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By Daniel Gesua | Aug 27, 2018
Warning Labels

Introduction: A hero emerges!

Meet Gary! Gary hails from a proud species of creators, merchants, and manufacturers who are overflowing with passion to improve society through providing products of immeasurable value. Gary loves his job and takes great pride in his reputation as an environmentally-conscious, efficient, and compliant provider of high-quality goods.  

But on August 30th, new revisions to California’s Proposition 65 (or Prop 65 for short) are being released, and since many of Gary’s customers reside in California, he knows that some of his products may be impacted.


Background: The hero’s challenge

In 1986, California enacted Prop 65, ensuring that businesses provide “clear and reasonable” warnings before “knowingly and intentionally” exposing the public to a certain list of substances which are known to cause cancer or reproductive harm.

To become compliant, companies had to make a choice: either redesign their products to reduce their exposures below the “safe harbor levels,” or commit to displaying complaint warnings that inform consumers of the possible risks before they buy. The substance list is updated yearly by California legislature and consists of over 900 chemicals, including many commonly found materials such as wood dust, aspirin, and gasoline.

Since its enactment, Prop 65 has challenged many companies. In 2016, there were 760 in-court litigation settlements totaling in approximately $30,000,000, and 339 out-of-court settlements totaling in approximately $10,000,000, averaging to over $36,000 per case. Furthermore, all cases related to Prop 65 are open to the public, which can threaten to hurt Gary’s hard-earned reputation!


The Problem: New changes effective August 30th, 2018

Starting on the 30th of August, companies will have new standards to meet under Prop 65. Among other things, the new revision of Prop 65 establishes new formalized labeling requirements for:

  • Foods and alcoholic beverages
  • Certain specific products such as furniture
  • Certain specific environments such as enclosed parking areas

It also adds new requirements including:

  • For products to display warnings in all languages that are already on the label
  • The statement of the specific substance names on the warning signs at each location that the product is on display
  • Presence of the Prop 65 website link on the warnings (www.P65Warnings.ca.gov)
  • Placement of the triangular yellow warning symbol (⚠) on most warnings
  • New requirements related to online sales and catalogues
  • Changes to the language that goes on the labels

Faced with these new changes, Gary has quite a lot on his plate. Not only will Gary be forced to review all his products for the existence of Prop 65 substances and perform scientific tests to assess the exposures they can cause, but he also must overhaul and relabel many of his products, so they meet the new standard.

Luckily for Gary, his loyal friend GM Nameplate (GMN) is just one phone call away.


The stress-free solution: Call the labeling experts

So, without hesitation, Gary makes the call to GMN to find a solution.

GMN Rep: “Hi old friend. How can we help you today?”

Gary: “My team just informed me that 40% of our inventory is affected by the new language requirements of Prop 65. We need to relabel our products to give warnings in Spanish, French, and Japanese, and include a yellow warning signal. We’d also like to reconsider our materials and replace our color palette for a more vibrant shine. The labels need to be scratch proof and heat resistant, and we need them all by the end of next week. Do you think you could help us?”

GMN Rep: “Absolutely! Fear not! We’ve got just the thing!”

The GMN team immediately got to work, and by the end of week, the problem was solved. Now Gary’s team can rest easy and go back to focusing on their true objective of creating amazing products.

If you are like Gary and need to print new custom labels to comply with the changes in Prop 65, request a quote from GMN and we’ll get started on your solution today.

Dan Swanson, GMN
By Dan Swanson | Jun 14, 2016
Microban antimicrobial film

Frequently used work surfaces often become dirty quickly. GM Nameplate often uses Microban®, an antimicrobial film covering that helps maintain more sanitary work surfaces between cleanings. GMN applies the film on various overlays, medical and scientific labels, control surfaces, and user interfaces.  

Bacterial growth is a constant concern for facilities that require high standards of sanitation and cleanliness. Microban ® destroys bacteria, mold, and mildew, making it a beneficial product for hospitals, restaurants, cruise ships, and fitness equipment, among other businesses. When bacteria come into contact with Microban®, the bacterial growth is suppressed. The built-in antimicrobial coating is applied to the product during the manufacturing process, protecting the product against unnecessary deterioration from bacteria, mold, or mildew. Example applications include user interfaces and labels.

Autotex® AM is a substrate that uses Microban® Antimicrobial Technology. The Autotex® AM polyester film has overlapping particles combined with Microban® technology, creating a barrier and protection against harmful microbes, thereby reducing the risk of spreading infections. Since the antimicrobial protection is done during the manufacturing process, the Autotex® AM will not wear down with prolonged use and will be effective during the full product life cycle. The Autotex® AM is also scratch and chemical resistant, ensuring a long lasting, durable product.

Microban® provides protection against bacteria, thereby creating an easier cleaning experience. While maintaining a cleaner surface, products with Microban® Antimicrobial protections still require cleaning. Under certain conditions without Microban®, microbe counts could double every 20 minutes. Microban® will help maintain a cleaner product work surface and keep surfaces better protected between cleanings.

At GMN, we are using Microban® Antimicrobial Technology to help solve our customer’s needs and business requirements. Currently, we are designing and creating nameplates for a fitness equipment company. The company required materials that would address the pressing bacterial problems of typical fitness products. GMN used Microban® to create a product that reduces, suppresses, and destroys the reproduction capabilities of bacteria, mold, and mildew, while still maintaining the integrity of the brand. We provide antimicrobial film coverings for user interfaces and overlays, medical and scientific labels, and control surfaces.   

Cynthia Schulte, GMN
By Cynthia Schulte | Oct 6, 2014
Custom lexan labels

There's a lot of discussion in the marketing field about branding and its application to overall businesses. Expanding the definition of a brand from the logo or trademark used by a business to the entirety of its operations makes sense because the original application of branding was so successful. By differentiating a product or service from the similar offerings of competitors, companies create an opportunity for customers to not only purchase and use an item, but develop a relationship with the organization behind it. Forbes pointed out products and services have a limited lifecycle, but a stable company can develop positive, long-term relationships with purchasers.

Developing a consistent identity for products is important. While the individual design of a logo depends on unique concerns at the individual level of the business, as well as considerations about the market and industry the company is in, making sure that a brand or logo is correctly presented and displayed is easier. There are practical issues that come up, such as the level of spending on a label for a disposable product or the environmental conditions that an item may be subjected to, but these are more easily resolved than questions of brand identity.

For businesses that want to use labels to enhance product recognition and brand identity, here are a few parts of the process to consider:

  • How faithfully will the logo be replicated?: For companies using a simple, two-tone word mark or a single-width line drawing logo, reproduction will be relatively easy. As long as the logo isn't drastically reduced in size and a faithful source image can be provided, most branding labels, regardless of size or composition, will appear accurate. For more complex logos, accuracy and clarity need to be a priority. Businesses that want to use a small logo label should consider using a simplified graphic or, even better, their word mark.
  • Color-fastness and adhesives: For labels on products exposed to the elements or other environmental abuse, fading can occur based on the types of inks and substrates used. The colors of a logo can also have an effect on how quickly a label starts to deteriorate. Consider not only the placement of a label but the colors and materials involved as well.

A high-quality manufacturer, such as GM Nameplate, will be able to provide a variety of options and use experience to produce an accurate and long-lasting label no matter the environment.