should you outsource the printing of craft beer labels?
06 Jul
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One of the most important aspects of producing and selling craft beer is the type of craft beer labels you use. This is an area that brewers can’t afford to ignore, as consumers make purchase decisions based on what the beer label shows them. Both the barrel production and stage are important factors to consider when deciding which label solution is best, and there are a variety of costs and printing methods that can be used.

Printing In-House or Outsourcing?

Printing in-house means that you will do the printing yourself with blank sheet labels. While this method is the most cost effective, it requires a considerable amount of skill, time, energy and experience to produce professional results. When printing labels yourself, you will need to use image files and a digital printer (both laser and inkjet will work).

Those who don’t want to be bothered with the hassle of printing labels themselves can outsource the task to a company that specializes in label production. These specialists either provide their services over the web, or you can find a printer in your area with the equipment necessary to create either traditional or digital labels.

Full service printers have lots of experience creating labels and can produce them at high volumes, sometimes over 10,000 labels at one time. They use pressure sensitive labels, digital labels and labels which are cut and stack. These large printers are often quite expensive as they typically work with large corporations and thus their fees may be too high for smaller businesses. Full service printers also take lots of time to setup since the plates must be prepared.

Those that don’t intend to alter their labels in the foreseeable future will find this an excellent solution for producing large amounts of labels quickly. The labels which are offered from full service printers are the highest quality available and can be customized in any manner you desire. You will need to speak with the vendor about the artwork, manner in which the label will be applied and whether it will be wet or dry. You should also determine whether the bottle will be filled after the label is applied or before.

Online Vendors and Pricing

Those looking for a quality and professional look can find many vendors online that can process orders based on label sizes which are pre-determined. All you have to do is choose your paper type, finish, size, quantity and the schedule for when you need the labels completed and the vendors will provide you with a quote. The downside to online vendors however, is that some of them might not offer complete customization.

The costs for creating craft beer labels will vary based on the choices you make. Full service vendors will be the most costly, and they will typically require a minimum order which could be as much as five thousand labels. Of course, doing it yourself is cheaper (if you do not need many labels) and you don’t have to worry about setup fees but it will become more expensive to do it on your own when you need to print bulk quantity of beer labels.