Choosing the Finished Label Size and Shape.
The choice of size and shape of your label will largely depend on the bottle/packaging it's being stuck to. Your product may suit a full wrap-around label. This type of label works well in 3 panels, left and right panels are used 'for directions for use' and 'ingredients' leaving the middle panel, centre stage for your brand and sales message. A wrap-around design is the most cost effective method but can be fiddly to apply. See how to apply your label by hand in our video below.
An example of a full wrap-around label that we supply to Sister and Co. for their “Body Melt” lotion.
Alternatively, you have the option of a single label or a multi-label design, one for the front and the other for the back. Front and back labels are a great way to separate your brand message (front) away from the instructions/ingredients and EU regulation symbols (back). This type of labelling will cost more due to multiple designs, labels and printing machine set-ups but will be easier to apply by hand.
A front and back type system for Kinnective Emollient from https://www.kellyedwards.co.uk
Your product or packaging may look classy on its own, without any labelling on its body. Here are a few options available to you.
A simple lid label with sealing arms, may be all that's needed for the finishing touch!
An informative summary label, so your customer can see what's contained within.
A single lid design with a sealing arm from Omoi Skincare.
Waterproof Vinyl Label From Revolution Beauty.
This leads us nicely to template and custom labels. Template or stock shapes and sizes will be the most cost-effective choice. Shapes such as round, square, oval and rectangular will be offered in many different sizes by your chosen label supplier; you should be able to find one that fits your purpose.
If your needs are more demanding, a custom shape will be for you. As its bespoke to your product, it’s a more expensive option but well worth the extra. A square peg in a round hole is a real no-no and will be very noticeable against your competitors, don't cut corners!
Label Material and Applying the Finish Touches.
Choices, choices, choices! You have your label design, shape and size ready to print but what material should you use?
The first question to ask is, do my labels need to be waterproof? If the answer is no, then a paper label could be a possibility. Paper labels will be offered with gloss or matt finishes with various adhesive choices to suit your needs. Paper labels will withstand the odd splash of water and tend to be the most cost-effective material to use. An excellent starter material and a good all-rounder for day to day indoor applications.
Alternatively, your product may get a drenching on a daily basis, shampoo labels, shower gel labels for example. Waterproof vinyl is your go-to material of choice. Similar to paper labels, waterproof vinyl is offered in many finishes and adhesives. White, clear, metallic, fluorescent to name but a few.
Another question to ask yourself is, do I need to be able to wipe the label surface clean with cleaning products? Or do my products contain alcohol or essential oils? Many label printers use eco-friendly inks; these can smudge or be removed completely if wiped or in contact with cleaners/oils. By adding a protective laminated coating to your label design, will stop this from happening. Laminated labels are available in a gloss or matt finish. They're super durable and can withstand heavy use but will be the most expensive option.
To keep your label in place on your product packaging a layer of adhesive is needed, ours come with a choice of three that each would be appropriate for different applications.
Easy-peel is a removable label system that uses non-permanent adhesive glue backing for use when a sticker can or should be able to be taken off. These have many applications but their use in cosmetics, perfumery and toiletries labelling is limited. However if you dream up an innovative way of using this type of adhesive, it’s always an option.
Permanent stickers are the most popular choice, although they’re not totally infallible they provide the level of adhesion that’s right for most cases. Body lotions, moisturising oils and face creams or makeup like eyeshadow and lipsticks are the sort of items that would be labelled this way.
If your product line might be taken into the shower or spend a lot of time sat on the side of the bath then high-tack or extra permanent might be your preference. This type of adhesive is also sometimes used if the bottle or container has a surface finish that needs a helping hand, if you’re not sure get one of our free sample packs and give them a try.
The majority of labels come with three different types of adhesive (glue backing). Removable, Permanent and Extra Permanent also know as High-Tack. The type of adhesive that you opt for will really depend on what you are using your particular labels for.
- Removable labels are easy to peel off, also known as non-permanent. These are often the types of labels that are used to price a product. For example, A book cover that requires a price sticker which then needs to be removed not leaving a sticky residue or not damaging the surface of the product.
- Permanent labels are harder to peel than removable labels (yet are still not entirely impossible to take off). A Permanent adhesive is by far the most popular choice, as it’s level of adhesion suits the majority of uses.
- Extra permanent is the only adhesive choice if you require your label to stay stuck to a low energy surface, for example any type of plastic bottle. A shampoo or shower gel that’s likely to be placed in wet environments for long periods would benefit from this type of high-tack adhesive label.
How to apply a label by hand.
Labelling machines are expensive and often out of the reach of small to medium sized businesses, some have enough capital to invest in printed bottles but more complex designs require a sticker. Applying labels by hand is a knack and takes practice but once you get the hang of it can be quick and cost effective. See how we do it in our video.
Make sure the bottle is clean and free of dust, getting a speck of something under the label will make an unsightly mark.
Different shapes and sizes of both bottle and label can change the approach but in general you first need a point of reference to line things up. Many bottles have a seam, this is a faint line made by the mould during manufacture or there’s the base or a shoulder on the shape. Line the edge of the label with your reference line and, using your thumbs, work your way across ensuring no bubbles form.
Diving into the world of cosmetics, personal care and toiletries is not something that should be done lightly. There are huge potential rewards but like everything worthwhile, it will take a lot of time and effort. However, many household names came from humble beginnings; Body Shop, Tresemme, Paul Mitchell and many others started small and became multinationals. It is common for the big conglomerates to swallow up-and-coming companies, whether that’s your end game or you’re happy with a smaller concern we wish you luck. If you need any further assistance please don’t hesitate to get in touch.