About Daniel Label Printing Inc.
If S.E. Daniel, the founder of Daniel Label, walked through the modern printing plant today, he’d have a hard time understanding what goes on there. That is because the tiny printing company that he started in 1931 has grown into a high-tech printing business specializing in producing pressure-sensitive labels and tags.
The fledgling operation struggled in the beginning but began to enjoy some success in the next decade. Business again struggled during the Second World War when paper, particularly gummed papers, was in short supply. Daniel kept the business going as he was forced to supplement his income by working full time making ammunition at the Jacksonville Ordnance Plant. After the war, the firm began to prosper again. It was in the middle 50’s when his son, Irv Daniel, a Korean War Veteran and college graduate from the University of Arkansas, agreed to leave his job at International Harvester and join the family business. He is the company president today, and he has built the company into one that employs around 35 people — some who have been there 20 years or more and now operate 15 label presses and supporting equipment.
In the late 50’s Daniel learned of a new printing process that was pioneered in St. Louis. It was called Flexography and the printing was done by wrapping rubber plates around a cylinder which was inked as it turned to transfer ink onto paper or tapes. The substrate was in a continuous roll and printing was done as it was unwound and passed around a cylinder. The presses were simple and small enough to fit into the trunk of the Plymouth automobile that Daniel drove at the time. The purchase proved to be one of the keys to Daniel’s success, particularly as the popularity of pressure-sensitive labels — ones with sticky backs — caught on. It didn’t take a genius to realize that North Little Rock was pretty isolated and there was an urgent need to have a means to make printing plates. This also involved a means to set type and offer graphics on the labels demanded by the food and meat industry. Today, that is accomplished by a totally different method, e.g. art files usually are furnished over the internet, our own art department prepares the art for high-definition plate making by our own graphic systems. This even permits same-day shipments when a customer “has his ox in a ditch.”
About 25 years ago, the plant relocated to its present location in North Little Rock, Arkansas. This gave us access to Interstates 30, 40, 440, 630, and placed us only minutes from downtown Little Rock, the capitol city, and about 12 minutes from Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport (locally known as Hillbilly National Airport) in Little Rock. Sales and manufacturing are done from this facility, which is approximately 65,000 square feet in size. We are serviced daily by FedEx, UPS, and the USPS.
Today you might see Daniel Labels on products as diverse as frozen yogurt, pumps in Saudi Arabia, Pharmaceuticals, your favorite sausage, dog shampoo’s, sunscreens, or Magic Markers. Jobs can range from simple orders or prototypes to millions of pieces in size. We pride ourselves on meeting deadlines and doing what we promise to do. We’ll admit to occasionally making a mess or mistake, but you can be assured that we’ll see that it is corrected and done on overtime at our expense if this is required. We are proud of our work as it is, but Irv Daniel challenges his employees to get better at their jobs every day!
We make every effort to install the latest technologies that relate to flexographic printing and this includes art and plate technologies. At one time Flexography (or analine printing as it was called) was regarded as a “step child” of the graphic arts and was capable of only printing on corrugated, grocery sacks, etc., and this was accomplished with very inaccurate rubber plates. We can now compete with the best of offset printing and proudly display labels of a quality previously thought impossible. We make frequent trips to trade shows and we are relentless is our Research and Development.
The business remains a family-run business still today. In fact, there are 5 members of the Daniel family working at the company. The father (Patriarch) Irv Daniel, his two sons, Marc and Kevin, and his two daughters, Kay and Julie. They all have their own jobs to do and all have been a huge part of the success of the enterprise. We even usually get along well, not that we don’t have the occasional disagreements. In all fairness, the disagreements usually stem from the need to put a job ahead of others that have been planned and scheduled. We usually know our customers personally and place the highest importance on taking care of them and doing what we have promised.
At a Ground-Breaking ceremony for the new plant, Daniel explained his commitment to his label business this way: “I want this company to be the best there is. I want every label printer in the whole world to wonder how that little outfit in North Little Rock is getting the best of them. We have dedicated ourselves to being the world leader in the manufacture of pressure-sensitive labels.”