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It's in the label

Posted on Sep 25 2008, 18:42 in category "Goodies" [ Permalink | 0 comments ]
Tags:  design   poodles   supplies   wine-labels 

Last year our poodle club was celebrating Christmas with a bottle of exquisite Poodle Port made from the grapes grown at Remembrance vineyard, California. Always interested in creative projects, I could not resist but to offer Michelle (who is our club's official winemaker and also the president, as a side-job) to produce an alternative label design for the next year port.

Designing a wine label turned out to be a delightful and educational activity. I learned quite a bit about wine labels, and related rules and regulations in the US and abroad.

In order to produce a label that would look noble and classy I needed some high-quality off-white labels which could be used in a laser printer. At first I though that finding the right material would be easy. Having seen very impressive ivory paper sheets at Staples I rushed there, but to my great disappointment all I found there were plain white paper labels by Avery. It turned out that Avery makes all kinds of beautiful paper for every occasion, just not quality adhesive labels suitable for wine labels.

I had to look elsewhere... at least now I knew what I was looking for: I needed "parchment", "ivory", "khaki tan" and similar colored labels, preferably with some linen or other texture to them. With some heavy googling I found several good options, which I would like to share here.

One supplier that impressed me most was 4th & Vine Labels. This long-time Canadian company specializing in custom labels for home Wine & Beer Vintners, can be really proud of their the most responsive support and lightning-fast handling of customer requests. On Thursday 18th after the initial email conversation they offered to send me a free sample of their "buff parchment" labels, and on Monday 22nd I had them at my door. The package made it all the way from Alberta, Canada to sunny California in only two business days!

Surprisingly, Online Labels was the only company that I saw to provide on their website the labels' Pantone numbers for reference. Too bad their minimum order is 100 sheets (600 stickers of size 4" x 3 1/3") and I don't need that many.

Another company that got my attention was Creative Label Concepts. They offer a selection of solid color labels, including "buff ivory", "natural tan" and "khaki tan" which are all good choices for wine labels. What's great is that there's no minimal limit to amount of sheets, you can order one sheet of each. They also have several high gloss white labels specifically made for wine and beer bottles, which I think I should try one day.

One more company which I think is worth mentioning here is JAM Paper & Envelope. This 50-year-old family owned business carries the best selection of high-quality parchment labels in "natural", "antique gold", "aged text" and "blue" shades and also very nice "ivory wove" labels.

The table below provides an overview of color choices and price comparison on these suppliers. Prices are given for 4" x 3 1/3" labels (except for labels from 4th & Vine, which are slightly smaller - 3 1/4" x 3"), 6 labels per sheet.

supplier kind/color min. quantity price/sheet remarks
JAM Paper & Envelope Natural parchment 20 sheets $0.60 60lb. weight paper
Ivory Wove 20 sheets $0.60 60lb. weight paper
Online Labels True cream 100 sheets $0.28
4th & Vine Labels Buff parchment,
Mushroom parchment
8 sheets $1.17 the sample of buff parchment labels that I received was a little too light and the color was a little greenish, mushroom parchment might be a better choice
Creative Label Concepts Natural tan
Buff ivory
1 sheet $0.64 lower price on orders of 25+ sheets
Khaki tan 1 sheet $0.74

These are all my findings so far. I will post here which labels we decide to go with. And by the way, if you come by some off-white labels with linen or similar texture, or a nice parchment pattern, please drop me a line - I would really appreciate that.

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