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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 (
  • 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.

Gail Amole, GMN
By Gail Amole | Jun 22, 2017
USNR aluminum decal

GM Nameplate (GMN) created an aluminum label for USNR, an innovative company that manufactures a complete line of state-of-the-art equipment for cutting, handling, and drying lumber. USNR started as a small sawmill equipment supplier and has grown to be a global leader in the wood processing industry. 

USNR came to GMN to find a way to cut costs on their current nameplates in order to continue to maintain a strong brand identity on all of their equipment. Although changes needed to be made, USNR still favored the finish and dimensions of their prior nameplate. Luckily, GMN had the expertise to provide an aluminum decal with the same look and feel, but at a lower cost.

The first step of a printing job is often color matching. This step mattered a great deal to USNR because their prominent red color is such a distinct part of their brand. Therefore, it was imperative that the correct shade of red was achieved on the decal. GMN’s custom color-matching capabilities allow us to accurately color match from a variety of different sources – in this case it was a coffee mug.

Given the nature of the industry, the label also had to be extremely durable. After collaborating with USNR, GMN decided to screen print the label on .008 aluminum with a .005 3M adhesive backing. The aluminum label was fabricated with a steel-rule die, and thermal-embossed with a magnesium die to give the part more depth and make the logo pop. To complete the look, the part was given a satin polyurethane finish.

The end result met all of USNR’s aesthetic, durability, and cost requirements. The printed aluminum decal has a sleek look that aligns with their brand identity, protects against harsh environmental conditions, and allows USNR to expand the use of their branding components.

Jeff Friday, Marketing Specialist at USNR says it best, “With the per-unit costs reduced by 60%, it added great flexibility for us to use more of them in many more applications. It was a big win for us!”

Anna Minzel, GMN
By Anna Minzel | Dec 14, 2016
GMN created an embossed metal label for Starbucks' holiday gift card.

Starbucks asked GM Nameplate (GMN) to manufacture a complex label for their holiday gift card. Starbucks’ wanted an embossed metal label that wrapped around the center of the card. Rounds of testing we required to achieve all of the visual requirements for the label without interfering with the end transaction. Starbucks’ intricate logo required tight tolerances to create an accurately embossed label within the limited space. Through custom metallic inks and tight embossing, Starbucks received a high quality label that met all their requirements.

Learn more about how GMN supported Starbucks by reading our case study.   

Anna Minzel, GMN
By Anna Minzel | Aug 24, 2016
A Fluke laser radiation label using litho and screen printing

Each printing process has its own advantages and disadvantages. Because of these differences, multiple printing processes can be used for the same part. This Fluke radiation label uses two different printing capabilities – litho and screen printing.

Litho, or offset printing, is often used for very fine text because with screen printing, fine text may become distorted or blurry. During screen printing, the paint is forced through a screen onto the material, leaving more room for error on fine print. In lithographic printing, the ink is transferred from a stone or metal plate to the correct image areas using the repellent properties of water and ink. Lithographic printing for fine text creates a clear, consistent text.

For this part, lithographic printing was used for the fine print and screen printing was used for the colors. The opaque ink colors allowed for backlighting capabilities. During the screen printing process for the colors, the white was not placed over the red color to ensure the red color could be backlit.

Tight registration is essential for small parts because correctly lining up the label can be a challenge when there is little room for error. For more accurate registration, registration holes were used. These holes tell the machine where the part is and where to aim. Without tight registration, the green color around the embossed button would be off-centered and the transparent red section would be distorted. The tight registration allows for a more accurate label.

At GMN, we provide offset, flexo, screen, and digital printing. Find out more about our printing capabilities by reading our printing capabilities blog series.

David Fabris, GMN
By David Fabris | Jul 25, 2016
Varian medical label

Varian Medical Systems, a customer we have served for over two decades, has trusted us with printing many of their medical labels on a routine basis. One of the “regular runners” we produce for Varian is known as the transfer imprintable label, which is made for their oncology radiation devices. At first glance, this appears to be a very ordinary label, yet there are many complex elements that go into creating this label that allow it to meet its medical requirements and application needs.

Medical labels need to be durable so they can stand up to the tough environmental conditions they are repeatedly exposed to. As a result, we use a special ink to print this label because it provides chemical and physical resistance properties, improved print quality and color accuracy.

Even more noteworthy, the label is made from thermal transfer printed materials. The paper, polyester stocks, inks, varnishes, and laminates that we incorporate into the labels all contain a variety of thermal transfer properties. We use these specialty materials and processes so the label can go through a thermal transfer printing process (or secondary printing) on the customer’s end. Whether the secondary printing is handwritten or a serialized barcode/human readable data, it is easier for customers to print on a label where the necessary graphic information is already provided.

Once the labels are printed, pin feed holes are inserted into the liner. These are added because the majority of thermal transfer printed labels are applied at the customer location. Commonly, we receive specific roll and packaging dimensions from the customer to ensure that the labels can fit and be applied properly on their machines. We stringently adhere to these specifications to allow for increased functionality and accuracy during secondary printing and application by the customer.

Despite this label’s simple appearance, there are many layers behind its creation, and at GM Nameplate we work with customers to supply them with effective solutions so we can build and sustain long-lasting business relationships.

By Chris Doyle | May 11, 2016
UL compliant labels

With two major requirements for their label program, MiTAC International Corp. turned to GM Nameplate. Because these labels provide instruction and warning information, each needed to meet high levels of opacity and match the selected color swatches. As an experienced label manufacturer and certified 3M converter, GMN was able to identify a solution that acheived both decorative and functional requirements. Learn more about this program by reading our case study here

Teresa Synakowski, GMN
By Teresa Synakowski | Apr 5, 2016
Domed Clinique label

When updating their Pop Lip line, Clinique wanted something that would make their product stand out. In the past, Clinique has used a paper label on the bottom of the lipstick tube in order to identify the shade. Now, those paper labels have been replaced by a three dimensional applique made by GM Nameplate.

Because the plastic lipstick housing was created to match the shades of the lipstick color, it was decided that GMN would create an ultra-clear rounded dome that would allow the color underneath to show through. Producing an ultra-clear dome presented a few challenges due to the thickness of the ultra-clear adhesive and the nature of handling a clear material. In order to cut through the thick layers of clear lexan plastic, clear adhesive, and the liner, a steel tool was needed. Another challenge during production was to keep the part clean from fingerprints, scratches, dirt, and other damage, by handling all materials carefully during production. This careful handling also needed to be continued once our customer received the part by carefully removing the appliques before the domes were hand applied to the lipstick housing.

Along with a wide range of design options available, including the ultra-clear domes for Clinique, GMN has the technology to provide color matching as well. Clinique needed a clean and classic look for their Pop Lip line and GMN’s Monroe Division was successfully able to create it.