Category Archives: Uncategorized

Shelf Noise and Standing Out

It’s awfully loud on the shelves these days.

Walking down the aisle of your local superstore, your eyes are bombarded. Bright colors assault you from every row. A menagerie of shapes jump off the shelf as traditional boxy packaging competes with triangulated and circular cartons for space. Odd textures creep into your peripheral vision, and every so often, a metallic glisten distracts you from your shopping quest.

Let’s face it, it’s an oversaturated marketplace. For every brand of chocolate chip cookie out there, you’ll find ten more lurking in the wings, hoping to gain a chunk of the sales. These cookies might be virtually indistinguishable in appearance and in taste, and so the only way to catch the customer’s eye – and perhaps, cause them to switch brand loyalty – is with distinctive packaging.

And companies are certainly stepping up to the challenge. From juice cartons shaped like actual fruit slices, to beer bottles baring Nacho Libre masks, to CD packages resembling packaged lunch meat, to detergent hiding inside dumbbells, today’s shelves are more interesting – if not more overwhelming – than other. That doesn’t even take into account the hordes of conventionally packaged products that attempt to use fancy materials, like corrugated cardboard, metallic, shiny labels, or fabric en lieu of standard cardstock. When the big popular brands get on board with this unique approach, the proposition of making your product stand out seems hopeless.

It’s especially important to stand out on the shelves as a private brand because increasingly, customers are choosing private labels for reasons beyond cost. Target, Safeway, Publix and other large retailers all have private brands that sell competitively, even though they are often priced at the same point as their big brand counterparts. Target uses a label for their Threshold product that is both simple and elegant, conveying a classic appeal that resonates with choosy consumers. Publix has built an entire array of healthy, organic products under the Greenwise name, and aggressively markets them through displays, signage and online marketing.

If you’re convinced that stepping up your packaging game is a wise next step for your product, you’re probably right. And whether that means revamping your label design or changing up the look of your package entirely, we can best suit your needs. You might want to print off five different variations of a label to evaluate, and our company allows for low-cost prototyping thanks to short run capabilities. If you use a company like Vibrant Graphics, you can also benefit from our flexible packaging capabilities – with our creative staff and technical know-how, the sky’s the limit when turning your ideas into reality. And you might even benefit from the “no label” look which we achieve through in-mold labels, another way to give your product the competitive edge.

Although it’s loud on the shelf, you can quiet the chatter when your product clearly stands out above the rest. That’s trickier than ever in the modern marketplace, making a reliable, innovative printing partner essential.

If you’ve been just thinking about where the volume control is to ‘turn down the visual noise’ from your competitors so your brand can be ‘heard’ I suggest you take a few minutes to check out This team is exceptional at assisting you to through the process, from dream to design, production to delivery, and we’ll suggest unique packaging and labeling ideas along the way. Request a free quote or sample and get started today


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No “I” in Team? Gold medal performances in sports and in life.

I have always enjoyed watching the Olympics games and the recent London Olympics provided some the best athletic performances to date.  After watching these games for years, it finally hit me that there is, in fact, an ‘I’ in Team. 

Individual athletes had to train and prepare for years just to meet the criteria before being invited onto the team.  The coaches then weeded through this crop of outstanding athletes to find the best of the best – who would give the team the gold medal advantage heading in to the Olympics. There was an unspoken expectation that each individual would come prepared to perform at the highest level.  Anything less would dash their Olympic dreams altogether. 

I found it interesting when the TV commentators would comment if there was a ‘rookie’ on the team and speculate if the ‘first time jitters’ would impact the overall team’s performance, even though this ‘rookie’ had great potential and had beat out many other skilled athletes to qualify to compete at the Olympic level.  The only difference was not being part of this team.    

When it comes to the business world, lack of team experience can be just as detrimental. Business decisions are often based on team cohesiveness and its byproducts: knowledge, responsiveness, quality, and problem solving skills. If one company outperforms another on all of these measures, then they have the inside track to winning the job. Likewise, new employees are often selected based on their perceived ability to mesh with the existing team – the less they seem able to do so, the less likely they are to get the job.

I talk often about ‘teams’ in our company only to realize that it’s the individuals that make up that team; each with their own set of skills and expertise.  And when combined together the power of these collective individuals brings out the best of the best.  That’s why it’s so important to hire employees who fit our team mentality, and it’s also why we’ve established a group of industry experts to comprise our team. It makes you less prone to rookie mistakes, which come when individuals lack knowledge of the system in place. Of course, mistakes occur in any company, but a strong team is much more likely to compensate and overcome.

Our current staff members have joined at various intervals along the way, and today we offer over 70 combined years of printing expertise. Each Vibrant team member has a solid knowledge of all printing techniques in the industry – not just digital – and believes in the outstanding potential of the digital process. We’ve all had the opportunity to work in various sectors of the printing industry, which allows for a solid perspective of digital’s place in the industry, as well as its distinct advantages. Just like Olympic athletes, we’ve put a lot of training into our trade, and while they are no gold medals on the line, we think exceeding our customers’ expectations is even more important.

You’ve got a lot of choices when it comes to selecting a print provider, as coaches do when they select their starting Olympic lineups. Those decisions come down to performance, and we think our team has the winning combination of savvy individuals who can keep you on top of your game. 

If you would like more information about the benefits and unique solutions Vibrant Graphics experienced team can bring to your product label, please call us at 414-352-0759 or visit us at We’d be happy to provide you with no cost samples of our ideas to use.    

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How Digital Works for the Private Label Industry: Part Two

Prototyping is a fancy word that brings to mind scientists tinkering in a lab over their newest robotic creation. In fact, prototypes are incredibly useful to customers in many industries, as they serve as a low-cost way to test the feasibility of a product before ever sending it to the marketplace.  Newly developed 3D printer technology has revolutionized manufacturing prototyping as engineers can now design and build an actual part or product saving them time and money.   

In product packaging, prototypes are used by Brand Managers, Product Managers, and Packaging Engineers to determine the effectiveness of the look and ‘feel’ of a new label or package concept, and in the world of label printing, there’s a lot to keep in mind. What type of materials could be used? How readable is the text using selected font sizes, font types and also consideration for multiple language options? Are the critical corporate brand colors to remain accurate on different materials? How does the label product itself look up close and from a distance on the shelf, and how does it feel? And most importantly, is it going to make my product jump off the shelf, or do we need to go back to the drawing board?

The best way to answer those questions is to print multiple test samples of the product label at hand. And the only known way to provide those insightful answers is to print mocked up labels on your office laser printer to simulate the look you want. But the color is not always going to match the actual press print, and typically you cannot print on the actual material. Or, you can try to print these samples on an offset or flexo press. But these methods can be expensive, and they come with many graphic design constraints. You waste a lot of materials for startup and make ready with time to make each plate, register all the print stations and then balance the correct amount of ink, for just a short-run — and typically only on one material.  The end result may get you what you want, but only after a huge money investment. You can continue to prototype through a traditional printer, but it’s certainly not always simple.

But take heart, there’s a different way to do it, and that’s through the power of digital printing. This method allows graphic designers to be free from trapping issues, have confidence in utilizing reverse text without having a color ‘hanging’ and with no plates needed it dramatically decrease turnaround times. This allows us to produce only the quantity you need to test market in selected regions, change designs, text, and language all within the same print run at no additional cost incurred. You can then introduce and be first to market with a new product before your competitor knows you’re there. And digital printing also produces consistent color results, each time, every time.  So what you see as a prototype will be exactly what you get as the finished product with no guesswork involved.

With an increasingly crowded, competitive private label industry, prototyping makes sense for the savvy manufacturer.  There’s no need to make a big investment in a label order without ever looking over a sample, and a sample that exactly matches your final product will give you peace of mind as you go through the ordering process. When you use a digital printing company for your product labels, you’ll get exactly that, without spending excessively on setup and artwork fees. And prototyping is not a one-time service – it is standard that is then matched throughout the workflow process every time, for every order, as necessary. You might not be introducing a laser-shooting robot to the world, but it’s still better to be safe than sorry.

If you would like more information about prototype/sample printing of your product labels, please call us at 414-352-0759 or visit us at . We’d be happy to demonstrate this technology to you at no cost.

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How Digital Works for the Private Label Industry

The private brand marketplace continues to successfully  gain market share against national brand products.  Industry analysts project that globally, private label will double its market share from 25% to 50% by 2025.

As the marketplace becomes more competitive, it’s obvious that marketing and creative teams are under pressure to continually find new ways to play up their product’s attraction to stay ahead of the curve.  Their success is directly connected with how fast they can get to the market market with these products and also have on-demand deliveries for customers while finding efficient ways to address a wide range of consumer demographics. And oh, by the way, “keep a lid on the budget”.

Still the least understood — but by far the best solution to meeting these goals — is digitally printing the product’s packaging instead of using traditional print methods.

Digital printing offers “just-in-time” manufacturing to all of its customers. As opposed to traditional printing methods, digital printing allows customers to print only the volume they need to effectively launch the product in the marketplace — there are no high volume constrictions. Instead of forcing customers to project their desired inventory to save money when placing an order, digital printing lets customers order based on actual consumer demand.  Product flying off the shelves?  Then order a larger quantity in order to stay ahead of demand.  Product sticking to the shelves?  Then don’t be further weighed down by purchasing more than you need, only to waste it based on faulty projections.

This manufacturing method allows you precise control of your inventory, and eliminates hidden costs from the days of “just in case” inventories.  Because digital printing is fast and efficient, your lead time can be measured in days, not weeks. Instead of ordering a stockpile of product labels and then attempting to sell the product, you can forecast how your product is selling and quickly produce more labels to keep up.

When you’re introducing a new private label brand to the marketplace, that time can be critical to leapfrog your competitors.  Digital print allows for quick turn promotional capabilities with multiple unique product looks to receive quick customer feedback.  Test multiple designs, on multiple materials and then decide which to use.

What does this mean for you? Whether you’re a major player in the private label industry or a small start-up, just-in-time manufacturing saves you time and money, two critical components for any successful company.

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Major Brands Promote Nostaligia With Product Packaging

Recently Heinz Ketchup announced the return of their iconic glass bottle. The bottle will be launched as a “collector’s edition” and offered to consumers at select retailers now through August 2011.

“We wanted to bring back the glass bottle with a limited edition design that gives a nod to the product’s 135-year history,” Noel Geoffroy, Vice President of Heinz Brands said.  Geoffroy also stated that the brand wanted “to inspire memories of and relive good times from summers past.”

Heinz is not the only major brand to pay tribute to their impressive history by changing their product packaging. Coca-Cola has also been known to put their infamous glass bottle back on store shelves. The patented contour design of the bottle debuted in 1916 and is easily one of most recognized symbols associated with a brand.

The decision for Heinz to offer the old product packaging for a limited time is a great marketing idea. It not only sheds light on the strong history of the brand, but also connects with consumers on a more emotional level.

Do we all want to go back to trying to get that stubborn ketchup out of the glass bottle? Probably not. But maybe just for a summer, we can relive our childhood at a summer BBQ and share with someone the age-old secret of hitting the 57  to make the ketchup come out of the bottle faster.

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Celebrate Earth Day at the Office!

Ever since the creation of Earth Day in the 1970’s, April has been marked as a month to promote awareness and show appreciation for the environment.  According to, more than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. It’s not hard to believe since “going green” and “sustainability” continue to be big buzz words among almost every industry.

This Friday there are countless groups of people that will be spearheading committees to get outside and celebrate Earth Day with some hands-on activities. But what about those of you that aren’t able to leave the office? Here are some things you can do to go green at the office not just Friday, but every day!

  • Replace all incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient fluorescent light bulbs.
  •  Print on both sides of a page and use scrap paper for inter-office memos.
  • Install a water filtering system in the office to cut down on the use of bottled water.
  • Turn off your computers and printers when you leave for the day.
  • Bring your lunch to work in reusable containers.
  • Order your office supplies from recycled materials.
  • Use a reusable mug for your coffee…like your Vibrant Graphics Easy Traveler 😉
  • Put office lights on a timer so they will automatically shut off if no one is in the room.

Even the smallest changes you can make around the office can have a big impact on the environment. Happy Earth Day!

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Vibrant Graphics is offering a new service and special promotion!

With the recent increase of demands, Vibrant Graphics is proud to introduce a new service that will help you connect even closer with your customers! We are now able to create Microsoft Tags (MS Tags) and Quick Response (QR) Codes to be placed within your product labels! For more information on how to ‘read’ MS Tags and how they can help you, click here.
 We’ll give you a hint what this says….
Let Vibrant know that you saw this post or mentioned this tag, and receive a special promotion! 
Send us your product label’s logo or artwork, along with material requirements, and we’ll send you customized, digitally printed labels at no cost to you!  For more information or to request a customized label, contact:  





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