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Clear Product Labels - The Pros and Cons

The vast majority of product labels that you see on the shelves of your local supermarket are probably basic opaque labels (typically o white material). The product inside the packaging can’t be seen through the label material. While this traditional type of label printed on paper or plastic can be extremely effective, there is another option that takes a more minimal approach to labeling. Printing transparent product labels on a clear plastic material can allow for a clean, minimalist design that allows the product to be featured through the packaging.

While transparent labels are not right for every product, they can work wonders for some. The benefit of having a transparent product label is that the label can be designed to allow the product inside the packaging to be part of the presentation itself.

Minimalist design has been a growing trend for several years in many areas of design, including label design. Choosing a transparent product label can go a long way in achieving this "no label" effect. The image below is a great example of how products from different categories have effectively used transparent labels to allow the contents to become part of the presentation.

clear BOPP labels

While transparent product labels may not be used as abundantly as opaque labels, they can still be great choices for many different product categories. Whether you're labeling a beverage, bath and body product, e-liquid for electronic cigarettes, neutraceuticals, or even food, transparent labels can help your product stand out from the rest.

Along with the unique presentation that can be achieved with clear labels, there are several factors to consider when designing the artwork for your labels. When creating artwork for labels, the designer needs to remember that any area that does not have a specific image or color assigned will be transparent on the finished label.

Also, it's important to understand that any significant images or text may be affected by the color of the product itself, because the inks are not completely opaque.  For example, if your design includes some yellow elements and the product itself is blue, some of that blue will "show through" the yellow ink and create a green look.  To minimize this effect, you need to create a white layer directly behind those areas in the artwork.  We then print white ink wherever the white layer is present - to act as a light blocker and add some opacity.

Since there are some unique design requirements for printing clear labels, it's important that you don’t simply place an order and expect the labels to look how you visualized them - particularly when they're applied to your product. We will most likely contact you to help understand what the exact goal is so that your labels, when applied, will make your product shine on the shelf.


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