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Choosing the Right Custom Label Material

Which Custom Label Material Should You Choose?  

Choosing the right custom label material is the most important step in creating your label. Your product labels are more than just simple stickers that tell consumers what your product is and what it does; they sell your product! With such a large variety of label stocks, textures and colors, you have to make certain your labels stand out on the shelf and engage your customers. Long story short, the visual impact of your label means you’re restocking shelves more often. To do that, you need to choose the right custom label stock. One that will not only stick to the product or container, but also lend the right look and feel to the brand you’ve work so hard to develop.

Here are three things to consider when choosing the right label stock for your product or package.

custom labels for food and beverage

What are you applying your labels to?

Substrates and packaging vary a great deal and a label is not a one size fits all solution. Label materials differ a great deal and adhesives react differently when they make contact with various surfaces. Paper labels with a permanent adhesive for example, can be used for most paper or cardboard packaging. Glass, however, has a very low surface energy and is hard to adhere to, a polypropylene with LSE adhesive might work better.  Cold temperature foods that are exposed to moisture might need an adhesive that survives low temperatures or an over laminate to protect the labels from tearing or smudging. Perhaps you have a container that has a curved service, causing the label to lift or a clear bottle that  requires a label ‘less’ look. The possibilities are endless. So, how do you know which label to use? Simple… test, test and re -test! Make sure you get samples of all the labels suited to meet your container and packaging demands and test them out. Is it flexible enough for squeezable containers? Will it smudge when exposed to water or other liquids? Will the label last as long as the product? Understand what the capabilities of your label stock are and where exactly it might break down, if at all.

How do you plan to apply your labels?

What will the temperature be when your applying these labels? Will it be wet, damp or very hot? Consider the environment before choosing your label stock and adhesive. This will ensure the label adheres well to the substrate. Will you be applying the labels by hand or automatically? Different label applicators have different capabilities and configuration requirements for liners and thickness. It is important to know what automated machine you’re working with to make sure your labels will fit the system.

What conditions will the label need to survive, once it’s applied to your product?

The life cycle of a label can sometimes be a challenge. Exposed to harsh environments and severe temperatures, labels have an assortment of conditions they have to survive. Failure is not an option when it comes to labeling your products. Special adhesives and label stocks are designed to do different things. Ask yourself a few questions before requesting sample material to test and make sure you’re saving yourself time by testing only material designed for applications like yours. A few questions to ask yourself and communicate with your label supplier would be:

  • What sort of environment will these labels need to survive? (Extreme hot/cold / freezing)
  • How will the consumer store this product after it’s been brought home?
  • How will the consumer prepare the product for use?  (Ovens, ice buckets, etc.)


All of this label investigation may have you weary but no need to worry. Now that the wheels are turning, it is the perfect time to speak with an ImageTek Label guru, who will take the time to assist you in reviewing your application. After review of your application, a complimentary, custom label media kit will be mailed to you for testing.

For more information about requesting custom label samples please contact our staff today.