Custom Printed Labels and Stickers – In-House or Outsource?

When you need custom printed labels and stickers, you face the decision of producing everything in-house or hiring a professional printer. Maybe you’re getting ready to launch a new product and need branded stickers in a particular shape to catch attention. Or you run a shipping business and want weather-proofed labels that can hold up to outdoor conditions. What about colors, shapes, and sizes? As you can see, there are several factors to consider when deciding which printing option to use for your project.

Outsourcing to a Professional

Using a printing company has several benefits. First, they have access to a wide variety of materials, label and sticker sizes, ink colors, and top-coats. The quality will be much higher than anything produced by a standard office printer. Professional printers also produce custom labels and stickers in large batches for a lower cost. By outsourcing, you can save yourself a lot of time; you’ll also have a guarantee against print job errors. A printing firm can also provide expert guidance about different materials for the job. However, you will need to account for longer lead times if you outsource printing, and you’ll have less control over the project. Also, professional printers might not be able to accommodate limited-sized orders.

DIY Production

If you don’t require that much customization or only need a small batch, producing labels and stickers in-house is a perfectly viable option. You retain control during every step of the process and can print on demand. However, you’ll also be responsible for reprinting everything in the event of an error. Also, standard desktop or office floor printers have limited capabilities regarding ink colors, paper sizes, etc., which limits your creative freedom. Printing in-house can also be a huge time sink, especially if something goes wrong – anyone who has done a mass printing themselves can tell you horror stories about label sheets shifting out of alignment or running out of ink halfway through the job. Also, while suitable for small batches, the price of sticker sheets, ink cartridges, and other materials can add up quickly during larger jobs.

Using the right tools for the job makes everything easier. Before getting started, consider the scope of your project, including the cost of ink cartridges, performance conditions, the number of labels or stickers you need to print, and how much time you have to dedicate to the task. Sometimes the best solution is to print in-house. In other cases, outsourcing your custom printed labels and sticker projects is the way to go.

Jacob Littlejohn

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