Running with the Gang: An economical print strategy for custom tags

No, I’m not talking about the Bloods or the Crips or troubled youths from the lower east side of a major metropolis. I am going to be talking about a print strategy called “gang-run printing”. This method of printing is perfect for producing multiple tag programs cost effectively and efficiently.

Gang-running is a method of printing multiple jobs on one press run. The main advantage is that it is extremely economical. Multiple print jobs share the same print run, which reduces manpower, plates, prep time, and press wash-up labor. Plus it reduces waste by using less plastic for the make ready process.

You may be asking - how does all this affect me and why would I care?

Well, let’s say one of your top customers (IGC or big box) has asked you to develop a specialty tag program to promote a particular variety. Maybe you want to develop a tag program to attract the new generation of millennials.  In either case, after you crunch the numbers, you realize a unique tagging program just isn’t going to fit into a healthy bottom line.

But wait a minute! There is hope. You can reduce the cost of that ONE special tag program and produce THREE for a greatly reduced per unit cost! If you are working with one of your customers, you can tell them they are such a valued customer, you are planning to design three custom programs for them this year! (small sales tip)

The first part of the plan is to decide what varieties to promote. You spend a lot of time forecasting and planning production so you have a good idea what plants warrant a custom tag program. You may decide to promote a certain variety for spring, another for summer and the third for fall.

This is where gang-running your tags comes into play and the strategy is simple. Decide on a common shape for all three tag types. It can be a simple rectangle, circle or some unique shape. The main thing is to make sure all three tag programs share the same shape.

Once the shape is determined you can design the tags of all three programs with different graphics, branding and plant information. If you need help developing and designing your tags, Horticultural Marketing and Printing’s expert design team is ready to assist any way you need. Our team has designed hundreds of brands and thousands of tag designs. If you need, our design team can also help prepare your presentation to your customer.

Once the designs are approved and quantities are finalized, HMP’s print production team goes into action and prepares the files to gang-run on the appropriate press. The tags are then die cut, bundled, packaged by program and sent to your place of business.

To learn more on how this economical print strategy can help your business grow, call your sales representative for more information. Who knows, you just may become a member of our gang.

About the author: Randy Webb is a Senior Account Representative for Horticultural Marketing and Printing. He services both horticultural accounts as well as commercial clients. Prior to his sales position, Randy served as Creative Director and has been in the graphic arts industry for over 20 years, working in both print and digital media. You can reach Randy at

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