Shrink sleeves are quickly gaining popularity as an ideal label for many products across multiple industries. As shrink sleeve converting and application technology has become more mainstream, the graphic design versatility, coupled with creative marketing enabled by container shape creates product differentiation that can be leveraged by many consumer goods companies. Whether a food, beverage, household cleaning product, pharmaceutical or nutraceutical bottle, shrink sleeves are a great labeling option.
Shrink sleeve’s advantages
Shrink sleeve labels offer two key advantages for bottles when compared to other label decorating technologies.
Shrink sleeves can support full-container decoration. Because sleeve labels can in many cases cover the entire bottle, product marketers and label designers have a larger surface area for stylistic considerations. Traditional spot labels are smaller and limit the amount and area available to display product information. Using shrink sleeves for bottles can utilize the full container as a platform for product branding, product information, promotions and communication of regulatory information. The ability to print on the majority of the available area of a bottle provides the manufacturer with a method to provide more product information to the consumer when compared to other options.
The other key advantage is the compatibility between shrink sleeves and uniquely shaped bottles. A container’s shape is an important aesthetic, and adjusting the shape is a common way to stand out and differentiate from competition. However, there are some tradeoffs when traditional pressure sensitive labels are applied to uniquely shaped containers. These tradeoffs include limited label size and information content, and potential label application issues. Shrink sleeves can solve these issues through full container decoration.
What to examine when considering shrink sleeves for bottles
Product information requirements to be displayed on the container can be a key consideration. Depending on market segment, there may be varying regulations that determine what information is required to appear on the package and be accessible to consumers. Shrink sleeve label designs can offer options to integrate more product information into the label’s graphics.
It is important to consider the application process when choosing shrink sleeve labels for bottles. In the shrink sleeve label segment, many contract decorators can provide an entry point for a consumer goods company interested in using shrink sleeve labels for the first time. Pre-applied labels to empty containers can be an effective solution for initial switch into using shrink sleeve labels. This can also create flexibility for managing small run quantities, completing test marketing or managing capital investment decisions related to installation of new labeling equipment.
Before going through the shrink tunnel, shrink sleeve labels are applied either by a machine in a continuous manner, or individually applied by hand. Manually applying labels can be an ideal choice for short runs or for managing particularly complex shapes. Hand-applied labels are also a good option for minimizing initial capital costs. Machine-applied labels are used for longer run applications, and can support a wide range of run speeds at varying capital costs.
Common problems labeling experts can help avoid
Effective label design requires specific software and trained design staff to optimize label appearance. By relying on the experience of a labeling expert, many manufacturers avoid design problems in the layout of artwork on the sleeve. Unexpected and potentially unattractive results are avoided by working with designers that have experience with sleeve label technology.
Label material selection is impacted by container shape, labeling equipment and design of the shrink tunnel. Proper material selection will ensure that the finished label shrinks properly through the process, and avoids flaws in the finished label’s appearance.
The label’s seam is commonly overlooked. Knowledgeable designers can implement the seam into the design along with placement on the bottle. Additionally, proper converting practices are required to ensure accurate application of the solvent used to join the label seam. Inaccurate application, or use of the wrong solvent, can result in a range of problems from open or poorly formed seams, to blocking of the label material prior to label application.
Discover the right solution for your needs
Shrink sleeve labels are a great label option for bottles. Being a full-container label offers tangible advantages for graphic design versatility and creative marketing. For help in choosing the right material and optimizing label appearance, lean on the knowledge of our label design experts.
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