The label saga – almost over!

In my wildest imaginings I would never have anticipated that it would take so long to get the labels organised for my perfume range. But I believe the label saga is almost over! I’m not holding my breath though – just in case there is an unexpected development, but I am quietly confident that I will have all my labels within 3 weeks.

So… what has been the hold up? Well I did the graphic design brief back in November 2012. The initial design called for clear labels with white print on the perfume bottles. I assumed that this would not be so hard, given that I’ve seen this type of label before.

Not being in the world of graphic design and print, I had no idea that what I was asking was not an easy task. Firstly, the quality of clear stickers was substantially below par and secondly, white on clear is not easy because of the way printers are set up – something to do with the fact that printers are set up with a white background, so white print cannot be seen. The printers can get around this, but then they don’t want to do a small print run. Given that I have 3 types of bottles and 5 different perfumes, I needed 15 different labels. The majority of printers would do a minimum of 1000 labels per design. So, to start with 15,000 labels for a small operation is just plain ludicrous to my mind. I tried local printers and online printers – and of course there was always a time lag between requesting samples and quotes and eventually getting them back. Add Christmas and the New Year into the mix and things were starting to look quite frustrating! Printing directly onto the glass was not an option either as I am already importing the bottles so the cost of then shipping the bottles to a printer and back to me was not financially feasible.

I then made the decision to completely bin the design I had being trying to bring into existence. The look of the range has now completely changed and I have to say that I am really happy with the result. In fact, all of the frustration has turned out to be well worth it (never mind that I have been paying for a website that is not up and running yet!)

I had all my outer packaging printed by fastprinting. They have a minimum order of 250 labels per design. Given that I am keeping my outer design generic, I felt comfortable with ordering a larger volume of labels for the outer packaging. My business cards are scheduled on the next print run with space print, so they should not be too far away and my bottle labels are being printed by diginate. This is a UK online printer that is incredibly flexible with print runs and the quality is far superior to my local printers. The only snag is it takes 2 weeks for my order to arrive after dispatch.

After a haptic process that involved waiting for quotes and samples, and at one stage completely overhauling the design, I have arrived now in April. Thankfully the end to this design/label/print saga is almost in sight. I take solace from my architect/author husband that any worthwhile creative endeavour is born of what he calls an “iterative” process—a nice way of saying “trial and error”.

Next to the photography and getting the website working….

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