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!

German Winery Prints Unique Wine Labels In-House

AstroNova traveled to Ockenheim, Germany, to check-in with Weingut Schäfer-Zimmermann and see how they use their QuickLabel tabletop label printer to print wine labels in-house and on-demand! 

In Ockenheim, Germany, you’ll find an area where wineries and vineyards are plentiful.  There, nestled in an idyllic, rural area, is Weingut Schäfer-Zimmermann, a family-owned winery. With acres of land being passed down from previous generations, the winery has been cultivating vineyards in various locations around Germany, including Gau Algesheim, Dromersheim, and Budesheim.  Their range of products and offerings includes white, rose, and red wines as well as sparkling wines, cocktails, and fruit juices.

AstroNova visited the winery to see how Weingut Schäfer-Zimmermann is using their QuickLabel QL-300, a five-color, toner-based label printer.  Drawn initially to the QL-300 because of the opaqueness of the white color output and the quality of labels printed, they’re now able to overprint a variety of details, including gold embossing, onto preprinted wine labels with the help of the QL-300. With a selection of award-winning wines, across various international markets including America, Japan, Spain, Italy, and England, having eye-catching labels to complement the product was essential.

Efficient,  In-House  Labeling

According to Co-Owner, Florian Zimmermann, another reason Weingut Schäfer-Zimmermann chose the QL-300 was due to the amount of corporate and foreign customers who request custom labels.  

“We can use it to fulfill individual customer requests because it’s the only printer that can print in white.  We have a lot of dark labels, including black ones, so white is very useful for emphasizing colors.”

“….Each time we went to the printer, we had to discuss, clarify, and then wait until the labels were ready to print and could be handed over to us.” continues Zimmermann. “It took about 1-2 months before we’d finally have the wine to the customer, and that led to additional costs…So now, I can sit down with the picture or layout from the customer, and I’m done and have the labels run in 15-20 minutes.”

Ease-of-Use 

With five generations of experience harvesting and perfecting their line of wines, Weingut Schäfer-Zimmermann has their process down to a science.  With the addition of the QL-300, now, like their wines, their labeling process has become more natural, too. “The QL-300 has made the process much easier. Now our customers don’t have to wait months until they can get bottles with their own labels on them.  We spent a lot of time looking for a printer that simplifies all of these things; printing in white, printing images, not just labeling in color…and then, we found it.”, says Zimmermann.

“The printer is very easy to understand.  We can now make custom labels without any great losses.  If you order from a wine wholesaler, then you order a large amount; in the end, you have a lot of labels leftover that you just throw away.”

With the QL-300, Weingut Schäfer-Zimmermann now has the opportunity to produce short runs.  Therefore they can meet the variety of individual customer requests they receive, provide their customers with unique souvenirs, offer a large variety of wines – both new and vintage, and provide products for special events like birthdays, anniversaries, or weddings.

Looking to Print Wine Labels In-House?

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

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.

3 Easy Steps to Make Your Wine and Beer Labels Stand Out

If you brew beer or bottle wine, you already know the challenges that occur once your products are sent to the market. You need to make your wine and beer labels stand out in order to get on the consumer’s radar.

The shadows of big brands make it extremely difficult for new, local breweries and wineries to thrive. Here are a few tips to help make your products stand out.

How Do They Do It?

With well-known brands, it’s easy for consumers to walk into a store and pluck a product off the shelves.

It’s all in the packaging and product branding.

The familiarity, years of experience, and trustworthiness of a brand make these decisions a no-brainer. But everyone has to start somewhere, right?

What Can You do to Make Your Brews Stand Out?

After determining the basics, there are a few extra things you need to make your wine and beer labels stand out and give your brand that extra push.

1. It’s All in the Packaging

Humans are visual beings, so first impressions matter. Especially when targeting first-time buyers browsing through the aisles of their local liquor store.

In fact, the human brain processes image 60,000 times faster than text, and 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual.

Since consumers can only view your products as they browse, what they find aesthetically pleasing makes all the difference.

According to Barrett Brynestad, Associate Creative Director/Designer for TDA Boulder, the package should tell consumers as much as possible about the beer, from the occasion to taste profile and overall brand ethos.

Our advice: Design your product label well and design it to be easily recognized. It can be as simple as your color scheme and font, qualifying image or logo, etc. Whatever it is, it has to be unique to you. Investing in a talented artist or graphic designer always helps.

After all, your brand logo is arguably the most important part of your product.

Check out some examples of branded beer labels that understand the importance of story-telling branding.

2. Save Face on the Shelves…and Money in Your Pocket

Once you have successfully created your brand label, it’s time to start labeling your cans and bottles.

Outsourced printing can get expensive. For local wineries or breweries, it may be wiser to print your product labels in-house. In addition to avoiding fees and delays, you’ll be able to control the entire process within your own facility.

If you choose to print in-house, you must make sure the label printer meets all the requirements your products need.

For example, wine and beer displayed in store freezers or chilling in coolers need labels that withstand frozen temperatures.

After all, it wouldn’t look very professional to have your labels wrinkling from condensation or losing adhesion and peeling off.

In combination, your printing system needs to produce clear, vivid, photo-quality labels to attract the consumers’ eye – and make your wine and beer labels stand out!

QuickLabel’s line of in-house label printers allows your business to meet all the requirements (aesthetic and physical) for printing labels on-demand and in-house.

These printing systems are perfect for the craft beer tradition of experimentation, adaptability and small batch production.

Our advice: Learn more about QuickLabel’s capabilities and benefits with printing frozen labels, wine, and beer labels to see if they’re right for your business. You can also browse the full line of in-house color label printers here.

3. Get Your Name Out There!

It’s time. You’ve made a solid brand name for yourself with the packaging (and product) to prove it.

Investing in trade shows, tastings at local liquor stores and advertising (print or video), is the next step in getting your brand recognized. The more people see your product, the more natural it becomes to pick it up.

Our advice: By promoting your brand, you are showing consumers that you are real; you have a story and a taste unique to your product. By investing in these promotions, you are building the trust of your brand.

These three steps will change the way your wine and beer products are perceived – now a known brand rising above the sea of shelves. Good luck!

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

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.