The Tasks of a Custom Packaging Label
For anyone who wants to create a new custom packaging label, there are certain steps to take to ensure that the label will be effective. The most important of these is to decide on the tasks that the label needs to accomplish. So what are some of the purposes of a packaging label? They could include the following:
- Transmitting information, this can include directions, both in text and symbols, on how to use the product, as well as how to transport, recyle or dispose of the product and its external packaging
- Meeting government or other regulatory requirements, since food, medical, pharmaceutical and chemical products, for example, may be required to display certain types of information, such as safety warnings or expiry/best-before dates
- Tracking and tracing the movement of goods through the use of barcoding, including numbering such as serial numbers or lot numbers on certain products
- Marketing to potential buyers via the use of graphic and physical designs for labels, such as brand ID
- Security, such as authentication seals and security labeling to help prevent pilferage or tampering
Taking all of these tasks into consideration, here are some possible guidelines to help you produce the best and most effective custom packaging label your budget will allow.
No. 1: Selecting the Right Materials for Your Customized Packaging Labels
This type of custom label is often subjected to stress and damage during shipping, which can result in smudges, scratches and stains. In order to optimize its performance, it is important to ensure that the label you choose will be sturdy enough to withstand this additional stress, and able to maintain a sufficient type and image quality so that the information on the label is legible throughout the shipping process.
The majority of custom labels for packaging can be printed on paper, which may be the most cost-effective choice for large label runs, especially for shipping labels or any labels that fill temporary functions and are designed with a short shelf life. For labels that do not need to be waterproof, self adhesive white paper, ranging from matte through gloss to high-gloss, can all be very effective options. In addition, matte and gloss paper can be written on with ballpoint pen or permanent ink marking. While not suitable for writing or marking, high-gloss paper can have added UV-resistance if necessary.
Packaging labels can also be printed on self-adhesive waterproof vinyl. Although this material is not suitable for writing, its water resistance makes it a desirable choice for indoor/outdoor applications. BOPP material, which is polypropylene, will also be water-and oil-resistant.
For a food packaging label, there are several factors that will need to be considered when choosing the best label materials. The product might need to be kept in a freezer, or under very hot conditions. Warehouse storage of the package for more than a few months, and rougher-than-normal shipping and handling should also factor into your choice of label materials. And of course, cost is a very significant consideration. For these reasons, although semi-gloss or gloss paper will often be the most appropriate option, PET film, vinyl, polypropylene, and PVC — all of which can be die cut as necessary — may be the best material choices.