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Who Says Plastic Labels aren't Elegant? Not us!

billie jealousy applique bottle resized 600Elegant Plastic Decals? Yes, please!

Brand identity for high end brands of fragrances and spirits demands a certain air of elegance in the pacakge design. The label or appliqué is an important design element to get the consumer to pick up the tester to try the fragrance or look closer at the bottle. Can a plastic label satisfy this requirement? You may be surprised to find out that the answer is yes! 

Labels, decals and overlays made from plastic are light weight and durable. Thin polyester or vinyl materials can conform to the contour of a product. Many plastic substrates can be embossed, formed and molded for premium looks.By adding finish elements, plastic can be made to look like metal, stone or any faux finish

Types of Plastic Labels

Traditionally, clear plastic is used when the application requires clear windows or graphics which are dead front or backlit, as well as buttons for user interactions. Products needing these elements typically are gauges and dials for instrument panels or control overlays for household appliances and electronics.

The same idea can be applied to clear or transparent copy used to enhance brand identities on perfume and beverage bottles. This is an opportunity to stand apart from the other products on the shelves and draw attention to the brand. The label shown here is perfect example of a cost effective solution for the high end product.

Decorating Options for Plastic Appliqués 

Polycarbonate material starts out clear with either overall glossy, brushed or velvet finish. Decorating typically is processed for the second surface which means that the thickness of the material helps to add visual depth. Selective or overall printing with gloss or texture is possible on the first surface to add even more dimension. On high gloss clear plastics a pull-away mask keeps the surface protected against scratches. 

ILLICIT peeled mask

As always, your artwork should provide direction for color and specific areas which should be left clear or need to be transparent. For the example here, the graphic characters "ILLICIT" were specified to be left clear to allow the user of the product to see through the label into the bottle.

ILLICIT front

Lithography and Screen printing processes are used to decorate the material. Just like on metal, a library of patterns is available to use in order to add interest or contrast for the background. The background can also simply be printed as an opaque color.

Remember if you are designing an appliqué where the back will be exposed through the fill color on the bottle that additional decoration may be needed for the back of the label in order to achieve a finished look. Selective adhesive ensures a clear visual through the graphics. Adhesive types are available to ensure good application to all types of bottles including frosted, opaque and soft touch surfaces.

ILLICIT back adhesive

Step Outside the Box

As you can see, plastic labels do not have to follow traditional applications. While the functional elements of backlit graphics and clear windows benefit industrial environments, the same can be applied for highly decorative and luxury looks to be used for premium brand identification. 

What challenges do you want to explore for your next label design? Let's talk!

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