We have many customers who use our labels on jars and bottles of all shapes and sizes.
Some are producing wonderful food and drink products and others are creating cosmetic concoctions of all kinds.
Choosing a label to suit jars and bottles can be a tricky affair because there are a number of practical factors that you need to take into account. We’ve put together a helpful checklist to help you choose the perfect label for your jars and bottles.
SIZE (& SHAPE) MATTERS: WHAT IS THE AVAILABLE SURFACE AREA ON YOUR JARS OR BOTTLES?
Customers often ask us to recommend labels based on a photograph or the width, height, and/or capacity of their containers; unfortunately, this information is entirely useless when it comes to picking a suitable label. Picking labels for jars and bottles means finding out which areas of your containers are suitable for adding a label to and then measuring the surface area that is available. You can then search for a label that is made to a size that will fit within those measurements.
- Does your container have flat surface areas?
Labels adhere more effectively to flat (rather than curved) surfaces, so these areas are the best possible places to add labels. Measuring these areas will give you a rough starting point to find labels that will fit within those dimensions. Remember to check all of the available surfaces, including the sides of your jars or bottles – and their lids!
- How curved is your jar or bottle?
Materials have “memory”, which causes them to try to revert back to their original state if they are deformed – for example, when you bend a label around a curved surface, the material will try to return to a flat state, which can cause the label to start to peel away from the surface.You can overcome this problem by choosing a larger label, a stronger adhesive, a more flexible material, or a long, thin label that you can wrap around your container and overlap the ends.
- Is your container a relatively simple shape or is it rather unusual?
If you’ve chosen a wonderfully decorative jar or bottle that has a lot of variation in shape, you may find that some areas of your container are completely unsuitable for displaying a label. In this case, you could consider using multiple labels in the areas that are suitable (for example, “front” and “back” labels or a “side” label and a “lid” label).
CONTENT IS KING: HOW MUCH INFORMATION DO YOU NEED TO ADD TO YOUR JAR OR BOTTLE?
Jars and bottles tend to provide a limited area to which you can add information, which means that if you’ve got a lot of information to include (e.g. ingredients, health and safety information, directions or instructions for use, company and branding information etc), you may soon find yourself running out of room. Instead of cramming everything onto one label, consider using the shape of your jar or bottle to your advantage; divide up your information and split it over two (or more) labels. This will mean you can include all of the information you want AND keep your design clean, sharp, and – most importantly – legible.
- How much room do you need for your text?
If you’re including a lot of different information, it’s a good idea to get everything typed up before you search for a label – this means your text is written and ready to go AND you can see how much physical space your text requires, which can help you pick a suitable label size AND avoid the compromise of reducing your text to a teeny tiny font, making your label practically illegible and therefore completely useless.
- How much design work do you want to include?
If you’re looking to include a LOT of design elements (e.g. text AND images AND background AND branding elements), you need to make sure that you pick a label large enough to include all of these things without becoming too busy or cluttered. Alternatively, using multiple labels can help you include ALL of the content you want without the need to cram everything together. “Less is more” is a practical starting point, particularly if you’re creating product labels and you want a professional looking design.
- What does your design NEED to accomplish?
Generally speaking, jar and bottle labels are a necessary and practical addition because they identify the contents of a container. In the case of containers for food and drink or cosmetic products, there are legal requirements regarding the information that MUST be displayed on these items in a way that is clear and useful to the customer. Therefore it is extremely important that you put thought into how you present your information in a safe and practical manner.Labels can also be used to build brand recognition or to add a personal finishing touch, in which case you want to create a label that is decorative and attractive in appearance – which means you need to spend time on the content and arrangement of your design so you avoid creating an over cluttered label.
SLIPPERY WHEN WET: WHAT ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS DOES YOUR LABEL NEED TO BE PROTECTED AGAINST?
As jar and bottle labels tend to be used primarily for displaying information about food and drink products or cosmetic products, you need to bear in mind that your labels will need to survive in the environments that these items are used in – namely the kitchen and bathroom. In both cases, your labels are likely to come into contact with water or other liquids, not to mention any accidental spillages of the contents of your container. You therefore need to select a label product that is capable of remaining firmly in place (print and all), even in these conditions.
- How likely is it that your label may get wet or be exposed to the contents of your jar or bottle?
If it is extremely likely you should choose a label that provides protection against such exposure. At Label Planet, we have a range of waterproof labels (made with polyester, polyolefin, polyethylene, polypropylene), which are an ideal way to create durable labels that will survive even total immersion in water.
If it is less likely, you could opt for our Gloss Laser Labels or Semi-Gloss Labels, which we categorise as “Splashproof” – if these labels are lightly splashed or get a little dirty, they can be wiped clean and dry with no damage done to the label or print.If you need waterproof (or even splashproof) labels AND print, we recommend using a laser printer rather than an inkjet printer. Laser printers use a dry printing process to bond toner (a dry powder) into place, which creates a strong, durable print that is also waterproof. Inkjet printers, however, tend to use water-based inks, which will run or smudge if the print comes into contact with water (or other liquids). As it is often of the utmost importance that the information on the label remain legible throughout the life of the product, smudging is a problem best avoided. If you need waterproof inkjet labels, you will need to use our MWPP material.
It may also be worth requesting a sample to test with your product – particularly if your products contain a variety of ingredients such as oils that might damage print, regardless of the printing process you use. If you find that your print is being damaged, or if you don’t have access to an inkjet printer, you can always use a second (transparent) label as a protective cover.
- What temperatures will your jars or bottles be exposed to?
This is particularly important for food and drink products, which may be stored in freezer conditions to preserve items until they are consumed. Freezer conditions can prevent standard adhesives from functioning properly, which will result in your all-important labels falling off – to prevent this from happening, we recommend trying our Freezer Labels, which are made with an adhesive that has been designed specifically to work efficiently in freezer conditions.
If you’re really not sure if a particular product is just the right label for your jars and bottles, please get in touch or fill in our online Sample Request Form to request a sample of the label product(s) you are interested in so you can test them on your containers to make absolutely sure they will work.