Presto Labels Blog

A Change of Heart

Posted by on February 8, 2019

By nature, Michelle Mazzara is a salesperson. With 25 years of experience selling national “A” brands to a diverse customer base, Michelle suddenly found herself unemployed when the company she worked for went under. She was in her mid-40s, unemployed and wondering what to do with her life. An idea hit at 3:00 am, launching Michelle into entrepreneurship.

Michelle was single and looking for a change. She had a passion for food and beverage. Why not start a website for singles that shared her same foodie passion? Researching her idea, Michelle couldn’t find anything else like it. However, she also found it inappropriate for the owner to be on the website looking for a match. So in August of 2014, Michelle set out to create a website for those in the same boat she was—single foodies. Although it was a great idea, within six months, Michelle found herself fighting against huge dating websites and realized she really didn’t have resources to make it work. Instead of a dating site, Michelle went back to what she knew best; she came out with food products she could sell. Her first creation, caramels, was a huge hit, so she developed more products. Michelle introduced a line of gourmet spices under Luvafoodie brand, followed by Belgian chocolates and drink mixes. Her consumable brand soon phased out the dating site.

In 2016, Michelle experienced chest pains that would not go away. Her doctor misdiagnosed her with costochondritis, an inflammation of the cartilage in the rib cage. Friends and family told Michelle her chest pain was due to stress. She continued to live with the pain, as it continued to worsen for 10 months. Michelle returned to her doctor, and he ordered an angiogram with contrast. An 80% blockage was found in her left anterior descending artery. Michelle had a stent inserted to open her artery. During surgery, some plaque traveled to a neighboring artery causing Michelle to have a heart attack while in recovery. “This changed my life and my perspective of what I really wanted to do with the brand and my vision for the company,” Michelle stated.

Due to living with heart disease, in January 2017, Luvafoodie launched a salt-free spice line and a new Happy Heart Dark Chocolate Belgian Bar. In May 2017, Michelle added spiced cheese curds from Metz’s Hart-Land Creamery, using Luvafoodie spice blends.

As a survivor of heart disease, Michelle was selected to be a Brand Ambassador for the Twin Cities’ American Heart Association Go Red Women 2018 Ad Campaign in Minnesota. Michelle states, “Heart disease is the number one killer of women, and it is the most misdiagnosed in women. My mission is to help increase awareness and to inspire other women to take charge of their own health. My mission is to make a difference in peoples’ lives and help prevent heart disease.”

In January of 2018, Michelle’s beloved 14-year old dog, Lucy, stopped eating and was diagnosed with cancer. Michelle researched different types of food and supplements that would help her with Lucy’s nausea and cognitive loss due to brain cancer. In her research, Michelle found that there are many herbs that may help boost the nutrition for a dog or a cat, especially aging dogs and cats who suffer from cancer. Luvafoodie’s new Dog Lovers and Cat Lovers spice blends are meant to supplement a dog and cat’s diet through adulthood by boosting it with nutrition derived from natural herbs.

So what’s next? Well, Michelle shared with me that she has written a new cookbook, Luvafoodie Eat Clean, Be Well and Stay Well Cookbook, with salt-free recipes. Her cookbook is now downloadable on Kindle, or can be purchased on her website. She has also come out with a new gift of hope chocolate bar “Touched by Miracles”. In 2019, Michelle will be looking for investors to help take her brand national.

As Michelle’s life evolves, so does her company, Luvafoodie. We can’t wait to see what happens in the next chapter of Michelle’s life and brand—rest assured, whatever happens, it will be close to her beautiful heart.

Danenberger Family Vineyards

Stilettos in the Vineyard

Posted by on February 1, 2019

Working in a man’s world of winemaking is hard work, and Susan Sullivan Danenberger is doing it in style—yes, you’ll actually see her working in her vineyard wearing high heels! But Susan isn’t just a female winemaker with fashion sense, she is a single mom who has raised her kids, she is a survivor of breast cancer for the second time, and she is keeping her family legacy alive. Located just 15 minutes outside of Springfield, Illinois in New Berlin, the Danenberger Family Vineyards is a destination experience filled with great food, drink and history.

On March 12, 2006, a tornado ripped through New Berlin, destroying the Danenberger Family Farm. Susan started rebuilding the back half of the property. It has taken years to rebuild, one construction project at a time. So far, the Tasting Room, Wine Rocks Stage and Upper Terrace, Crate Lounge, Gazebo, West Terrace and Depot have been constructed.


Intimate nooks and party rooms, for indoor and outdoor experiences, are paired with fine wine. You can enjoy a sip, glass or bottle of wine with single or group tastings in one of the many lounge areas throughout the venue. Gather a group of friends together and experience a full course pairing dinner in the gazebo prepared by Chef Clayton Danenberger (Susan’s son). Or, relax by the fireplace while Chef Clayton creates a delightful crisp cheesy pizza baked in their wood burning pizza oven. If you are in the mood for live music, check out the bands and dates that will be playing at the Danenberger Family Vineyards. You’ll experience a sbeer, wine, mixed drinks and really friendly people.

What started as Susan’s hobby grew into award-winning wines and then a developed venue. Susan shares her mature tasting skills in her wine; chewing the cuttings and looking for flavors that she wants to enhance or downplay when developing her wines. This is where Susan could have power over her male counterparts; scientific studies have determined women have better sensory palates than men!

Being a woman who has survived breast cancer has given Susan another power—the power to give back. She raises money and awareness for breast cancer and other women’s issues. In February of 2019, you will find Susan modeling an Ana Ono bra for cancer patients in New York fashion week.

It takes a strong woman be a single mom, to compete in a man’s world, to rebuild after a tornado destroys your home and business, to survive two rounds of cancer, and to create award-winning wines and a venue that delights customers. Take a road trip and meet this amazing woman—and take a group of friends with you. Say hello to Susan for me.

Twin Stills

A Shot of Success

Posted by on January 16, 2019

When is the last time you had a really good shot of moonshine? At Twin Stills Moonshine Distillery in Long Island, New York, you can have a shot of 100 proof corn moonshine, or have a shot of some of the finest whiskey infused with natural flavors. After being in business for only three years, Twin Stills Moonshine Distillery is already outgrowing its facility. Their LI o’OldTymer Whiskey and LI o’OldTymer Moonshine products are flying off the shelves!

Joe Cunha started this business by setting out to duplicate his grandfather’s “Grappa”. When he was 14, Joe remembers being in charge of the still while his grandfather farmed his land in Portugal. Growing up, Joe made many trips to Portugal with his parents, usually in the winter months when the stills were going full throttle. Along with brandy, there were always different infusions of spirits that his grandfather would put together. After his grandfather passed away in 2006, Joe and his wife Patty set out to create an infusion like Joe’s grandfather made in Portugal—a spirit that would appeal to the mainstream of people who wanted a smooth, drinkable shot. To reproduce whiskey and moonshine as authentic as grandfather’s “Grappa”, Joe and Patty went to Portugal and handpicked and shipped their twin copper stills and handmade tasting cups. To this day, Twin Stills Moonshine Distillery makes their LI o’OldTymer Whiskey and LI o’OldTymer Moonshine like the grandfather, in single small batch distillation, aged to perfection (whiskey), or not at all (moonshine).

Twin Stills Distillery is a licensed agricultural distillery, buying most ingredients locally in New York. Corn, strawberries, and apples are purchased from neighborhood farms. All of the ingredients that go into their whiskey and moonshine products are natural, with no added artificial colors or sweeteners. Therefore, some of their products are seasonal, such as strawberry moonshine, which is only made when the strawberries are fresh and flavorful.

Coming out this year is a new product, named after Joe’s other grandfather, who was a Private First Class soldier in Portugal. Private First Class is a perfectly aged whiskey. The label, which Joe and Patty designed, is unique in that the label placed on the back of the bottle is printed on both sides. The image of Joe’s grandfather is seen through the whiskey, and the other side of the label is printed with product information. Two identification labels are placed on the front of the bottle, printed on clear material with opaque white ink.

Twin Stills Distillery is already licensed in New York and Illinois, and this year, a distributor will be bringing their product into Florida and Michigan. To keep up with orders, Joe and Patty will be looking for a larger place in the fall.

Why is Twin Stills Distillery growing so fast? Well, the family is very particular, guarding every aspect of their product from the recipe to its label. They design their own labels, and their small-batch whiskey and moonshine are hand bottled and hand labeled. The love for their craft is evident, as well as their love for family. The most important thing to Joe and Patty is to make you feel comfortable and welcome the moment you walk in the door. Their fabulous shots of whiskey and moonshine will keep you coming back—a perfect recipe for success.


Label Bling

Posted by on December 5, 2018

Dazzle your customers while protecting your product’s label. Presto Labels’ glitter overlaminate will add sparkle and depth to your label. This overlaminate will enhance the richness of your labels while adding that much needed “bling” to stand out among the competition.

Tiny gold specks of glitter overlay your label. Depending on the direction you are looking at the label, and the light in which the label is held, the glitter grabs attention without distracting from the readability of the label.

The glitter overlaminate is a 1.0 mil clear Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene (BOPP), which provides additional overall stability to the label. It is acid, chemical, oil and scuff resistant. The glitter overlaminate is a perfect decorative addition to nail care labels, cosmetic labels, wine labels, or any high-end product that needs added bling.


Contact to have a sample sent to you, for a quote with glitter overlaminate, or for more information.

Click to view the Gold Glitter Overlaminate spec sheet

annas popcorn

Popcorn Pleasure

Posted by on November 26, 2018

­Most weddings I have attended are based on a color scheme. The bride’s maid dresses, flowers and table décor all tout the same color, or shade of color. The unusual wedding I just attended did not have a color scheme; instead, the bride chose a movie theme. The groom’s men and bride’s maids wore classic black and white attire. Dimmed lights set the mood at the reception with eight large-screen televisions playing a variety of movies with closed captions; from classic Bugs Bunny cartoons for children, to the Wizard of Oz, to the bride and groom’s all-time favorite movies. In the background, movie soundtracks played softly beneath the buzz of excited chatter. ­

Instead of an open liquor bar, they offered IBC Root Beer®, Coca-Cola® products, craft beers, and champagne. Along one wall of the reception room, the bride set up the most wonderful popcorn bar I have ever seen, or tasted! There was jalapeno white cheddar popcorn, butter popcorn, cheddar cheese popcorn, birthday cake popcorn, salt & vinegar popcorn, caramel popcorn, cinnamon popcorn, very unusual caramel apple popcorn, and a red white and blue mix that was blueberry, cherry, and vanilla flavored popcorn. The guests filled their bags and mixed flavors. I just had to keep going back to try all them all! I asked the bride how she came up such an idea and found out the popcorn was from a small business in Lebanon, Ohio.

If you have ever been to the historic Golden Lamb Inn & Restaurant, Anna’s Gourmet Popcorn is just down the street. Anna’s Gourmet Popcorn offers wedding packages, or like our bride, you can customize your own popcorn bar. You choose the number of tins, flavors, and bags of popcorn to fit your wedding. Actually, Anna’s Gourmet Popcorn is a great idea for any type of party or event, and they also have fundraising options.

Before starting her business, Anna worked in the flavor industry. For over a decade, she helped entrepreneurs create energy drinks, shots, kids’ drinks, and waters. Developing international brands made Anna realize she wanted her own business. She took her flavor experience and combined it with her love for popcorn. To keep her brand fresh and interesting, Anna comes up with monthly popcorn flavors, which are a combination of seasonal favorites, customer requests, and her own unique flavor combinations.

If you visit Lebanon, Ohio for the Annual Lebanon Horse Drawn Carriage Parade & Festival, held on the first Saturday in December, you’ll find Anna’s Gourmet Popcorn there supporting the community. Horses and carriages from all over the United States participate in this event. The event features two parades; the first parade is held at 1 pm and the second parade is at 7 pm. Check out the craftsmanship on the carriages and the variety of horses that pull them; minis, Clydesdales, Percherons and many more. It is a fun day filled with holiday cheer—and of course, Anna’s popcorn!

Regardless, if you savor salty or sweet snacks, Anna’s Gourmet Popcorn will satisfy your craving. I urge you to create your own popcorn bar at your next office party or event. Everyone will want to sample all the flavors—and your event will just be more fun. Keep supporting those small businesses. They offer such unique and creative products!

sammy soap

A Mother’s Mission

Posted by on November 26, 2018

Presto Labels helps many small business owners with their labeling needs. Each business owner has a great story behind their brand; a great passion, a great cause, or a great purpose. I would like to tell you about one of our customers, sammysoap®. ­­­­­­

Sammysoap is layered with all sorts of passion, cause, purpose, and heart. First and foremost, sammysoap has taken an ordinary product and is manufacturing it in an extraordinary way. Each generous 4.5-ounce bar of soap is handmade, 100% all natural, with no fragrance, preservat­­ive, dyes or any other synthetic ingredients. They substantiate fair trade supply chains, use sustainable packaging and reinvent, reuse, and recycle everything they can. Sammysoap’s products do not harm the planet, are cruelty-free, waterway, food area, child, and pet-friendly. Each small batch is artistically handmade and packed with a purpose.

This company was created to serve a purpose; to create jobs for adults with intellectual disabilities. “A job creation machine, disguised as the world’s best soap company” is touted on their website. Sammysoap is a for-profit business supporting disability wage equality, human health, and a clean planet.

But what is most incredible about this company is its heart. This company exists because a mother’s mission was to create a business to provide her son with a fulfilling and useful life. This company provides adults with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to develop skills, earn a fair and equal wage, and be productive, proud members of a community. Please watch their video. I think you will enjoy their story, and you also might want to try their incredible products too.

Their video: Redefining Normal

Why do I need a proof?

Posted by on November 7, 2018

When printing an order for the first time, or changing your label printer, it is difficult to imagine what the final printed product will look like. Every press prints a bit differently and different presses use different types of inks, which look different when applied to different substrates. All these variables will affect how your label will look when printed. To alleviate the unknown before you invest in a full label run, Presto Labels offers a variety of proofing options. Let’s look at the different types of proofs, and why Presto Labels offers each type.

Digital PDF Proof


After submitting your artwork, the pre-press department will email you a digital PDF proof, free of charge. Digital PDF proofs are for layout proofing purpose only. They are not an accurate representation of color or quality. When you receive this digital PDF proof, check it carefully. Most of the time, this will be the last chance you have to make any changes or corrections before your labels are printed.

Here are things to check when you receive your digital PDF proof:

  1. Sometimes fonts and graphics are linked to artwork. Check to make sure the fonts and graphics look correct and confirm all pieces of the artwork are there.
  2. Make sure the size of your label is specified correctly.
  3. If you need us to match a color, make sure that it is specified on the proof.
  4. Confirm that the correct material is specified on the proof.
  5. Confirm that the unwind direction will work with your equipment and is correctly specified on the proof.
  6. Make sure the maximum outside diameter of the label roll (OD) will work with your equipment and is correctly specified on the proof.
  7. If you are printing white ink, make sure the white layer is correct.
  8. Check that the dieline (cut line) is the shape and size you specified.

Press Proof


If you have apprehension about how your labels will look when printed, especially if you want to match a color or spot PMS color, if you are printing your labels for the first time, or if you are using a new material, it is a good idea to order a press proof. Press proofs are provided at your request, for a cost. They allow you to see what your label will look like before you spending money on a full print run. Press proofs are printed directly from our press, on specified material, and with varnish as specified on your order. Press proofs are not cut to size, but we do print the dieline (cut line) so you can see the size and shape of your label. Press proofs represent accurate print, material, color, and quality and are shipped to you overnight.
Spot PMS colors cannot be matched 100%. PMS colors must be converted into 4-color process colors on our digital press. The press proof will show you how close we can get to the sample you submitted, or to the PMS color you requested.

Here are things to check when you receive your press proof:

1) The label looks like you wanted it to.
2) Colors are acceptable.
3) The text is clear and easy to read.
4) The material provides the look and feel you wanted to achieve.
5) The dieline shows how you want your label cut.
6) Double check your spelling and grammar. Don’t let a typo go to press!

Press Proof & Laser Cut


If you would like your press proof to be printed and cut to size, you want to order a press proof & laser cut. Press proofs are printed directly from our press, on specified material, and with varnish as specified on your order. These press proofs are also cut to the size and shape specified on your artwork with our lasers. Press proof & laser cut represents accurate print, material, color, cut and quality, and are shipped to you overnight. Press proof & laser cut will cost more than a press proof that has not been cut.

Press Proofs for Labels

Press proofs, and press proofs that are laser cut, tell you a lot more about how your label will look than a digital PDF file. By investing in a printed proof, you will be able to confirm that what we print is what you want–before spending money on a full production run.
Have additional questions about our proofs or artwork requirements? Give us a call at: (877) 830-3851 or email and we’ll happily help to answer your questions.

mistakes on label

Mistakes Happen – Use Blackout Material to Perfect Your Label Project

Posted by on October 29, 2018

It happened. No one’s perfect. Somehow, your seemingly print-ready design wasn’t so perfect, and now you have labels that seem unusable. It doesn’t matter who’s to blame, it just needs to be fixed asap! Believe it or not, this is not the trash it and start over emergency that it appears to be – with a little rework and redesign, Presto Labels can cover the mistakes with a blackout material label.

Sometimes called a cover-up label, blackout materials can help to fix small design issues, like a UPC bringing up the wrong price, a misspelling, or another misprint. Basically, any text or graphic design issues can be solved with a cover-up label.

When we help our customers with labels that weren’t so perfect to start with, we have a few goals to achieve the best possible outcome. First, we want to make sure that the mistake cannot be seen under the new label. Next, we want to make the solution seamlessly fit the original design. It’s bad enough you know it’s there, we want to be sure that everyone else sees a polished, finished product. Last, we want to make sure that you’re not out the money on the original printing, and blackout materials can save you money compared to a total reprint.

How can we help correct mistakes on your labels?

As soon as you know that you need a correction to a label, let us know. We can work with you to design the blackout material label, or if you have a finished artwork file, you can send that over to us. Once the file is received, we can review the artwork and create a prepress proof. Be sure to have extra eyes review the proof to make sure it will solve the problematic original label. Once the proof is approved, we can work with you to determine the perfect cover-up material, then get to work printing!

Don’t let design, font, misspellings, and other errors and issues cause you to have a meltdown. Presto Labels can send you samples of blackout cover-up labels, and we can walk you through our process to help you fix these mistakes, meaning your customers will only see what you want them to see.

If you have any questions about blackout material options, or need help with a cover-up label, contact us!


What is BOPP? 7 Reasons to Invest in BOPP Labels Today

Posted by on September 19, 2018

As a small to medium-size business, your livelihood hinges in great part upon your ability to gain market traction through your product labeling. An eye-catching, professionally-made BOPP label can often be the key to captivating prospective buyers. Below is a look at BOPP and some of the many benefits it offers as a trusted label solution.

What is BOPP?

“Bi-Oriented Polypropylene (BOPP) refers to the manufacture of polypropylene films using an orienting system. BOPP films are manufactured using a tenter frame sequential process or the double bubble process, in which a polypropylene (PP) film is oriented in two directions (machine and transverse directions).”

Dow Chemical Company

BOPP is an acronym for biaxially-oriented polypropylene, or the use of a special process to manufacture polypropylene films. In a nutshell, BOPP is polypropylene that has been stretched in two different directions; hence the “biaxially-oriented” component of its name. BOPP films were introduced in the 1970s and have risen in popularity as a means of packaging and labeling food and many other products. BOPP is often used for packaging and labeling of bottles, food products, cleansers, and other household products.

Which industries use BOPP labels?

Aside from paper, BOPP is the most popular material of choice for labels. BOPP’s proven performance and affordability have combined to make it the preferred label material for manufacturers in a host of different specialties. Here are just a few of the industries that are choosing BOPP for their labeling applications:

  • Bottling companies: To advertise the beverage brand and list ingredients
  • Food container manufacturers: For companies that sell labels for food storage products
  • Vaping and e-liquid companies: Vape stores are increasingly using BOPP labels to denote flavors
  • The hygiene industry: To prepare front product labels as well as back labels with ingredients
  • Medical equipment companies: To denote the manufacturer’s name and phone number

What are the top benefits of BOPP labels?

BOPP’s popularity has increased immensely over the past two decades. Its durability, adhesive properties, and resistance to the elements have propelled BOPP to its position as a leading material for digital labels and tags. BOPP is also cost-effective and versatile, making it a top option in the label printing industry. Here are some of the top benefits of BOPP:

1) Moisture-resistance

Unlike labels made with most other materials, labels created with BOPP film can be exposed to cold water or high levels of humidity without eroding. They are therefore a top choice for manufacturers whose products are frequently exposed to moisture or humidity.

2) Low toxicity

BOPP’s low toxicity is a primary reason why BOPP is used with labels for food and hygiene products. BOPP emits no harmful gases and polypropylene flakes or dust is not harmful. Finally, there are no special requirements for safe handling, other than avoiding spilling BOPP, which can cause a person to trip or fall.

3) Variable translucency

One of BOPP film’s greatest assets is its variable translucency. Labels fabricated with BOPP film can be clear, white, or metal-colored. The clear option is especially popular among food packagers and manufacturers who want consumers to be able to view their products through a clear label, while white-colored BOPP is a common choice for lip balm and other hygiene products.

4) Strong adhesive properties

“A number of standard test methods are used in the United States to measure the peel adhesion or bond strength of pressure-sensitive labels. These include ASTM D 903, ASTM D 3330, ASTM D 6252 and the TLMI 180° Peel Adhesion-Face Stock test method.” 

– Don Eppink, Adhesives and Sealants Magazine

Adhesive strength is one of BOPP’s greatest assets. When customers invest in BOPP labels, they can enjoy peace of mind knowing that they have selected a label that demonstrates stellar peel adhesion properties, even with labels designed for round or curved glass bottles.

5) Resistant to solvents and acids

BOPP’s resistance to solvents and acids make it a great choice for labels – especially those applied to household products and certain foods and beverages. For example tomatoes, beans, coffee, and some citrus fruits can be highly acidic. Even though they might not ever touch the label on the outside of a can, they may emit some gases that can cause most non-BOPP labels to deteriorate.

6) Impressive durability

“The main features of BOPP films are improved stiffness, high tensile strength, excellent optics and good water vapor barrier properties. BOPP films range from 15 to 50 microns and are most commonly 15 to 30 microns…Additionally, BOPP films can be treated with acrylic and PVDC coatings for better sealability and barrier properties.”

– Dow Chemical Company

Durability is the cornerstone of longevity for a printed label. BOPP is known for its strength and ability to endure significant wear and tear. Its plastic-based construction make BOPP far more durable than paper labels. Additionally, top label printing companies cure their printed designs to further increase their durability and resistance to the elements.

7) A captivating appearance

Even with all of the practical benefits BOPP offers, you cannot ignore BOPP’s gorgeous appearance. In addition to offering a higher clarity and gloss, BOPP’s higher tensile strength sets the perfect foundation for digital printing. And with its stellar durability, BOPP labels stand the test of time while paper labels deteriorate.

What does the future hold for BOPP?

“According to the report projections, the global BOPP films for packaging market is expected to witness a CAGR of 6.0% from 2017 to 2025. In 2017, the market was worth US$ 13,669.4 Mn and is expected to touch a valuation of US$ 21,736.5 Mn by the end of 2025.”

Persistence Market Research

Given the many benefits BOPP brings to the label design table, it is no surprise that BOPP’s popularity continues to grow. Market researchers across the globe point to the rapidly increasing demand for sophisticated, cost-effective packaging as a key factor that will drive the continued growth of BOPP. In fact, Persistence Market Research forecasts that the market will rise to over $21,736 million USD before 2026.

How do you choose the best label for your products?

As outlined above, there are many benefits to selecting a label made with BOPP material. However, there is more to creating a label than choosing the material. The best way to ensure that you select the perfect label for your products is to seek the guidance of an industry expert. The experts with Presto Labels have perfected the art of label printing and are eager to help you select the best label for your products. Here are just a few of the many reasons why you should choose Presto Labels for your label printing needs:

  • Over four decades of success in the label printing industry
  • Rapid job completion times
  • A wider selection of BOPP than most competitors
  • All labels are printed and converted in the USA
  • The ability to grow alongside your business

We invite you to contact us to learn more about the many ways that BOPP can enhance your branding. Our skilled label design experts have the tools and resources to create professional labels that will make your products stand out. We are happy to provide you with an instant quote and look forward to becoming your trusted resource for all of your labeling needs!

CMYK-fish illustrating 4 color process

4-Color Process Vs. Spot Color: Matching Your Brand’s Color

Posted by on September 14, 2018

Did you know consumers recognize color before they read text or focus on other imagery? One study, called Impact of Color in Marketing, found that 90 percent of snap judgments are made about products based on color alone. However, selecting a color is only the first step. Protecting its integrity is just as vital. Color is especially important for new companies trying to establish their brand. Another study reported by Entrepreneur magazine found that colors influence the perceived “personality” of a brand. To maintain brand recognition and differentiate products from competitors, entrepreneurs must find a trusted printer. Is your printer using a process that ensures quality and color consistency while keeping your project on budget? Two processes that portray a gamut of colors are 4-color and spot color printing. What’s the difference?

What is 4-Color Process?

Process color, also called CMYK, is the most common method of printing. If you’ve ever had brochures, posters, flyers or any other marketing materials printed in full color, most likely they were printed using 4-color process. CMYK stands for cyan (C), magenta (M), yellow (Y) and key (K), or black. The order of the letters is significant because it represents the general order of the printing process. When an offset or flexo printer prepares your art files, they are separated into cyan, magenta and yellow printing plates that are “keyed” or aligned with a black plate. When printing with a digital press, the computer separates the artwork into CMYK when printed with ink cartridges, much like your home computer’s printer.

How does it work?

How are so many shades created from just three primary colors and black? Printers accomplish this through a process called halftoning. Instead of full-saturation, the primary colors are printed in varying patterns of tiny dots in a layering sequence. For example, to the naked eye red appears as a brilliant continuous tone. However, if you looked at the printed red color under a magnifying glass, you would see dots layered in patterns to make up the red hue.

Can such a process really create consistent tones? Absolutely. Modern technology allows for endless degrees of saturation that are actually very precise to specific colors. If you need a certain hue of red, your printer knows exactly the saturation of magenta and yellow needed to give you the same brilliant red, every time, across multiple marketing mediums.

What is a Spot Color?

Unlike 4-color process, spot colors are solid colors. For example, if you want red, it will be mixed ahead of time and printed as a pure ink, not a mix of magenta and yellow dots. Color specification systems, such as the Pantone Matching System (PMS), provide specific recipes for the desired spot color. Graphic designers can pick a specific shade from their swatch book, giving the printer exact specifications. In turn, the printer orders that specific ink. Spot colors provide the most stable, predictable color results.

What Process Should I Use?

If spot colors are the most predictable colors, why not use them all the time? Spot colors are unique, and unique is going to cost more. Many entrepreneurs simply don’t have the budget to print using spot colors. Spot colors are customized and purchased specifically for a client. In addition, printers spend more on press setup time when customized spot colors are being used, an added expense that is also passed along to the customer. New digital printing presses utilize 4-color process technology that cannot insert PMS colors without purchasing very costly customized color cartridges.

With 4-color process, printers cannot guarantee custom color matches for all colors, but they can closely match a wide range of hues. Many PMS colors have fluorescents added for brilliance, which CMYK cannot duplicate. Colors will also vary when printed on different presses, different materials and when using different inks (such as water-based ink vs. UV inks). Let your printer know if matching a color is critical. Provide them with either a solid Pantone® color or with a printed sample, and request a press proof. Even though most printers charge an additional fee for a press proof, it’s really the only way to see what your artwork will exactly look like when printed.

Maximum Impact

Yellow arches. A red can of cola. We instantly know these brands, not because of the writing, but because of their unique colors. Color is the dominant source of identification for brands. Consumers instantly recognize their favorite label on the aisle by scanning for color. A study from Kissmetrics found that 93 percent of consumers place visual appearance and color above all other factors when making a purchase. Do you have a recognizable brand or are you working on one? Carefully select the colors for your brand and labels, and entrust the integrity of those colors to a reliable printer.

Presto Labels uses the latest technology in 4-color process printing and offers one of the largest selections of materials and coatings in the industry. Contact us today to discuss your label, shrink sleeve and flexible packaging needs.