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If you only read one article about labels…

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Labels. You wouldn’t think that they have a major impact in our lives. But if you consider how many labels you look at every day (from your supermarket shopping through to the parcels delivered to your door), modern society would find it impossible to function without them.

Illustrated paint colour samples - blue, orange, black and redIf you’re in business, the methods and choices for producing your labels will be dictated by what use they will be put to and the environments within which they have to function.

So here are a few pointers to help you decide what type of label is going to really get the right message across, and for the right price.


What sector are you in?

What sector your business operates in will define the type of labelling you need and use on a regular basis. If you’re in manufacturing your labels will have to be robust enough to survive in a hostile environment, while those in the retail industry will be concerned more with aesthetics. Healthcare, pharmaceutical and personal care and the NHS will be looking at functional labels that give clear and concise information that cannot be misread in an emergency situation.

What shape do you want your labels to be?

Square or round, die-cut or rectangular, the application of the label will have a great deal of bearing on the shape. If you’re a design-centred retail outlet then you may want a bespoke design incorporating an unusual shape, whereas an NHS trust may want simple, clear labels that will fit on the side of a bottle.

What type of labels do you want?

Self adhesive labels usually come in three formats: rolls, sheets or fanfolded. The type and shape of label will determine what option you go for, but also consider how the labels are going to be stored, and whether space is a factor.

How tough does it have to be?

Again, the environment that the label has to work within will determine the type of material you choose, and how strong, it is. Factors such as moisture, heat and light levels will also have a bearing on the material and ink used.

What surfaces are the labels going to be applied to?

Various types of adhesive have very different properties, and may not bond successfully to certain surfaces. So consider what your labels are actually being applied to and whether they will need a specialised adhesive or substrate.

Who will see your labels?

If you’re using your labels on product packaging then the design needs to be bold, eye-catching and able to stand out from your competitors. Using spot and process colours can achieve this.

Are there any regulations that your labels have to conform to?

If you operate in the healthcare, pharmaceutical and personal care sectors then your labels may be required to conform to HSE legislation. Specialist types of glue and paper can be used to prevent fraudulent copying, tampering or misuse of labels.

How long do they have to last?

In some retail sectors such as the cosmetics industry, where branding needs to remain intact, labels have to be robust enough to withstand prolonged use. In other sectors, they may need to be able to put up with extremes of temperature.

Labels for chemical containers are particularly challenging, as they are often exposed to both the elements and chemical corrosion, but must maintain a high degree of integrity so that the contents can be clearly identified.

Finally, if your labels include barcodes then they need to be robust enough to prevent degradation, allowing the codes to be scanned, tracked and traced at all times.

Lots of choices!


Need advice or suggestions on your label production?

At RGS Labels you’ll always find a friendly voice at the end of the phone to answer your questions! Call us on 01480 456556 or contact us. We’ll always do our best to help!