Label printing for bottles, jars and components is a critical aspect of product packaging that plays a key role in attracting potential customers, conveying product information, increasing the perceived value of the product, and enhancing brand image.
There are several factors to consider when designing and printing labels for bottles, jars and components, including:
- the size and shape of the container
- legible fonts
- clear images
- appropriate color and design elements
- required label information and
- label substrate.
In this article, we will explore the do’s and don’ts of these elements of label printing for bottles, jars and components. We also offer tips and best practices to help businesses create high-quality, durable labels that complement their products and help them stand out on store shelves and attract the attention of potential customers.
Label Printing for Bottles, Jars and Components – Do’s and Don’ts
Use this table of contents to skip to a particular section of the article.
The Role of Size and Shape in Labeling Bottles, Jars and Components
The size and shape of the bottles, jars and components play a critical role in determining the type and size of labels you will need. Before designing your label, it’s essential to measure your bottles and jars accurately to ensure that the labels will fit correctly.
Measuring your container may seem like a simple task, but curves or unique features of the container can make it more complex. If your bottles or jars vary in shape and size, be sure to measure each one individually. All CAD software can easily export these dimensions. If your containers are from a third party vendor, they should be able to supply the measurements. If you provide samples to a full-service label printer, such as Clear Print, they can help you determine the ideal label size and shape.
Once you have accurate measurements, you can choose an appropriate label size and shape. If the label is too small, it could be hard to read, while a label that is too large may not fit the container properly.
Another factor to consider is the aspect ratio or proportions of the container. For example, a long, narrow label may work better on a thin bottle, while a shorter, wider label may work better on a jar with a wide opening.
In addition to choosing the right label size, you also need to consider the shape of your container. For example, if the container has a compound curved surface, you may need a label with a special shape to ensure that it adheres correctly without label wrinkles.
Accurate measurements are essential when selecting the appropriate label size and shape for your bottles and jars. Consider all the unique features of each container and choose a label that is not too small or too large for your container.
3 Factors Affecting the Choice of Bottle, Jar or Component Material
Choosing the right container for your product is just as important as choosing the right label. The container must be compatible with the label printing process and with the label substrate to ensure that the labels adhere properly and look great.
Compatibility with the label
Label materials have varying characteristics that may affect how well they adhere to the surface. For example, plastic bottles have a smooth surface that may require a specific adhesive to ensure the label stays in place. Glass jars, on the other hand, have a rougher surface that may require a more aggressive adhesive.
The surface of the container is another factor in label choice. For example, if the container is textured, the label may not adhere properly or may wrinkle or bubble. If the container has a curved surface, you may need a specially shaped label to ensure that it adheres correctly.
Compatibility with environment
Another consideration is the environment in which your product will be used. If your product will be exposed to moisture, chemical, or extreme temperatures, the container must survive those conditions. Choose a label substrate resistant to these conditions to ensure that the label remains legible and adheres properly. Products which will be stored in a refrigerator or freezer require aggressive adhesive designed for these conditions.
Shipping is also an environmental factor. Will your container survive the logistics required of the product?
Compatibility with the product
Mis-matching a container with its product can lead to defects in the container or the product. For example, certain chemicals will dissolve some plastics. There is also the possibility of chemical interaction in which the product itself is affected.
How to Choose Relevant and Legible Fonts
A label is useless if it can’t be read or understood by the target audience. Fonts should also complement the product style and brand identity.
First, consider the style of your product. A font that works well for a playful, whimsical product may not be appropriate for a serious or elegant product. Similarly, a font that works well for a product aimed at children may not work for a product aimed at adults.
Second, consider your brand identity. Your font needs to be consistent with brand messaging and convey its values and personality.
Finally, consider the target audience. A font that is easy to read for an adult may not be easy for a child, and vice versa. Consider your target audience’s age, reading level, and visual abilities when choosing a font.
Font size and spacing also affect readability. Adjusting font size and spacing can improve legibility, particularly for smaller labels or labels with lots of text. Consider increasing the font size and line spacing to make the text more readable.
A professional designer, such as the ones at Clear Print, can help you make the right font choices for your product labels by keeping all these factors in mind.
How to Create Clear Label Images with the Correct Resolution
Clear label images are another effective element to catch the eye of potential customers and convey the product message. However, it’s important to choose high-quality images that will reproduce well on your labels.
When selecting images for your label, choose high-resolution images that are appropriate for the size of your label. High-resolution images ensure that the image remains crisp and clear whether printed on a small or large label.
For best results, all images should be prepared at 300 dots per inch (DPI) at 100% of the print size. For example, if you are printing a round label that is two inches in diameter, the file image resolution should be at least 300 DPI and the image itself should be 2 inches in diameter.
Don’t use images from the web. These images are typically low resolution (72 dpi) and don’t reproduce well.
Another tip for ensuring clear images is to use vector images. Vector images are scalable and retain their quality when enlarged or reduced to any size. They are particularly useful for logos or images with sharp lines and text.
If an image resolution is too low, the image will appear blurry or pixelated when printed on the label. On the other hand, if the image resolution is too high and not size correctly, it may not fit on your label. Or it can result in a large, cumbersome file.
You can read more about proper file preparation here on our FAQ page.
Proper Color and Design Elements for Product Labels
Color and design elements are crucial in creating an eye-catching label that complements your product and brand. The right design elements also make your label stand out on store shelves and attract potential customers.
The role of color in label design is to create an emotional connection with the product and communicate its message to the target audience. When choosing colors for your label, consider the product, its attributes, and the desired message. For example, bright and bold colors can communicate excitement and energy, while pastels can communicate a more soothing and calming effect.
In addition to the product, consider your brand identity and color palette. Choose colors that align with your brand and are recognizable to your target audience. Consistency in color and design elements can help build brand recognition and increase customer loyalty.
Simplicity of design is also important when creating an effective label. A cluttered design with too many design elements can be overwhelming and difficult to read. Instead, use simple and clean design elements like borders, shapes, and patterns to enhance the visual appeal of your label.
Pay attention to the hierarchy of the elements and their placement. Important information, such as the product name, should be prominently displayed and easily readable. Use design elements to draw attention to important information, such as a bold border around the product name or a unique shape to draw attention to the product’s attributes.
Consumers don’t read packaging top-to-bottom but instead focus on the left and right corners. Important features or claims should be put in these corners. Longer content should be placed in the center of the panels.
Strong images and fewer words are best, as consumers tend to zero in on visuals and then read copy to support what they see.
You can read more in this article about additional factors that affect retail package design here.
Product Label Information – Legal Requirements, Barcodes and QR Codes
Label information is, of course, another critical component of product packaging. It provides consumers with important details about the product and brand.
Legal requirements for labeling products vary by product type, by country, and by state. For example, food and beverage products in the US must list the ingredients, nutrition information, and any allergens present in the product. Health and beauty products must list the product’s ingredients, usage instructions, and safety warnings. California’s Proposition 65 requires warning labels on products that contain certain chemicals.
To ensure that your labels comply with all legal requirements, you should consult government resources and industry organizations that provide information on labeling regulations.
Some sources for legal requirements for labeling products include:
❑ US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Code of Federal Regulations – Title 21 for regulations on food and drug labeling
❑ Federal Trade Commission – Fair Packaging and Labeling Act Regulations for regulations on consumer commodities
❑ Consumer Product Safety Commission – Labeling Requirements Overview covers a wide range of products.
❑ European Commission website has information on EU policy, law and regulations.
❑ Canadian Food Inspection Agency website
❑ World Health Organization and Codex Alimentarius for guidance on food and product labeling in other regions around the world.
Note that many products are subject to regulation by more than one agency. Before printing your labels, make sure that all requirements are covered.
Barcodes and QR Codes
Barcodes and QR codes are another important aspect of label information. These codes provide consumers with easy access to additional information about the product, such as origin, ingredients, and usage instructions. They can take the consumer to web pages with more in-depth information, videos, and help guides.
Barcodes and QR codes also help in inventory management and tracking.
Barcodes can be easily scanned with a barcode scanner or smartphone, while QR codes can be scanned with a smartphone camera.
A full-service label printer, such as Clear Print, can create barcodes for you. Or you can use an online barcode generators company. Some popular sources for creating barcodes include:
- GS1 for UPC barcodes and Global Trade Identification Numbers (GTIN) needed for global product sales.
- Barcodes, Inc. for barcodes, QR codes, barcode software, barcode labels and hardware.
- QR Code Generator: A free online QR code generator that allows you to create a variety of QR codes, including URL, text, email, and contact information. It also provides options for customizing the QR code’s design.
- Unitag is an online QR code generator that offers a range of customization options for your QR codes, including colors, logos, and shapes. It also provides analytics and tracking features to monitor your QR code’s performance.
With a bit of preparation, barcodes and QR codes can make your labels more effective and useful to both consumer and manufacturer.
Label Substrate – How to Choose the Best One
The label substrate is the material on which the label is printed. Choosing the right label substrate is essential to ensure that your label fits the end use and environment, is resistant to smudging, scratches, and scuffs, and meets consumer preferences for sustainability.
When selecting a label substrate, consider the end use and environment of the product. For example, if your product will be exposed to moisture or extreme temperatures, you may need a label substrate that is resistant to these conditions to ensure that the label remains legible and adheres properly. Similarly, if your product is used outdoors or in harsh environments, you may need a more durable substrate that can withstand abrasion and exposure to sunlight.
In addition to environmental durability, consider the label’s resistance to smudging, scratches, and scuffs. A label that smudges easily or scratches off can negatively impact the overall appearance of the product and brand image. Proper label substrates and inks resist smudging and scratches to ensure that your label maintains its quality and appearance. A full-service label printer, such as Clear Print, will recommend the correct substrates and ink for your requirements.
There are also several types of spot and overall coatings, laminations, and varnishes that can improve scuff and scratch resistance on product labels. You can read more about these in an article on label finishes here.
Sustainability is also an important consideration for label substrates. Many consumers today are concerned with the environmental impact of product packaging. Studies, like the one discussed in this article on packaging, have shown that consumers today are more likely to purchase products with sustainable packaging, and they are willing to pay more.
Choosing a sustainable label substrate can increase consumer appeal and brand reputation, and actually sell more product with higher margins.
Brands today are using recycled papers, bio-degradable materials, and vegetable-based inks in their quest for reduced waste and environmental responsibility.
We can work with you to incorporate the most effective, environmentally friendly substrate into your next label project.
Label Application – Manual vs Automatic
There are two main options for product label application: manual and automatic. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the choice depends on the production volume, label size, and shape, and the accuracy required.
Manual label application involves applying the label to the product by hand. This method is often used for small-scale production or for products with irregular shapes or sizes. The main advantage of manual application is the low cost of equipment and the flexibility it provides. It can be easily adapted to different label sizes and shapes, making it suitable for small-batch or custom labeling.
However, manual application is time-consuming and labor-intensive, and it won’t be as accurate or consistent as automatic application. It may also result in a higher rate of errors and rejections due to misaligned or wrinkled labels, which ultimately affects production efficiency and increases costs.
Automatic label application involves the use of specially designed labeling machines to apply the labels. This method is often used for high-volume production and for products with consistent sizes and shapes.
The main advantages of automatic application are speed and accuracy. Machines apply labels quickly and consistently, reducing the risk of errors and improving production efficiency.
Machinery has limits. So pre-planning the label from beginning through its entire journey is required. You don’t want to design and print tens of thousands of labels only to find that the machine on which its scheduled to run can’t handle that size, or bottle shape, or adhesive.
For machine application, the unwind position or roll position is critical. There are eight options but the four most common positions are Right-Off (the right side is the leading edge coming off the roll), Left-Off, Top-Off and Bottom-Off . Your label producer must use the unwind position required by the company which will apply the labels.
Examples of Types of Products That Need Labels
Some of the industries for which we print bottle, jar and component labels include:
Health and Beauty Industry
- Shampoos & Conditioners
- Household cleaning supplies
- Paint cans
- Plastic jars for paint, varnishes, thinners, cleaners
- Glass jars for paint, varnishes, thinners, cleaners
- Squeezable containers for paint, varnishes, thinners, cleaners
Food and Beverage Industry
- A wide range of rigid and flexible jars, bottles, and components for all types of food and drink.
Conclusion – Product Labeling for Bottles, Jars and Components
Label printing for bottles, jars and components requires careful advance planning.
By considering factors such as the size and shape of the bottle or jar, choosing a label substrate that fits the end use and environment, selecting legible fonts and clear images with the correct resolution, using appropriate color and design elements, complying with legal requirements, and choosing the right label application method, you can create effective and eye-catching labels that stand out on store shelves as they communicate your product message to your target audience.
Additionally, today’s consumer preferences for sustainability and eco-friendliness are a way to further enhance your brand image and appeal as you boost revenues and profit margins.
With these tips and best practices in mind, you can create high-quality labels that enhance the overall appearance of your product packaging and improve consumer appeal.
Where to Buy Product Labels for Bottles, Jars and Components
Here at Clear Print, we can help you design and print labels for containers in nearly every industry. Call us at 818-709-1220 to discuss.