Shrink sleeve labels are a popular way to decorate and market a variety of products while communicating product information. However, they can introduce a number of problems if not done right. Here are three essential design and production tips.

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Keep the Contour in Mind

If you have a contoured package, whether a bottle with a narrow middle for an easy grip or some other shape, design a contoured shrink wrap to go on it. However, you need to test the results before you go into production so that you don’t get creases or crinkles that ruin the look you’re trying to get. You also need to add adhesive points to keep the contoured labels in place; while standard wraps on a round item only need one or two adhesive points, a contoured object needs several at a minimum. Note that you need new labels designed when you change the container, whether altering its width, its height, or any other dimension.

Test How It Looks

There are entire pages on social media regarding poorly wrapped products and advertising that came out horribly. Remember that the more detailed the design and the finer the design elements, the less margin you have for error. And it is essential that legally mandated information like ingredient lists and legal disclaimers is included. Try to print a trial run of a few labels to see if you really like the effect before you pay for a production run.

Hire the Experts to Do the Design Work

While you can design labels and logos yourself, you don’t need to try to design the shrink sleeve labels. For example, give the dimensions of the item the shrink sleeve labels will go on and your design. Let the professionals determine the distortion percentages necessary to suit the curvature of the container and application process. You don’t want to give them the supposedly finalized design and then be unhappy with the production run’s results.

Think About It Before You Choose Colors or Clear Material

Think about the colors before you approve the labels. A shrink wrap label on a bright white plastic bottle will probably look like it did on the computer screen. However, the colors may not look like those on the designer’s screen when you put it on a faded white plastic bottle, beige dispenser, or silver metal container.

Some people try to go with clear labels to minimize the cost of the labels, but this can reveal the imperfections of the underlying material. If the label is used on a clear plastic container, it may reveal broken food products or that the level of the contents isn’t as high as the customer expects. In short, the color scheme the customer sees may not be what you choose off the designer’s screen.

If you’re unfamiliar with shrink sleeve labeling, make sure you do your research thoroughly to prevent costly mistakes. Overhauling your whole packaging because of a few easy avoidable mistakes could lead to disastrous consequences.