The Label Gator Blog

Light a Horticultural Fire Year-Round

September 20, 2018

 

Fire creates a warm, cozy space, but it also engages the senses. Plus, for some, the natural elements of water, air, earth, and fire create a well-rounded garden. The incorporation of this earthly element doesn’t have to be so on the nose all the time, however. Show¬†customers how to infuse a bit of warmth into all spaces, including indoor spaces.

Red Bush and a fir tree

Fiery Reds Are In-Season, Every Season

Winter color helps make the season more enjoyable. Don’t just promote fiery florals, but also vibrant red foliage and stems. Also consider how leaves change as seasons progress, and promote that. A simple picture cut between spring and fall, or summer and winter communities a lot more in a glance than label copy ever could.

Labeling 101 Resource Center blog button Great Lakes Label - high quality

Once you consider these possibilities, create pairings with other warm yellows and oranges to offer a well-rounded fiery theme. Even blues make a fantastic contrast since they’re also the hottest part of the flame. In the depth of winter, a stunning indoor arrangement like this brings back some life into the dreary space. It’s not just about gardeners with extensive lawns, it’s also about creating interest for apartment renters with little to no outdoor space.

costa farms tri-panel / booklet-style label using warm color scheme
Enhance Plant Coloring With Smart Label Design

Build contact with smart color schemes in your label design. For plants that don’t offer warm tones, this will only accentuate the color they do have. As a result, shoppers will be drawn to the item. This is especially impactful for promotions should your standard label use cool tones. Just make sure your branding isn’t compromised by a color change. Shoppers shouldn’t associate your product with your competition.

Help Customers Safely Incorporate Fire Into Their Landscape

One downside is the danger that fire creates. An unmonitored, or poorly prepped fire quickly becomes a hazard. Teach customers how to properly handle the element, and promote the use of store-bought fire pits or contained candles kept away from nearby plants. Better still, sell extinguishing products and show customers how to store them nearby discretely. Most people don’t want a fire extinguisher sitting out in the open, after all, but a cute storage space makes it easy to provide access.¬†

moon garden lighting

Moon Gardens

Light up spaces at night with moon gardening. So, fire not only helps, but white plants, and better yet, moonflowers, glow in the light it produces. Consider all elements of the garden and how they interact with each other to delight gardeners.

Little pathways of lanterns create a welcoming entrance when paired with bright, illuminated blooms and foliage. In the winter, well-lit paths are extra welcoming for trick-or-treaters, new years’ part goers, and romantic valentines welcomes.¬†

fire pit for a sensory garden

Sensory Gardens

Fire isn’t just pretty to look at, but creates a sensory element of warmth. What other ways can a garden surround people with warmth? Again, warm blooms, foliage, and stems surrounding a patio area with a fire pit do the trick. Or, warm, comfortable patio accessories help.

For creating a more sensory space indoors, get customers to consider how candles create a contained sense of warmth and engage with plants. Again, safety is a priority and displays or promotional images should reflect safe practices for those who won’t read up on it.¬†

warm tones on foiled labelFoil Flames on Your Label to Catch Attention

Are you looking to enhance the fiery quality to your plant on your label? Or, are you actually incorporating a flame motif to emphasize the plants’ impact? Well, use innovative labeling techniques to make it stand out. Foiling creates a lifelike shine that catches customers eyes as they walk by. Combine it with embossing, or other labeling techniques, to further enhance the look. The more true to life it looks, the more shoppers will create subconscious, positive, and nostalgic associations with your product. Plus, they’re more likely to pick it up and check it out.

Or, Promote Safe Alternatives

Again, safety is important. Actual fire doesn’t need to be used to create a fiery element in a space. There’s plenty gardeners are able to do without it.¬†

moon garden light

Faux Fire Candles & Glowing Objects

Create the illusion or warmth of fire with fake candles and glowing options. Even covering pathways with environmentally friendly glow in the dark paint is a hugely popular Pinterest idea. Or, the traditional use of solar lights to line a driveway create an often magical nighttime look.

Of course, when winter first kicks off, there’s several holidays which incorporate a celebration of light and use candles or fairy lights to do so. These lights convert to create a welcoming patio space in the summertime too. Any way to seemingly extend the hours of a day are ideal.

Label It Too

Offer suggestions of ways to warm up a garden with label design. Use a booklet-style label to open up or even expand on the topic with inside panels. Or, link to further content using labeling technology like NFC (Near Field Communication) or even simple QR codes. Even a hashtag connects shoppers to inspirational imagery or community content on social media. Take advantage of the digital world. Use it to offer various media content like video tutorials, photo galleries, or simple blog guides right on your website.



Learn about the labeling and automation solutions that Label Gator offers. See how you can save time, money and even labor with The Complete Guide to Horticultural Labeling Automation e-book.
Click here to download the guide.
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Use Labels to Market to Various Garden Styles

September 18, 2018

 

Garden styles often depend on climate, or even a large indoor space. So, how important is it to create labels specifically targeting demographics focussing on a specific style? Although a company’s brand aesthetic, as well as customer value, come first, consider the benefits specificity has. Even in the little details, information and inspiration lead customers to make a purchase.

Labeling 101 Resource Center blog button Great Lakes Label - high quality

Some Garden Styles Which Influence Label Design

First things first, here are brief overviews of various garden styles. Consider this not just a refresher, but a broad look at what customers see when they consider each aesthetic. After all, your goal is to understand what they want, and guide them to gardening with confidence. 

cactus desert garden

Desert Garden

Cacti and succulents reign supreme for young and new gardeners. These easy care plants create a desert landscape inside and out, whether you live down south, or up north like we do here in west Michigan. Of course, any items brought outside for the summer need to be brought in for the colder months. Make sure customers know how to transition their desert landscape with care.

prairie garden styles

Prairie Garden

Prairie gardens embrace the imperfect philosophy of wabi-sabi. These spaces may seem overgrown, or bustling with beautiful wildflowers depending on how you look at it. However, maintenance becomes tricky if different plants crowded together require different care. Ensure customers understand how to properly pair items that cohesively thrive.

Japanese Zen Garden

Japanese Gardens

Zen gardening is a blossoming trend. So is creating mindfulness spaces indoors and out. So, consider the ways in which a gardeners senses are engaged. These lush landscapes not only boast vibrant foliage, but often use water features as well. For many, a full Japanese style garden offers a paradise escape to unwind.


mediterranean villa garden

Mediterranean Gardens

Intricate metal work, and marble statues accent many mediterranean gardens. There’s a delicate and luxurious nature to these landscapes, which feature sharp lines in their plant foliage. It’s perfect for patio and balcony spaces, creating an inviting morning cappuccino ritual.

English Cottage Garden

English & Cottage Gardens

Vibrant colors, large groupings of a singular plant type, and formal shrubs are major characteristics of an English, or cottage, garden. Plus roses. Lots and lots of roses. These fragrant spaces buzz with pollinators and captivate the eye with a wide color scheme spectrum.

tropical garden with orchids

Tropical Gardens

Is the first thing you think about the humidity? Well, these gardens are ideal for hot and humid summer conditions, especially surrounding pools. Orchids are also a fantastic indoor option, but they’re not ideal for beginners. Tropical gardens, much like Japanese gardens, offer a mental escape. As a result, they’re a very appealing staycation option for some.¬†

lily pond or natural pool

Eco-Friendly Gardens

Many gardeners seek sustainable, drought tolerant, and even environmentally friendly alternatives. With bee populations plummeting, pollinator plants are more popular than ever also. This takes a bit of research,  however. Gardeners need to be savvy about how to create a space that benefits the earth before they enter the garden center. Or, if they do shop first, they need easily accessible information at hand.

However, It Doesn’t Have to Influence Label Design

Creating labels that offer information and inspiration on various garden styles is valuable. However, those are a lot of different styles to try to incorporate on one small label. The goal isn’t to set a broad net. Instead, focus in on plants that serve the specific style and promote it. Or, provide the content elsewhere and help customers get to it so they can go down a garden rabbit hole on your website.

Use Labeling Technology to Link Them to Applicable Content

Using NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, or even a simple QR code, link customers to a vast array of content right there on the label. So, instead of incorporating compelling imagery, try adding a hashtag where customers can view the plant in action. It also builds a community of gardeners who help each other out all in your brands’ name.

Bonnie plant branded labels

A Label Should Primarily Reflect Your Brand

Don’t distract customers from your branding, and also ensure that your products carry similar aesthetics. Brand recognition is important in developing a devoted base of customers. Don’t send people to your competition by making your labels so unrecognizably yours that they can’t remember whose product it is.¬†

Still want to add value right there on the label? Try using a booklet-style label which expands your content onto other pages. It allows the cover to maintain an on-brand, and established design, but infuse new elements onto the packaging. Plus, it gets shoppers physically engaging with the item and entices them to pick it up. 

Monrovia Minimalistic plant label with foiling
Minimalism Suits All Demographics

Does your plant fit into a few different garden styles? Don’t incorporate them all on the label. As mentioned, link customers to that information, or incorporate it in a discrete way on other panels.¬†

Also, consider the ways a style is implied through color, font, and graphics. Then, enhance these design components with innovative labeling techniques, such as foiling, to draw their eye right where you want it. Now shoppers easily consciously or subconsciously make the connection. The subtleties won’t even deter those who don’t garden in that particular style. It creates a more open experience for all.


Learn about the labeling and automation solutions that Label Gator offers. So, see how you can save time, money, and even labor with our Product Guide. Click here to download the guide.

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Is Less Truly More in Horticulture?

September 13, 2018

 

Is less truly more for gardens, plants’ packaging, or production flow? Minimalism always plays a role, but just how much? There’s a fine line between sparse and thoughtfully simple. In essence, it’s all about how you focus your efforts that counts. Simplicity offers beauty and efficiency when intelligently executed.

Do Less Plants in The Garden Mean Sparse, Ugly Landscapes?

A garden benefits from thoughtful design. So, while a large garden with little effort will look awkward, there are ways to create a more inviting, yet simple, space. For example, a rock garden that features select items as focal points still uses good design. There aren’t many plants growing, but there are, however, rock details to fill up the garden and direct the eye across it. Like most things, there’s no blanket answer. It’s all about execution.

Using One Kind of Plant For A Whole Container

There’s beauty in the simplicity of a single plant container. It contrasts a space filled with various trees, shrubs, and flowers, plus it makes a bolder statement piece. No matter what plant is used, you also know that nothing in the container will clash. It’s a simple solution for intimidated, new gardeners. Or, it’s a breath of fresh air for the more experienced. Trying something new doesn’t always mean it has to be an extreme option, after all.

The Wabi-Sabi and Zen Garden Trend

Wabi-sabi is the art of embracing the imperfect and, as such, a sparse garden isn’t the worst thing in the world. This also fits with the zen garden trend of creating a space to simply find a breath of fresh air. See, perfectionism doesn’t serve customers if all they want is to find a practice that calms them. Or, if they want a wild, beautiful space inside to mimic the great outdoors (such as all renters without yards), imperfection is part of the charm. In fact, space may be so limited that this indoor garden must be sparse to function.¬†

Again, in outdoor spaces, sparse plants doesn’t necessarily equate to a sparse garden. Plenty of rocks, sand, statues, and wood details are found in calming spaces. The tactile nature is part of the appeal.

Pastel Pansy Label For Spring/Summer Horticulture Label Design Walkthrough - less than standard text
Less is Less in Label Design

First, consider the material. A low-grade label stock will perform like a low-grade label stock. Ensure your labels withstand wet and cold conditions by using water-resistant stocks such as WetStick‚ĄĘ. A lesser label sends an unprofessional message.

Where design is concerned, make sure your labels tell customers what they need to know as well as add value. Minimalism is trendy, but offering added value is timeless. So, communicate everything that needs to be communicated to ensure grower success.

Costa Farms' flutter color label using foiling to showcase innovative labeling techniques
Innovative Techniques

A simple label will never outperform a label that uses innovative labeling techniques such as foiling or embossing. It sounds simple, but when the label shines in the light, it’s more likely to engage customers. Or, once they approach, the tactile nature engages the senses and creates positive associations with the brand.

Plus, it communicates quality. When you go the extra mile, it tells customers that you care about their experience and want them to be as excited about your item as you are. Again, provide shoppers with added value to stand out against your competition. A little goes  a long way.

Costa Farms' booklet-style/tri-panel label opened up
Booklet-Style Labels

So, you’re determined to keep your label simple, but you also want to add more value. Luckily booklet-style labeling offers you the chance to provide a minimalistic cover, with tonnes of informational goodies on the inside panels. Whatever you do, don’t offer customers less information than they need. With expanded content, it not only offers them knowledge, but it gets shoppers engaging with your packaging on a hands-on level. Once they pick up the item, they’re more likely to purchase it, so take advantage of that. Make it clear that they need to open up the cover to read more about the product.

basil r&d sample label using a qr code to highlight labeling technology

Labeling Technology

Another way to keep your label simple while offering more value is through labeling technology such as NFC (Near Field Communication), QR codes, and even hashtags. This provides the flexibility to maintain your established aesthetic, or simplify it, but still provide far more than your competition.

However, Less is More For Creating Lean Production Flow

Save time, money, and labor when waste is eliminated. Automation on all levels contribute to less waste, however, labeling automation saves the focus to be directed back toward your plants. Instead of spending an unnecessary amount of time labeling containers by hand, a Label Gator system completes the task in minutes. Now labor gets directed right back to tending to your products and ensuring a high quality plant.

Same May Just Go For Merchandising

Have you ever been to a store that overwhelms you with signage, pamphlets, and products on shelf? ¬†Smart merchandising improves customers’ experiences and simplicity works to focus them. Most importantly, let your plants shine. Don’t clash with the beautiful blooms and foliage they already offer. Instead, once taken home, the label offers plenty of value when packed with helpful content. That’s exactly why label design is so important. It’s the last point of contact with customers and therefore leaves the longest impact.



Learn about the labeling and automation solutions that Label Gator offers. See how you can save time, money and labor with our Product Guide. Click here to download the guide.

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How Easy Are Label Gator Systems to Use Anyway?

September 11, 2018

 

If you’re going to invest in¬†automation, the system must be easy to use. We get it. In¬†fact, this is a common concern we get for those who have never operated a Label Gator system before. They look like complex beasts with wires and compartments everywhere, but in fact, they’re rather straightforward.

The Label Gator Two-Sided Labeling System - easy to use

It’s Easy to Install

Do you need labeling automation to run separate from your production line? Our systems easily run as stand-alone machines. No special instructions required.

Are you looking to incorporate it into your line directly? The system slides simply into place, whoever you want it. The conveyor allows these machines to work seamlessly in any conveyor line, and we offer water-proof labels that withstand any moisture ahead of the containers.

Requires Only One (Maybe Two) Operators

You may need someone to drop the containers down onto the conveyor, and another to catch the tray at the end of the machine if you’re using it as a stand-alone system. Or, if you install it in-line, an operator will plug in any necessary label options using the computer and that’s that. What’s easier than selecting the label you need and watching it run?

Completes Jobs in Minutes

Okay, so what’s even better is that these systems label hundreds of containers in a matter of minutes. No matter what the labeling needs are, the operator completes the task in no time. Compare that to the time it takes to hand label and you’ll see how much time, money, and effort is saved. It is also evidence of the simplicity of the task because if it was a complex ordeal, it wouldn’t be such a breeze to run.



Learn about the labeling and automation solutions that Label Gator offers. See how you can save time, money and even labor with The Complete Guide to Horticultural Labeling Automation e-book.
Click here to download the guide.
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Meet Label Gator in Our New Video

September 6, 2018

 

Meet Label Gator is a new, introductory video describing our horticultural automation, labeling options, and even our brand values. We want to save you money and also help your business grow with practical solutions. As a result, this video touches on the various options we have to improve your production line.

Meet Label Gator Video Transcript

Label Gator offers labeling automation systems to save time, money, and labor for growers. Label Gator’s parent company, Great Lakes Label is a label manufacturer that provides high-quality, custom printed labels for Label Gator customers. Together, these brands offer the horticulture industry an efficient way to keep up with big box store demands, as well as ever-changing trends and technology.

The Systems

The Head on a Stand Labeling System

Labels stacked pots, round and square. At a rate of up to 225 containers per minute, print and apply, or 375 containers per minute, apply only.

The Propagator Labeling System

Labels front of seed propagation trays at a rate of up to 20 trays per minute.

The Single-Sided Labeling System

Labels sides of round containers, square containers, trays and flats at a rate of up to 140 containers per minute.

The Two-Sided Labeling System

Labels sides of round containers, square containers, trays, and flats at a rate of up ti 280 containers per minute.

The High-Speed Labeling System

Labels sides of round containers, square containers, trays, and flats at a rate of up to 140 containers per minute.

The Tag Labeling System

Labels planting tags, both locking and traditional, at a rate of up to 175 tags per minute.

These systems allow growers to label hundreds of containers and tags in minutes with one or two operators and label with accuracy, every time.

wetstick label - great lakes label - meet label gator video still

The WetStick‚ĄĘ Label

Use a label so waterproof, with such a strong adhesive chemistry, that it can even be applied underwater!

Overlabeling Great Lakes Label 15

Over-Labeling

Refresh label designs and correct mistakes with ease.

Booklet-Style Labels

Expand content offering more information for customers to enjoy.

Download our e-book on labeling automation to learn more about how it saves time, money, and labor, so you can get back to focussing on what matters most, your plants.

So, is it time to meet Label Gator on your domain? First, contact us to set up a meeting, or gather more information. Then, visit us at our next trade show to see them in action! Or, dive right in and get a quote!


Learn about the labeling and automation solutions that Label Gator offers. See how you can save time, money and even labor with The Complete Guide to Horticultural Labeling Automation e-book. Click here to download the guide.
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