A Comprehensive Guide to Clear and Transparent Product Labels

Sometimes a see-through label is the perfect way to make sure people notice your products. Clear and transparent product labels create a striking look that emphasizes your container – and potentially everything inside of it. When done right, see-through or transparent labels can give alcohol, beauty products, and other types of packaging a clear advantage over the competition.

Of course, the key phrase here is “when done right.” There are some issues that can occur without proper planning. However, planning ahead for these factors can help you attain a stunning look for your labels. Here are some things to consider when investing in a clear or transparent label.

Custom beverages with clear labels

Why Clear and Transparent Labels

Clear packaging and transparent product labels are piquing the interest of brands seeking to elevate their product’s appeal. Consumers are also drawn to transparent labels as they give products sleek, modern styling and allow you to see the contents inside.

Which Products Are Best Suited for Clear and Transparent Labels?

Clear and transparent labels allow certain products to highlight visual aspects that appeal to buyers:

  • Beverages – Clear bottles and labels showcase juice pulp, fruit, and appealing liquid colors.
  • Foods – Seeing ingredients like jams, sauces, and frozen fruits maintains their fresh aesthetic and communicates homemade appeal.
  • Health/beauty – Showcasing product colors, shimmer, or even skin tone matching helps drive interest and purchases.

Compatibility with Different Containers and Materials

If you want clear or transparent labels, you’ll need to use some type of film material, such as a BOPP – after all, there is no see-through paper label material. Since you’ll need a film, you’ll also want to add a laminate or varnish to protect your label from scratches and other damage. In terms of what type of film is best, it largely depends on your container.

Identifying the right clear label material really comes down to what your container is meant to do. If you need a label for a squeeze bottle, you’ll want a material like MDO that’s meant for flexible containers. More rigid containers like glass bottles may lead you to crystal clear films so that you can showcase your product, such as labels for spirits and other higher-end products. These details can help a label printing company identify which material is best for your specific situation.

Design and Color Considerations

While transparent labels offer creative potential, they also come with unique design considerations compared to other label types and materials. Knowing how to design for clear labels is important—here are some tips:

Color Considerations

Label colors will blend with any visible background hue from bottles or contents behind them. For example, red label graphics on a blue bottle will shift purplish. To control for this:

  • Put white ink layers behind label design elements to blank out backgrounds. Multiple layers may be required to fully block out bold container colors.
  • Test print label proofs applied to sample bottles and contents to preview results of transparent inks blending with visible hues. Adjust colors accordingly.

At Blue Label, we can generate physical label samples for testing on the actual containers. Proofs provide visibility on exactly how custom graphics and chosen colors will render prior to final printing approval and full purchase. Leverage proofs to lock in ideal transparent label results.

Custom food jars with clear labels

Size and Shape Considerations

Clear label materials open up a new world of options for packaging designs compared to paper labels. Consider unique sizing and die cuts to maximize visibility and shelf appeal.

  • Non-Standard Dimensions – Move beyond standard label sizes to precisely fit the exact contour of any bottle, jar or container shape. Height, width, corners and more can all be customized.
  • Rounded Corners – Softly rounded or dramatically shaped label corners complement curved containers like wine bottles or cosmetic jars.
  • Die Cut Shapes – Laser die cutting creates labels shaped like logos or abstract art forms.
  • Placement – Unconventional label dimensions or transparent cut-outs enable brands to feature multiple interactive front, back, side and neck labels for expanded real estate to showcase ingredients and tamper-evident seals.

Overcoming Challenges

  • Dark bottle colors can restrict label artwork shades visible through the reverse side. Accentuate with colors optimized for contrast.
  • Details can get lost on shiny materials. Employ techniques like patterns, outlines, and pronounced fonts.

Telling Your Brand Story

With thoughtful design, transparent labels artfully showcase what’s inside a bottle or container while allowing complimentary creative embellishments:

  • Feature appetizing food close-ups “suspended” in clear jars or containers.
  • Use vibrant label colors and graphics to play up appetizing liquid hues visible through clear bottles. White ink pops!
  • Print artistic patterns, abstract shapes or product sketches directly onto see-through materials.

A reputable label printer can provide guidance to overcome aesthetic hurdles while unlocking innovative ways clear labels enhance presentation.

Cost Considerations

While visually striking, transparent label materials and specialized printing can carry higher costs than other label materials. Consider these factors:

Label Material Differences

Common transparent label materials:

  • BOPP (Biaxially-oriented polypropylene) – Glossy polymer film adaptable for complex shapes.
  • PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) – Crystal clear polyester often used for health/beauty.
  • HDPE (High-density polyethylene)- Strong moisture-resistant film.

These plastic films generally cost 10-30% more than paper label materials of the same size, but they enable 360° visibility of contents.

Printing Differences

Precision registration (lining up) of multi-color transparent label graphics also demands specialized printers and operator expertise. Metallic inks, custom mixing for passthrough hues, and other special embellishments increase print complexity and associated setup and per label expenses.

Evaluating ROI

While the upfront material and printing costs may be slightly higher, the return from product differentiation, consumer engagement, and sales gains over time can offset those costs. Conduct pilot studies across different products to measure the impact that different labels and packaging options have on ROI.

Preparing Artwork Files for Clear or Transparent Labels

When providing label artwork files for printing transparent labels, ensure:

Proper File Setup

  • Supply artwork as print-ready PDFs or high resolution PSD/AI files so see-through elements render precisely.
  • Review files at 100% scale and max quality to validate designs before submitting.
  • Activate transparency flattening settings when saving PDFs to properly blend artwork layers.
  • Understand acceptable file formats and ensure your printer performs a design file review before sending your label to print.

Design Considerations

  • Use white ink layers behind designs or apply white label backings so bottle colors don’t alter graphics.
  • Embed or link all fonts and images. Supply high-res photos scaled 1:1 for best clarity.
  • Request test prints applied on sample containers filled with product substitutes to preview final transparent labeling results.

Submitting flawless artwork with visibility-enhancing techniques delivers superior transparent label outcomes that make products shine.

Label Placement and Application

Transparent labels readily showcase any labeled surface imperfections like the following:

  • Air bubbles beneath labels become clearly visible.
  • Fingerprint smudges, debris, and dust is uncovered.
  • The slightest wrinkles or folds stand out.

To avoid issues with see-through labels, consider the following:

  • Utilize clean label application practices minimizing human handling. Employ smooth, automated label dispensers over manual processes when possible.
  • Inspect all transparent labels post-application and re-apply to remedy defects.
  • Ensure label material and adhesives are appropriate for the container, whether it’s a flat surface, a curved surface, or a custom size or shape.

While clear labels beautifully reveal bottle and contents, they also highlight the slightest application flaws which could impact perceived quality. Invest in tight quality controls over label management and equipment. This includes selecting labels with a permanent adhesive that ensures a secure bond to the smooth surface of the container, preventing peeling or displacement that could detract from the product’s aesthetic appeal.

Custom jam labels with clear labels

Find the Right Printing Company for Your Clear Product Labels

Now that you know how to prepare for clear or transparent labels, you still need the right company to help you pull off your see-through vision. At Blue Label, we have the tools and expertise to develop high-quality labels and see-through packaging with your specific needs in mind. You know your products and we know label printing. Together, we can make sure that your labels compliment your products and make people notice your brand.

Ready to wow your customers with eye-catching product labels? Contact Blue Label today to talk to one of our experts about clear printed labels or your next label project.

The Difference Between Glossy, Satin, and Matte Labels

There are plenty of finishing options for product labels, but there’s only one that’s perfect for your design. Glossy, matte, and satin finishes can all look amazing in different situations, so it’s important to figure out which options are right for the look and feel of your labels. Let’s break down the differences between these types of label finishes and why one might be the best option for your products.

Glossy Satin Matte
Durability High with laminate Moderate Moderate
Print Quality High vibrancy and contrast Balanced sheen, good clarity Soft, elegant appearance
Material Flexibility Less flexible Somewhat flexible Most flexible
Water Resistance High with proper coating Moderate to high Moderate to high
UV Resistance High with UV coating Moderate Moderate
Temperature Resistance Moderate to high Moderate High
Cost Higher cost Moderate cost Generally lower cost

What is a Glossy Label Finish?

A glossy finish is a characteristic of laminate or varnish that has a high shine effect. This finish will leave a glossy sheen to your product labels that will certainly pop to consumers.

The reason for this shine is because glossy finishes reflect light. A gloss laminate adds a protective film to the top of your label that will not only protect your design, but also catch the light in attractive ways. A gloss varnish is applied as a liquid that cures and dries to form a protective layer that also reflects light while shielding your label from harm.

Applications for Glossy Labels

Glossy labels stand out thanks to their high-shine finish that does more than just catch the light. This type of label is known for enhancing color contrast, making it an ideal choice for designs that feature complex vivid colors or intricate details.

A jar of muscle builder gummies with a glossy label.

Glossy labels can be ideal for:

  • Beverages and Frozen Items: Glossy labels are ideal for beverages and frozen items due to their moisture-resistant properties, ensuring the packaging remains vibrant and intact in cold conditions.
  • Luxury Products: The premium look and feel of glossy labels aligns well with luxury beverages, gourmet foods, cosmetic items, and health supplements.
  • Colorful Labels: Products featuring vibrant colors or detailed artwork benefit from the added depth and dimension offered by gloss finishes.
  • Hair Care Products: Given their ability to resist moisture, glossy labels are a popular option for hair care lines that often face humid environments.

Apart from visual advantages, glossy labels come with practical benefits as well. Their capacity to withstand moisture makes them suitable candidates for beverages and food items prone to condensation or stored in refrigeration units. That kind of durability ensures these high-shine labels maintain their composition through each stage—right from transportation all the way up to shelf placement.

What are Satin and Matte Label Finishes?

Unlike a gloss, a matte finish is an effect that creates a dulled and non-reflective surface. Matte laminates are applied to the top of your label material in the same fashion as their glossy counterparts, except that these finishes have the opposite of shiny. A satin finish accomplishes the same goal as matte laminate. The key difference is that satin is the term used for UV varnishes, whereas matte is used in describing laminates.

While glossy surfaces shine for consumers, matte and satin finishes attract attention for different reasons. The dulled effect is by no means boring – in fact, the subtle, muted look imparts a sophistication that creates a more mature, natural feel for your products.

The “flat” effect of a matte or satin finish also allows other design elements to shine. These capabilities allow you to play with the softer aesthetic of matte and satin finishes to add some class and intrigue to your packaging.

Three beer bottles with matte labels.

Applications for Satin Labels

Satin labels are a great middle ground in label finishes, marrying the understated elegance of matte labels with a hint of the reflective charm found in glossy labels. This blend results in a satin-like surface that softly catches light, offering visual appeal without overwhelming shine. This makes satin labels a common option for brands wishing to project sophistication and quality through their packaging.

Satin labels can be ideal for:

  • Custom Candle Labels: The soft glow from candles is perfectly complemented by the muted luster of satin labels, enhancing the product’s aesthetic while maintaining an air of luxury.
  • Beauty Products: From lotions to serums—beauty products benefit from the sophisticated touch offered by these labels; it suggests quality and care put into what’s inside.
  • Wine Bottles: Wine producers often choose satin-finished labels as they add a layer of refinement suitable for showcasing on dining tables or gifting occasions.

In general, it’s easier to write on matte and satin finishes than glossy ones. That can be important if you handwrite batch numbers or add other details to your labels after application.

Rum bottle with custom label

Applications for Matte Labels

Matte labels offer a distinct look that sets them apart in the world of product packaging. Known for their non-reflective finish, matte paper labels bring an air of sophistication and understated elegance to products. These non-reflective labels excel at making text and intricate designs stand out without the distraction of glare.

Satin labels can be ideal for:

  • Luxury Goods: Products positioned at the higher end of the market often leverage matte labels attractive qualities to signify exclusivity.
  • Organic Products: The natural-looking label surface aligns perfectly with organic or eco-friendly brand values, suggesting simplicity and purity.
  • Vintage-style Designs: Brands looking to evoke nostalgia or artisanal craftsmanship find a perfect match in the textured backdrop offered by matte finishes.

If you want a classic look that evokes quality, look no further than matte laminates or satin varnishes.

Invest in the Right Label Solution for Your Products

No matter which aesthetic you prefer, it’s important to use the right finish to enhance and protect your design. Blue Label works with you to determine the best mix of material, adhesive, and finish for your exact labeling needs. Whether you need custom matte labels, high gloss labels, or some other solution, we can deliver the right solution for your exact needs.

Ready to invest in quality, custom printed labels for your products? Contact us today to talk about your next label project.

6 Label Tips for Cosmetics and Beauty Products

An unattractive label is not a “good look” for a beauty product. Aesthetics are an important factor when investing in labels for cosmetics and beauty products, but it’s not the only aspect that you need to consider. Here are six tips that you should follow when it’s time to design and order custom labels for your beauty products.

1. Follow the FDA’s Cosmetic Label Guidelines

A label design that doesn’t follow the rules isn’t going to do your products any good. Misbranded cosmetic packaging is subject to regulatory action from the FDA if it’s found to be misleading or lack any of the required information.

What Counts as a “Cosmetic” Product?

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) categorizes cosmetics as products applied to the body for aesthetic purposes without altering its structure or functions, excluding soaps that only claim to cleanse.

This includes “products such as skin creams, lotions, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail polishes, eye and facial make-up preparations, shampoos, permanent waves, hair colors, toothpastes, deodorants, and any material intended for use as a component of a cosmetic product.”

Products that serve both cosmetic and therapeutic purposes, such as fluoride toothpaste or sunscreen, must adhere to the regulatory standards for both cosmetics and drugs, facing more stringent requirements like annual FDA registration and adherence to certain manufacturing practices.

Cosmetic Product Labeling Guide

FDA Cosmetics Labeling Guidelines

The FDA provides a cosmetic labeling guide that can help you ensure that your product labels follow any regulatory requirements. These include detailed requirements for all accompanying labels and written materials:

  • Label statements required by the FD&C Act must be visible on both inside and outside containers or wrappers.
  • Ingredient labeling and net quantity statement is required only on the outer container’s principal display panel, as per 21 CFR 701 and 740 regulations.
  • The principal display panel must:
    • Display the product name, descriptive nature or use, and accurate net quantity of contents (in weight, measure, numerical count).
    • Place the net quantity declaration distinctly at the bottom in a type size regulated according to container size.
    • Include sold, semi-solid, or viscous cosmetics in quantities in pound/ounce; liquids in U.S. gallon/quart/pint/fluid ounce. Quantities greater than one pound/pint should also state largest whole units (pounds/ounces or quarts/pints/ounces), optionally including metric measurements.
  • The name and place of business of the firm marketing the product should appear on an information panel: includes street address unless listed in current directories but must always include city, state, zip code. If not manufactured by marketer: indicate “Manufactured for …” or “Distributed by …”.
  • All imported articles must state on the label the country of origin

Declaration of Ingredients

Cosmetics for retail sale must include an ingredient list, while professional-use products are exempt unless sold to consumers.

  • The ingredient declaration should be conspicuous and readable at purchase, appearing on any information panel or affixed tag/tape/card.
    • Letter height minimum: 1/16 inch; for packages <12 square inches, min. 1/32 inch.
    • Off-package labeling allowed under specific conditions (e.g., cosmetics in compartmented trays without a folding carton).
  • Cosmetic ingredients should be listed in descending order of predominance except:
    • Color additives and ingredients ≤1% can disregard order.
    • Names must follow regulation-established terms; some may be grouped as “and other ingredients.”
  • For cosmetics also classified as drugs, drug ingredients labeled first as “active ingredient(s).”

Label Warnings

Cosmetics that could be hazardous if misused must have clear warning labels and directions for safe use, as mandated by regulation 21 CFR 740, especially products like aerosol cosmetics, feminine deodorant sprays, and children’s bubble baths.

While not required by the FD&C Act to test products for safety, manufacturers are strongly encouraged by the FDA to do so; otherwise, they must include a specific warning label indicating the product’s safety has not been determined.

Tamper Resistant Packaging

Liquid oral hygiene and cosmetic vaginal products sold at retail must be in tamper-resistant packaging, featuring a distinctive indicator or barrier that alerts consumers to any tampering.

The package must also clearly display a statement about its tamper-resistant feature, which remains visible even if the feature is compromised, as per Sec. 21 CFR 700.25.

Cosmetic packaging and labels

2. Highlight Features and Benefits

The FDA’s required information isn’t the only item that you’ll want to include on your product labels. Highlighting product features and benefits can be a good way to help distinguish yourself from competitors, especially if certain claims can be a deciding factor for your target audience. These types of claims include:

  • Organic: Featuring “organic” on labels assures consumers that the product contains naturally sourced ingredients, appealing to those seeking chemical-free beauty options.
  • Vegan: Highlighting a product as “vegan” communicates it contains no animal-derived ingredients, catering to ethical and environmentally conscious shoppers.
  • Cruelty-Free/Not Tested on Animals: A “cruelty-free” claim signals that the product and its ingredients were not tested on animals, aligning with the values of compassionate consumers.
  • Alcohol-Free: Labeling products as “alcohol-free” can attract customers looking for gentle formulations that won’t dry out or irritate sensitive skin types.
  • Hypoallergenic: The term “hypoallergenic” suggests a lower risk of allergic reaction, making it desirable for individuals with sensitive skin seeking safe beauty solutions.

If any of these claims are truthful and not misleading, they can be added to your product label.

Another piece of information that’s good to include is an expiration date. U.S. law currently doesn’t have any regulations involving expiration dates, but each company does have a responsibility for the safety of their products. If your products will expire, it’s best to include that date on your label for the good of your customers.

3. Think About Label Shapes and Sizes You’ll Need

Unless you carry one type of product, there’s a fair chance that your labels aren’t going to be a one-size-fits-all solution. Common cosmetic containers include:

  • Airless bottles
  • Pumps
  • Sprayers
  • Jars
  • Tubes
  • Droppers
  • Compacts

Each one of these containers can call for labels of different shapes and sizes. This can be a serious issue if you’re banking on using the same exact design for every product.

While you can certainly use the same color scheme, font choices, and other design details for each container, you’ll want to make sure that you adapt your branding and any legally-required information to the various label shapes needed for every applicable container.

Cliff beauty products with custom labels.

4. Consider Special Printing Techniques and Materials

Don’t be afraid to take advantage of special printing techniques for your cosmetics and other beauty products. These value-added services can add both style and function to your product labels.

Durable Finishes

For beauty products and cosmetics that are often exposed to moisture and high humidity, choosing the right finish can ensure the label maintains its integrity. Finishing techniques like lamination, UV varnish, or an ultra gloss finish are commonly used to protect the label from smudging, tearing, and fading.

Double Sided Labels

If you have a clear container, double sided labels are an eye-catching way to make the most of available space. These labels can be read through your container, adding some additional depth to the look of your packaging.

Hot Foil Stamping

Whether you want to make your product look flashy or sophisticated, hot foil stamping can add a dash of style to your labels. Traditional hot foil stamped labels feature gold and silver, but you have many other options that can change your product’s look, such as a matte black stamp or a holographic sheen.

Embossed Labels

Labels aren’t just a visual medium. Label embossing physically raises specific aspects of your label, adding a three-dimensional look and feel to your beauty product labels.

Waterproof Labels

Your labels shouldn’t fall off until long after your consumers are done with your products. If there’s a chance that your products will come into regular contact with water, you should consider investing in waterproof labels.

Hang Tags

Ever wish you had some extra label space? Custom hang tags give you some extra real estate for brand information, promote special deals, or include any other key details that just won’t fit on your labels.

5. Choose the Best Adhesive for Your Product Label

Having an elegant cosmetic label is only beneficial if it remains attached to the surface of the product. Often custom beauty products like face wash, lotion, perfume, body scrub, and shampoo are used around showers and sinks, leaving them exposed to water, wide temperature ranges, and high-humidity environments.

Without proper adhesive, the integrity of the product label can become compromised making it harder to read or causing it to fall off completely. Below are a few factors to consider if your label is going to last in a high-moisture environment.

Adhesive Performance

As beauty and cosmetic labels are exposed to water, alcohol, plasticizers, and other harsh substances, they must maintain their adherence. Selecting a high-quality adhesive will help to not only prevent your custom label from falling off, but prevent it from losing its appearance as well.

Types of High-Quality Adhesives

Typically, for products that aren’t exposed to humidity a standard all-temperature adhesive will work perfectly. However, if your product is going to be used frequently in a humid environment your adhesive will need to have a high solvent resistance. This will help your product label maintain its stickiness when exposed to water, alcohol, or different solvents.

Along with a high solvent resistance, having an adhesive with high shear resistance is recommended for most custom beauty products. You will want your label to be able to withstand constant stress without tearing or cracking. This is especially true if your product is something that must be squeezed.

Pairing Your Adhesive with Your Product Packaging

It is important to consider your label’s material and the packaging of your product when selecting an adhesive. Many manufacturers choose soft-touch containers to give the bottle a better velvety feel. However, in order to attain full adhesion, a very aggressive permanent adhesive is needed. Likewise, any custom clear film labels will require ultra-clear permanent adhesives.

Glass cosmetic bottles with custom labels

6. Design an Irresistible Product Label

Walk down any beauty aisle and you’ll find shelf after shelf with stunning designs. Designing a compelling cosmetic product label means blending aesthetics, functionality, and branding in a way that captivates potential consumers at first glance.

  • Use color psychology to your advantage: Incorporate colors that evoke emotions and perceptions related to your product, enhancing the consumer’s connection and desire for it.
  • Use unique typography and visual hierarchy: Use clear typography and a structured visual hierarchy to make essential information easily navigable, ensuring consumers can quickly find what they need.
  • Set it apart with textured surfaces or unique shapes: Add textured surfaces or unique label shapes to introduce a tactile dimension that stands out on the shelf, inviting physical interaction.
  • Tell a story through design: Craft a narrative with your label design to develop a deeper bond between the consumer and your product.
  • Adopt minimalistic design approach: Embrace minimalism for a clean, modern aesthetic that highlights key features of your product without overwhelming consumers with information.
  • Color match your product: Consider matching your label color with the cosmetic inside for cohesive packaging that visually communicates the product’s look before it’s even opened.
  • Try eye-catching patterns: Test out irregular or abstract patterns in designs to give packages an edge while still maintaining a broad appeal.

Find the Right Professionals

It’s not always easy to create a quality label for beauty products. That’s why it’s best to invest in a good designer and printing company to ensure that your product labels are as good as they need to be to attract new customers.

At Blue Label, our digital printing technology gives us the ability to quickly and efficiently print quality labels. Not only can we handle special printing techniques to make your labels stand out, we can also group multiple label versions in the same order to save you money. If you’re still looking for a label designer, our designer directory can help you find a partner to help you bring your vision to life.

Ready to invest in quality cosmetics labels? Contact us today to talk to one of our experts about how we can help you with your label printing project.

Making Waterproof Labels for Bottles: Factors for Water Resistance

After investing time and money to create great labels for your products, it would be a shame for them to peel off your container. Certain products are destined to encounter moisture, whether they sit in a cooler, sweat after being refrigerated, or encounter water during the application process.

While the majority of product labels don’t play well with water, there are measures that companies can take to protect their designs from a sad, soggy ending. Let’s break down a variety of factors that can help your labels stay strong and look great even after they’ve been exposed to moisture.

The Truth About “Waterproof” Labels for Bottles

Before we get too far, it’s important to address the proverbial elephant in the room—there is no such thing as a truly waterproof bottle label. Water and other fluids will impact even the most water-resistant bottle labels at some point. As such, you can’t guarantee complete protection with a simple label material.

As you research packaging for your product, you’ll likely come across both waterproof labels and water-resistant labels. So what’s the difference?

Waterproof labels offer near complete protection against water, making them suitable for products that are submerged or exposed to water continuously, while water-resistant labels can withstand moisture to a certain degree but will eventually succumb to prolonged exposure.

While complete water resistance isn’t attainable, that doesn’t mean there aren’t means to protect your packaging as much as possible. There are several ways to make your labels as water and oil-resistant as possible, including the following considerations:

  • Label material
  • Label adhesive
  • Environmental considerations

Waterproof Label Considerations

Choose a Label Material

There are a wide range of label materials available, but the majority of them fall under one of two categories: paper or film. Both groups offer various benefits, but one type typically fares much better against water and other fluids than the other.

Paper is a great choice for companies looking for a versatile, cost-effective material, but there’s one big problem—paper has a tendency to disintegrate in water. There are specific styles of paper with a higher wet strength that can slow water penetration. However, there is no waterproof label paper and even the most water resistant paper substrates will become fully saturated over time.

Best Materials for Water Resistance: Film Stocks

If you need water resistance, we strongly suggest sticking with film stocks. Unlike paper, film stocks won’t absorb water, making them as waterproof as you can get for a bottle label. From shrink sleeves to roll labels, there are a few different film materials that are much better fits for products dealing with moisture.

  • Polypropylenes (BOPP): A rigid film that features high tear resistance and is a great fit for beverages and other products that will encounter moisture.
  • Polyester (PET): A film designed for maximum durability that is great for products used outdoors.
  • Polyolefin: An extremely soft and flexible film perfect for squeeze applications, such as bottles that will end up in the shower or other wet environments.
  • Waterproof vinyl: Vinyl boasts a number of benefits, including water resistance, durability, flexibility, and temperature resistance. Vinyl labels can even leverage a matte finish while maintaining the protection needed to resist moisture.

Regardless of your choice, the simple logic is that film is much better at resisting water than paper. As such, a film label is a great start for any bottles that will encounter moisture either before, during, or after application.

Label Finishes for Increased Durability

Several label finishing techniques can enhance the waterproofing and durability of a product label.

Applying a gloss finish, for example, adds a protective layer that repels water while giving the label a shiny appearance that catches the eye.

For an even more pronounced effect, ultra-gloss finishes increase this protection, creating a nearly impermeable barrier against moisture and wear.

Consider Label Stock Thickness

The effectiveness of a label’s waterproof or water-resistant properties is also influenced by its material thickness. Thicker labels can provide a more substantial barrier against moisture (though their resistance to moisture also depends on how porous the material is, its structural integrity upon wetting, and the ability to achieve secure edge sealing when applying the label).

As you’ll see in the next section, the choice of adhesive plays an important role in maintaining label adherence under moist conditions, with thicker labels necessitating stronger adhesives to counteract potential separation challenges.

A collection of custom waterproof labels for bottles.

Find an Appropriate Label Adhesive

Water, oil, and other wet substances can put you in a bind when you choose an adhesive for your labels. Even if your label itself is water resistant, a label adhesive needs to be able to withstand those substances. Everything from regular moisture to complete submersion can pose problems. With the wrong adhesive, you’ll be stuck with a label that’s falling off the bottle.

One drawback is that the presence of water may eliminate certain types of adhesives from your selection. For example, humidity and wet environments can pose problems for removable labels, so you may want to avoid them if you want a truly waterproof label.

Fortunately, there are moisture-resistant permanent adhesives designed to specifically combat this issue. There are a variety of factors that will impact exactly which adhesive works best—the amount of exposure, how often exposure is expected to happen, which types of fluids will pose problems, etc. Once that information is identified, a label printing expert can help you pair the right adhesive with your product.

Beer can in ice with custom label

Plan Around Your Environment

When there’s water and other fluids, there are other potential environmental issues that can create problems for your label. There are a few main considerations that you’ll want to make when it comes to you where your products will go.

  • Your application environment
  • Shipping and storage environments
  • Where and how your bottles are used
  • The product itself

Application Environment

Your application process makes a major impact on your choice of adhesive, label material, liner, and more. That is especially true if your product will be wet going into the application process.

A wet-apply adhesive is a must in these scenarios. You also may need to factor in your product as well. For example, acidic or oily products can wreak havoc if you don’t account for them in the planning process.

Shipping and Storage

Proper shipping and storage is another factor that can be easily overlooked. All waterproof product labels should be stored in a temperature-controlled environment. Exact temperature and humidity levels vary based on your exact label, but too much humidity in a shipping truck or a warehouse will pose problems.

Shrink sleeves are especially sensitive to humidity and other environmental factors, so make sure to keep them safe before application.

Product Usage and Application

Finally, you need to factor in just where your bottles will go once consumers get a hold of them. If your products are going to encounter ice buckets, coolers, or other cold storage places, you’ll need something stronger than a standard adhesive. A more aggressive, freezer-grade label adhesive will be able to withstand these conditions.

Other products may have very different issues, such as a bottle of conditioner. Certain health and beauty labels will sit in the shower and encounter other cleaning chemicals. These products need to withstand a hot, steamy environment along with oils and other substances.

Sunscreen bottles need waterproof capabilities at the beach or pool, but they also should have some form of UV resistance.

Product Contents

You should also consider whether the product itself may impact the label. For example, the oil found in products like sunscreen can affect the application and integrity of a label. Water-resistant capabilities are key, but you should always consider what will happen if some of your own product will leak out and interact with your label.

A whiskey bottle using a waterproof bottle label paper.

Why Waterproof Labels?

Whether your product is going to encounter light condensation or be fully submerged in water, waterproof labels will seem like an obvious choice for certain products. But the benefits go beyond simple resistance to moisture:

  • Environmental conditions: The journey of a product from production to shelf can include a wide range of temperatures from hot and humid trucks to cool, damp freezers. The right labels help ensure product packaging integrity during this process.
  • Durability: Without the right, durable materials for your product, packaging can smudge, peel, fade, and even grow mold over time.
  • Legibility: When water meets the wrong materials, it can smudge or blur essential information on a package, including instructions, ingredients, or disclaimers.

Industries That Use Waterproof Labels

When you think waterproof, you might immediately think of beverage items that can be spilled, chilled in ice, stored in freezers, and generally submitted to a wide range of environmental conditions. But many industries and product types can benefit from waterproof labels, including:

  • Beauty and cosmetic products: From beauty product labels to shampoo and soap labels, durability and legibility in wet environments is important.
  • Household and cleaning products: Cleaning labels need to be able to withstand spills, drips, and frequent handling, and the safety information needs to remain visible and intact.
  • Food products: Waterproof food grade labels help maintain important details in damp environments.
  • Outdoor products: From rugged water bottles to camping equipment, product labels need to be able to withstand varying weather conditions.

Find the Right Label Printing Company

Whether you need custom waterproof labels for bottles, jars, or any other container, it’s essential that your packaging showcases the quality of your products and brand. At Blue Label Packaging, we have the equipment and expertise it takes to not only make your labels as water-resistant as possible, but also enhance your design to make lasting impressions on customers.

Ready to invest in the perfect bottle labels for your business? Contact us today to talk to one of our experts about high-quality, water-resistant labels.

The Anatomy of a Wine Label: Everything You Need to Include on the Bottle

Wine labeling printing can be as complex as the contents inside their containers. In addition to looking good, these labels must provide a lot of information for both intrigued customers and government entities. There is a lot to know about a bottle of wine, and it’s the label’s job to communicate that to the consumer.

As we recently discussed, the use of “wine labels” dates all the way back to ancient Egypt, with seals and etchings put in place to improve trade. Over centuries, the practice has evolved a great deal. Now there are federal rules and regulations to obey. Some information is mandatory, and some is nice to have, but everything on your wine labels is meant to properly reflect the quality of the contents within.

From crucial details like the brand, year, and region to more fun facts like flavor notes and pairing suggestions, your label is a story with a designated hierarchy to help you tell the tale. All the while, it’s important to keep in mind that the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) regulates a lot of what details are required and how you list them. Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to include on wine labels – and some guidance on how you should present these wine labeling requirements.

What Information is Included on Wine Labels?

What needs to be included on a wine bottle label?

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Brand Name

Who made the wine? The winery’s branding will usually appear at the top or bottom of the label (like many French wine labels).

Fanciful Name

What’s the name for this specific wine? While not mandatory, it’s not uncommon for wine labels to feature a secondary name to differentiate separate brands within the same winery.

Brengman Brothers’ “Runaway Hen” is an example of a fanciful name of one of the wine brands they have produced. Keep in mind that fanciful names do not replace the need for a class and designation type. When a fanciful name is used, the TTB requires an additional tax class on the label based on the percentage of alcohol. For example, “red table wine” or “white table wine” are required for wines under 14 percent alcohol, while “red wine” or “white wine” is required for wines above 14 percent alcohol.

Vintage (Year)

When were the grapes harvested? This wine information, while not mandatory, is common among wine labels as it speaks to the quality of the bottle’s contents, especially if you’re up on your vintage variations.

Wine or Varietal Type

As you may have guessed, what kind of wine is in your bottle? This is where the grape or varietal type is communicated, e.g., Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, etc. It’s required for wines to list a type on the label. In addition, wines that call out a specific varietal name must derive at least 75 percent of the product from the specified grape. Otherwise, the label should have a generic name like “red wine” or something similar.

Appellation (Region)

Where was the wine made? The region of origin breaks down in a few different ways, and there are rules that apply to listing geographic information on wine labels. If a state or county is named, it is federal law that at least 75 percent of the grapes used in production come from said location. If an AVA is cited (an American viticultural area, e.g., Napa Valley), the law states that at least 85 percent of the grapes must come from said area. Certain states also have their own regional laws. For example, California law mandates that 100 percent of the grapes must come from California if the state is named on the bottle.

Producer & Bottler

Where was your product made and bottled? If this location differs from the winery or vineyard, you must print both the name and address of this location on the label.

Alcohol Content

What is the percentage of alcohol by volume (ABV)? Unless it can be deduced from its class (e.g., table wine suggests an ABV of 14 percent or less), this number is required on every label.

Net Contents

How much wine is in the bottle? Whether it’s printed on the label or blown into the glass, this number (expressed in milliliters) must be present on every bottle.

Sulfite Warning

Does this wine have more than 10 parts per million of sulfur dioxide or more? If so, your label must bear a warning that says “CONTAINS SULFITES.”

Government Warning (Most often on the back label)

The Alcoholic Beverage Labeling Act (November, 1988) requires that every label of an alcoholic beverage bare a specific government warning that states:

Government Warning:

(1) According to the Surgeon General, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects.

(2) Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems.”

Additional Wine Label Information

Additional messaging may appear on the back label, such as pairing suggestions, flavor notes, and possibly some history on the winery or vineyard. These fun facts are not mandatory, but can serve as helpful hints for thirsty wine enthusiast. You could even include serving facts if you want, although the TTB doesn’t require them for wine labels. Extra details or information can add to the way people perceive our products, so don’t be afraid to add something if it makes sense for your brand.

A TTB compliant wine label featuring necessary legal information.

Materials Matter: Choosing the Right Material for Your Wine Bottle Label

When it comes to wine labels, there are a lot of options to consider beyond just paper. The materials used can impact the look, feel, and durability of the label. Paper is a classic choice that offers a range of appearances from smooth to textured. Textured papers give labels a nice vintage, artisanal vibe. Smooth papers convey a cleaner, more modern look.

Another key decision is the coating or finish. Glossy varnishes make the colors vibrant and eye-catching. Satin or matte finishes have a more subtle, soft aesthetic. If the wine will be stored in damp environments like a cellar, extra durable laminate coatings can be applied to protect against moisture damage. 

The right materials can enhance the wine branding and convey the desired feeling. This is a good opportunity to get sample labels with different papers and finishes to see what works best for your particular wine.

Wine label gallery

Wine Bottle Design Considerations

When designing your wine bottle labels, it’s important to think about the actual dimensions and shape of the label. Wine bottles come in standard shapes like Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champagne style, as well as unique custom shapes like  asymmetrical hand-blown bottles.

Wine bottle shapes

The label shape can mirror the bottle or go for something distinctive like a diamond or circle. Blue Label can print any shape you can dream up. Just be sure to consider the actual label size needed to fit that area of the bottle.

At Blue Label, our preferred label artwork file is a Adobe Illustrator file or high-resolution PDF. This allows our team to verify label dimensions. You’ll get a proof via email, and we’ll make sure your artwork translates smoothly into the printing process.

With the endless variety of wine bottle shapes and sizes, custom tailored labels make a big impact.

Make Your Wine Labels Stand Out from the Crowd

Now that you’ve got the crucial wine bottle info down, it’s time to add the touches that will make it pop off the shelf. Blue Label Packaging Company offers a variety of materials and finishes to help you create a custom wine label that will do your product justice.

There are plenty of ways to help you communicate the quality and style of your wine through packaging. If you’ve got a bold and complex Cabernet, a matte material seems like a nice pairing. A light, crisp Sauvignon Blanc? A glossy finish has a nice effect! Got an organic grape? An earthy craft paper is an excellent choice.

Once you’ve chosen your material, consider special treatments for a little something extra. Spot varnishes are a great way to highlight the label information you’re particularly proud of (e.g., a private reserve; a vintner’s selection) or a special design element. Also, details like hot foil stamping and embossed textures add a level of sophistication wine lovers will appreciate.

Your custom wine labels deserve the very best. Our facility offers the highest quality, the most flexibility, and the fastest processing, printing, and shipping times— five business days from the time you approve your artwork (because not everything gets better with age). Get in touch with us today to get the barrel rolling on your next wine labeling project. 

*after artwork approval

4 Tips to Elevate Your Whiskey Bottle Label Design

People aren’t supposed to judge a book by it’s cover, but that doesn’t stop them from judging a whiskey by it’s label. According to a Harris Poll study, a whopping 85 percent of shoppers said that product packaging impacted their purchase decisions. That visual edge is why intriguing packaging is crucial whether you sell your craft spirits in liquor stores, online retailers, and anywhere else people can procure your whiskies.

Simply put, an eye-catching whiskey bottle label is essential for everything from bourbons to wheaters. Let’s break down a few ways that you can elevate your custom whiskey label design so that your spirit catches consumers’ attention.

A bottle of Uncle Nearest with a hot foil stamped whiskey bottle label design.

Material Selection

Paper is a classic choice for a reason. Paper is incredibly versatile and allows you to play with a variety of textures to capture your desired aesthetic. These options include:

  • Linen
  • Eggshell
  • Felt/velvet
  • Estate
  • Metalized
  • Cobblestone
  • Ever-opaque

No matter the option, paper gives you a base to help you tell your product’s story. Want to position your whiskey as a premium, high-class spirit? A matte-coated paper stock simply oozes with sophistication. Different textures can also give customers a more enjoyable tactile experience – and that’s especially important when touch can help influence buying decisions.

While paper is a traditional choice, there are plenty of films that can help you enhance your label’s look. Clear, metallic, and other specialty films allow you to incorporate the material into your design, whether you want to show off more of your product or add a more modern, flashy element to your packaging. Films also have the added benefit of water resistance, whereas paper will eventually break down.

Font Selection

The words on a whiskey label do a lot more than provide information. The fonts you choose say a lot about how you want customers to perceive that product, so make sure to pick a personality that suits your spirit.

Distilleries are opting to break the mold with more modern fonts like sans serifs or slab serifs. Traditionally, a script font is typically very elegant and sophisticated, whereas a serif font in more traditional and reliable. Those two routes are normal choices for whiskey labels, and for good reason – people naturally equate them as a trusted font for a premium product.

As long as your whiskey is positioned appropriately, this bold approach can give your product a unique aesthetic that let consumers know what type of experience to expect – just make sure that you keep your text legible regardless of your choices.

Color Considerations

Just like fonts, your choice of colors play a pivotal part in showcasing your product’s personality. According to research, 85 percent of shoppers name color as a primary reason for why they buy a particular product. That level of impact makes your color choices extremely important.

Using color psychology can help you influence consumers through your unique whiskey bottles and whiskey label design. For example, the following hues are associated with the following feelings and can help you convey a certain attitude for your target audience.

  • Red – Bold and passionate
  • Orange – Energetic and invigorating
  • Yellow – Joyful and optimistic
  • Green – Safe and nurturing
  • Blue – Serious and trustworthy
  • Purple – Successful and creative
  • Pink – Youthful and feminine
  • Brown – Reliable and rugged
  • White – Clean and pure
  • Grey – Versatile and mature
  • Black – Luxurious and elegant

A whiskey label design for Nathan Green 1870.

Label Decoration

When it’s time to take your label to the next level, decoration is your best friend. Some strategic decorations not only turn your whiskey bottles into a visual spectacle, but also add to the perceived value of your product. That extra decorative flair comes in many forms, all of which can enhance your labels in different ways.

  • Embossing – Create a three-dimensional image by pressing a custom pattern into your label material. The resulting raised surface creates an intriguing design that customers can both see and feel.
  • Hot foil stamping – Stamp a special design into your label with a specialty foil. This process allows you to create multifaceted compositions through metallic, holographic, matte, and other decorative imprints.
  • Spot varnish – Coat your entire label or highlight specific parts of your design with a protective liquid coating that cures and dries in a variety of different forms, including matte, gloss, or soft touch.
  • High-build silk screen – Finish your design with a special ink layer that adds a stunning glossy pattern that raises above the rest of your design.

Communicate Quality Through Your Whiskey Bottle Label Design

Let’s face it – whiskey drinkers aren’t lacking for options. That’s why it’s absolutely essential that your whiskey label design not only attracts attention, but looks as good as what’s in your bottles. That need for premium packaging is why Blue Label works with craft distilleries to print professional-quality eye-catching labels that elevate your branding and communicate the quality and character of your whiskey.

Ready to make your custom whiskey label design a reality? Contact us today to get the stunning labels and unmatched customer service your distillery deserves.

4 Ways Labels Improve Consumer Perception of Product Quality

It’s no surprise that the typical consumer is looking to high quality products. The problem is that you don’t have a lot of time to make an impression. Customers take an average of 13 seconds to make a purchase decision, so it’s essential to make sure your goods stand out compared to competing products.

Fortunately, a good product label makes a direct impact on how potential customers view your products. Here are four ways that your labels can improve the perceived quality of your products.

Mind the Materials

Think of your label material as your product’s coat – an attractive topcoat is going to exude more class and luxury than a basic windbreaker. Your choice of label material makes a direct impact in how consumers perceive your product. If you’re aiming to convey the quality of your product, you’ll want to match your product with the right material.

Of course, the right type of “quality” material depends greatly on your product. Some product need to look expensive to present themselves as quality goods, which is why textured and matte-coated paper stocks are excellent choices for wine labels and other products that need to radiate elegance. Meanwhile, a shrink sleeve can create a very professional, 360-degree look that appears very official and clean.

Simply put, your material needs to both look good and match the vibe of your product. By combining those factors, your labels will be set up for a great introduction for customers seeking quality products.

A slection of Me Care products with quality labels.

Color Them Impressed

The right color can help sway consumers to your side. More than 90% of buying decisions are impacted by visual factors. What’s more is that different color choices impact how people perceive your products. By utilizing certain colors in your label design, you can present your product in the right light.

Of course, there are always exceptions based on your particular product and your intended audience. Different genders have varying color preferences, so purple packaging tends to be more effective for women, while men gravitate toward striking black labels. You’ll want to tailor your color choices to your brand, market, and audience, but the right combinations can help you communicate quality before people ever touch your product.

Elevate Your Packaging Through Decoration

A little decoration goes a long way toward people’s perception of product quality. Remember that coat analogy earlier? Decorations are the little touches that enhance your look – tailoring, embroidering, etc. Decorative additions can completely overhaul how people view your product, which is why the following capabilities can help showcase product quality.

Each of these processes allow you to add new, intriguing elements to the look and feel of your label. An embossed pattern or soft touch varnish give customers a different tactile experience. Stamping metallic, holographic, and other foils add a new dimension that takes your packaging to a new level. Adding these extra details takes your packaging beyond that of a simple, boring label. That extra attention to detail isn’t lost on customers.

Eliminate Label Damage and Application Issues

Even the best labels can be derailed by a simple defect. It’s hard to convey quality you’re your label is damaged or has visible application issues. It’s like that proverbial coat we keep mentioning – a visible tear is going to overshadow even the snazziest jacket.

There are a few measures that companies can take to prevent label damage and defects. Print protection plays a pivotal part in proactively protecting product labels. No matter what type of product you sell, any form of friction could damage your design. Add in potential threats like water, oil, and other substances make print protection essential for defending your product labels.

As for application issues like air bubbles, wrinkles, and more, it’s important to work with your label printing and applicating partners to identify potential issues ahead of time. There are plenty of potential reasons for label application defects, so you’ll want to address the following factors.

  • The container – Your container’s dimensions and surface can lead to issues. For example, you may need to properly taper your label or use a specific adhesive for different types of containers.
  • The applicating environment – Factors like temperature, moisture, and potential contamination can all dictate which materials and adhesives will best help you avoid application issues.
  • Liner issues – Different applicators are built for paper or clear liners, so you’ll need to identify which is best suited for your process.
  • Improper storage – It’s best to store labels in a temperature controlled environment based on your specific label. This is especially true for shrink sleeves, as they are more susceptible to potential damage prior to application.

A trio of stunning bottle labels that convery the perception of product quality.

Showcase the Quality of Your Products with Stunning Labels

The right label makes a direct impact on driving consumer behavior, but it takes a good printing partner to turn your designs into a reality. Blue Label combines state-of-the-art digital printing technology with unmatched customer service to enhance your labels and showcase the quality customers want to see in their products.

Want to elevate your product packaging? Contact us today to get the stunning labels and unmatched customer service your products deserve.

Anatomy of a Cannabis Label: Cannabis Labeling Requirements

Cannabis regulation is a complex, so it’s no surprise that navigating cannabis labeling requirements is a tricky process. Noncompliance can lead to penalties ranging from fines and recalls to losing licenses or even your entire business, so proper labeling is a must for any growing cannabis company.

The cannabis industry is subject to a variety of packaging requirements, not to mention the ongoing challenge of creating designs that attract customers. Let’s break down the different parts of a cannabis label and how they impact your packaging and labeling.

Four e-juice bottles that follow proper cannabis labeling requirements.

What is Required on Cannabis Product Labels?

There are a variety of elements that are required on a cannabis label. In general, these elements must be displayed on one of the following parts of your label.

  • Primary label/primary display panel – The product label that is placed in a prominent position on the front or top of a product.
  • Information panel/secondary label – A supplementary label located on the back or sides of a container. This label can either be a separate label or connected to the primary label.

Brand name

What is it? – The name of who made the product. This brand name is typically paired with a brand logo.

Where should it go? – Brand elements are typically located on the primary panel.

Statement of identity

What is it? – A generic indicator of the product, such as gummies, oils, or creams. The statement should clearly identify exactly what your product is for consumers.

Where should it go? – The primary panel.

Net contents

What is it? – A measurement of the net weight of your product. Net contents should be expressed in terms of weight, numerical count, or a combination of the two. Weight should use both metric and U.S. Customary System units and be listed with the words “Net Weight.”

Where should it go? – Net contents should be listed on the bottom 30% of the primary panel and be parallel to the base of the container.

Supplement and nutrition facts

What is it? – Any product intended for consumption requires a facts panel detailing pertinent information. These details include serving sizes, daily value percentages, nutrients, and calories.

Where should it go? – Nutrition facts should be placed on the primary panel. However, it is acceptable to place nutrition facts on any visible alternate label for packages with insufficient area on the primary panel.

Ingredients list or panel

What is it? – Any edible or topical cannabis products should include a list of ingredients used in the product. The ingredient list should name each ingredient in descending order of predominance.

Where should it go? – Ingredients information can be placed on either the primary display panel or the information panel. The FDA also stipulates that the type size for ingredients listings be at least 1/16 inch in height based on the lower case “o,” as well as prominent, conspicuous, and easy to read.

Applicable warnings

What are they? – Cannabis products are generally required to include different visible warnings for consumers. The exact warnings vary by state, but can include the following.

  • Habit forming
  • Impaired abilities
  • Age restrictions
  • Health risks
  • Resale and transfer restrictions
  • Medical use only
  • Not for children
  • Schedule I controlled substance

Where should they go? – The exact placement and type requirements can vary, so check your local laws for specifics.

Manufacturer information

What is it? – The name and contact information of the manufacturer of the product.

Where should it go? – The information panel or any supplemental label.

Amount, strain, and batch or lot number

What are they? – Information detailing how much cannabis is in the product, what strain was used, and the batch or lot number used for testing and tracking cannabis.

Where should they go? – This information should typically be included on the informational label and not on any other form of supplementary label, depending on the state.

Applicable dates

What are they? – The various dates associated with cultivation, manufacturing, sell by, and expiration/best.

Where should they go? – Dates can go on any part of the label not preoccupied with other elements.

“Cannabis infused” statement

What is it? – A description attached to labels for edible products.

Where should it go? – On the primary panel for any products meant to be ingested.

An e-liquid product with an attractive cannabis package design.

Are There Restrictions to Cannabis Package Designs?

In addition to all the various required and optional label elements, cannabis product packaging has to abide by some other rules. The exact rules vary by state, but the following requirements are common for cannabis packaging.

  • Child-resistant packaging – Containers must be difficult for children to open (exact age can vary).
  • Tamper-evident seals – It should be clearly visible if package has been opened prior to sale.
  • Resealing – Packaging with more than one serving should be able to reseal after use.
  • Opaque packaging – Any edible cannabis products must be in an opaque package that doesn’t allow consumers to see the contained product.

There are also special design restrictions that impact the look of your label and overall package. The FDA and other organizations don’t want certain types of businesses marketing products to children. For example, the FDA and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent letters to e-juice and e-cigarette companies back in 2018 warning them against using packaging that “cause[s] [products] to resemble kid-friendly food products, such as juice boxes, candy or cookies, some of them with cartoon-like imagery.”

Those same rules apply to cannabis products, although “marketing to children” is unfortunately vague and subjective at times. To start, cannabis labels and containers should resemble any commercially available snack, drinks, or other products – the word “candy” and other versions of that word are completely disallowed. Cannabis packaging also shouldn’t include any cartoons or other imagery that typically appeal to children.

Dress Your Cannabis Products for Success

Between branding and cannabis labeling requirements, investing in quality packaging is both complicated and essential. That’s why Blue Label Packaging Co. strives to simplify your search for the perfect eye-catching labels.

Compliance requirements don’t mean you need to limit your label design possibilities. Our experts work directly with you to identify the perfect label materials, decorations, and other opportunities to enhance your designs and showcase your brand. Contact us today to invest in the perfect labels for you cannabis products.

5 Product Label Design Tips to Elevate Your Packaging

Coming up with the perfect label design is a challenge in itself. When it comes to designing a product label, there are things to consider that, perhaps, not just any designer can do. Let’s break down a five notable design tips that can help you take your packaging to the next level.

Product Label Design Should Be Honest

A colorful product label design for Hotel Tango vodka.

Any designer might default to trying to depict a product in its most desirable and flawless state, but an experienced product label designer knows that it’s essential to honestly represent a product. Your design is supposed to tell your product’s story, not fabricate a misleading fable.

The imagery and messaging on your label should be, to the best of your ability, an accurate representation of what consumers will find inside of the packaging. This need for honesty is especially true when design food labels or any other products people will consume or use for their body. You know your product best, so make sure your design properly represents what you sell and how it should make customers feel.

If you still think this a little deception is fine, just consider what can happen. Even if your label gets someone to buy your product once, that individual will quickly snuff out that your packaging design wasn’t quite so honest about its contents. That one-and-done customer won’t be giving you any more money. What’s worse is that a slighted consumer may tell others that your product is misleading.

That scenario represents quite an unfortunate spiral thanks to a misleading packaging label design. That’s why we suggest being as transparent with your packaging design – and we’re talking about more than just clear labels. You make a good product, so make sure your packaging properly represents your work.

Product Label Design Must Take Legalities into Account

It’s okay to push boundaries with your design, but your label must follow any applicable federal or state regulations. Several products are regulated by various government entities, so there’s a good chance some organization will have a say in what you include in your design.

For example, the Alcoholic Beverage Labeling Act requires that alcoholic beverages carry a government warning, among other things, telling pregnant women of the effects of drinking, and regular consumers of the health risks. The penalties for violating this act can be a fine in the tens of thousands of dollars. As such, you’ll want you brush up on your Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) regulations to make sure your design is up to date with legal standards.

Beer is far from the only product that needs to incorporate legal guidelines into its packaging label design. Wine labels, spirit labels, food labels, health and beauty labels, and so many more all carry some sort of legal requirement to communicate ingredients, warnings, or risks with consumers.

Your Product’s Design Has to Fly Off Shelves

There’s always competition. Regardless of which product is being designed for, it must exist on a shelf, in an online store, or somewhere else with all of its rivals. That’s no small task while still staying true to the product, the brand, and labeling regulations. Still there are ways that your design can keep a unique quality that differentiates it from its shelf-neighbors.

  • Use different font types to evoke specific emotions and quickly portray your product and brand’s personality.
  • 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual, so incorporate imagery to your product label design can help it get noticed.
  • Utilize color psychology and contrasts to develop a striking color palette that evokes certain moods and feelings and competitively positions your product in a visual market.
  • Enhance your design in cool, creative ways with embossing, hot foil stamping, and other label decorations that turn your product into a visual spectacle.
  • Build in white space to embrace minimalism or space out certain aspects of your design to make them more legible.

Those are just some of the ways that you can amp up your label design, and there are so many opportunities to outshine your competitors. Need some inspiration? Check out some of our favorite examples of outstanding labels here.

Product Packaging Should be Extensible

A good product label design shouldn’t focus on the present alone. It’s important to keep your label design open to variation for future product extensions as well. No matter your industry, your design should be flexible enough to accommodate expansion into several subsets if that’s a possibility in the future.

One way to prepare for multiple SKUs is to create a templated design. This approach will help you maintain an instantly recognizable identity while giving you to adapt specific details for individual products. You’ll also need to account for one of the least flashy elements of a label – the barcode. Barcodes and UPCs are important for any product, but you’ll need to keep track of each UPC to avoid duplication of numbers for different SKUs.

Product Label Design Must Speak to Digital Printing Machinery

Digital label printing equipment for printing product label designs.

A great custom label design is just the first step toward stellar packaging. Somebody needs to take that design and turn it into a real, eye-catching product label. That’s where the right label printing company comes into play.

At Blue Label, we use state-of-the-art digital printing technology to make the most out of your design. We can combine the quality, scalability, and cost-savings of digital printing with flexographic finishing capabilities to help you enhance your product label design so that you can attract attention. Our experts work directly with you to identify new opportunities and address potential issues throughout the process so that you invest in the best, most cost-effective labels for your company.

Ready for a design and printing process that can’t be beat? No matter the size or budget of your project, we can make the process work for you. Browse our directory of Blue Label Approved Label Designers to find the perfect professional designer for you. Already have a design ready? Contact us when it’s time to work on your next label project.

5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Keg Collar Design

Boring packaging is a missed opportunity for your brewery. Anything attached to your beer should make a statement about the quality of your product (and the amazing people who made it). That’s why it’s so essential that you make your keg collars pop.

A stellar keg collar is a tremendous sales tool for breweries of all sizes. Let’s break down what you can do to make your collars stand out in bars, at cookouts, and anywhere else your kegs may travel.

Showcase Your Brand (Without Losing Track of Key Info)

Keg collars play a few different roles for your brewery. The most basic function of these labels is to share key information with your customers. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau requires breweries to include the following details on every collar.

  • Brewery and brewery address
  • Class of beer
  • Net contents
  • Alcoholic content (ABV)
  • Production date
  • Health warning statement
  • Keg pressure warning

While these details are essential for keg collar compliance, they don’t need to be the star of the show. Compliance info isn’t going to sell your beer, but a notable logo or some appropriate visual elements can help your brand burrow into the brains of buyers.

As long as you follow the TTB’s rules for the font size and presentation for warning statements and other details, you have free reign to make sure your brewery is what people remember. A prominent logo is a great start, but you can also build consumer trust by sharing your local pride or highlighting your brewery’s personality in your design.

A collection of keg collar designs and other beer labels.

Color Them Impressed

A little color can make a world of difference for your keg collars. While gray-scale keg collars are simple, inexpensive options, you want your packaging to go beyond basic black and white.

Combining full-color printing with your branding is a surefire way to capture attention. Blasts of red, green, or any other color make for a stark contrast against metallic kegs, so don’t be afraid to go big and bold with your design choices. Different color combinations and label materials can also make key design elements “pop” for soon-to-be diehard fans, so play around with your brand colors and other showy hues to make your keg collar’s presence known.

Build Your Design Around Your Production Needs

As you may expect, one brewery can have vastly different needs than another. Those exact requirements have a direct impact on your keg collar design, especially when it comes to listing what beer is in a keg. There are a few different approaches you can take with your design.

  • Add a blank space where you can write the beer name and date.
  • Include a list of multiple options with check boxes for flagship beers.
  • Make multiple keg collar designs with dedicated beers printed directly on them.

If you know that you’ll have enough volume to order dedicated keg collars for a flagship beer, that extra bit of branding certainly looks professional. Meanwhile, a blank space is the easiest option if flexibility is your biggest concern. Each approach makes a lot of sense, so make sure your keg collar design is based around your needs.

Follow Keg Collar Specs

Not all design tips are about fun ideas like bold colors and custom shapes. You’ll want to build some safeguards into your keg collar design to make sure they come out they way they should. That’s why every good keg collar template should typically incorporate the following elements into its art file.

  • Dieline – A line indicating where the actual cut is made on the final design of a label.
  • Safe zone – A buffer between the dieline and main portion of the collar design.
  • Bleed – A line that indicates where the collar art should extend past the die cut into the matrix.

Each of these elements are designed to create a little bit of wiggle room to make sure key elements don’t get cut off or that you don’t have any unintended white space. In general, you should allow for at least 1/8” of bleed and 1/16” of space between the dieline and any elements. The keg collar template below can serve as a good example of a dieline, safe zone, and bleed.

A keg collar template showing an example dieline, safe zone, and bleed.

Maximize the Value of Your Keg Collars

No matter your design, your brewery deserves top-notch keg collars. Blue Label has the capabilities necessary to deliver industry-best print quality and unmatched customer service that help you maximize your branding opportunities.

Our team is here to help you get the most out of your design and uncover a solution that works with your budget. We also help breweries maximize their investment through our Keg Collar Cooperative, a program to allow brewers to group your keg collar order with other orders. This process spreads out setup costs so that we can offer quality, high-performance keg collars for as little as 15 cents per collar. Learn more about our Keg Collar Cooperative today.

Whether you utilize our Keg Collar Cooperative or need a completely custom design, Blue Label is here to deliver stunning labels with industry-best turnaround times. Contact us today to make the most of your keg collars.