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Product Labels & Label Printing

Product Labels & Label Printing

Due to continuous growth of production volumes and consumer markets label printing technologies have been intensively developing over the last decades. Struggling to attract customer attention producers meticulously design eye-catching product labels for newly produced and existing goods.

Product labels are essentially pieces of paper, plastic, fabric or other material containing textual or graphic information about a product.  Product labels inform the customers of the nature of a product specifying product and manufacturer details, production and expiration dates, ingredients, customer support information and any other data which the manufacturer deems appropriate and necessary to provide. Product labels have a set of important functions and serve for:

Product identification

which includes product information and brand identity elements, such as colors, fonts, logos, etc.;

Packing or sealing of a product

Particular product labels types, e.g. shrink sleeve labels used for bottles, serve a double purpose providing  information and a protective seal for additional safety;

Publicity and market promotion

Product labels can boost or decrease product popularity. That is why product labels are carefully designed to suit the target audiences.

Proof of a product authenticity

Elaborate and hi-tech product labels containing holographic images, barcodes, DataDot technologies and other graphic, chemical and optical elements ensure protection against imitations;

Regulatory compliance

Apart from optional characteristics there is a number of official requirements set in relation to product labels by applicable laws and regulations according to the type of product. Thus, according to general practice, food product labels must contain accurate information on the country of origin, producer, ingredients, nutritive properties, production date and shelf life of a product.

Label printing technologies vary according to label design, colors, materials, required output as well as available budget. The following printing methods are commonly used for label printing:

  Offset printing (lithography)  – a traditional high-quality and relatively inexpensive label printing method commonly used for a big-volume production in which images are transferred from metal or polymer plates to  rubber blankets and then to the printed surface. The time-consuming set-up process makes offset label printing method unsuitable for rush orders;

  Digital printing – a label printing method analogous to offset printing where electrostatic rollers are used instead of printing plates. Unlike offset printing digital label printing method is used for short-run and quickly changing orders;

  Flexographic printing - a versatile label printing solution for quick printing, suitable for a wide spectrum of materials and characterized with a high runnability especially in case of big solid areas. Flexography becomes very cost-efficient when applied in mass production;

 Gravure printing – a unique high-speed label printing method for printing of long-run orders. Gravure presses and cylinders print on big rolls of paper which are then cut according to the required dimensions. Gravure printing allows for unique printing effects such as metallic elements. This label printing method is characterized with an exceptional quality  but can only be economically feasible if used for high-volume production due to high cost of printing cylinders;

 Silk-screen printing - a label printing method allowing to create tactile texturized images;

  Relief printing – a printing method allowing for a detailed elaboration of images, great for creation of bright colorful and sharp pictures.

Label materials and product labels printing methods depend greatly on the nature of products, order volume and set budget. The existing variety of printing means allows finding the best value for money solution.