Printing custom labels allows you to explore a wide variety of options. These options provide the opportunity to tailor your custom labels to meet your specific needs at a price you can afford. Small changes to the label design or the type of label used can result in large cost savings.
Stick with the Standard
Most custom label printers, including InTouchLabels, offer a variety of standard sizes and shapes. Standard sizes are always less expensive to produce then a custom label size. If a custom label printer can setup a press to produce a few standard sizes, it reduces the amount of downtime for size (die) changes. The more output a printer can accomplish in a shorter period of time, reduces the overall cost to the customer. Using a standard size can be as much as 50% less than a close, non-standard size. For example, if you need a 2.25” x 4” custom label, you might notice a significant price reduction if you opt for a 2” x 4” standard sized label. When receiving custom label printing quotes, be sure to have the closest standard size quoted for comparison.
The same concept can be applied to ink colors. Most printers offer a selection of standard Pantone colors. At InTouch Labels, we offer 25 standard Pantone colors. Offering a selection of standard colors enables the inks to be purchased in bulk, at a discounted price. When a custom or non-standard Pantone color is needed, the printer must special order the ink, which ultimately adds to the cost of production. In places where a standard color will work, use it.
Less Ink = More Savings
The cost difference between a one or two color label and full color label is significant. There are many times when a full color label is the only option for optimum results. There are also times when two colors, instead of four, will not detract from the overall look and intention of the custom label. Some easy color changes to consider are:
- Convert a color photo to black and white: The finished product can still look great and the overall savings may be well worth it.
- Use two bright colors to attract attention: Two bright or contrasting colors can draw the same attention as full color label.
- Screen one color: Using a screen (percentage of ink) can make one color look like two. For example, you may use a dark blue ink for the background of your custom label and then reduce the strength to 30% to create the text. The label will look like it has two colors, but you pay for only one.
Like dies and inks, most printers also have a handful of standard label stocks that are ordered in bulk and offered at a reduced price. Standard stock choices can generally satisfy almost any need. Opting for a specialty stock can quickly increase the overall cost of your custom label. Many label printers have to order a minimum amount of label stock, which could be thousands of square inches. In some cases, customers have to pay for the minimum amount of label stock required, even if the minimum is much more than needed.
It is also important to use the appropriate stock for your custom labels. There is no need to use an expensive waterproof stock for a custom label being placed on a throwaway bottle. That being said, an expensive durable stock could prove more cost effective in the long run if you find you need to constantly replace a less resilient, less expensive label.
More is Less: Price Breaks and Quantities
This may sound counterintuitive, but an easy way to save money when printing custom labels is to order more labels! If a printer can run a higher quantity, their operating costs are reduced, and the savings is passed onto the customer. Most printers offer price breaks at different quantities, meaning the price per thousand changes depending on the amount of labels ordered. For example, lets say the cost for 1,000 labels is $100 (price per thousand is $100; $0.10 per label) but the cost for 5,000 labels is $300 (price per thousand is $60; $0.06 per label). While the overall cost is obviously more, the cost per label is less with higher quantities.
This is important to consider if you think you may need more custom labels in the future. Also, there can be cases where the price difference can be so close, ordering a high quantity makes sense, especially if you need the labels. (Tip: The cost between 500 and 1,000 labels is usually close, so if you need 500 custom labels, be sure to also get pricing for 1,000 – the cost difference may only be a few dollars.)
Key Points to Remember:
- Opt for standard sizes and shapes
- Use standard colors
- Use two or three colors instead of 4-color process
- Make sure you use the right label stock
- Check price breaks
If you would like to have us help you save money on your next custom label job, please contact us or request a quote. We are happy to spend time discussing how we can help reduce your label printing costs.