Look What The Stork Brought In…  It’s a Digital Press!!!

Look What The Stork Brought In… It’s a Digital Press!!!

October 24, 2016



Associated Labels and Packaging is happy to announce the birth of Hewlett Packard(HP) Indigo WS6800. Our flagship digital press who was born at 2:43pm Monday, October 2016, in the Digital Press Division at 61 Clipper Street in Vancouver. HP Indigo WS6800 weighed 6.069 tons, and measured 5.838w x 2.160d x 2.087h!!!


Digital Press

(Ultrasound at 39 weeks!)

In addition to our new digital press, we have also upgraded our other presses to WS6800’s. Our digital division is meeting our ever growing demand for premium digital label orders and turn around times. This press achieves breakthrough productivity and advanced colour management.

Associated Labels and Packaging prides itself for being technological leaders in the label and packaging industry. Our research and development department is constantly working with our suppliers to ensure our leadership continues in the Pacific North West and Western Canada.

If you have any further questions on what our new press means for your label options, please contact our sales team at sales@associated-labels.com


Written by Jay Ashworth

The History of Fonts and Typography

April 11, 2016
[youtube width=”625″ height=”544″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOgIkxAfJsk&feature=share[/youtube]

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A Beautiful, Informative Video On How Ink Is Made

[youtube width=”725″ height=”644″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fypi6dAJB8E[/youtube]

Here’s a wonderful short film by The Printing Ink Company in Canada that takes us through the process, techniques and craft of ink creation. The company shares the methods they use to create every color in the PANTONE spectrum, the challenges they face and the attention to detail that goes into making every jar of ink. The film brings to life the passion and joy of color creation and is a must watch for art students, designers and everyone else in the business.

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Associated Labels and Packaging Collaborates with Partners to “Revolutionize the Food Industry”

February 15, 2016


Alter Eco switches from a previous, plastic non-recyclable structure to a “Gone4Good” backyard-compostable stand-up pouch made from non-GMO (genetically-modified organisms), plant-based materials.

The new compostable stand-up pouches replace previous packaging for the brand’s popular organic Royal heirloom quinoa products, including Rainbow, Pearl, Red, and Black.

“Sustainability is the core of our business, and as a leader in the space we’ve worked tirelessly to pioneer the first non-GMO stand-up pouch made with compostable materials that will truly revolutionize the food industry,” says Mathieu Senard, co-founder and co-CEO of Alter Eco, who responds to our questions about the compostable stand-up pouch structure, vendors and challenges of this innovative packaging introduction.

Please describe the before and after packaging.

Senard: Our previous packaging was a mixed-material film laminate (PET/ink/adhesive/LLDPE) stand-up pouch. Like all stand-up pouches with this similar structure, they were not recyclable so eventually would end up in landfills. Prior to our development of this new stand-up pouch made with compostable materials there was really no better alternative to the plastic, unrecyclable format. Approximately 17 billion plastic pouches were made in 2013 and not one of them was recyclable or compostable. In the United States alone, 30 million tons of plastic is generated annually and only 7% is recycled.

We reduced the size of the stand-up pouch from 14 and 16oz pouches to a 12oz stand-up pouch. The decision to decrease the size was made in order to offer more competitive pricing in a category where prices have increased in the recent years. Consumers clearly prefer the stand-up pouch format and now Alter Eco is offering a stand-up pouch you can feel good about.

What’s the specific stand-up pouch structure?

Senard: Our new “Gone4Good” stand-up pouch is made from Innovia’s NatureFlex laminated to a Novamont Mater-Bi product. The NatureFlex is made from Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified birch and eucalyptus wood pulp, and the Mater-bi is made from non-GMO corn starch. The stand-up pouch is printed with certified commercially compostable non-toxic ink. We’re proud to be able to offer the first-ever, renewable, non-GMO and plant-based stand-up pouch available nationwide. In our own trials, we have found that it disintegrates in about 3 to 6 months.


Why was this structure and these vendors selected?

Senard: Both Innovia Films and Novamont have a strong commitment to making environmentally friendly packaging materials that is backed by years of research as well as certifications. Not only do these suppliers support sustainability, but they responsibly source their materials and guarantee quality performance and safety. These core values align with our vision to bring full-circle sustainability to life throughout our all of our products. In order to do this, creating a better stand-up pouch package was an initiative we knew had to be done. This good-for-the planet innovation is extremely important to us as a brand. We feel it will pave the way for other companies to follow and enable consumers to eliminate the massive amount of waste currently being produced by standard plastic stand-up pouches.

Can the stand-up pouch converter be credited?

Senard: We worked closely with our printer,  converter, and laminator partner Associated Labels and Packaging in Coquitlam, BC, Canada, via our manufacturing partner Elk Designs in Los Angeles, CA. Their openness, drive and belief in the project was key in how we were able to work through the inevitable challenges in working with these new materials.

Were any packaging performance aspects reduced with the change?

Senard: As far as production, the stand-up pouch performs similarly as a standard PE stand-up pouch during printing, converting, laminating and filling. There was definitely a learning curve with the lamination process using various materials and some adjustments had to be made on the equipment. We tested the stand-up pouch extensively for shelf life impact as well as transportation tests. As the material inherently wants to break down, it’s important that it is not stored in high humidity environments, which will start the process of disintegration. Our supply chain will need to be managed a bit more closely than usual to ensure that both temperature and humidity are kept consistently low. A grocery store environment is the sweet spot of both these measurements.

How is the sustainability messaged on the pouches?

Senard: We feature the compostable benefit at the bottom of the pouch, highlighting our new tagline for our compostable packaging movement, “Gone4Good,” which perfectly communicates what we intended this pouch to do: a pouch made with compostable materials that will disintegrate and not add to the estimated 17 billion pouches made in 2013 that will end up as waste in our landfills. We are excited to highlight this new packaging, and will continue to feature our dedication to full-circle sustainability.

In addition, the stand-up pouches display our promise of “organically grown, fairly traded and hand-cultivated,” and highlights our promise to the farmers we work with on the back of the packaging. Each of our products is crafted to not only taste delicious, but to have a positive impact on the environment as well as the farmers who help cultivate and produce our products.


Is any compostable certification information printed on the pouches?

Senard: Our own information appears on the stand-up pouch front as seen above, though we plan to add our compostable certification, which is in process now, to the packaging within a year.

Who is your typical consumer?

Senard: Our classic consumer is passionate about the environment, the food they put in their bodies and feed their families, as well as the impact their purchasing decisions have on the world socially and environmentally. All Alter Eco foods are produced with this consumer in mind, based on the concept of full-circle sustainability to make a positive impact on people and the planet in every bite. As a commitment to this promise, all our delicious chocolate bars and truffles, Royal quinoa, heirloom rice and unrefined sugar are all USDA Certified Organic, Fair Trade Certified, Carbon Neutral Certified, Non-GMO Project Verified and Certified Gluten-Free. Consumers are increasingly seeking more from their food, as knowledge and education about commercial food systems and how they affect local communities and eco-systems continues to spread. We’re grateful to deliver foods for this globally conscious community of shoppers, who realize there is power in numbers and together we have the ability to spark positive change not only in our own homes, but around the world.

How strongly will this new stand-up compostable pouch resonate with those consumers?

Senard: When we announced our truffle wrappers made from compostable materials in 2013 the response was overwhelming positive, and so far our Gone4Good packaging has had a similar response. Once people understand that the pouches on grocery store shelves everywhere are not recyclable and end up in landfills, they realize the problem and want to be part of the solution.  Plastic packaging makes up more than one sixth of the waste in U.S. landfills, and many of our consumers are passionate about supporting a shift in this reality toward a more sustainable future.

What was the biggest challenge in the switch? 

Senard: One of our biggest challenges was finding the right converter (Associated Labels and Packaging) and supplier partners who were aligned with our vision, and who were willing to take risks with us. We needed to make sure we ended up with a package that printed and looked as good as our current pouch, performed as well in distribution, and of course protected the product. We had a goal of making sure all inputs had compostable certifications, as well as the materials themselves being non-GMO and from sustainably managed forests. It was truly a reach and very much a gold standard goal.  Our partnership with Innovia Films and Novamont successfully helped us achieve our ground breaking goals.

What’s next? Are there plans to roll this packaging out to other products?

Senard: Yes – sustainability is the core of our business and our vision is to eventually accomplish compostable packaging across all product lines.


Associated Labels and Packaging has always been at the forefront of cutting edge technology. Our recent recognition further pushes our capabilities to unexplored areas of the industry. Our team of professionals will work with your company to ensure that we deliver the finest product. Please contact sales@associated-labels.com for any information or if you wish to propose collaborating on a project.

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The Truly Invisible Label

January 13, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 9.37.55 AM

UPM Raflatac’s VANISH™ range of clear PET films redefines how companies can maximize brand representation while boosting quality and performance to new levels. With a 0.92 mil film face stock, these thin, yet robust products are the perfect canvas for innovative imagery previously considered unattainable by creative designers.

The film’s dimensional stability, excellent ink reception and dispensing properties simultaneously allow manufacturers to embrace new productivity gains and realize film packaging material reductions throughout their processes.


VANISH™ labels are ideal for:

Unique, irregular pattern shapes and graphics

Transparent inks/metallic designs

End-of-life recycling – these labels do not negatively impact the aluminum recycling process


VANISH™ benefits

No-label look

Productivity gains

Alternative to screen printing

More cost-effective

Faster design changes

Use bottles for different brands and designs

Less working capital – less bottles stocked

Water resistance

Passes 48-hour ice bucket test

Lower investment costs in space and minimums of pre-printed bottles and cans

Additional graphics capabilities

Opacity levels

Raised texture


Glow in the dark/UV fluorescence


Capability to create separate batches, seasonal

or event brewing or expand flavor lines


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Associated Labels and Packaging – Proudly Sponsors Local Community Sports

January 4, 2016

032013orr1Indian LAX 1When you ask most people (even Canadian’s) “what is Canada’s official sport?” Most would say hockey, which is only partially true. Unbeknown to most, when we aren’t riding our moose to the pub, or snacking on walrus blubber, we partake in our official summer sport “Lacrosse.” Lacrosse is the oldest sport in North America, and was adapted from the First Nations game “Baggataway,” a much larger and dangerous game played to toughen braves for war or to settle disputes between tribes.

Associated Labels and Packaging is a proud sponsor of both sports, the “Coquitlam Jr “A” Adanacs Lacrosse Club” and the “Coquitlam Jr “ A” Express Hockey Club.” In addition to supplying jerseys to both teams, Associated Labels and Packaging has also invited the lacrosse team to use our new gym facilities for training. Community involvement has always been a part of our company values, and we are proud and fortunate to be able to continue supporting these teams.

Coq Jr Associatedimage-coquitlamExpress




Symbolism Speaks to the Beers Aging Potential, Unearth Your Label Design

December 28, 2015


“In a dark and secret place, away from prying eyes and thirsty cellar hands, this dense, warming beer will mellow and become sherry-like with age. Unearth early for a more hop-forward experience. Others may be laid to rest – this one was born to wait.”

We’re quite a fan of the label work Hired Guns Creative does for Driftwood Brewing Company, and it’s certainly not the first time they have been featured for their label design. The latest from Driftwood is a barleywine with a stunning pressure sensitive label to match. Against a frosted amber bottle, the eerie illustration and dripping wax communicate the time and dedication put into aging each bottle of Old Cellar Dweller.

“For Driftwood Brewery’s Old Cellar Dweller barleywine, our task was to design a pressure sensitive label that showcases the strong character of the beer, while speaking to its aging potential. To these ends, we chose to illustrate our take on a grinning skull, favoring a bold, graphic approach. The dieline protrudes with ribs, teeth, and the long outjutting arm bones that create an excess of negative space, at once playful and decadent. Wax dip and gold foil lend the final touches and the spark of life to our skeleton in wait.”

Here at Associated Labels and Packaging, we are here for you at every step of the process in creating a label design that works for you and your brand. For more information please contact sales@associated-labels.com

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“I’ve Got News for you BROTHER!” HULK HOGAN Overcome by Emotion With Announcement to Associated Employees

December 23, 2015


Associated Labels and Packaging wanted to show our appreciation to employees for all their hard work and dedication they provide day in, and day out. The Associated Gym is free to all employees 24/7, with Women’s Only time allocated to Wednesdays. The gym is located on the top floor of our building with large windows to gaze out of when getting your fit on. The space includes free weights, assistive weight devices, treadmills, exercise bikes, elliptical machines, stretching and abs area.

We have received a lot of positive feedback from Associated employees since we opened the gym. Some of the benefits we have seen first hand  include providing an area where employees can connect to each other outside the work environment, improved employee health, and increased happiness which directly strengthens our company culture.

There are also long term benefits of having healthier employees for our company as well. Regular exercise has been proven to increase alertness, energy and cognitive power which translates into increased productivity. Consequently it also reduces stress, anxiety and illness which can cause increase costs associated with sick days.


Here is an interesting article if you still need to be convinced why happy and healthy employees are so important to any company culture.

“First, health care expenditures at high-pressure companies are nearly 50% greater than at other organizations. The American Psychological Association estimates that more than $500 billion is siphoned off from the U.S. economy because of workplace stress, and 550 million workdays are lost each year due to stress on the job. Sixty percent to 80% of workplace accidents are attributed to stress, and it’s estimated that more than 80% of doctor visits are due to stress. Workplace stress has been linked to health problems ranging from metabolic syndrome to cardiovascular disease and mortality.”

Lastly, when we asked the Hulkster for some words of wisdom when working out, he gave us his life philosophy: “Train, say your prayers, eat your vitamins! Be true to yourself, true to your country, Be a real American!” We then reminded him that we are Brothers from the North!

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“NO COFFEE ALLOWED?!” Condolences for Pantone Color Factory Employees, Here’s Why…

December 21, 2015



The printing colors of the world are dreamt up at Pantone, where scientists with near-perfect color vision (that’s explained in the video below) create all the printing colors we use everyday. It’s fascinating!

It’s crazy the distinctions they can see! I tried really hard and everything still just looked like “pink ink” to me. Madness.

In the comments, someone who claims to be a former Pantone employee writes, “Having worked for Pantone years ago I know how exacting the printing ink color standards are in real life. The amount of fabric that was “off” was amazing.”

Can you tell the difference? Because if you can, I have a ticket to Hogwarts with your name on it. (JK Hogwarts is closed, nerds.)

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36,000lbs of Food Donated by Associated Staff Over 6 Years!

December 18, 2015


Associated Labels and Packaging President Shaun Ashworth, stood proud of his staff once again this year for contributing 10,500lbs or 11 pallets of food to SHARE Family & Community Services.

“What a year! I couldn’t be happier that Associated Staff helped feed those in need again this holiday season. We started with humble beginnings in 2010 with the 1,000lb challenge, and each year since then we have grown exponentially. Who knows next year might be the best ever! I am no stranger to meeting new challenges.”  ~ Shaun Ashworth, President.

According to SHARE, 10,000lbs feeds 750 families for a week (37% of which are children). SHARE services the Tri-Cities Area to individuals and families in need, regardless of source of income (working, receiving income assistance, pensions or employment insurance, no income). We encourage everyone to make a contribution to their local food bank this year, nothing makes people happier than giving to others.

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