Use Stickers to Provide a Branded Packaging Experience

Since the retail landscape has changed drastically over the past decade. Using stickers to provide a branded packaging experience is a excellent way to get your brand out there. Big-box retailers no longer dominate the shopping experience, keeping the weekend entrepreneur from selling products to consumers. Etsy, shopify, ebay, and others have allowed boutique brands a place to sell their product direct-to-the-consumer and create viable businesses.

The new retail landscape and the rise of new brands competing for your dollar, has made it more important than ever to find clever ways to help your brand be remembered.

What is a Branded Packaging Experience?

A new trend in the online shopping experience is to provide your customers with an unboxing experience that sets your brand apart from competitors. An obvious example of this experience is Apple with its well-designed and sleek packaging. The unboxing experience creates excitement about the new product, to the extent people post youtube videos showing the experience. Talk about every marketers dream!

Your boutique brand should create a similar experience for your customers. You can use stickers to create this experience for your customers. There are several different ways to do this.

How Can I Use Stickers to Create a Branded Packaging Experience?

Use stickers and labels in several different ways to draw attention to your brand. Some brands will use multiple techniques, while others choose the one that brings them the most bang for their buck.

Box Stickers and Labels Give Your Box a Brand

The worst thing you can do is ship a plain brown box to your customers. Stickers are an inexpensive way to draw attention to your package and create excitement about the product inside. You can use fun colors or funny sayings to get your brand remembered.

Receipt Label or Packaging Closure Label

You can use an inexpensive paper label to attach the receipt or brand card to the contents or bag. This will ensure the return info or social media connection info doesn’t get lost in the unboxing experience. It is also one more opportunity to get your brand in front of the customer.

Sticker Sheet Insert

Stickers need to represent your brand. But stickers also need to be designed to be used. Providing your customers with a sticker sheet, you are giving them multiple opportunities to use your brand on their gear. Think about the endless options: water bottle stickers, phone stickers, car stickers, laptop stickers, etc. Giving the customer multiple sticker options with varying designs, shapes, sizes, etc., there’s a good chance the stickers will be used. In contrast, if you only give them one option and they don’t like the size or shape, it will go in the trash.

Use the back of the sticker sheet (sometimes called a sticker backprint) to communicate important info about your brand! It’s a two for one special.

Cool Die Cut Stickers Included With The Product

Die cut stickers are cool. Including multiple die cut stickers in a package provides the same experience as the kiss cut sticker sheet. It’s just in a different format. Die cut stickers get noticed more because of their unique shapes.

Whichever product(s) is right for your brand is dependent on your marketing team’s brand strategy. We would be more than happy to discuss different options or provide you with mockups to help your team make a decision. Best of luck stickering.

Sticker Sheets are Perfect For Online Brands

A sticker sheet is a group of kiss cut stickers nicely organized on a rectangular backing sheet. This product is a great way for online brands to conveniently distribute multiple sticker designs to customers. They are easy to throw in the box during shipping or give away next to the register. Your brand will get noticed and your customers will love this product!

What are the benefits of sticker sheets?

There are several benefits of kiss cut sheets.

First, the sticker sheet make distribution a breeze. There’s no need to mess with bagging your stickers because they are all printed on a single sheet.

Sticker sheets serve multiple purposes when you print on the back of the sticker. The throw-away paper liner is the perfect place to put your company info, return policy, customer service info, social media engagement, etc. This keeps you from putting an extra marketing sheet in the box!

Who should use sticker sheets?

Sticker sheets are a very powerful tool for online (ecommerce) retailers. These relatively new (and innovative) companies are competing in a highly competitive retail market. The products they sell are manufactured by a different brand. Therefore, it’s easy to forget about the retailer after the sale is complete. The sticker sheet plays a vital role in creating brand loyalty back towards the retailer.

In addition, sticker sheets should be used by any company who wants to create loyalty and passion for their brand. Use this marketing tool as an opportunity to turn your company into a lifestyle brand. Your customers will have an extra incentive to buy from you.

How do I design a sticker sheet?

Designing a sticker sheet is a complicated task! There are several stickers that all have to fit on one sheet. Plus, you can use the blank space for extra marketing material. Check out our post on designing effective sticker sheets!

What material is best for custom sticker sheets?

Vinyl is the most cost effective material for sticker sheets, but mutlple materials will work. Experiment with a shiny silver sticker sheet or a clear sticker.

Don’t forget about social media

Your sticker sheet is the perfect place to remind your customers to connect on social media. Use a Tag & Win strategy to encourage your customers to tag you with a picture of their stickers. This is a great way to get your brand noticed with new potential customers.

Watch the video and give us a call today!

What’s the best sticker material for your project?

Selecting the right sticker material for your project is an overwhelming task. How are you supposed to know what material works best? And shouldn’t the printer be able to pick the best material for the job?

We are more than happy to recommend a sticker material for your project. We know what substrates work best and give your brand the best look. Some applications are a little more technical and we recommend testing a couple different options to make sure the final choice is correct.

There are tons of different materials and adhesives available and we will help you sort through the options. If you want to know all of the details, we’ll spill the beans. However, if you want beautiful looking stickers without too many questions, we’re more than happy to keep the details to ourselves.

Let’s go a little deeper on printing materials and laminates!

Vinyl is the Most Widely Used Sticker Material

The most common and versatile sticker material is the classic vinyl sticker. This material comes in white and clear and will work for most applications. It is weather-proof and is excellent for outdoor durability. Vinyl is the best choice for bulk stickers.

Common vinyl stickers are 3 mil to 4 mil in thickness and have a soft, pliable feel. The soft feel of vinyl helps the sticker conform to rounded surfaces like a hard hat. This material is naturally matte before it’s printed.

Above all, vinyl stickers are the most used in the industry and make great marketing giveaways.

Use Polyester Stickers for Technical Applications

Polyester is another common sticker material. It is the best choice for heavy duty equipment decals and other industrial applications. This material will stand up well to high temperatures and will work great for water heater decals or under the hood stickers. Polyester comes in white, clear, silver, and other fun finishes like brushed chrome. It makes for an excellent long-term durable decal because of its resistance to heat and abrasion.

Polyester sticker material is 2 mil thick, making it substantially thinner than the vinyl decals. The thickness (or relative thinness) of the material has no bearing on the durability of the sticker. Polyester material is a more long-term product than a vinyl sticker.

Polyester is a glossy and almost pearlescent material . Some brands prefer the upscale look of polyester and ask specifically for a polyester sticker!

Try a bright silver reflective sticker for some added flair!

The bright silver reflective decal is one of our personal favorites. This material is almost reflective (not to be confused with the reflective material used in traffic signs) and can look cool when using matte inks.

Want something cool and unique? Take your traditional vinyl sticker and print it on shiny silver material! It’s a great way to mix up your decal offering and give your customers something new. Consider a one-time specialty decal or free giveaway for your top customers. This sticker material will bring attention to your brand.

Silver reflective material is made of polyester and is 2 mil in thickness. Because of the durability of polyester, silver chrome stickers last a long time outside! It’s also an economical choice for wholesale bulk stickers.

Go crazy with specialty materials for a unique look

There are tons of other specialty materials in addition to the options above. Combine your creative artwork with special pattern materials that will be a hit with your customers and make your sticker stand out. These are perfect for events or limited use decals and keep your brand fresh and innovative while also providing your customers with options!

Laminate. Yes or No?

Laminates are a touchy subject with printers. One printer is telling you the laminate is necessary to protect the inks from weather. However, the other printer will tell you the sticker does not need a laminate for protection. And the laminate will only add unnecessary cost and environmental waste to the job.

The equipment the printer uses will determine their opinion on whether or not your sticker needs a laminate. For instance, some equipment requires a laminate to protect the sticker during outdoor use. Other equipment is made to print inks that withstand the outdoor elements.

All the equipment we use is suited for outdoor use. The inks we print do not fade or scratch off after exposure to the sun, wind, or rain. Therefore, we believe laminates are not necessary to achieve a quality sticker.

In conclusion, we offer laminates as an option because some brands enjoy the look of a quality laminate.They transform the sticker. A matte finish will add an interesting element. While a glossy laminate will provide depth to the design.

Our sticker samples will help you decide which material is best for your brand

Request a free sample pack to check out the various material options for yourself!

How Long Do Sticker Last?

How Long Stickers Last? There are several factors that go into how long stickers last in the sun and in the elements. I am going to talk about three factors. Let me show you how Comgraphx can help you get the most out of your sticker marketing projects.

Ink Quality

There are many different types of ink that can be used to print stickers. Comgraphx uses UV inks which are very strong and hold up to the fading effects from the sun. The amount of pigment in all ink types determine how long stickers last without fading. Printers using solvent based inks have a disadvantage because most of what makes up solvent based inks must evaporate for the ink to dry. UV inks cure when exposed to UV light and retain their structure, nothing evaporates leaving the ink to stay strong.

Material Quality

We can print on many different materials from chrome to vinyl and anything in between. The material your sticker is printed on has a lot to do with how long your decal will last. Obviously paper stickers will absorb moisture and flake off when exposed to the elements. If you want your sticker to hold up ask yourself, how long do I want my stickers to last before deciding on what material to use.

Printing Process

We use screen printing, flexographic printing and digital printing to print your stickers. All three of our printing processes use UV inks. Each process lays down different thicknesses of ink and therefore, provide different colorfast longevities. The thicker the ink deposit the more resistant to fading the ink will be. Flexographic printing lays down a very thin coat of ink allowing for higher line screens to be produced and high-fidelity print quality. Screen printing lays down the most ink providing the most longevity and digital printing is between the two in both fidelity of image and how long stickers last.

Overview:

Hopefully this gives you an idea of where to start with how long you need your stickers to last in the sun. Talking about materials can give you an idea of how inferior materials can save you money in the short run but may not be the best choice if you need durability. Finally, you don’t have to choose other printers because we provide the best of all three printing processes when it comes to printing your stickers. Check out our video on “How Long Stickers Last”.

 

How Sticker Marketing Works

Comgraphx has been screen printing stickers since 1973 and we’ve learned through the years how sticker marketing works. We’ve helped build companies, build brands and our stickers have been starting conversations about those companies for as many years as we’ve been printing them. That is what stickers do, they start conversations and get people thinking about your brand.

Not just for bumpers anymore

One answer to how sticker marketing works is the classic bumper sticker that you see on car windows instead of bumpers these days. The great thing about stickers is, they can go anywhere. We now see stickers showing up on Yeti Cups, Ice Chests, laptops, iPhones and pretty much anywhere you can think of. Why? Because sticker marketing works!

Music Stickers Rock!

I went to my local Guitar Center last week and when I got out of my truck, I looked up and, on the building, there were about 150 different stickers. There were local bands, local radio stations and even dealer stickers like ESP Guitars and Ernie Ball stickers! I was going to buy strings for my bass guitar and after seeing the Ernie Ball strings sticker on the outside, my eyes went straight to the Ernie Ball strings display when I walked in the door. That’s how sticker marketing works, it gets your product out there, in some of the most unexpected places.

Word-Of-Mouth

The Nielsen studies report that 90% of people trust word of mouth recommendations from people they know. How sticker marketing works is creating conversations and those conversations go something like this.

“Cool sticker, where’d you get it? – Oh man, I bought this monthly subscription to (_insert your company_) and they sent this sticker to me for free! – Really? How do I sign up for this thing?”

You want to be that guy…

It seems too good to be true, but it is that simple. That is how sticker marketing works all the time. Think of your friends, think of their laptop or Ice Chest. Do they have stickers on them? How about you? Do you use stickers on the stuff you carry around? If not, wouldn’t you like to be that person? Wouldn’t you like to show off your companies’ newest product, or build your follower base by creating a “TAG AND WIN” contest? Instead of looking for new customers wouldn’t it be nice if they came looking for you? That’s how sticker marketing works and that’s why you can’t ignore sticker marketing!

Click on our “Free Samples” to get your own stickers going on in your life and give us a call for a free quote on building your company’s sticker marketing campaign.

Printed Coaster for Christmas

Christmas Printed Coaster

Here at Comgraphx we are already gearing up for Christmas 2020 and the “in” thing will be Christmas Printed Coaster!  We already print your favorite coasters with your brand displayed proudly. Now we want you to think outside the box with “Christmas Coasters” for your brand. There are already lots of companies using these as self-promotion as part of their marketing plan. In addition to your sticker marketing package, add the Christmas Coasters next year.

From Printed Coaster to Ornament

How do we convert a traditional beer coaster to an ornament? … one might ask. In this blog I’ll go through the process. We’ve also created a fun little video to show just how easy the transformation can be.

Material

We start with a thin – strong – absorbent material that works fantastic for coasters. Ours are super user friendly and if you slightly miss when you sit your drink down it isn’t so thick that it pours your drink all over everything.

Printing

We can screen print your coasters for super durability and we can digitally print anything you’d like if you’re going for high detail or more than 3 or 4 colors. Both processes use UV inks which stand up to liquids and will not run when exposed to moisture nor will it fade away to nothingness.

The Conversion

The conversion from beer coaster to ornament is seamless. We already have a die in house that we’ll use to cut your stock circle shape. Then we use a second die that creates the handy hole in the top of your ornament. Our standard is to ship 6” strips of ribbon with your order but we can get creative with that as well or you can use your own method of hanging your new ornaments.

Give us a call and let’s get started on this fun project together.

 

How to Create Fonts to Outlines

In our art specifications we mention that we either need the font or your fonts must be converted to outlines. This video is a tutorial on how to create fonts to outlines using Adobe Illustrator on a Mac. It’s not very hard at all, so anyone with Adobe Illustrator should be able to do it.

 

Today I am going to show you how to create type to outline. The first thing you have to start with is something that is actually a font. I selected this font that is cartoon like. If you highlight everything and go under “type” create outlines is not an option. So you have to select it with one of the arrow tools. Any of the three will work. Once you have that selected, go into “Type” and then you have the option to create outlines.

Once that is done, you can’t type over it again. It’s now vector images. So each letter is a vector image. You can recolor each letter, but you can not type it. This was not selected so we can still type. That’s how you create fonts to outlines. One of the main benefits of creating fonts to outlines is you don’t have to have the fonts to support it. Thanks for watching!

 

Glitter Ink

A great thing about screen printing is the ability to print with specialty inks such as glitter ink. You can’t get the quality of this fantastic special special effect with other printing processes such as offset, or flexography. Imagine back in your school days playing with glue and glitter creating a special effect treasure at school. Then you bring it home to mom and you got glitter everywhere. You are finding glitter in places you didn’t know you had for three weeks after your arts and crafts project. Well, this is nothing like that!

How Does the Glitter Stay Where It’s Supposed to Stay?

It’s all in the ink. UV screen printing ink is in a liquid form until UV light hits the ink, curing it nearly instantly. When using the correct mesh (large enough to allow glitter ink particles through) the glitter is trapped and suspended in the ink. That’s what creates the special effect. Specialty inks aren’t necessarily something you do as a “brand guideline” unless your brands have a call for glitter special effects, such as “Glitter Girl”,  then you should use glitter ink every time you print!

What does Jurassic Park have to do with this?

Do you remember the amber stone in Jurassic Park that had the mosquito encapsulated within the fossilized tree resin? That’s what the glitter does within the UV clear ink. The ink must be somewhat transparent to allow light to enter and be reflected back from the particles suspended in it. This allows the special effect to happen.

What does it look like?

Well, a video doesn’t do it justice, but we’ve put together a short 45 second video to try and give you a visual of how the ink gives you that special effect using this specialty ink.

 

 

All Stickers Are Not Created Equal (Outdoor Durability)

All Stickers Are Not Created Equal

What is the outdoor durability of my stickers? It turns out, under the Oklahoma sun, all stickers are not created equal. Some stickers just can’t hold up.

Even within Comgraphx we have different printing methods depending on what you want your stickers to do. For instance, if you’re doing a product label flexographic printing is probably the way you want to go; however, if you need your stickers to stand up to the sun and is for outdoor use, screen printing is the most durable. All stickers are not created equal and a lot of stickers that are out there just don’t hold up.

Digital vs. Screen printed stickers

There is a vast array of digital printing out there and most all digital printing is able to print on a sticker material but that does not mean it will last outdoors. We have tested competitor’s digitally printed stickers that fade within 6 weeks of exposure to the sun. All stickers are not created equal and here at Comgraphx we use UV digital inks. They stand up to the elements and last for years outdoors. We also print screen printed stickers that have an even longer outdoor tolerance. For the most durable stickers, screen printing is the way to go.

Flexographic Stickers

There are times when you don’t need the outdoor longevity for a sticker. If you need 1 or 2 years of fade resistance – flexographic printing is a good choice. Flexographic stickers tend to be a little less expensive on higher quantity runs. The cost for plates and tooling are come with every flexographic sticker job. Once you invest in the setup cost the more you print the cheaper each sticker becomes. Long runs are a great way to get a great cost on stickers that are a one to two-year use product.

How long should my stickers last?

 The material plays a large factor in all cases when you’re printing bumper stickers, so we are only comparing UV inks in each printing process.

Flexographic UV printing:

For flexographic stickers you should expect a two-year life span before inks start fading.

Digital UV printing:

For digital UV printed stickers, you should expect 2-4-year life span before inks start to fade.

Screen Printing UV inks:

This is your best option for outdoor durability and longevity for your stickers. These inks last for 5 years before you start to see fading occur.

Check out this video for some examples:

How to Design a Sticker Sheet

designing a sticker sheet

Why use a sticker sheet?

A sticker sheet is one of the best options if you are trying to get your brand out there and build a customer base. The important thing is to get your customers to use the stickers. There is nothing worse than getting your brand in a customer’s hands and the stickers lay on their coffee table. Sticker sheets provide an area you can tell your customers what to do with your stickers. Hold a contest where your customer has to take a photo of the sticker in action. Have them post the picture to your social media and get double the exposure!

How close can I get to the edge?

You need to leave 1/8” around the edges and between stickers and here’s why. The gap, between the individual stickers, is needed so that the decals don’t have to share an edge. There needs to be a gap around the outside edge so when cutting down the sheets on our cutter, nothing important gets cut into. The stickers need to have a tolerance  (meaning the stack can shift slightly).

How close can the stickers be together?Steel Rule Die

We use a “Steel Rule Die” to cut through the top layer of vinyl but not the backing sheet. This allows the stickers to be peeled out and leave the rest of the stickers behind. The die consists of a stabilizing material such as wood. Our die maker inserts Steel rule into wood, in the shape of your sticker. There needs to be 1/8” between the steel rule to keep the lines stable and consistent throughout the entire production process. The end result is a great sticker sheet that your customers are going to love.

How to Design A Sticker Sheet Using Adobe Illustrator

We use Adobe Illustrator 2020 to create a video to help you create your own sticker sheet. Any version of Adobe Illustrator version CS and above will have the same functions so don’t worry if you haven’t upgraded in a while. This tutorial should work on any of the previous versions in the last eight years.

How to Designin Adobe Illustrator

 

 

Don’t Ignore Retail Signage

Signage No Retailer Should Ignore

Your store front is what your customers see first. If you want to be noticed and drive sales you need to start with retail signage. Effective signage has a purpose and fits well into the overall message you want to convey to your customer. Signage that is not thought out and is overwhelming to the customer defeats the purpose so it might as well not be there. Be particular in your signage and use only what makes since to draw customers in. Be purposeful in the message you are working to convey.

Outdoor Signage

Outdoor signage is what gets customers in the door. This is the first purpose of outdoor signage and must convey a simple easy message. These outdoor signs can have an incentive such as “Today Only” and make them want to come visit your store and find out more.

Informational Retail Signage

Once you get them in the door you may need to direct them to the next step. Use informational signage to do just that. Whether you want your customer to check in or sign up. Remember this may be your customer’s first time visiting and they need a clear, easy to read message of what to do next.

Signage That Will Influence

Influencing signage is designed to persuade customer behavior. If you have a product that you are wanting to move use influencing signage to get the product out the door. “Tire Sale”, “Free sticker with every purchase”, “buy three get one free” are all examples of influencing signage. Using influencing signage provides a great way for retailers to communicate directly to the customer.

Floor Graphics

Once of the most influential types of marketing is floor graphics. Because they are something out of the ordinary. Floor graphics lead you directly to the product retailers want customers to see and buy. Be creative with your floor graphics. Footprints are a great tool to get customers to follow but what about floor graphics that look like oil spills or tire tracks?  Creative floor graphics will catch your customer’s eye and attract their attention.

Let Comgraphx start your retail signage project today

We’ve put together examples of different types of retail signage in these pdf links.

Download them and give us a call we can start your signage project today. Use all of our products or just some of them. We can help put together an effective signage project that will increase your traffic and increase sales.

Make Your Stickers Shine

How to make your stickers shine.

I was driving to work this week, in the rain and kind of bummed out for a Monday morning when out of the corner of my eye I saw a shiny bright Ron Jon sticker. I thought to myself, I only noticed that because we printed it. So, I keep driving and get to the next stop light and there it is again! What makes this sticker shine? Maybe it was the overcast day, maybe it was the rain but something like this is an incredible use of a sticker!

The key to making a good chrome sticker GREAT!

We start with a chrome material (Think of the chrome bumper off a ’57 Chevy.) then we print a transparent color over the top of the chrome. We retain the chrome look but it gives it an incredible blue hue. At this point you could use a nice screen-printed shiny jet-black ink but wait! We wanted to take advantage of the chrome and make it stand out even more by using a deep rich matte black.

 

 

The construction of the sticker.

How we build your stickers is key to how your customers display them and how their friends view them and how your brand is perceived. Here at Comgraphx we take your goals and ambitions and build your sticker to represent your brand the best it can be. Screen printing allows us to use specialty inks and crazy materials that no other print process can even come close to. We do what other printers can’t even dream of.

Ready to build your brand?

When you are ready, reach out to us for something that will build your brand and your company. If you already use stickers for your sticker marketing give us a call. We’ll help you make it better. If you haven’t tried sticker marketing yet, start off with the right company and give Comgraphx a call. Let us prove to you we are the best. Afterall, we print stickers for brands that matter. We can make your stickers shine!