Revolution Print and Packaging Anatomy of a label blog image

Anatomy of a label

Let’s talk about the parts and pieces that make up a label. When you see a printed label, you don’t think there are many parts. How could there be? It’s just a sticky piece of paper – right? Wrong, well, sort of. The label starts with the substrate or material, either film or paper; both have many options. For this example, we will use paper as our starting point and explain the different parts.

Substrates – paper or film (See technologies page for more details) Did you know that we can print on the backside of the paper label?

Custom Die Cut – many labels will only need to be a rectangle, circle, or square; those are still considered a custom die cut. However, you can have any shape be a custom die cut to fit your unique needs.

Printing Options – In addition to the 4-color process, we can also print white ink, spot (PMS colors), metallic inks, infrared or security ink, and variable data (QR codes, UPCs, or other variable information).

Embellishments – these printing techniques make your label design unique with cold foil (solid or holographic) and cast and cure.

Coatings or Topcoats – the protective coatings applied to your label at the end of the printing process. Coatings are not only protective, but they can also add a unique feature to your label design.

  • Laminate Coating – think of laminate as another layer on your label. It will always cover the entire label. It is used most often as a protective layer against moisture and abrasion. Again, it is beneficial if your products contain chemicals and oils.
    Laminates come in a gloss (shiny) or matte (dull) finish. It will depend on what look you are going for with your design and needs.
  • Varnish Coating – this is applied as a liquid. It can be applied as a spot (a portion of the design) or a flood (the entire label). The varnish comes in a gloss (shiny), satin (soft-touch feel), or matte (dull) finish. A spot varnish can add a nice contrast and depth to your label design.

Adhesives – that is another layer under the paper. There are several options for adhesives, including permanent, semi-permanent, removable, and options for extreme temperature changes, moisture, and others.

Release Liner – this is the layer that the label peels away from and will be discarded. It comes as either paper or PET.

As you can see, there are so many options when printing a custom label. Let us know if you need help with ideas or what will work best for your unique product needs.

Revolution Print and Packaging Anatomy of a printed label blog image