10 Reasons You Should Request Samples
You’ve got a product and you’ve figured out how you want to label it. You did some research, got some quotes and talked to some folks. You are ready to press the “GO” button and order some labels. BUT, have you seen and tested samples? Here’s a few reasons why samples are a smart move.
1. Quality of print. Examples on a website are one thing, but if really you want to see how crisp fine text prints or embosses, how smooth gradients fade and how clean registration is, ask to see samples of the same print method you’re being quoted for to make sure your design will translate.
2. Inks on substrate. It’s remarkable how differently the same ink color will print on a white paper versus a silver poly versus a clear vinyl, not to mention a gold foil! Unless the only color you are printing with is black, it’s a good idea to request samples of the substrate you’re ordering printed with similar ink colors in your artwork.
3. Color of material. Believe it or not, not all white gloss papers are the same shade of white! And not all clear polys are completely transparent, some can have a milky translucent quality to them. Avoid surprises and request material samples.
4. Thickness of label. You may be expecting a thick, durable vinyl and then receive a thin, flimsy material that doesn’t have the heft you were looking for; or you could be envisioning a delicate poly that almost vanishes on your product and receive something thick and too visible from your perspective.
5. Look of the finish. Labels can be finished with either gloss or matte lamination, gloss, matte or semi-gloss varnish, scratch-guard or no finish at all. It’s a good idea to see samples to determine just how glossy that gloss varnish appears.
6. Adhesive. This one is important! There is nothing more frustrating than ordering a bunch of decals to discover that they don’t actually adhere to the surface you need to apply them to.
7. Application. Where are your labels going? Will they be used in the shower? Will they be exposed to cold or extreme temperatures? Do they need to tear or be tear resistant? Do you need to write on them? Request some samples and run them through the ringer!
8. Size. Size matters! It may seem like a 2.5” seal is perfect for your certificates but when you actually stick them on, they take up too much space. Maybe a 2” would fit better?
9. Shape. In custom printing, we can do virtually any shape! Sometimes it really helps to see other shapes to decide that an oval would look more appealing than a circle on your packaging, or a custom tapered shape will fit better around a curved surface.
10. Options! There are so many variables in custom sticker printing, you may not even realize what your true label calling is – ask to see an assortment of what your printer can do given the parameters of your unique application.