other colors. The “white layer” should be assembled with all of the elements to be printed in white represented in a 100% channel color (e.g., 100% Magenta, Cyan or Yellow), the most common being 100% Magenta.

About the Author

Josh Tocko has worked in marketing, advertising, and design for16 years. During this time, he has also owned businesses in wholesale, commercial, and retail outlets. Leveraging his real-world experience and knowledge of consumer trends, he continues to aid businesses of all sizes across the US in successfully creating, designing, and marketing products that make a positive impact on the people that purchase them

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