Guide to Choosing the Right Material for Your Product Labels

Guide to Choosing the Right Material for Your Product Labels


Product labels are an integral part of your branding and marketing strategy. They communicate essential information about your product to consumers and play a significant role in influencing purchasing decisions. 


One crucial aspect of designing effective product labels is selecting the right material. With a plethora of options available, choosing the appropriate material can seem daunting. However, with the right knowledge and guidance, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your brand’s image and the needs of your product. In this guide, we’ll explore the ins and outs of different product label materials, their best uses, and considerations for specific industries.


Understanding Product Label Materials


When it comes to product label materials, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Each material offers unique characteristics that cater to different requirements.


Common materials include:


  • Paper: Paper labels are versatile and cost-effective. They come in various finishes, including matte, gloss, and semi-gloss. Paper labels are ideal for products that do not require extensive durability or exposure to harsh conditions. They work well for items like food packaging, personal care products, and promotional materials.
  • Vinyl: Vinyl labels are durable and weather-resistant, making them ideal for products that will be exposed to moisture or outdoor elements. Vinyl labels excel in environments where moisture, sunlight, or temperature fluctuations are common. They are perfect for beverage bottles, outdoor equipment, and chemical products.
  • Polyester: Polyester labels are highly durable and tear-resistant, making them suitable for products that undergo rough handling or require long-term durability. Polyester labels are best suited for products that require extreme durability and resistance to wear and tear. They are commonly used for machinery, electronics, and industrial applications.
  • Polycarbonate: With the ability to withstand temperatures up to 300°F, polycarbonate is an excellent choice for high-heat applications. Polycarbonate is also often used for graphic overlays, as its durability keeps labels clear and readable for years to come. 


Choosing The Right Product Label Materials


Choosing the right materials makes all the difference in the appeal and longevity of your product label.


Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide to help you through the process:


  1. Define Your Requirements: Start by clearly defining your requirements and objectives for the product label. Consider factors such as the type of product, intended use, target audience, branding goals, and regulatory requirements. Determine any specific characteristics or features that are essential for your label, such as durability, weather resistance, eco-friendliness, or tamper-evident properties.
  2. Research Available Materials: Research the various types of materials available for product labels. Explore the characteristics, advantages, and limitations of each to understand how they align with your requirements and preferences.
  3. Evaluate Material Properties: Assess the properties of each material based on factors such as durability, moisture resistance, tear resistance, flexibility, and printability. Consider how each material performs in different environments and conditions relevant to your product, such as exposure to moisture, sunlight, temperature fluctuations, or rough handling.
  4. Consider Industry Standards and Regulations: Take into account any industry-specific standards, regulations, or labeling requirements that apply to your product. Ensure that the chosen material complies with relevant regulations and meets necessary safety and quality standards. For industries like food, pharmaceuticals, or cosmetics, prioritize materials that are food-safe, FDA-approved, or compliant with other regulatory agencies.
  5. Determine Label Design and Aesthetics: Think about the desired design, aesthetics, and branding elements for your product label. Consider factors such as color, finish, texture, and printing options. Choose a material that can effectively showcase your label design and enhance the visual appeal of your product while aligning with your brand identity.
  6. Consider Budget: Evaluate the cost-effectiveness of each material option in relation to your budget constraints and production volume. Compare the upfront costs, ongoing maintenance expenses, and potential savings associated with each material to determine the best value for your investment.


Product Label Design Tips


  1. Understand Your Brand Identity: Consider how your product label will represent your brand identity and values. Choose materials, colors, fonts, and design elements that align with your brand’s personality and appeal to your target audience.
  2. Prioritize Clarity and Legibility: Ensure that essential information on your product label, such as product name, ingredients, usage instructions, and branding elements, is clear, legible, and easy to read. Use appropriate font sizes, styles, and contrast to enhance readability.
  3. Focus on Functionality: Prioritize functionality and practicality when selecting label materials and design elements. Choose materials that offer durability, weather resistance, tamper-evident features, and compliance with industry regulations to ensure the functionality and safety of your products.
  4. Consider Shelf Appeal: Design your product label with shelf appeal in mind to attract consumers’ attention and stand out from competitors. Use eye-catching visuals, colors, and finishes that draw the eye and create a positive first impression on the shelf or online marketplace.
  5. Keep It Consistent: Maintain consistency in branding across all your product labels to create a cohesive and recognizable brand identity. Use consistent design elements, colors, logos, and messaging to reinforce brand recognition and build customer trust and loyalty.
  6. Seek Feedback and Iterate: Gather feedback from customers, stakeholders, and industry experts to evaluate the effectiveness of your product labels. Use feedback to identify areas for improvement and make iterative changes to your label design, materials, and messaging to better meet customer expectations and market demands.


When chosen thoughtfully, product label materials not only enhance the aesthetics of your products but also contribute to your overall branding and marketing strategy. Selecting the right material for your product labels is an important decision that can impact your brand’s success. By following these steps and tips, you can make an informed choice that works best for your specific needs and resonates with your target audience.


Impact Label: Custom Label Printing & Creative Solutions


With 60 years of experience in the printing industry, Impact Label is your trusted partner for exceptional labeling solutions. We produce everything from domed labels and graphic overlays for consumer products to safety and warning labels for industrial applications. We understand that success does not come from simply having the right printing equipment–it’s about knowing how to exceed our clients’ expectations and solve their unique challenges. Schedule a consultation with us.