The Secret to Eye-Catching Chrome Labels
One of the fastest ways to catch your customer’s eye is to use a custom chrome label. Chrome BOPP has a shiny silver metallic finish that can be used to create attention-getting labels — if they’re designed correctly.
Are these metallic, shiny, reflective, mylar, or silver labels?
In the label industry, there are a confusing number of terms for metallized BOPP. Some people call them metallic stickers. Some people call them silver labels.
To keep things simple, we call it chrome, because it looks like the chrome trim or wheels on a car.
It’s made out of BOPP (Biaxially Oriented PolyPropylene), a thin plastic film specially treated to have a reflective metallic finish. BOPP is extremely long-lasting, resists wear and tear, and is impervious to moisture or water. So it keeps looking great no matter what.
Here’s the trick to creating chrome labels:
Designing a good-looking chrome label is harder than it looks. That’s because when ink is printed on chrome, it comes out looking semi-transparent. The metallic finish shines through the ink.
For example, yellow ink printed on a chrome label comes out looking like metallic gold. The effect can look amazing in backgrounds and certain graphics.
But it can make text difficult to read. So the trick is to use the metallic finish to your advantage in specific parts of your design, and put a white layer behind the rest.
A few tips to take advantage of…
1. Less ink is better for metallic colors. Dark color builds and heavy screens of black will not print metallic.
- The more ink you apply to the metallic substrate the less the metallic is able to show through.
2. Build gold colors out of Magenta and Yellow when possible. There are countless variations of “ gold” but we recommend 20% Magenta and 60% Yellow.
3. Colors intended to be metallic will darken a bit once printed on the metallic substrate.
4. Semi-clear or semi-metallic looks can be achieved by utilizing screens and gradients of white ink
- This will also create contrast in the final printed label
- 10-20% screens of white achieve the best semi-metallic and semi-clear look
- Due to the opaqueness of the white ink, any screen above 45% will appear almost equal to 100%.
- The higher the screen % of white, the less amount contrast will be seen.
What happens when you add a white layer?
When you place a white layer underneath your design, it’s like printing on a white label. The colors come out looking the way you would normally expect. For example, if you put a white layer behind yellow ink, it comes out looking actually yellow (instead of metallic gold).
When designing your chrome label, you must decide which areas of the label need to be solid color (or white), and which areas you want to look metallic.
If want to steer clear of the technical challenges of putting a white layer behind your design, you might consider printing on white BOPP instead. Either way, you’ll get attention-getting labels that draw customers to your product.
Try out all of our popular label options, including chrome labels. Request a free label sample pack now.