Lightning Labels grows Creative Team with new in-house Senior Graphic Designer to offer expanded customer support


Some clients want to explore a wide variety of options, looks and effects. Others know exactly what they want, so I create it the way they want it—with suggestions as warranted along the way. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to graphic design and its relationship to printed labels.

Lightning Labels, full-color custom labels and custom stickers digital printer, has added fulltime Senior Graphic Designer Don Alles to their expanding team.

Alles, a longtime print design and printing specialist, joined Lightning Labels in response to client inquiries about in-house graphic design capabilities.

“We found somebody who knows all major aspects of print and label graphic design, and can address printing from a total-experience perspective—everything from how lighting reflects off of a label to designing in a way that makes a product pop out from everything else,” says Gary Paulin, Lightning Labels VP, Sales & Client Services.

Alles has extensive print experience. Besides graphic design, he’s worked in prepress and bindery, operated a digital web press and four-color Heidelberg quick press, and served as a Production Work Flow Manager. That diversity of experience comes in handy to understand all issues involved in printing and fulfilling high-quality label orders.

Alles also is well-versed in digital design. Digital design projects range from designing a website for a lobbyist group at the State Capitol to trucking company promotion and communications efforts.

He does a deep dive with clients to determine their preferences and tolerances before starting the design process. “I read the room. A big part of my job is to tap into client decision-making processes and how to help create a great-looking label. I’m working for them, and am invested in their satisfaction and retention,” Alles says.

He adds, “Some clients want to explore a wide variety of options, looks and effects. Others know exactly what they want, so I create it the way they want it—with suggestions as warranted along the way. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to graphic design and its relationship to printed labels.”

Sometimes, the challenge with a particular label doesn’t arise until later in the selection process. Notes Alles, “On a recent job, I preferred a clear label. The client wanted white. The label looked bad on white when we did the press proof. So, we teamed up and decided to go with the clear label, and changed most copy to white with the logos and some copy over a white layer. The final product really popped!”

While vibrant and impactful, reflective chrome labels also have limitations. Asks Alles, “The label can look really cool, but how does it hold up under certain lighting?

Alles’ penchant for graphic design started at an early age. He notes, “I’ve always been an artist, painting and drawing. Ultimately, I studied commercial graphic design and have been doing it ever since.”

Two issues Alles encounters frequently are:

  • 1. Amount of copy. As a rule, keep it to a minimum. Prioritize size requirements for QR codes, barcodes and the like—along with needed ingredients, supplement facts and disclaimers. By keeping the label “uncluttered,” consumers will be more likely to examine the product.
  • 2. Professional look and feel. In most industries, professional and polished looks are replacing homespun. Labels should reflect the professional, high-quality nature of product contents. This helps establish consumer trust and comfort with a product.


When not creating artwork, Alles creates music. A longtime musician, singer and songwriter, he continues to perform with an Americana-style band called Scarecrow Revival at Colorado front range venues. “We play mostly original songs, and have appeared at many breweries. Now, with the pandemic easing, we’re ramping up in new venues. We recently played on a patio for the first time in months.”

To receive a free design quote, please contact Lightning Labels at Info@Lightninglabels.com.

About Lightning Labels:

Lightning Labels uses state-of-the-art printing technology to provide affordable, full-color custom labels and custom stickers of all shapes and sizes. From small orders for individuals to the bulk needs of big businesses, Lightning Labels is equipped to handle and fulfill custom label and sticker projects of all types. Best of all, like the name implies, Lightning Labels provides a quick turnaround for every customer’s labeling needs. Uses for Lightning Labels’ custom product labels and custom stickers include food packaging and organic food labels, wine and beverage labels, bath and body labels, and nutraceutical products, such as vitamins, essentials oils, and herbal remedies, as well as event stickers, adhesive window stickers and more. Lightning Labels strongly supports the development of environmentally friendly printing materials and carries Biostone, a green label material made from stone paper is water resistant and inherently strong and durable. While operating as a high-tech printer, Lightning Labels prides itself on its personalized customer service. Lightning Labels provides one stop shopping for all of your custom label needs. For more information and to place orders online, visit LightningLabels.com. For the latest in packaging news and labeling promotional offers, find Lightning Labels on Twitter (@LightningLabels), Facebook, Instagram (@LightningLabels), Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

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