From our core delivery
in labels to consistent branding along all
labelling, packaging and promotional solutions, our clients' needs
vary greatly. Our dedication is to delivering the services our
cients' need in a way that fits with their production process and
leverages off our global positioning to provide seamless
Within our range is a service offering we are most proud of -
our Variable Image
What is VI printing?
The answer to this comes from one of our skilled
Prosser, Image Label Systems' New Zealand based business
manager. With over 15 years' experience, Dean is the perfect person
to handle the tough questions and get you to realise what it is
that we already know - our variable printing capabilities are world
In its simplest explanation, VI printing is where variable data
like barcodes, pricing, SKU numbers or descriptions are printed
direct to labels, tags along with a string of other
What products are involved with VI Printing?
The answer to that depends on what your needs are. We can print
to almost anything: care and instruction labels,
self-adhesive labels, swing tags and specialist products such as
synthetic outdoor labels and tags.
Given our ability to print to many materials, VI printing
is also ideal for specialist product applications, for
example, synthetic labels for tracking outdoor hire equipment with
a sequential number range - the labels are durable and
robust, capable of withstanding the ravages of nature.
The point here is that VI printing has many applications and
applies to more than just apparel.
Shipping labels are prime candidates for VI printing with data that allows for
traceability no matter where in the world the item may be headed.
If items need to be clearly marked with labelling for each box to
comply with (for example) supermarket regulations then VI printing
fits the bill.
With FMCG items that are delivered to supermarkets, chances are
those items will be shipped to a distribution centre that deals
with numerous items on a daily basis. Ensuring these items are
clearly and uniquely labelled is not only necessary but required -
as often dictated by supermarkets strict regulations.
Who might use VI printing?
- The apparel sector for product identification,
traceability and communication of core information to the end
consumer, whether it be care instructions, pricing, sizing or
barcodes for retail POS
- Any organisation requiring general traceability where a
barcode system or variable data stream is required (document
storage, libraries, warehouse traceability, product pricing and
- Operations requiring specialist solutions for outdoor
product traceability applications (for example, garden centres,
hire equipment providers)
- Those involved in the freight sector requiring courier
tickets, printed shipping labels or shelf labelling as examples
The scope of who might require labels or tags needing variable
information printed on them is broad, the sectors broached above
are only a few examples to illustrate the nature VI printing can
What do customers need to do to start the process?
The key or initial point here is concept. For example, who is
the target market, do you need to meet organisation mandates, do
you have a set design, set size etc?
To get this information we go through a briefing process to
understand what our customer's needs are. We guide them through the
elements they may need and then get the necessary data from them.
We establish the medium to be used: sticker,
swing tag, care label or even a woven label. We look at
the design which becomes a collaboration process whereby we can
quickly draft a simple label for them with our in-house
capabilities, complex designs can also be accommodated in less than
We can arrange pre-printed
media which can be overprinted with your variable data on an 'as
required' basis, giving you the best of both worlds - branding and
easy product identification.
General VI print is best
done in black print on a light (preferably white) background:
this is particularly beneficial for barcodes where stark
contrast between the barcode itself and the background media is
quite important. However, other colours can be printed and we have
the capability to print on many substrates on both sides of the
What standards are adhered too?
GS1 barcoding is a global standards compliance often required
for supermarkets and others at retail level; essentially it is a
global barcode administrative authority.
It is present on just about every food item we purchase through
normal retail channels (e.g. supermarkets and mainstream retail
outlets) and GS1 sets barcode formats globally.
The team at Image Label
Systems have been trained on the GS1 system to
create compliant tags and barcodes which are hugely important for
large format retail or global fashion retail amongst many others.
GS1 provides structure and continuity in what could otherwise be a
We have complete flexibility to create a useable unique
template, or we can work to strict specifications that might be in
place for the labelling of your products and these standards could
be mandated by your customers (a supermarket, or national retail
chain for example).
How easy is the process?
The process from the client end is very easy, and the key to
successful VI printing is the data, usually requested and supplied
in an excel spreadsheet. Simple.
Why Image Labels?
Image Label Systems has an enviable and world class global
network, we can produce VI products in many locations around the
world and this has been a core offering in our range for many
Some companies may choose to produce their own VI product; our
question becomes 'is that the best use of your time, resources and
attention?' The economic costs of this decision include capital
costs of equipment, stock holding of raw material, labour costs,
problems with barcode compliance and freight - we can assist and
streamline the process for you by eliminating most if not all of
For clients who don't have knowledge of bar-coding we stay on
top of what's going on, we are here to guide you through the
process. Our global network allows us to meet the printing needs of
our clients with a global perspective - we can deal with a customer
locally and then produce in Hong Kong and ship to other areas of
China, Asia and the rest of the world. We have a 'Variable Print
Bureau' in all branches of the company and the speed this central
specific process allows us, means that we are able to keep our
global network connected and functioning well.
For proof of how well VI printing works, it is best seen in our
preferred supplier status for Farmers for their label
As an approved Farmers barcode label and tag supplier, Image
Label Systems operate on the guidelines given by Farmers for their
organisation specific needs and Farmers branded items, from logo,
pricing to other descriptive data.
If you require labelling
that must meet global standards or you are looking to enter the
FMCG market and are unsure of the labelling regulations give our team
Capable of VI printing
throughout the globe, Image Label Systems will be able to deliver
on your labelling needs and get your label compliant in no