Due to the complexity of each component, there are many variables to evaluate when designing a label (including nameplates). The following five questions need to be considered:
What type of surface is the label being applied to, and will it be permanent or removable? This is probably the most important question to answer. When submitting a request for a quote, you’ll want to specify the type of surface the labels will be applied to. (e.g., metal, wood, high or low surface energy plastic, powder-coated paint, smooth or textured surface, curved or flat surface, etc.). This information will help to determine the type of substrate and adhesive to be used.
What type of environment will the label be exposed to? Consider whether your labels need to be water-, dirt-, or chemical-resistant and/or durable and scratch-resistant. You’ll also want to specify extreme heat/cold, indoor/outdoor environments that your products may be exposed to.
In what format would you like the labels supplied? You’ll want to look at how you plan on dispensing, applying, and inventorying your labels -- the most common formats include: individual parts (with slit backing or on a carrier), in strip form, roll form, or in sets.
Do your labels need to comply with UL, federal, or state laws and regulations? Depending on the application, you may need to submit your drawing to a regulatory agency for approval before it can be produced.
How can I save money? Consider standardizing the sizes and materials for your labels when at all possible. This will save money on tooling costs and allow different labels of the same color scheme to be run together for combined quantity pricing. You can also take into consideration the number of colors to be printed on the label. Each color adds cost to the label, so you’ll want to limit the design to the fewest number of colors required (e.g., warning labels are typically safety orange and black on a white background. If adding a logo or other information to the design, make it orange or black rather than adding another color.)
With these questions, and your relevant answers, along with the size, shape, and number of colors for each label, you’ll be set to initiate the quoting process.
Karen Dieringer manages Mcloone’s estimating and production administration departments.
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