Many of the people and companies we work with have an in-depth understanding of printing methods, others may have a designer who has that insight. They know what they want, how the label should look and the effects it might have. However, there are also those who may know how they want their labels to look but don’t know which printing method could achieve it. So we thought we would write this blog to try and clear up some of the printing jargon you might face!
Printing Methods Explained
First of all, it is important to choose the correct base material; paper or a synthetic such as polypropylene depending on whether your labels need to withstand cold temperatures or not. You also need to consider if you want the label to be permanent, peel-able or freezer proof. Will you need your labels prepared for overprinting? Once you have established the base, now it is time to look at the different printing processes and the effects they can bring:
On a budget
The most common form of printing is digital printing due to its versatility and reasonable cost. If you are looking for labels and are on a tight budget then digital printing can give you all kinds of affects simply through colour. The more colours required to produce these effects, generally the higher the cost. The paper preference can also increase the price so be sure to explain from the outset that you have a budget to work to and we can see what we can produce within those constraints.
Digital printing can give a metallic look, especially if coupled with a metallic base material. However, if you are looking for a true metallic shine then combining digital printing with a hot foil process can achieve this. Hot foil printing is a speciality printing method which uses heat, pressure, metal dies and foil film which come in a myriad of colours.
Having elements of your label more glossy than others can be very eye catching and bring a decorative effect, this process is called Spot UV. Spot UV simply enhances certain areas, letters or words by providing an added shine which gives added depth in the colour where it is applied.
Making elements of your label higher than others, brings texture and makes the label highly visible and elegant, this process is called embossing. Embossing simply raises the image above the rest of the label and can really enhance an intricate design.
Raised area with a lacquer finish
What we mean by this, as an example, is for tactile triangle labels which have a ‘raised’ warning triangle, seen on items which have toxic substances or e-cigarette products. This method is called screen printing and dates back over 2,000 years! Today we use sophisticated equipment which gives a ‘lift’ to your label by adding lacquer to certain areas.
Do you want clear labels that can still be machine applied?
Clear labels are very popular and can provide an added dimension to your jars and bottles. If you plan to have these labels machine applied, then you need the backing of the label to have a trigger bar printed so that the red eye can detect each label. This is called trigger bar printing.
Of course there are other printing methods but these detailed above include the most popular for the types of labels we print for the industries we work with. We hope we have provided a simple explanation of the affects these methods can give to your labels to them come to life.
You don’t need to be an expert in printing methods, all you need is an idea of the image you want to give your produce or service and a budget that you want to work from. The rest is up to printing companies like us, who can help and advise on the best way to achieve the results you want within your budget constraints.
Labels can bring a powerful message to your brand, they really can help make your business or produce stand out from the crowd so give them the thought they need and we will print them with the due care that they deserve.