A man standing on a fork searching for the right direction while one path leads to a solution and the other to a problem.

FROM OUR PRESIDENT: Problems We Love to Solve

By Greg Jackson, CEO Columbine Label Company

Most new customers typically come to us with some sort of problem or issue. After all, change can be painful, and if everything was going well with their current label provider, there would be no need to source a new one. And generally, we know without even asking that the problem they’re experiencing most likely is one of three issues (I’ll get to those in a minute).

But we really want to hear it in their own words first.

Before applying our knowledge, experience, and capabilities right out of the gate, we ask our customers to spend a few minutes and share their specific pain points from their perspective.  The last thing we want to do is duplicate the issues they’re trying to remedy by talking with Columbine Label!  We get right down to finding the solutions that are right for them.

Top 3 print issues

We’ve been in this business long enough to know the top three problems customers have with their printed labels are: 1.) color drift, 2.) quality, and 3.) missed deadlines.  Sometimes it’s just one of those. Often they’re experiencing all three. Let’s take a quick look at each:

Color drift:

For marketers of consumer-packaged goods, product label and packaging is everything. A quality eye-catching label can make or break a product. In fact, studies have shown that 67 percent of purchases are made on impulse with product selections made in less than 8 seconds!

With consumer appeal and brand identity so closely intertwined, a product label has to look great consistently. This is where printers can run into trouble. Without an expert eye and attention to quality by the press operator, color drift can occur during a print run resulting in color inconsistencies, often quite dramatic and noticeable. Unacceptable in the cut-throat world of consumer marketing where 93 percent of consumers say visual appearance is the most important factor in choosing a product.  Not to mention that color drift is said to be the number one problem in printing today, and one that without proper tools and understanding can be difficult to control.


Color drift greatly diminishes quality. So can issues related to the selection of label material, adhesive, or other components that are poorly suited for the application, packaging process, or product use and environment. Customers turned off by poor quality at the point of purchase are almost impossible to win back.

Missed deadlines:

This is a big one. Customers are often burned by print providers that overpromise and underdeliver. The promise may be well-meaning or the means to win a sale, but it’s never a winning solution. Missed printing deadlines impact packaging production schedules and delivery dates for customers counting on promises made.

Solving problems

We’re in the business of problem-solving as much as we are in the business of printing. And we love doing both.

To avoid color drift issues, our press operators are highly skilled at press measurement, adjustment, and maintenance. With every job, they make ongoing adjustments to the press to compensate for their impact on the final print and ensure color consistency from start to finish, and from run to run.

Other problems of quality are addressed upfront before art files are ever submitted or a proof ever approved. It all comes back to that critical listening step we take in our first conversation with the customer. By understanding every detail of the customers’ final product, from packaging specs and the application process to the end-use, our representatives are able to recommend a solution that meets every need.

As for deadlines, we’re tracking 97.32 percent on on-time and early shipments since 2015. That’s because we know what it takes to get the job done, and done right. We strive to live up to our mantra: “We do what we say we’ll do.”

I thought this recent testimony from a customer put it quite nicely “Columbine is so quick on the turnaround. And if there’s an issue, they’re Johnny-on-the-spot to fix it.”

So, if you’re having label printing issues, I suggest you contact a Johnny-on-the-spot that loves to solve problems. I know just where you can find one.

Editor’s note: you can find an updated “Problems We Solve” page here. The above is no less true, even if it’s not all said or represented.