As a label printing company, we need to be ready for all kinds of uses for printed labels. When talking to your company that prints your product labels, you must always be very specific about where the labels are going?
Are your labels going on a box, on a metal product, on plastic, on a tube, on a plastic bag, on wood or on other material?
The next question is, “What will the labels be exposed to?”
Will your labels be exposed to moisture, various liquids such as wine, hot or cold conditions, the sun, the rain or ultra-violet light?
For example, we recommend a synthetic label with a protective gloss laminate for shampoo labels as these labels are exposed to moisture but only for short periods. Labels on bumper bars will be exposed to rain as well as the sun so a stronger label is needed. We actually recommend vinyl stickers with a laminate coating as they can withstand these conditions.
Here is another question to consider. Are your labels permanent or removable?
Most of the time you will want your label to remain affixed to your product indefinitely. That is not always the case though. Small labels on apples will need to be removed. Sign here labels are always removed and there are other instances where labels will need to be removed.
The next question to consider is, “Will you need to write on your labels?”
Again, most of the time, the answer will be no. However, packaging labels will often be written on. In this instance, you will need a matte label. Often, a fluorescent matte label is the preferred stock and a black marker is used to add further information.
Medical labels may also require additional text so generally these labels are printed on a white matte stock. For labels that require additional hand written information, there are generally two rules. It is easier to write on a matte sticker than a shiny gloss sticker. Secondly, the labels should not be laminated or have any coating on them. If the label does require to be laminated (ie outdoor usage) then a permanent marker is recommended.
The above questions all relate to what label stock will be most suitable for your labels. The next question you should ask your label printing company is the actual printing process. Well, there are many label printing companies that will try and persuade you to use their machine even though they know it is not ideal for the job required.
Short runs are generally printed digitally and this means that labels are typically printed without the need for printing plates. The setup costs are much lower with digital label printing machines but the drawback is generally they are slower so the actual cost of printing is usually less with a flexographic or letterpress label printing machine.
As technology improves almost every year, digital label printing machinery is printing labels faster and faster every year so this means you can print four colour labels quite quickly using digital machinery.
It surprises me that label printing companies allow labels to be ordered online as there are just so many questions that you need to ask your supplier before the labels can be printed. Always be ready to ask the questions in this blog. Otherwise, you risk one of two things: the wrong labels for the purpose intended or grossly inflated prices for your printed labels.