New Tape University Section Available On Our Site

Spectra Tapes now has a section on their website called “Tape University”. The purpose of this project is to educate the public on the various types of tape. There are different product choices when it comes to sealing your packages, which may become overwhelming or confusing to most people who have never shopped for this kind of product before.

If you are looking to order your first batch of custom printed tape, there are certain things to consider. The differences between each product can be found on the Spectra website and the “Tape University 101” video. For convenience purposes the following are simplified descriptions of every kind of tape available for custom print.

Standard grade polypropylene is the most commonly found tape used to seal packages and great in 75% of all applications. It is better than the ones you will find at local supply stores due to the fact that it is a heavier gauge product with more adhesive. The advantages customers are getting with this product compared to the store are a superior product as well as the aspect of customization since their logo is printed on it.

Superior grade polypropylene is a better quality product since it can withstand heavier packages. In addition, if the boxes being used are high content recycled, this tape will stay stuck.

Cold temperature polypropylene, as the name implies, is recommended for application in colder environments. The product will even stay stuck while being transported in those colder temperatures.

PVC heavy duty is the most superior product available on the market. It is made of a natural rubber adhesive which is less disturbed by dusty environments and has the most aggressive adhesive.

Acrylic is another type of tape that can be custom printed, which is also commonly used in cold temperature environments. It sticks best within 24 hours after application on the surface it is applied to. Acrylic is the only tape that cannot be printed on the film therefore logos are printed on the adhesive side. Be aware that the print removes the adhesive.

Gummed tape is one that is not made of plastic like the other kinds. It is the only tape that is 100% recyclable and biodegradable. The adhesive is even made of vegetable glue that is soluble in water. If you are concerned about the recycling process of gummed tape, it can easily break down in this process.

This was just a quick summary of all of the tapes available for custom print. It is advised to keep doing your research on the kind of tape that best fits your industry and your line of business.

7 Reasons why you should use custom printed tape

Within the last few years, there has been an increasing number of companies, be it ecommerce or distributors, who are noticing the benefits custom printed tape adds to their brand.

1. Ease of stock identification

When your package is in transit or arrives to the receiver, it is very easy to know from whom it is coming from. Since your logo is plastered across the box, it is fairly clear where the package is coming from.

2. Tamper evident and deters pilfering

One of the biggest advantages of custom tape is the fact that no one external to our company has access to your tape. If they were interested in stealing the contents in the box, it would be obvious it has been opened since they would need to repackage the box somehow. That is why it is recommended to check the contents of the package if you notice it has been tampered with before signing.

3. Prevents losses and customer dissatisfaction

This brings me back to the point mentioned above. Because it is pretty easy to repackage a box with standard tape, it can pass off as though the box has never been opened before and since not everyone remembers or bothers to check the condition of the tape, customers can be left suffering from these losses.

4. Product standout

Imagine all of the boxes in transit right now and the way they look with fairly similar design and colors. But once you add an element that makes is different, it goes a long way.

5. Great form of advertising

The more people exposed to your logo the better. It will keep your brand top of mind and they are more likely to think about you next time they need your product.

6. Promotes brand awareness

The more chances you get to show off your brand and logo to the public, the better. When people are exposed to it that is when they start getting accustomed to your brand. If ever they are in need for products and come across your brand, the higher the likelihood is they will purchase from you due to the added familiarity aspect.

7. Inexpensive way to get your message to the public

As opposed to custom printed boxes, custom tape is a more economical way to get people to get exposed to your brand and the message you are trying to convey.

How to make custom printed tape

The first step to making your own personalized roll of tape for your company starts with figuring out which kind of tape you want it your logo printed on. The most commonly used tape, which is used in over 75% of all packing applications, is polypropylene. This is due to its affordability and ability to get most jobs done. It is important to keep in mind that the more a box is recycled, the harder time polypro will have sticking to a box.

Another option is PVC, which is considered the Cadillac of packaging tape. This is because it is made of a natural rubber adhesive and the film is made of polyvinyl chloride. Since it looks very much like polypro and acrylic, the easiest way to differentiate PVC from the rest is when sealing your boxes since it is fairly silent. As mentioned earlier, acrylic is another type of tape that can also be printed on. It is mainly applied in cold or freezing temperatures. It stays stuck best within 24 hours of application. What you need to keep in mind for with acrylic is the fact that it is not possible to print on the tape but rather on the adhesive side. That being said, it is recommended to have a simple design on it to keep as much of the adhesive.

Gummed tape, also known as kraft tape or water-activated tape, is another option. The film is made out of paper and the adhesive needs to be activated with water.

Once you have chosen what kind of tape that is most appropriate to use for your packages, it is time to decide on the logo. Here are some tips on choosing the perfect logo for your company.

When you have a logo, it is recommended to have it available in different formats. To assure your custom printed tape will come out perfectly, it is best to send in an AI, EPS or vector logo. When you place an order with Spectra Tapes, we will send an approval sheet to be filled out and signed off. Once that is done, the transaction is finalized and a plate will be made with your logo. A plate has to be made for each color in your logo up to three colors. The cost of the plates is forwarded to the customer but it is only charged once. They are kept in a docket to be used again for future orders. The next step is actually printing your logo onto the tape. The plate is mounted onto the machinery and the logo is transferred onto the roll of tape with the desired colors.

What you should know about custom printed tape

With black Friday and the holiday season fast approaching, it is important for companies shipping products to understand the value of custom printed tape. Regardless who their end customer is, there are many benefits to having your logo printed on your packaging tape.

Think about the millions of boxes in transit every holiday season. How will your packages stand out from your competition? Aside from everyone being able to easily identify your shipment, there are a slew of other reasons why companies should consider this product.

When a company uses custom printed tape, they are making it harder for someone to tamper with their packages. This is due to the fact that it is highly evident if a box has been previously opened. With regular tape, anyone can simply open it, take something and reseal it without looking too obvious. Thus rates of pilferage will decrease since anyone outside your company will not have access to your tape to even try to make it seem like it has never been opened.

If you compare the costs of custom printed boxes to that of custom printed tape, it is no secret that the latter is a more cost-effective way to stand out. In addition, the time for the manufacturer to produce your custom printed boxes in all sizes and gets it to you would take long and an employee would have to constantly keep tabs on just how many boxes are left in each size. But with custom printed tape, it is possible to seal a lot of packages with just one roll without worrying about running out of a certain size. Another reason to go with custom printed tape rather than boxes is you can get more creative with tape due to the fact that you can use different colors and fonts that stick out.

That being said, it is a great form of advertising and will make a good first impression to the person who receives the package(s). Instead of getting a boring package, making the receiver guess who it is from, they will immediately recognize your logo and be instantly excited to open it. When a package is less than impressive, it will not yield a memorable experience for the receiver since your package is the first thing they will see and not the contents.

When your logo appears on even your package, it is a great way to keep a constant reminder your customers about your brand. This way, anytime they have a need, they will think about your brand first.

A company is only as good as its leader

I’m sure you’ve all heard of this saying before but if you look at past companies who have failed, more likely than not, bad management have led them to this downfall. There are many reasons how or why a company can fail based on its leadership. Some examples are lack of character, lack of vision and lack of execution. In addition, there needs to be a perfect combination of market conditions and it is up to the leader to know how the company is performing and where they stand.

Once that is understood, leaders have to strategize on short-term and long-term goals to leverage the best possible outcome for their organization. At Spectra Tapes, just like any other business, it is important for the leader to be active in daily tasks, set the organizational culture as well as think about long-term goals for the company while looking at how the market is performing.

Due to the lean strategy implemented by leadership, Spectra Tapes has reduced a lot in what could have been wasted resources. For those of you not aware of what going lean means, in a nutshell it is organizing your workspace in a way to reduce the time and other resources to get a project done. This has saved us countless hours of labor and capital. By now we should all know the key to successfully implementing a lean journey in any company; it all starts with leadership.

According to Industry Week, on average, over 60% of lean transformations fail. With all the resources we have available to us such as books, online articles, podcasts and countless consulting firms, you would think it would stick. Granted there are other reasons it might not catch on such as inadequate training, lack of time or funding and so on. But ultimately the most important element comes down to is strong leadership to implement any kind of initiative within an organization.

What is meant by strong leadership in order to go lean are the people at the top of the organization. They should be strong and passionate and positive role models for the employees working for them.

I’m sure you’ve heard of qualities leaders must possess to be good at what they do. There are actually specific qualities in a lean leader, which sets them apart from regular leaders as well. The foundations are discipline and humility since it takes the former to keep the lean journey going even though at times it may be hard and draining.

That being said, because of the leadership present at Spectra Tapes, we know we can fulfill our promise by getting your order to your door on or before the set date.

What you need to know about packaging tape

For those of you who have preciously shopped around for tape, you might have come across the jargon used to describe various properties of the tape such as how much adhesive is applied to the film.

The adhesive is probably the most important element of the tape. Places like China tend to combine the amount of adhesive applied on a film with the thickness of the tape to make it appear as though the quality of the tape is superior. The word used to describe it is micron. Therefore the higher the micron, the better the tape should be. The qualities to look for in the adhesive are the ease of application and the coating, which has to be very thinly applied to the backing material. The process heavily depends on the kind of adhesive made for the appropriate film.

There are additional steps that need to be taken after the adhesive is complete. For example, some of the film’s backing first needs to be backed up chemically or physically for the adhesive to bind to it better.

Before the tape is cut into the size we are familiar with, it first needs to be coated. The material then needs to be covered with some kind of material that can be anything from fabric, plastic films, foam or various other options. It is only after the coating has dried, if that is a necessary step, the entire strip is rewound. If the entire strip is double-sided, it has to go through the same process again with the costing and applying the adhesive layer on top. When all of these steps are finally complete, it is only then the wide rolls are cut into the smaller rolls we see in stores.

Every company has a slightly different way to produce their tape. Through research and development, they can improve their product slightly to have an edge over competitors.

Another variable to keep in mind is the cost of the raw materials to produce the tape. It is sometimes hard to tell the price direction a certain material is going in. For example, earlier in 2017, the price of plastics such as PP rose 20% and PVC by 10%. Exchange rates also have an impact on how to price the finished product. Depending on what part of the world the tape is produced in, the tape’s manufacturing cost will also be impacted.

Spectra Tapes Live Chat

It is now possible to chat with us during business hours. In order to serve our customers better and answer their questions, it is a great solution to provide real time answers instead of other methods of communication. Companies have to think about their online website somewhat like a brick and mortar store. When you walk into a store, there are salespeople around to help and guide the customer through the funnel. This doesn’t have to be different once the setting has changed to the online world. Customers will still need assistance, therefore it is recommended to have a live chat feature on your online store.

In your Google Analytics, you can see just how many people have visited your site in a given time period and how many of those have purchased a product or service. It is a good exercise to do an A/B test on a site with a live chat feature and one without. A fairly obvious hypothesis is one where there are no salespeople to help your online customers, they will shop around on your competitors sites if they do not get the assistance they are looking for. It is important to build trust with customers especially if you are a new brand. Once that has been established, and the communication with the customer has gone well, it is more likely they will place an order with you.

Depending on the size of your organization, there are countless solutions out there for businesses who are looking to get live chat on their website. This feature will give you an edge over competition and make your business more competitive.

After our business hours, it is possible to leave your email and a detailed message. A customer service representative will get back to you at their earliest convenience.

Another advantage of having live chat is to get customer comments directly from them and inquire further about their experience. To make sure other customers have an easier time on your site, make the necessary changes whether it is adding content to your site or to change its layout in order to make things more clear. Getting pain points from customers directly is a great asset.

What to know before your first custom printed tape order

Custom printed packaging tape has many benefits to the user. Think about all the packages currently in transit and how they must look. Probably a sea of brown boxes with a clear packing tape going across it. Once you get custom printed tape for your packages, they will become easily identifiable and stand out.

It is important to get your designer to come up with a great concept on how you would like your tape to look like. It is best to first contact the company to estimate how much it would cost to produce the tape. Then you can budget how you would like your design to be and how much to order. The more colors the tape has, the more expensive your custom roll will be. This is due to the number of plates used in the printing process.

Once the plate(s) for your logo are made, it is not necessary to purchase them again on your second order. They are stored in your file where they are retrieved when needed. The only time these will need to be redone is if you want the logo on the tape to be modified.

Or if there is too much wear and tear, the plate has to also be replaced by a new one. An estimate on when it needs to be replaced is if it is used up continuously for eight-hour shifts for a duration of a week and a half. Another variable is how much experience the employee who mounted the plate on the machinery has. The most common sized tape, 48 x 66, without mounting time and cleaning, should take fifteen minutes to print a case.

To be able to first make a plate, companies should provide high-resolution imagery. The supported formats are AI, EPS or vector. Customer satisfaction is the priority and to ensure that, your brand will be contacted if there is a problem with the quality or resolution of the image provided. If a lower quality image is used, the logo on the tape will not appear as crisp.

Another great advantage of using custom printed tape is that rates of pilferage and tampering will decrease significantly. This is because it is highly obvious if someone repackages the box with regular tape. As the receiver, if you notice the tape on the package has been previously opened, make sure all the contents in the shipment are all still there.

High Security Tape and Who Should Consider It

When purchasing packaging tape, there is also the option of getting high security tamperproof tape. The way it is designed is when it is delivered, the receiver will remove the seal from the surface of the box to reveal a tamper-evident message. Depending on who the manufacturer of the tape was, it will say slightly different words along the lines of “void/opened”.
This residue which gets left behind is almost impossible to remove. Unlike other regular packaging tape, high security tape is resistant to extreme hot and cold temperatures. Also for the companies that would like customization, it is possible to to do so for an extra cost. Depending on what you are looking for, Spectra Tapes has either blue tape that can be customized or red tape that is numbered sequentially every 6″ and perforated. This will allow it to be also used as a label for full security and be able to be recognized immediately. Think about all the boxes out there in transit that look just like one another. Wouldn’t you want your boxes to stand out from the pack?
Not only does high security tape provide you with that, it is even suitable in a variety of surfaces if they are clean or dry. These surfaces can either be stainless steel, painted metal, polyester, PVC and glass. Be advised that they have to be clean of oil, dirt, grease and other contaminants.
Industries that commonly use this kind of tape are financial institutions, jewellery, lottery, governmental, corporate security, and couriers. The whole idea of having this product is to protect the merchandise found inside. With high security tape, it is fairly obvious if someone tampered with your package. Since even a since piece of tape is not like the others, there is no way to get around it.
High security tapes are a more secure option than using custom printed packaging tape such as polypropylene, PVC, acrylic or gummed tape. These are good options for shipping certain products such as clothing and other goods valued under a certain amount. As you may have noticed, the industries who are more likely to use high security tape tend to sell items that most people would want to get their hands on.
It is recommended to store such tape at an ambient temperature of between 10-20 degrees Celsius (50-68 degrees Fahrenheit) to ensure the product will perform the most optimally.

Why you should consider gummed tape

Gummed tape, also known as water activated or paper tape, has gained a lot of popularity since Amazon, the ecommerce giant, started using it. Gummed tape was on its way out at that point mainly due to the difficulty of application.

There are hand and machine dispensers on the market to make the application process easier. They have to be for gummed tape only since the dispensers for other kinds of tape will not work. Since the adhesive on the tape is not activated yet, these dispensers brush water on them and cut them in the length required to seal the box.

Aside from the fact that it takes more effort to seal packages, there are many advantages to using gummed tape. Between polypropylene, PVC, acrylic and gummed tape, the latter provides the best security for your products. This is due to the fiberglass strands in the tape. They are very strong which makes it very obvious if someone tampered with the package. It is extremely difficult to remove without showing signs of someone previously opening it.

Gummed tape also bonds very quickly to any kind of box no matter how recycled it is. In addition, the other tapes may not all be recyclable friendly but since gummed tape is made out of paper, there is no need to worry about removing the tape first. This is why it is the most environmentally friendly option for packaging.

In addition, it holds securely in all kinds of weather and will stay firm when sealing boxes that are overfilled. Since the tape is wet when applied, be careful closing these packages. Due to the fact that it’s wet, it will shift around and not stick right away. It needs to be first held down until the piece of tape is well bound. After that, it should never unbind. Even if a box is under stuffed, regular tape will start to unbind especially if there are heavier boxes placed on top if it during shipping. But with gummed tape, you will not have that problem.

With the dispenser for gummed tape, it will allow you to choose the exact length you need to seal your boxes. Therefore there is zero waste compared to the other kinds of tape mentioned above because it may take more of these tapes to close certain boxes. But with gummed tape, unless someone applies it wrong, there is no reason to double tape a box with it.