Lamination In Label Printing

Laminated labels are labels that come with a protective layer of clear film. This is also known as an over-laminate. The most common finish is a gloss finish. This can really make the labels stand out and appear very shiny. Matt finishes and textured finishes are alternative types of laminate. Lamination is an inexpensive method of adding more protection to the labels but there is the added benefit of altering the look of the labels.

If the label is rather dull since it has been printed on matt label stock, then gloss lamination can make the label appear shiny and improve its visual appeal.

Alternatively, lamination can lessen the impact of a label printed on a gloss label stock. For example, a barcoded label printed on gloss label stock can actually be easier to scan if a matt laminate is added over it.

The most common reason to laminate your labels is to provide extra protection. An extra layer of film over the printed label will protect the ink and hence, increase its durability. If the label is going to be handled regularly, then the extra layer of protection provided by lamination will preserve the colours on the labels for a longer period of time. Basically, lamination prevents the base stock and the ink from degrading through everyday handling.

Lamination would be effective if labels were required on a telephone which is used every day. However, for labels stuck on the back of a computer, then lamination would be unnecessary since the actual label would not be handled on a regular basis.

Limitations Of Laminated Labels

In summary, laminated labels are a low cost alternative to providing increased durability of your labels. In some cases lamination can be a less expensive alternative to vinyl labels as they can provide some protection against liquids and some outdoor conditions. They can also provide limited ultraviolet protection. However, for long term outdoor use, vinyl labels are recommended. The inks used for vinyl decals are guaranteed UV proof and will continue to remain vibrant for many years. In fact, vinyl labels can withstand most weather conditions for up to seven years. This is something that is beyond the capabilities of regular laminated labels. 

Lamination is used primarily in two cases –

  • Where the customer is seeking a certain finish that only lamination can provide, e.g. an extra glossy surface achieved through the use of gloss laminate or a rough, frosted finish achieved through the use of matt laminate.
  • Where the customer requires an extra layer of durability or protection. Laminate is advisable when the label is going to be handled regularly e.g. we laminated labels that were going to be stuck onto phone handsets. It prevents the base stock and the ink from degrading through everyday handling.
    It can also provide waterproofing and even weatherproofing in some cases, as a lower cost alternative to vinyl. However vinyl is still strongly recommended for long-term outdoor use as the inks used for vinyl decals are also guaranteed UV proof and will continue to stay vibrant for years.

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