Packaging Logo April 15, 2014 Forward
Package Development
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Nine common ways labeling projects can fail...
main image Ron Romanik, Contributing Editor
There are many potential snags in the process of bringing a labeling project to fruition. Being aware of the most common snags can help you avoid them before they happen to you.

1. Design "black holes." Because artwork and design are so subjective, it's easy to get caught in endless cycles of consumer research and design modifications. Also, artwork is often susceptible to painful, last-minute changes by the marketing department—even after plates have been made, and labels are on press. This is a surefire recipe for missing launch dates.

2. Faulty assumptions based on past projects. Don't assume that a pressure-sensitive label construction that's worked in the past will work for a new product (or even for an identical product!). In one case study, a pressure-sensitive label that worked perfectly on one deodorant package was peeling off an almost identical new deodorant package. It turns out that the colorants and anti-stats in the new package were incompatible with the pressure-sensitive label construction. This is a cautionary tale to never skip your homework up front.

3. Too many projects going at once. The "mental make-ready" time of having to constantly switch mental gears between different projects can add delays, introduce mistakes, and reduce the overall quality of your label work.

4. Poor supplier coordination. At many CPG companies, the specifics of labeling tend to be considered at the back end, resulting in little or no coordination among the label supplier, design firm, container supplier, and labeling equipment manufacturer. Snags may occur due to unclear, inadvertent, or incorrect assumptions surrounding container size, shape, material, and machinability. Avoid these roadblocks by bringing together all the suppliers early in the process, setting clear expectations, and including supplier representatives on your team. Make sure everyone reviews and commits to a common timeline. The shared clarity and responsibility not only help avoid snags but can also minimize finger-pointing should issues come up.
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