How do I pick what material my label should be? | Labels Blog |

How do I pick what material my label should be?

Posted on 6/13/17

You’ve already had to make so many choices on the road to your finished product that picking out a label can tend to get overlooked. Aside from the shape and the specifics of the imprint, you should also pay special attention to the materials that make up the label itself. No matter if your product is a bottled food item, a healthy dog treat in bags, or a jar of fresh salsa, the materials of your label will be part of how your customers remember the quality of your product.

The Material Makes the Memory

When you are making choices about which label materials to get quote information about for your custom-made products, you want your products to be memorable and reflective of the high-quality of your creations. It might be tempting to start by using cost as the primary way to sort through label material options, but doing so just might sell your product short. Even so, there is also no need to spend your budget on materials that don’t match the needs of your product or container, so getting that sorted before you start looking for a quote can save you lots of time and hassle in the long run.

The first thing you want to do is to consider the place the product will end up and the conditions it will face on the way to making your customers happy. The material is the foundation that your label is built upon, so knowing where the label (and the product) is going to end up can help. We like to talk about the materials we offer in terms that make it as easy as possible, and so we encourage you to start with “indoor use” vs. “outdoor use”.

Indoor Use Labels
What we mean when we say “indoor use” is that the product that the label is on isn’t subjected to the kinds of environments that might be hard on a label. Water, refrigeration, and pressure are all forces that can quickly be problems for the labels on some products. Is your product not likely to be subjected to any of those forces? You might have an “indoor use” label need.

Chalkboard Custom JarSemi-gloss paper, removable semi-gloss paper, and silver foil are all material options we might refer to as “indoor use”. They are often used on products that spend a lot of time in cool, dry places like kitchen pantries, store shelves, or cabinets. For a more refined look and an “indoor use” label that can be made to be removed by soaking in warm water (if your product comes in an awesome, recognizable, reusable container, for example) try Estate #8, a material most often used for wine bottles, champagne bottles, gourmet sauces, small batch liqueurs, extracts, and hand-crafted condiments.

Outdoor Use Labels
You might have a memory of sitting by the fire on a warm summer night with a cold beer straight from the cooler. More than likely that memory involves peeling that label off the bottle at some point. That’s likely because it was a paper label.

Paper labels are often among the least expensive options, and so many people will quickly select paper as a label material without thinking about how it will or won’t stick to the container, hold the ink of your printed logo, or represent your brand to your customer and those around them.

The more rugged, harsher, abrasive environments a product can end up in, the more likely it is that you need a  better foundation for your label in terms of materials. Typically that would be what we refer to as “outdoor use”. These materials begin with what is commonly called “BOPP” or biaxially oriented polypropylene. BOPP materials occur when polypropylene film is extruded and stretched in two directions as an attempt to increase strength and clarity (hence “biaxial”).

Both white BOPP and clear BOPP options that we have available do a great job of standing up to those “outdoor use” environments. If you’ve got a product that needs to stand up to moisture, pressure, refrigeration or re-refrigeration, or is a potentially messy product likely to get messier over a number of uses, like maple syrup in bottles, lotion or shampoo in a tube, or your very own blend of beeswax lip gloss in a pot, picking a BOPP powered label can help your product make a good, lasting impression through its label over time.

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of where to start when you are pricing out options for the labels that are to be the bold representation of your product on its container. Thinking about whether or not your product fits into an “indoor use” or “outdoor use” category can be a helpful way of remembering and choosing from your various options.

Of course, if you still need some help navigating the options for label materials, shapes, sizes, coatings – or anything else – our team of knowledgeable professionals is always standing by to lend a helping hand. Order a free label material sample today to help guide your label material choice.