There can be many challenges surrounding artwork versioning.
But why is it so complex?
First, consider this: one product does not equal one label.
Those who are responsible for artwork know this, but sometimes it’s hard to explain how complicated this is.
Take this example: a product comes in four sizes and each size is available in 10 markets with different language requirements in each.
Suddenly you’re up to 40 labels, and if you have multiple manufacturing sites, this number goes up again.
Add on the cartons, inserts, and other components, and the number keeps growing. And there can be no “rogue” labels.
Despite language and size variations, each label still has to sync with the master label content map, which includes:
Next, there are usually a significant number of people involved in the labeling process – from those who provide input, to those who approve content and design, to those who are responsible for the creation of the label.
As more stakeholders are involved in the label production process, it becomes more difficult to ensure everyone involved has visibility into labeling projects and the ability to easily provide input and approve labeling assets.
There is also a tremendous amount of information beyond what you see on the actual label that needs to be tracked.
For example, some label content, such as safety information, may originate from a core data sheet.
When a claim is made on the label: “Lasts for up to eight hours!” the label approver will need to reference some supporting documentation to substantiate the claim.
In addition, there are dielines to track and printing information that needs to be available to the printer(s).
Finally, the most complex part of version control is managing multiple changes to the same piece of artwork.
The reality is, your label production process from design to distribution rarely follows a linear path.
The more common scenario is that at some point during the label production process, the number of label versions you manage changes because:
You now have changes on top of changes, and you need to make decisions about how to track all of these versions. When do you bundle changes together? When do you unbundle changes in order to meet your deadlines?
To master these complexities and make artwork versioning control easier, try the following six steps: