Screen Printing v Labels

Some might say that nowadays the packaging is more important than what is inside. Products need to be able to stand out from the competition on the shelves in the world today and attract the buyer’s attention.  Recent findings show that packaging plays a huge role for the consumer as good quality packaging leads them to believe the product is worth spending their money on which can lead to repeat purchases and build trust with the brand. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to get the design right and choose a suitable printing technique that looks good and is sustainable as buyers do want high-end quality packaging products.

It can be difficult to know which technique to use when designing primary packaging for your brand, especially when you are not sure of the properties of each technique. Below discusses more screen printing and labels which might make the decision easier about which method is best for your brand.

What is the difference between screen printing and a label? The difference is that screen printing directly puts the ink on the product. The printer applies ink along a mesh using a squeegee which prints the design or lettering onto the bottle as per the template. Whereas label printing is where the print is put on paper first and then applied to the product.

Advantages of screen printing

  • More durable than a standard label especially when in contact with water and UV light and is chemical resistant properties
  • No applying issues or edges like a label
  • More colour and design choices allow more imagination with branding
  • More cost-effective in the long run for large runs and once a screen print has been produced it can be used an infinite number of times
  • One process completes the job no second steps
  • You can add special textures onto the screen print
  • Looks more premium

Advantages of labels

  • Often cheaper for smaller runs
  • No tooling fee and if there is, it is often less than screen print
  • Works better when 6 or more colours are needed to be used or artwork is more complexed
  • Easier to fix when mistakes are made/designs changed
  • Less wastage as only the label is thrown away if there are any issues rather than the entire bottle

It seems customers favour the screen-printing method as it produces a more sophisticated and modern clean look that attracts the attention of consumers as the colours are brighter and more defined than what you would see on a label. This is due to the fact the ink used is less opaque due to low viscosity. There is less labour and materials involved in screen print which is better for the environment. Glass packaging without a label will appeal to the eco-friendly minded buyer as it can be recycled and reused reducing its environmental impact whilst also having a financial saving.

When a bottle is reused often consumers take off the label as it starts to look worn. Without the label, the identity of the brand is lost as people no longer associate that bottle with any brand. With screen printing, the bottle can be reused an infinite number of times whilst keeping the original look of the bottle.

Which method is right for your project will depend on various things such as:

  • How many SKU’s in the range
  • The bottle shape
  • Your logo complexity
  • Where your product will be stored (environmental conditions)

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