Custom Product Labels: Tips and Tricks

Murphy’s Law states, “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”  However, in the labeling world we prefer the saying “count on the fact that things will not always go as you anticipate them going.”  Like most things in life, a little planning ahead when it comes to designing and printing custom product labels can save you potential headaches throughout the custom label production process.

Our modern society operates mainly on instant gratification. If we need information, it’s nearly instantly available from any smartphone or computer nearby. If we want food, we can order it within seconds using the latest app. If we need a new computer by tomorrow, just choose next day shipping and you’ll have it at your doorstep in no time. However, expecting things to go perfectly in every situation is not realistic. This is the mindset that we recommend you adopt when it comes to printing your custom product labels.

Far too often, a customer submits a label design and expects that no adjustments will need to be made and that the design is ready to go to print. While this may be the case in many instances (especially re-ordering), factoring in even one extra day for potential changes that the designer will need to make can help immensely.  Similarly, a common misconception with the free 2-day shipping we offer at Wizard Labels is that some customers assume they can order labels on a Wednesday and have them delivered on Friday. If you think about it, that would allow us no time for proofing or production – which clearly makes no sense. Even Wizards have limitations. It’s critical to remember that we keep NOTHING on the shelf – everything we produce is “made to order.”

In reality, assuming your artwork does pass through the proofing phase without modification or re-submission, most orders get produced and ready to ship within two workdays, then you need to add in transit time while UPS brings them to your door. Again, most orders are delivered within the two-day transit window we offer free of charge (unique to Wizard Labels), but many customers actually receive them overnight if they’re in the mid-West region.  As a general rule of thumb, we strongly suggest that you allow a week (i.e. five business days) between the time you place your order and the labels turn up at your facility – in many cases they’ll arrive earlier than that, but allowing a little wiggle-room in the custom label production process is always a wise move.

‘Murphy’s Law of Labeling’ also means that completely unpredictable things can (and do) happen occasionally. We may have a sudden press breakdown, a power outage, unusually busy order periods (typically around holidays); almost anything can potentially get in the way of our normal production schedules. They don’t happen often, but it’s unwise to expect them not to happen at all. And once your package does get handed to our great friends at UPS, then a whole different set of possibilities kicks in – weather delays, misdirected packages (which thankfully happen very rarely indeed), or the brown truck could even get a flat tire on its way to you. Throw in potential air traffic problems for the more distant customers and it almost seems like a miracle when things go according to plan (which the vast majority of cases).

All this being said, we don’t want to scare you off. In fact, we take great pride in the speed and reliability with which we print and deliver labels to customers. We’re not saying that you need to plan on everything going wrong, but allowing a buffer to allow for hiccups in any labeling scenario is a good rule of thumb.