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Printing Lingo: What is a Union Bug?

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Because the Union Label is generally printed small in size, it can resemble a small insect or "bug" on the finished product. The red box at the bottom shows an enlarged rendition of this Union Bug example.
Print materials that are produced by members of a labor union display a special mark or emblem called a Union Label.

Union Labels have been in use since the late 1800s to signify that an item was produced in a Union shop.

Why is the Label called a Bug?

So as not to interfere with the design or message of printed pieces, the union label is purposely kept relatively small. Because of its miniscule size, the label is commonly referred to as a "Union Bug" because it resembles a small insect on the printed sheet.

Having the Union Label or "Bug" is important for customers that prefer to purchase union-made printing. For example, companies that employ union members will often require any printed items they purchase to be marked with the Union Bug.

The Union Bug is also important to many political candidates. In order to demonstrate union support, printed campaign materials (such as direct mail pieces, pamphlets, signage, etc.) will often require the Union Bug.

If you ever have a need for Union-printed materials such as brochures, booklets, stationery, presentation folders, posters, door hangers, direct mail pieces or similar items, give Formax Printing a call at 866-367-6221. Or, if you already know the specs of your project, click here to submit our easy quote request form. To ensure that your project gets printed at our union print facility, please tell us upfront if union printing is required.

As always, we look forward to assisting with your print project!

Take care! Keith

About the Author

Keith Beaty is the owner of Formax Printing Solutions in St. Louis, MO. Formax provides a complete array of offset and digital printing services. Specialty areas include book printing, full-color printing, laminated printing, map printing, plus mailing services. If you ever have a printing question or project you would like to discuss, Keith is always happy to help. He can be reached at 866-367-6221. Keith and Formax have been providing worry-free printing and related services since 1985.

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