As you can imagine, I get lots of questions about various things concerning skin care needs, products, the company, services I offer, etc. Some of my favorite questions are the more personal ones. I thought it would be fun to answer some of those questions from time to time in a blog post. Today launches the first of the new series I’m calling “Dear Ginger”. I hope you enjoy it and please, send me your questions . I’d love to answer them in this new fun-read portion of the blog.
A fan asks:
Is there anything you dislike about what you do?
Yes, there is. Labels….I really do not like doing labels for the products. Not all aspects of it mind you, but some of the steps in the process. So that process goes something like this:
1) Find or create the right sized and shaped label template for the containers. This job can take several hours.
2) Design the aesthetics, layout and make sure colors are right and will print as they should. OK, this is not an UGH for the most part because I like the design portion even though it can take hours for each label design. I’ve worked on a few for days to get them just right for my visual liking. I’m picky and want them to look good.
3) Input all the information required to meet all FDA regulations, including following required font size to label size ratio, location of the informational panels, checking double-checking and triple checking I don’t miss anything such as an ingredient in the proper order location in the ingredients panel, required warnings, contact info, batch information, etc. This is not the most fun I’ll ever have but once it’s done and in the proper places, my template is saved so I don’t have to do it again for that product.
4) Print test labels to adjust and set the borders, alignment, color intensity, color tone, image sharpness, etc. This sometimes means a dozen test prints to get it right. Hopefully, once it is right, it’s right across the board and won’t require additional adjustments and tweaks for later printings.
5) Hand cut every single label with a straight cutter, scissors and/or specialty cutting tools. Why? Because I need so many different sized and shaped labels, getting pre-cut label stock means having to order several different label stocks to keep on hand….at approximately $100+ a box (if I want to get a good price). Ouch! It also means having to make sure #4 above is precise within a hairline or my designs won’t line up right on the labels. I’ll admit I don’t have the patience for this hidden tidbit.
6) Apply to containers by hand, trying to get them straight and aligned correctly. I need to do this with no bubbles, creases, loose edges, or issues from container sides that are not actually straight, even though they look straight to the naked eye. Once they stick, I usually can’t adjust any of this or the label is done for and has to be replaced. Yeah, I’ve had to replace a few…OK…A LOT. I will master this…someday.
7) In all this, I have to give each design a name and save them to appropriate designations in the right formats on my computer system and design software files. I must create options for editing, tweaks, last minute adjustments, on the spot print to order needs, and size everything appropriately. Then to cut down on order processing rushes, I try to print what I can ahead of time to have ready, cut them all (remember, I cut them by hand), file them so I can find them easily and quickly. I’m working on a new filing system to hopefully make this easier as I write this.
I guess I should tell you, before step #1 begins, I have to source the label materials. Once I find what appears to be right for my needs, I order a few sheets to test if it’s the right stock for me. I must test wearability, durability, ink/toner compatibility with label material, functionality, container compatibility and fit, etc. for product contact issues, normal handling issues and the like. This means I have to handle them, let product get on them, use and abuse them, for days or even weeks. One product may present no issues while another may cause smudging, bleeding, fading, etc. But once I get this right, it’s a matter of ordering what I need for the whole lot of products, which, because I use full sheet labels and hand-cut, is not that big of a deal for the most part. If I change packaging at any time, it’s back to another round of testing for the best material. So I try not to change packaging much.
Alrighty, I think that’s all there is to the process….at least my process…of creating and providing labels for the products we make at Neos Skin Care™. Would you have ever guessed the labels for our products would involve so much? I know I didn’t before I started this journey.
So….which of these do you think are my least favorite parts of the process to tackle? Which would you find most tedious? Leave me a comment here or on our Facebook page and post of this article. I’d love to know your thoughts on this more fun than a mammogram but not by much task.
Until we meet up again next time….be kind to yourself, treasure your family, appreciate your inner circle and enjoy the Ahhh moments life brings.