When choosing a label supplier, it’s important to consider a number of factors. First, you’ll need to know how many labels you’ll need to have manufactured at a time – and how quickly you will need them delivered. You’ll need to discuss design services, small vs large print runs, label sizes, shapes, materials and customization options, and finally adhesive options and the application process.


In fact, there is so much to consider when choosing a label supplier to fit your needs, that we’ve broken it down into a 3-part series. In part 1, we’ll discuss the role your supplier plays in the design process, small and large runs, and the wide range of label sizes and shapes – and limitations you may face with your supplier. 


Label Supplier Guidance and Design


Will you provide art for your final label design, or will you need help in the design process? Some custom label suppliers (such as Alpine Packaging) provide design services so you don’t have to hire a graphic designer for one labeling project. Using a service like this streamlines the process of obtaining the right size artwork in the correct format. Our label engineers are well-educated in label design across a wide range of industries, and will help you to employ best practices when designing your labels.


If you decide to provide your own label design, be sure to obtain clear guidance on the format and sizing requirements for your images, as well as deadlines for providing that artwork.


Small Runs vs Large Runs


You should expect that most label manufacturers will have print run minimums. If you’re looking for a manufacturer to process a small batch, you need to ask about those options up front. Find a manufacturer who can work with you to produce smaller orders in an effort to reduce wasted labels and money.


Label Shapes, Sizes and Limitations


Not all manufacturers offer truly custom labels. If your product label will be particularly large, features a unique shape, or requires special features (like hinge labels), be sure to ask about those capabilities. 


In Part 2 of our Finding a Label Supplier Series, we’ll talk about application options, the difference between labels and wraps, and wet vs dry label application – all of which are important factors to consider when finding a label supplier.