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4 key elements to consider when getting product labels

24th February 2021 Print

Are you launching a new product line that needs custom printed labels?

If so, you're in the right place. We're going to explain how you can get suitable custom labels the first time, saving you time & money in the process.

There are loads and loads of points we could discuss. To help you pick the correct label, here is the information suppliers may ask about your intended application:

- What are you sticking on?
- Is the surface flat or curved?
- Do you require plastic or paper for your design?
- Do you want your label removable?
- At what temperature will these labels be used?
- Will this label come into contact with moisture?
- Can you share your design?
- What shape would you like your label?
- How many would you like?
- How will your labels be applied, hand or machine?
- This can all get quite complex, right!?

Therefore, we've rationalised this down into four simple points. Here they are:

1. How to pick the most suitable material

The challenge here is not to 'over engineer' your label or custom sticker. Picking an excessively durable material will ultimately mean you're over-paying.

If you have a short-term application (such as takeaway food), go for a paper sticker to reduce cost. It will look great and will last plenty of time. It'll even compost with your other food packaging.

On the other end of the spectrum, a premium brand with a longer-term application will want a durable plastic label with laminate to protect the ink. The laminate protects your label, making it scratch-resistant & waterproof.

There are two categories of material; they are plastic & paper. The key attributes of each are:


- Suitable for outdoor use
- Tear-resistant
- Waterproof
- Hard-wearing & durable
- It can be flexible for curved surfaces
- Some are compostable


- Low-cost
- Easy to recycle
- For short-term or indoor use on
- Textured finishes possible
- Most are splashproof only

2. Design in vector or high-resolution bitmap

An excellent general rule is, the higher the resolution, the better the quality of your print.

There are 2 types of artwork, vector & bitmap. If possible, use vector.

Vector artwork is made from mathematical equations. You can scale them without losing quality.

Bitmap images are made from thousands of individual pixels. During scaling, these pixels get larger & can become visible, making your image appear blurry. If you are working in bitmap, provide 300 DPI resolution at a 1:1 scale, and it'll look great.

3. Keep the shape simple

You can get custom shaped die-cut labels and can technically obtain whatever shape you desire. Having so much choice can lead to going over the top and ruining the label. 

A complicated cutline has lots of small edges that get picked up over time, making the label-less durable. A simple shape with a clean edge can often give a better finish.

4. Measure twice, cut once

Getting the size correct seems like it should be simple, but it's often wrong. Trying to keep costs down by getting a smaller label can make text tiny and look terrible.

If you have to zoom in on your computer to see the design proof, it's too small. Make sure you view it at 100% scale. This is especially important for small labels (sub-3cm) due to tiny text.

We hope these four elements will help you get better product labels. If you have any questions, please comment below.