Protect your Label: The Different Types of Label Varnishes

A beautiful new label is the beacon your products need to showcase your brand and convince buyers to try your goods. Unfortunately, a damaged label can undo all the hard work you put into your packaging design. Thankfully, there are solutions like label varnishes to help you protect your investment.

As with lamination, there are multiple label varnishes available to not only help you protect your label as well as enhance your design. Each type of varnish can help you defend your label from scuffs, scratches, water damage, fading, and other threats, all while contributing to your preferred aesthetic.

Labels with a UV varnish.

Breaking Down Each Type of Label Varnish

While label lamination utilizes a layer of film to protect your label, varnishes operate a bit differently. Label varnishes are liquids that are rolled onto a label and then cured or dried so that the varnish adheres to the label materials’s surface. This method makes varnishes a good option for paper labels because the liquid can conform to the texture of the paper and fill in any nooks and crannies.

Like laminates, there are a few different types of label varnishes that differ based on the application process or their final appearance.

  • UV coating
  • Aqueous coatings
  • Gloss, satin, and soft-touch varnishes

UV coating

As the name suggests, UV coatings use ultraviolet light to cure a liquid coating made of a special mix of chemicals. Once it’s cured, the UV varnish essentially bakes onto your label material to create a protective coating. This newly cured shield basically acts as a permanent sunscreen, preventing your design from fading over time and other factors that can damage your label.

Aqueous coating

Like a UV coating, aqueous coatings use a special solution to protect your label. However, you don’t need UV light to cure aqueous varnishes. These solutions are a clear, water-based varnish that quickly air dry to seal off your label materials from potential danger.

Gloss, satin, and soft-touch varnishes

While UV and aqueous coatings differ in terms of the process used to cure them, gloss, sating, and soft-touch varnishes denote the finishing effect a coating has on your label. Gloss varnishes create a smooth, shiny look for your labels once applied. Satin varnishes – known as “matte” for laminates – cut out most of the shine to create a flat look that makes other design elements pop. Soft-touch varnishes not only look soft, they can even add a soft textural element to your labels as well.

Paper beer labels protected with a label varnish.

Protect and Enhance Your Labels with the Right Varnishes

No matter what type of product you sell, it’s well worth the investment to protect your labels. Scuffs and scrapes can happen to any product label, and once that ink comes off your label there’s not much you can do. Varnishes and laminates offer both protection and aesthetic improvements – it’s just a matter of finding the right one for your needs.

Fortunately, you don’t need to find and apply your own varnishes. At Blue Label, we can guide you through every step of the label process, including applying varnishes or laminates to protect and enhance your designs. In fact, we can even add a varnish on top of a laminate to highlight specific design elements. Every label is different, so we work with you to figure out the best ways to showcase your products.

Ready to invest in eye-catching labels built for success? Contact us today about printing your next batch of product labels.

Pick Your Protection: The Different Types of Label Lamination

A good label allows your products to make a great first introduction to potential customers. However, scuffs, scratches, and other forms of damage can mangle your message without protection.

Label lamination allows you to add a protective film to the surface of your label. Once your label is printed, lamination serves as a second skin of sorts that shields your design from scratches and provides some waterproofing for your base material. However, these laminates can offer additional benefits depending on which type of lamination you use.

New labels going through the lamination process.

Breaking Down Each Type of Label Lamination

While laminates in general offer protective capabilities, certain types of lamination can add decorative effects to your label. This variety allows you to pick and choose different label laminates depending on your desired aesthetic. Other laminates can also change the feel of your label or provide certain capabilities not offered by other protection. In general, laminates are broken down into five types.

  • Gloss
  • Matte
  • Soft touch
  • Leather
  • Thermal transfer

Gloss

If you want your labels to shine, you’re going to like gloss laminates. These laminates reflect light off your label to add a smooth, glossy look that makes your design pop for passing customers.

Matte

If shiny isn’t your thing, a matte laminate creates a more subtle appearance for your labels. A matte finish dulls down your label surface so that it doesn’t shine much at all – but this means your label will be far from dull. These laminates can create a soft, subtle look that allows certain elements and colors appear deeper and brighter in contrast to the matte finish.

Soft touch

While matte finishes can make your labels look soft to the touch, other laminates can create a velvet-like, matte finish. Soft touch laminates add a tactile quality to your labels that consumers can feel. Research shows that the feel of a product can help sway buyers, which means that soft touch laminates can be a difference maker if you want that velvety aesthetic.

Leather

If you like the rugged, textured look of a paper label material but want the performance capabilities of a film, leather laminates help you achieve the best of both worlds. Leather laminates allow you to recreate weathered, wrinkled effect on film labels. This type of laminate works best on dark colors that allow you to highlight the texture of your label, all without the fuss of having to flood paper labels with ink or deal with potential durability issues.

A closeup of a leather label laminate.

Thermal transfer

Unlike other types of laminates, thermal transfer finishes are chosen more for what you plan to print on your labels in the future. These laminates allow you to use thermal printers to print on top of your labels whereas other lamination may prevent the ink from sticking. For example, a deli with a branded label may want to print the weight and price for each order on its labels. Thermal transfer laminates allow these types of businesses to do so, all while adding a gloss, matte, or some other type of look to their labels.

Invest in the Right Protective Film for Your Labels

Product labels come in so many different styles. No matter which aesthetic you prefer, it’s important to protect your label design from harm. To do so, you’ll need to figure out which form of protective film is best for your needs, whether it’s a laminate or some other option.

Label laminates typically adhere to film material better than paper, while varnishes conform to the nooks and crannies that can be found in paper materials. You can also add a varnish on top of a label laminate to really make certain design elements pop. There are so many possibilities to amp up your design and protect your label that it can be a bit overwhelming without some guidance.

Fortunately, a good lamination packaging company can help you weigh your options. At Blue Label, we work with you to identify the right details for your design, including label material selection and protection. Contact us today to invest in the right labels for your business.

The Different Wine Label Stocks You Can Use to Showcase Your Bottles

When it comes to investing in wine labels, it’s good to have options. There are a variety of label materials to choose from, but it’s up to you, your designer, and your label printing company to decide which one makes the most sense for your bottles. When it comes to wine labels, the three most popular types of materials you can use are:

  • Estate
  • Ever-opaque
  • Specialty

Each category offers various advantages depending on your desired look, feel, and price point. Here’s a quick breakdown of the different types of wine stocks so you can figure out what’s right for your packaging needs.

Estate Wine Labels

When you think of a classic paper wine label, you’ll likely envision something made with an estate material. Estate materials are a popular choice for the wine industry, and for good reason – they have a classic look and are generally a more cost-effective option.

Another advantage of paper labels is that they are incredibly versatile. While paper typically exudes a very natural appearance, there are various types of paper materials that can either enhance that look or provide a new type of aesthetic. For example, linen-style or uncoated eggshell bottle label papers both have different textures in the paper fibers that can help you match the look you want for your wine labels.

Of course, there is a downside to using an estate material. Unlike film, wine label paper absorbs water, which can cause those labels to disintegrate over time. While there are some paper stocks that have a higher wet strength, even those options aren’t completely waterproof. As such, estate may not be the best option if your wine labels will encounter water.

A paper wine label that has been embossed and stamped with hot foil.

Ever-Opaque Wine Labels

If you really love the look of estate but are concerned about water damage, you should consider investing in an ever-opaque material.

Ever opaque wine labels have a layer of BOPP film woven between paper to help shield your labels from moisture. This material option allows you to still give your bottles an estate feel without the downsides of soggy paper wine labels.  This can make ever opaque materials a go-to option for white wines that are typically chilled before use or any other bottles that may encounter moisture throughout its journey from your facility to your consumers’ tables.

As can be expected, the downside of ever-opaque stocks is that the presence of a BOPP film can drive up costs. However, that increase may be well worth the investment if it protects your labels from future damage.

Specialty Wine Labels

While both estate and ever-opaque wine labels have a more traditional look and feel, specialty label stocks can help you take your bottles to a whole new level. These can be made of paper or film and vary greatly in terms of overall aesthetic. Some specialty options include:

  • Felt/velvet materials
  • Cobblestone patterns
  • Shrink sleeves
  • Holographic or glitter films
  • Gloss, matte, satin, and soft-touch varnishes or laminates

As you can see, there are plenty of possibilities to break out of the classic wine label mold with specialty labels. The various materials available will each have their own distinct advantages, but when used properly, they can make sure that your bottles stand out when placed next to your competition.

A black vellum wine label make with a duplex hot foil and white ink.

Work with a Label Printing Company that Makes Your Wine Labels Shine

No matter which wine material you like best, it’s important that you partner with a printing company that can turn your design into stunning, eye-catching labels.  At Blue Label Packaging Company, we have the expertise and state-of-the-art printing equipment necessary to print stunning labels at competitive prices. We work with you to identify the right label material for your needs, and we can provide special label printing and finishing capabilities to add an extra dimension to your label design.

Are you in need of top-quality wine labels? Contact Blue Label today to talk to our experts about your next label printing project.

See-Through Strategies: Considerations for 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 emphasize 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 clear or transparent labels.

Be Careful with Colors on Clear or Transparent Product Labels

Both the container and the contents of that container can impact the colors on your label. Let’s say you use a bold red color for a bottle label. If the liquid in your bottle or the bottle itself is blue, your ink may end up looking more purple than red.

Since the label is clear, the colors behind it can completely change the look of your label. To avoid this, you’ll want to put a layer of white behind the individual elements of your design. This can even take a couple of layers of white ink to shield your design from the container or its contents. You may also want to consider test printing just to confirm how your label will look when applied to your container. For a small fee, printers can give you a physical proof so that you can make sure your brand colors are perfect for your standards before you make a full investment.

A single beer can made with a clear can label.

Pay Attention to Clear Label Placement

When you want to use some form of see-through label, you need to consider exactly how people will look at your product. If you want to put a transparent label on a clear bottle, do you want people to read your label from the back of the bottle or the front – or both?

Clear and transparent labels can be utilized in many ways. A clear label placed on a white container can create the appearance of a screen-printed container, such as the Fernson Brewing Co. cans seen above. You can use a single clear or transparent label, such as a solo front panel or something that full wraps around your container. Or you can also have dual see-through labels on the front and back of your container, leaving a minimalist label design that highlights your branding and product.

You can also pair a see-through label with a solid label so that customers can see different designs, images, or messages on the interior of the container. In this case, you’ll want a double-sided label with a layer of white in-between the inside and outside designs. If you don’t, you’ll see both transparent designs directly on top of each other, which makes for an illegible mess. Also, don’t forget to mirror the interior design. Interior designs are inverted when applied, so mirroring these elements will make sure your design isn’t backwards when it’s place on your container.

An example of a clear product label with different designs on both sides.

Choose Materials Based on Your Container

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.

Make Sure Your Application is on Point

One of the great aspects about clear labels is that they can show off everything in your container. One of the downfalls is that they can show off every imperfection from the application process. Common label application issues like air bubbles, wrinkles, or other faults are magnified on clear and transparent films since there’s no color to hide them. As such, it’s important to have a clean, tight application process that won’t result in accidental fingerprints, dust, or any other foreign objects under the label.

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.

Pros and Cons of Different Types of Label Materials

Several factors can play into choosing a label material, such as cost, appearance, and durability. In general, label facestocks are separated into two categories: paper and film. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages, so choosing a specific type of paper or film depends on the specific needs of your pressure sensitive labels.
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