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Donald L. Watson

In January 1960, Donald L. Watson formed a proprietorship known as the Watson List-O-Graphic Company, which specialized in the printing of daily intercept records for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company. Once established, the company expanded quickly and secured contracts to print various types of directories for American Telephone and Telegraph Company and various branches of Monsanto Chemical Company.

In a two to three year period, the firm grew rapidly and was incorporated on December 28, 1961, as Watson Directory Corporation with Donald L. Watson as president. A satellite office opened in Kansas City, Missouri and was operated by Robert G. Watson, brother of the founder. With offices in both metropolitan cities of Missouri, the original venture was considerably enlarged allowing for diversification into new opportunities.

The death of founder Donald L. Watson in the fall of 1982 led to a change in management. His wife, Ilonka D. Watson, succeeded him as President. His two sons, Douglas M. Watson and Mark D. Watson, were named Vice Presidents. In 1985, daughter Cynthia A. Watson joined the company as a sales representative and in 1991 was named Vice President.

WLP celebrates the installation of
their first digital press in 1995

The company, after extensive research and development efforts, diversified further into what has grown to be the major emphasis of the business today: The manufacture of preprinted bar code labels, prototype packaging, specialty printing and lenticular flip imaging. The dramatic change in business focus resulted in the legal formation of the Watson Label Products Division in late 1984. 

By the mid-1990's, Watson Label Products became a pioneer in digital printing, being one of the first in the industry to adopt this new technology. With the techniques invented by WLP and the experience gained in the industry, the company is respected as one of the most technologically innovative specialty label manufacturers in the world.

Today, WLP continues to grow with evolving technology and an emphasis on quality. As a high-quality label manufacturing organization certified to ISO 9001:2015, Watson holds customer satisfaction as its primary responsibility. The management of WLP looks to modern technology and practices as a means to continually improve in order to meet and exceed customers' requirements.

2020 – WLP installs
6th HP Indigo Digital Press
WLP Management

The company began modestly, grew rapidly but steadily and continues with expansion plans in these and other industries. In 2018, Clayton Rank joined Watson Label as Accounting Manager/ISO Coordinator. Caroline Rank joined the team in 2020 as a Customer Service Representative and Marketing Specialist. They mark the third generation to be involved in the business. Watson Label Products is also a woman-owned business and member of The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.


We wanted to thank you for an amazing job on our 12oz mockup pouches! We received them this morning and we are extremely impressed by how fast you were able to turn around the job to us.

Watson Label Products' effort, attention and hard work has been noticed and greatly appreciated. Vicor will remember this and take it into account moving forward.

Watson has been producing barcodes for Columbia University Libraries for almost a decade. Some of the special labels we have requested required several discussions, but Watson always came up with a perfectly workable solution.

I just wanted to say THANK YOU!!! I really appreciate you and the Watson Label associates for your great work and awesome customer service. It seems you do it so effortlessly. Thank you again.

I wanted to thank you and your team for all the work you have done on the Sun Care cans. I know we have been pushing some tough timelines and your team has come thru. Thanks for all your hard work and help!!

Watson Label Products is the best at what they do. I prefer Watson over anyone else.

I just wanted to thank you for all of your help, we received the barcodes and they were perfect. We look forward to our future business with Watson Label Products in the near future!

You guys are the greatest!!!!!!!

HP Printers

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Give Watson a chance to become the supplier and partner you need to provide solutions for your most demanding bar code, labeling, flexible packaging, and specialty printing needs. Call (800) 678-6715 or fill out the form and one of our label specialists will get in touch with you within 24 hours.

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