Labels are one of the primary marketing tools for products and the wrong choices easily send potential customers to the competition. Professional printers do more than simply print these items on adhesive materials. A multitude of pieces make up the puzzle we call a label. If you are trying to effectively market merchandise, this aspect will either make or break the sale. Understanding what comprises a label and the details behind creating them is definitely beneficial. Label products consist of several components much like when creating a delicate piece of jewelry or artwork.ax
To start, the graphical design aspects are only part of the decisions you will need to make. Label products generated in a professional facility have several base components that directly effect their look and durability. Additionally, labeling products are printed and cut in a number of ways. The first step involves preparing the face stock or printing material, coating, adhesive layer, liner, and inks. Once these items have been prepared, the label product is printed, cut, and finished based on your needs.
What Goes Into a Label Product?
The environment, required bonding, design characteristics, and more will affect what is chosen for printing a label product. For example, if the goal is high-end graphics, and it has many versions of the label, then digital printing is a great choice. This is because the electronic documents are directly transferred from the computer. However, if the label must be waterproof, then flexo printing or a special finish could be necessary to protect the design. Below are a few of the decisions you will need to make:
- Base or Face Stock – Since this is the primary material for the label, this will be one of the most critical decisions. Coated paper, polyesters, polypropylenes, and synthetic are a few examples. It is fed through the machine where the design is printed.
- Liner – A material below the adhesive used to protect the label until it is ready for application. Liners are important elements for auto application lines, and for products that are sheeted. High speed auto application lines require liners to not break with impeccable consistency. Sheeted applications require liners that like to “lay flat.”
- Adhesive Layer – Resides below the face stock and is used to bond the label to the surface. This material can be removable or permanent with various degrees of tack. A product exposed to extreme temperatures will require an adhesive that is different than a product going on the front of a tee shirt.
- Coatings and Laminates – Placed on top of the face stock to deliver an extra finish or some type of additional protection like waterproofing. Very critical for both the “look” and the “functionality” of the label. The label products sometimes require a lamination procedure to gain protection from ultra violet radiation, moisture, or chemicals.
The type of printing, inks, and finishing methods must also be considered when making these decisions. Once chosen, the face stock is then run through a specified printing process. Designs are either printed directly on the face stock or onto another material, which is then applied to the face stock. The liner below this ensures the adhering material is protected until removed for application.
Finishing processes such as die cutting or coating application can occur inline or offline after the preferred printing method has been used. They are inspected after each process to guarantee the highest quality before packaging and shipping. At Flexo-Graphics, we carefully help you pick out the right materials for your label product needs and monitor each process to ensure absolute quality. We will help you gain an affordable labeling solution that meet the need of the intended project.