Effortlessly Design, Manage, and Print Your Labels In-House

…. All with CQL Pro Labeling Software

In the labeling industry, it’s no secret that having in-house labeling software can improve efficiency, saving time and money by effortlessly managing the combination of artwork and data that make up a label file.

With the help of professional labeling software, like CQL Pro, artwork can exist in various image types like png, jpg, pdf, tiff, etc.  Data can come from multiple data sources such as your company’s ERP or another external database.  Additionally, enjoy the ability to add other common label elements, such as barcodes, QR codes, date of manufacture, expiration dates, lot codes, etc.

Label Image Types

If you’re looking to print high-quality labels, it requires a suitable, high-quality printing file.  Here’s a brief outline for anyone who may be newer to the industry:

Vector: vector graphics are mathematically-drawn points, lines, curves, and shapes. When scaling a vector image file, as it’s not low resolution, there’s no loss of quality, so it can be sized to your desired scale.  Vectors are widely used for logos, line art, 3-D renderings,  text, and variable data like barcodes.

Raster: raster graphics consist of individual, colored pixels that compose a single image.  While great for photographic elements and textures, these files can be sized smaller but not larger as it’ll compromise the resolution quality.  A sufficient resolution of at least 300dpi is recommended for these to avoid poor print quality. ( jpg, png, and tiffs are common raster image types)

PDF: As PDFs can use both vector and raster graphics, they’re typically the optimal choice for label designs.

How Can CQL Pro Labeling Software Help?

First, what exactly is CQL Pro? Compatible with any label printer in the market with a Windows® driver, CQL Pro is AstroNova’s advanced labeling software that allows users to easily design and print custom labels for color and monochrome label printers. Complete with Label Designer and Print Manager, users can create and edit label designs, design printer profiles, and easily monitor or create print jobs across any label printer model.

With an intuitive, easy-to-use interface, this software makes creating and accessing your label files simple and allows users to quickly print multiple jobs with differing designs and varying quantities, all without interruption.

Additional features include a label converter for easy conversion, job monitoring for in-process print jobs, and an easy-access launcher with shortcuts to your recent designs, print manager, print jobs, and more.

Learn more about CQL Pro labeling software and how integrating it can help you design, manage, and print your labels in-house.

Special Offer!

Download CQL Pro today for a FREE, full-featured 30-day trial!

Questions? Let us know, we’re here to help!

At AstroNova, we offer a total labeling solution. We provide the tools you need to integrate production efficiencies into your business and keep up with industry demands from a wide variety of label printers, materials, technical support, training, and a library of support videos. Contact us to schedule a free, web-based demonstration and to speak with one of our specialists!

Create a Valuable Customer Experience Guaranteed to Build Brand Loyalty

Learn How to Surprise and Delight Customers and Why it’s so Important in Today’s Market

Everyone loves to receive and open a package. Regardless of age, the anticipation someone feels when their package arrives and it’s time to dig in is a universal feeling. Now more than ever, with saturated markets and ever-changing marketing tactics, brands are fighting to find ways to stand out from the crowd, build brand loyalty, and satisfy current customers.  One way to create an impressive, valuable experience?  Create a unique unboxing experience for your customers.

Understanding an Unboxing

What is an unboxing experience exactly? To put it simply, it’s the act of unpacking a box or package that strives to create a memorable experience and interaction with a customer when first unboxing a product. This is an effective way to gain a competitive edge over the competition and stay top-of-mind for customers.  First impressions count – use the tactics below to create positive interactions and promote your brand.

brand loyalty

Build your Brand

This may seem like the most obvious piece, but brand your packaging and, more importantly, make it unique to your brand. Above all, creating this type of experience for your customers is an excellent way to stand out against competitors and build brand loyalty. This gives you an opportunity to garner a response from your customers – studies have shown 40% of consumers are more likely to make repeat purchases from a vendor that stands out and has premium packaging.

brand loyalty

Personalize the Packaging

Everyone wants to feel special.  So, you can ensure your customers feel valued by adding simple touches to make the experience memorable. For instance, examples of this include notes within the package or personalized messages.

Utilize Unique Materials

Consumers crave sustainability and are conscious of a brand’s values and priorities. Therefore, opt for reusable or environmentally-friendly materials and avoid appearing wasteful or careless, which can ultimately be harmful to your brand image—looking for high-performance, eco-friendly options? Browse GetLabels.com for a variety of materials to meet this demand.

Customers Will Market for You

Personalizing your packaging or creating a WOW unboxing experience for customers may seem like an unjustifiable cost. But, people enjoy sharing positive or unique experiences. Now, thanks to the power of the internet and with online unboxing videos being wildly popular, a single customer’s experience can be seen by any number of people with a simple upload or share. This creates an authentic experience that people enjoy viewing, and others may anticipate having the same experience themselves, encouraging a purchase, or creating simple brand recognition at the very least.

Trusted Solutions to Make Your Products Pop and Get You Started

QuickLabel QL-300 – a five-color tabletop digital label printer with the added capability of printing in white, allowing you to expand your labeling possibilities. This system enables brand owners to create high-quality labels with the utmost durability, ensure a competitive cost of ownership, and set their brand apart with vibrant, impactful product labels.

TrojanLabel T3-OPX – this wide-format overprinting system is designed to print on a wide variety of ink-receptive surfaces such as cardboard, postcards, boxes, paper bags, wooden planks, or thicker objects like blister envelopes or folded boxes ready for shipment.  Create a variety of customized pieces with the T3-OPX.

brand loyalty

TrojanLabel T2-C – a one-of-a-kind, a high-volume tabletop label printing press that incorporates the features and functionality of a traditional large production press into a footprint small enough to fit into any size print department.  This solution also offers the opportunity to print glossy and polypropylene labels guaranteed to make your branding shine.

TrojanLabel T2-L – the world’s first industrial-grade, professional digital press for flexible packaging utilizing water-based inks. This flexible packaging water-based inkjet press also comes with inline cold lamination. Therefore, the T2-L accommodates a wide range of flexible packaging solutions, expanding your options and unboxing possibilities.

brand loyalty

Interested in any of the above labeling solutions? Let us know. We’re here to help!

At AstroNova, we offer a total labeling solution. Above all, we provide the tools you need to integrate production efficiencies into your business and keep up with industry demands. From a wide variety of label printers, materials, technical support, training, and a library of support videos. Contact us to schedule a free, web-based demonstration and to speak with one of our specialists!

Best Practices for Cleaning Your Printer

At AstroNova, we understand right now with current events, depending on the industry, keeping up with demands may be more critical than ever. As part of AstroNova’s commitment to our customers in maintaining a safe and hygienic workplace, we’ve provided an outline that includes recommended disinfection materials and procedures you may find helpful when cleaning your printer. Studies show that frequently disinfecting commonly used surfaces is essential in preventing the spread of germs and viruses, which may remain viable for days on a variety of surfaces. Whether you own a QuickLabel or TrojanLabel printer or not, we hope you find this information helpful.

Recommended Procedure for Disinfecting and Cleaning Your Printer

The CDC recommends the following disinfecting products:

  1. Diluted household bleach solutions (5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water)
  2. Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol
  3. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective
Materials Required
  1. Disposable gloves
  2. Disinfectant solution
  3. Cleaning cloth/towel
Procedure
  1. Wear disposable gloves and ensure disposal of them after completion of this procedure
  2. Turn your printer Off
  3. Clean the exterior of the printer
  4. Apply disinfection solution on the cleaning cloth ( Do not apply the solution directly on the printer)
  5. Thoroughly wipe the exterior of the printer and the most commonly touched surfaces, such as media guides, ink doors, and handles
  6. Wipe the surrounding area where the printer is installed
  7. Wipe the shelves where your label material is stored
  8. After completion dispose of the gloves and cleaning wipe
  9. Wait for the surface of the printer to dry then turn it ON
  10. Repeat this procedure at the start and end of your shift

In conclusion, preventative actions like these are necessary to stop the spread of any type of viruses to protect your health. Ensure taking your time when following this procedure and repeat it as often as needed.

Questions?

If you have any printer or printer supply-related questions, feel free to contact us. From medical device to chemical, sanitation, nutraceutical, food and beverage, and everything in between, AstroNova has all your hardware, software, and material needs for labeling.

Dry County Brewing Uses a QuickLabel Printer to Print Beer Labels In-House

QuickLabel traveled to Kennesaw, Georgia to see how Dry County Brewing Company uses their Kiaro! D digital tabletop label printer to print beer labels right in their own facility.

 

After first tasting a locally brewed pale ale from his college town brewery, Trey Sinclair, President & Co-Founder, was compelled to recreate that experience for other entry-level beer drinkers.

Sinclair explains, “At Dry County, we really try to emulate that experience – making really good, world-class craft beer for folks who are trying beer for the first time.”    

Today, Dry County brews a variety of IPA’s, ales, stouts, and lagers at their facility in Kennesaw, Georgia. Finding a more cost-effective and flexible labeling solution in the QuickLabel Kiaro! D (current model QL-120D), they are now able to easily print beer labels on-demand, such as custom orders and seasonal brews, as well as labels for their taps, kegs, and more.

Trouble-Free Label Compliance 

Because of the Kiaro! D was designed to produce labels that withstand multiple environments and contain all required FDA and TTB information, it became very simple for Dry County to stay on top of labeling regulations. 

craft-beer-labels-refridgerator

“That’s where the Kiaro! D comes in handy – allowing us to produce high-quality packaging on a small scale. Without that type of technology, we wouldn’t be able to do so.” 
– Trey Sinclair, President & Co-Founder 

From hand sanitizer to water-submersion, ice resistance, and more, the label materials used with the Kiaro! D is ideal for beer labeling applications. These label materials, all manufactured in-house, are refrigerator-friendly and can even be applied while wet or removed to recycle their bottles. 

Using the Kiaro! D label printer and QuickLabel’s label design software, Dry County is also able to print alcohol percentages, nutrition facts, ingredients, volume, government warnings, and other requirements regardless of the bottle or can shape.

Small Batches and Seasonal SKUs

One of the greatest benefits the Kiaro! D provided Dry County was the ability to cost-effectively expand its product line and print custom orders. This includes producing seasonal products and variations such as summer ales, winter lagers, and holiday products in small batches.

print beer labels

“We’re able to label seasonal beers, very small quantity beers, and even specialty beers without worrying about minimum order quantities.”  
– Trey Sinclair, President & Co-Founder 

Dry County also took advantage of introducing multiple SKUs and product sizes from bottles, to cans, to growlers, and more.

Without having to worry about minimum order quantities and overstock, the Kiaro! D has allowed Dry County Brewing to save time, reduce their cost-per-label and eliminate minimum order quantities.

Leveraging the Brand with Labels

In such a competitive industry, it takes more than the quality of the product to stand out on the shelves.   

Sinclair reveals, “The craft beer space is a really crowded one. I’d like to think we make great beer here at Dry County, but there are a lot of local and national breweries that make great beer as well.” 

brewery-logo-sticker

Sinclair continues, “You have to have the whole package…literally. The label we put on it, the can we put it in, it’s all very important to the brand and the brewery.”   

With the help of the Kiaro! D, Dry County quickly obtained full control over their labeling process and prints their professional, consistently branded labels as needed. 

“We can print one-off stickers to hand out to people at festivals or tap stickers for our handles. We really leverage the Kiaro! D across a lot of different realms of packaging.” 
– Trey Sinclair, President & Co-Founder 

Taking advantage of its flexibility, for instance, Dry County even began using the Kiaro! D to create labels for their beer taps, kegs, and promotional materials like bumper stickers! This allowed them to creatively get their logo out there and generate brand awareness in more ways than one.  

Sinclair concludes, “The Kiaro! D has helped to both cut costs and save time here at Dry County Brewing. It’s really important for us to be able to have the labels on-hand when we need them, and the Kiaro! D allows us to do just that.”

Looking to Print Beer Labels In-House?

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can print beer labels on-demand, feel free to contact us to schedule a free demonstration or speak with one of our specialists! 

About Dry County Brewing Company

dry county brewing co

Dry County Brewing Co., located in Kennesaw, GA, produces a wide variety of craft beer and hosts regular events such as Friday Flight Nights, Sunday Yappy Hour, Tuesday Trivia, and seasonal events like “Boos and Brews.” To learn more about Dry County Brewing, visit them on their website at www.drycountybrewco.com or follow them on social media @drycountybrewco.

4 Reasons Why You Should Be Making Your Own Food & Beverage Labels

Many companies outsource their product labels to save financially and produce efficiently. But is outsourcing really the most efficient route? For small to medium-sized business owners, outsourcing is not always the best solution. Depending on your business size and needs, you may be better off making your own food & beverage labels in-house.

Impression Technology Europe explains, “Recently, another type of printing has become more attainable for smaller companies…digital ‘short run’ label printers. Not only is the initial investment much more affordable but the cost per print is extremely low. After doing the math, most clients will find it will be much more cost-effective than outsourcing and based on the output.”

How do you know if this is right for you? Here are four reasons why you should be making your own food & beverage labels in-house:

1. Outsourced Printing Comes at a Price

We mean that both literally and figuratively. While using another facility to generate your food labels might seem like a weight off your shoulders, that may not be the case.

Passing the task to an outside source can end up severely delaying your labeling process. Why? Not only will you have your company’s shipping schedule to track, but the arrival of your outsourced shipment as well.

If an outsourced shipment becomes delayed, so will the orders your company was originally scheduled to deliver. For small business owners, this can lead to a lot of unhappy customers or market vendors.

These delays will happen, and so do errors. Labeling errors can take more of a toll on your business production line than a delay in shipment.

The unexpected misprint forces your business to return and reorder labels. Misprints can cause setbacks and affect the use-by/sell-by dates on your products. This is especially true for made-to-order businesses, which can lead to wasted products.

If your business has experienced these delays, you may want to consider an in-house or on-demand label printer. With the ability to print labels in your own facility, there will be no more error or shipment delays affecting your product line. What’s more, these printers give you the ability to create your own use by/sell by dates with complete label customization.

2. Not All Environments Are Created Equal

frozen food labelsMaking your own food & beverage labels is also a huge plus when selling products that must be stored in specific environmental requirements.

Frozen foods need to have unique and attractive labels, too. After all, it is your brand. But, it’s equally important that your frozen food labels don’t fail. Using the wrong label can lead to wrinkles due to condensation, fading due to exposure or loss of adhesion, falling off in low temperatures. One should not be sacrificed for the other.

If your business is using regular pre-printed labels, chances are, the labels won’t hold up in your storage environment.

The ability to maintain complete control over your label materials and printing process will allow your business to have a streamlined, efficient process with branded labels that look the part.

An easy in-house printing solution is the QuickLabel QL-120X or QL-850 inkjet label printers. Also, the QL-300 toner-based label printer is a durable option that prints white on a variety of label types such as colored, metallic, and kraft labels. These printers are known for printing frozen food labels that don’t peel off in high-quality 1200 dpi imagery.

With the right in-house printer, you’ll have professional frozen food or beverage labels printed instantly and can be applied to products that are already frozen, or before they go into the freezer.

3. Keep Up with FDA Regulations

Of course, keeping up with the FDA’s changing regulations and formats can greatly affect your product labels.

The intimidating process includes font restrictions, mandatory statements, allergen alerts, and difficult calculations for daily values.

As a food manufacturer, you want to spend your energy on your recipes, production, branding, and sales – not on interpreting FDA labeling mandates or trying to explain the requirements to an outside vendor.

However, it is absolutely necessary to adhere to FDA regulations to avoid recalls and present your customers with the quality and transparency they deserve.

An in-house label printer is especially valuable in these situations. For every change, the label design and format can be immediately customized in your own facility.

What’s more, by owning an in-house label printer, you don’t have to worry about overstock or wasted labels due to changes in regulations. This gives you more flexibility in your printing process, introducing the option of seasonal or promotional runs.

Making your own food & beverage labels gives you the ability to print the exact number of labels you need for what’s in-stock, on-demand.

4. You Deserve to Be In Control of Your Business

QL-120X | Food LabelsYour labels are the face of your brand, so you always want to put your best foot forward.

With outsourced labels, you don’t get to have complete control over your labeling process. Edits take longer, shipments get delayed and labels are bound to be wasted.

In-house printing has evolved with small, tabletop label printers for businesses. These label printers serve as a central database, with the ability to store, revise, locate and print any design on-demand –ultimately opening new doors for small to medium-sized businesses.

If you want to be in control of your business or are experiencing any of the above labeling issues, it may be time to consider taking your production line in-house.

AstroNova Product ID specializes in on-demand, digital tabletop label printers, and professional digital label presses. For someone in the food and beverage industry interested in quality, short-run labels, they are worth looking into.

Browndog Creamery Keeps it Cool with Freezer Safe Labels

With an ever-changing variety of ice cream flavors as evocative as Dragon Bite, Tuscan Sun, Buttered Berry Brioche, and French Press Mocha, the owners of Browndog Creamery needed freezer safe labels and a labeling solution that could adapt to label changes on-the-fly.

For example, they may need 20 freezer safe labels for Triple Vanilla this morning, and 15 for Mystery Cookie this afternoon.  Luckily for owners Brian Scherle and Paul Gabriel, they found the Kiaro! label printer (current model QL-120X) to print labels for their pints of ice cream on demand, in the exact quantity that they need.

Watch How Browndog Uses the Kiaro! for All Their Gourmet Creations:

Browndog Creamery, a “micro-creamery” located in the heart of downtown Northville Michigan, west of Detroit, brings customers delicious and unique handcrafted ice creams.

Being a micro-creamery, as explained by co-owner Paul Gabriel, “basically means that we make our ice cream in very small batches. We’re not a mass factory where we make thousands of gallons of ice cream. We make about four or five gallons at a time for each flavor.”

Browndog Creamery’s unique flavor combinations are all created in-house by Gabriel and Scherle. “I always tell people I refuse to make butter pecan, so instead we make a bourbon pecan,” said Gabriel. “For our Cinco de Mayo we made a Holy Guacamole ice cream, and that’s the type of stuff that we really like: the really unique, creative stuff that you’re not going to find anywhere else. “

The Perfect Freezer Safe Label For Every Single Batch

Browndog rotates flavors of ice creams so frequently because each batch made in their micro-creamery is only a few gallons. Even before they opened their business, they knew that using pre-printed labels wouldn’t make any sense, because buying minimum orders of labels would lead to excessive costs and way too much label inventory for their small backroom.

“I knew we would be running small batches of ice cream and I didn’t want to take an inventory of a hundred or a thousand labels of one flavor because I knew we might only need ten,” said Gabriel. “The Kiaro! has been a wonderful fit in our business to allow us to make these very small run labels and customize them to everything that we needed to do.”

“Being able to create products and without having to go to a mass printing,” has been a boon to business said, Scherle. “Using the Kiaro! printer to label our ice cream, and to create amazing and attractive packaging is just part and parcel of creating our products.”

Scherle described his first impressions of the Kiaro!, “When it was delivered I found that it’s bright purple. Upon seeing it, I was pleasantly surprised that the Kiaro! looks as fun as it is to use.  It’s a good addition to our shop.”

Kiaro! Labels Handle Freezing Temps  

One of Browndog’s chief concerns was whether or not their Kiaro! labels would stand up to the freezing temperatures necessary for storing ice cream.

“The synthetic material that we use for the pint labels is pretty resistant to water and we actually label the pints after they’ve gone through the freezing process,” said Gabriel.  “We were a little skeptical about how they would adhere to a frozen pint, but the Kiaro! labels do quite well.”

“It’s surprising how fast the printer is,” said Gabriel.  “We have taught some of our employees how to use the Kiaro! and besides its flexibility and other benefits, it’s also very easy to use. The first time one of our managers used it she thought, ‘oh goodness I have to print out 150 labels that are going to take all day’ and they started to come out and she was trying hard to keep up with the printer, and roll labels up so they weren’t all over the floor, it was actually quite humorous,” added Scherle. “The print speed is amazing.”

More Questions About Label Printing?

The Kiaro! digital label printer lets you print gorgeous labels while reducing excess label inventory, saving you time, and allowing you to make more money. The Kiaro! gives you control over your entire labeling process, and allows you to more affordably label your products.

Contact us today to schedule your virtual demonstration.

About Browndog Creamery…

frozen food labelsBrowndog Creamery is a gourmet ice cream shop and dessert bar on East Main St. in Northville, MI. “Browndog started off as an ice cream line,  but we also now have a retail space where we sell t-shirts, hooded sweatshirts, and gift cards; along with our own unique blend of coffee,” said co-owner Brian Scherle. “Plus, we now have a pastry chef who is making anything from simple ice cream cakes all the way up to wedding cakes and specialized cookies, so we’re becoming a full-fledged creamery and dessert bar.”

Stop by their gourmet ice cream shop and dessert bar on 118 East Main St. in Northville, MI, visit them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter @browndogcreamery, and stop by their website Browndogcreamery.com

 

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and connect with us on LinkedIn.

Doc’s Tea Prints Bottled Tea Labels On-Demand

Doc’s Tea is a handcrafted, small-batch beverage brewed by a family of dental health professionals dedicated to a healthy lifestyle. Recently, Dr. Ken Banks, owner of Doc’s Teas, began printing his own bottled tea labels with the Kiaro! inkjet label printer (our updated printer is the QL-120X) in order to increase productivity, reduce cost, and dramatically improve label quality on all of their products.

“When I first saw the Kiaro! print I was amazed,” said Dr. Ken Banks, “I was impressed with the application process of the labels with our bottles and the look of the labels.”

We traveled to the home of Doc’s Tea, Inwood, West Virginia, to document how the maker of healthy, low-sugar, bottled sweet teas has increased their production speed, reduced their costs, and enhanced the look of their labels by using a Kiaro! label printer to print their own labels.

“We make our product on demand so that we can deliver a fresh product, not one that’s brewed, bottled, and then stored,” said Dr. Ken Banks. Because Doc’s Tea doesn’t allow their teas to sit on shelves, they needed a solution that allowed them to print labels instantly, which eliminated the waiting time and inventory difficulties that come with ordering outside labels.

“The Kiaro! label printer fits in so well for us because it is allowing us to do small batches, to have high-quality labels, not to have a large inventory,” says Dr. Ken Banks, “it allows us to brew on demand and to print on demand.”

See for yourself! 

Doc’s Tea, and countless others, have found that printing labels on-demand and in-house just makes sense. Schedule a virtual demonstration a label printer with one of our regional sales managers, who will take a Kiaro! to your facility, and show you what an in-house label printer can bring to your business.