LOS ANGELES (June 2015) — David Mead and Justine Marzoni at Baby Clydesdale approached Label Choices in June 2015 in need of a no-label look on their line of hot sauces that would be consistent with their identity as a healthy, clean product with all natural ingredients. The client decided that a clear label would be an ideal approach to highlighting the vibrant color and texture of the sauces.
“We designed the label so that when you put the label on the jar, it looks like a piece of glass,” David Mead says. “I asked a dozen different label companies if they could do this, and they were all eager to say yes, but they totally missed the point.”
After numerous dead-end inquiries with various label companies, Mead says he came across Edmond Torbati, founder of Label Choices, after viewing a YouTube video of a product with a “no-label look.” “He really understands the value of people’s time,” he says.
The challenge before Label Choices was to provide a label that would be clearly legible on Baby Clydesdale’s three uniquely colored sauces. Before coming to Label Choices, the company experienced success in selling its homemade, small-batch sauces throughout farmer’s markets in Southern California — all without a label. Label Choices helped this small business navigate through the entire process of making its first label, from required content to brand-building.
The company’s sauces came in colorful hues of brown, green and red. Label Choices had to determine the best quality clear material that the customer could apply on its jars by hand. Another challenge came in choosing the best possible material to achieve white-on-clear, given that standard white looks dull and doesn’t pop. Using traditional methods other than UV inkjet digital would have resulted in higher costs and a longer turnaround time.
What they needed was opaque white labels in small quantities, on a tight deadline, and within their budget range. Their order called for 1,000 labels for Lemongrass Tiger! Tiger! BBQ, 500 Sriracha and 500 Spicy Vegan Pesto.
Taking into account hand application and fingerprints, Label Choices sent samples of super crystal clear and clear polypropylene for the client to test. Super crystal clear has been
known to be very delicate and leaves more air bubbles, resulting in visible fingerprints during hand application. After testing both materials, the company and the customer decided that clear polypropylene was the right choice for the project.
In consideration of the customer’s budget, small quantities and a tight deadline, Label Choices used a UV inkjet digital press. “This is the best digital technology to make for a more opaque white,” Torbati says. “We had other choices of presses to run on, but this was the best solution.”
Label Choices chose this printing process over the HP Digital Indigo 6800 utilizing liquid toner technology because even with three hits of white on that press, it would not adequately produce opaque white prints. The UV inkjet digital press only required one hit of white.
Torbati says that if cost, small quantities and fast turnaround weren’t an issue for Baby Clydsdale, the company would have looked at running UV white ink on a flexographic press, white foil with either cold foil or hot stamp and/or pure white on a screen press.
He says that this project showcases the flexibility of a digital press for clients who need to print premium opaque white labels fast and on a budget.
“To us, premium labels are humble, simple and great quality,” Torbati says.
Label Choices was able to successfully meet a hard deadline while remaining inside its customer’s budget range. Subsequently, its labels helped the product go from being sold only in local San Diego farmer’s markets to being sold worldwide on its website and in many stores. Label Choice’s labels helped the company’s products be showcased in San Diego Magazine in 2015 and in Barnraiser, the crowdsourcing website for sustainable, healthy food.
Mead says that there have been owners of label companies who approach him to ask when he’s going to stop printing on glass and start printing on labels, to which he explains to them that it is indeed a label.
“The label actually fools people who own label companies,” he says.
Baby Clydesdale’s signature fire-breathing horse logo is a central piece of its core identity. You need not look further than the copmany’s social media pages to see a range of T-shirts, pins and stickers with the product’s front label graphic on it. Mead says that he visits his jar supplier in Los Angeles regularly, and brought a finished product as a gift to the woman at the office there. Since then, she’s kept that same jar on her desk as an ornament for over a year.
“She provides bottles to hundreds of people, and she uses ours as an example of how a product can look,” he says.
Based on feedback, Label Choices is confident it has identified the right clear stock that works best for easy hand application. Its partners at Baby Clydesdale have experienced healthy growth in their sales and brand identity and have consistently reordered labels. Just two months ago, the company ran another order, including a new label version to commemorate its first anniversary. The company has since added a new product to its line of sauces, Carrot Habañero Ginger.