Category Archive: Labeling Questions

Why Choose Labeling vs. Screen Printing

When it comes to product marketing, one important decision is whether to use labeling or screen printing. Labeling is attaching pre-printed or digitally printed labels to a product’s packaging. On the other hand, screen printing is printing images or designs directly onto a product’s packaging using ink and a mesh screen. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages, but labeling has become popular for many businesses.

This article will discuss why choosing labeling over screen printing can be a wise decision by discussing its benefits.

Benefits of Labeling for Product Packaging

The following are the reasons why you should choose labeling vs. screen printing:


Labeling is cheaper than screen printing, as the latter requires more specialized equipment and ink. This is especially essential to consider for small businesses with limited resources to invest in expensive screen printing equipment.


Labeling also offers greater customization options compared to screen printing. Labels allow businesses to easily create unique designs for their product packaging, including different shapes and sizes.

Faster Turnaround Time

Companies can quickly print and apply labels to their product packaging, which can be important for businesses with high-volume production runs and tight market schedules.


While screen printing is often touted for its durability, labeling can also be a durable option for product packaging. Advances in labeling technology have made it possible to create labels resistant to water, chemicals, and other environmental factors. This means that labels can remain intact and legible even in harsh conditions.

Easy To Apply

Labels are easy to attach to various container materials, including glass, plastic, and metal. In addition, labels can be applied by hand or with automated labeling machines, making it a flexible process.


Labels can sometimes be easily removed and replaced if necessary, which can be important for businesses that frequently update their product offerings. On the other hand, screen-printed designs are final once printed.

Low Environmental Impact

Labels can be made from eco-friendly materials such as recycled paper. They can also be easily removed from the packaging for recycling purposes. On the other hand, screen printing sometimes uses harsh chemicals and inks that can harm the environment.

Excellent Branding

Both labeling and screen printing offer great branding and marketing opportunities. Labels can include product information, barcodes, and other essential information. However, labeling allows businesses to change their branding and marketing strategies over time without throwing away old pre-printed packaging.

Maximize Your Brand Recognition With Custom Labels From Star Label Products

If you’re looking for a superior product packaging solution, it’s important to consider the benefits of labeling vs. screen printing. At Star Label Products, we specialize in custom labeling services that can help your brand stand out from the competition! Our versatile and cost-effective labeling options are tailored to meet your unique needs and exceed your expectations.

Contact us today and experience the excellence in print quality and customer satisfaction that Star Label Products offers!

An Intro to Custom Printed Flexible Packaging

What Is Flexible Packaging?

What Is Flexible Packaging(Click to Expand)

Flexible packaging refers to packaging materials made from non-rigid materials, such as paper, plastic, and foil. This packaging solution is highly versatile as a variety of containers can be created to suit different products, including bags and pouches. Additionally, the containers can be customized to various functional and aesthetic requirements, ensuring they exactly meet the needs of the customer.

Give Your Brand An Advantage: Benefits of Using Flexible Packaging

There are many benefits to using flexible packaging. For example:

  • It extends the shelf life of products. If the right design and material are chosen, flexible packaging containers can maintain the temperature, moisture, and/or oxygen levels required to keep packaged goods fresh. This ability is especially important for food and beverage products.
  • It offers better portability, usability, and reusability. Flexible packaging containers come with various design options, such as the ability to reseal. These features can improve the customer experience, increasing the chance that they will repurchase the product.
  • It requires less water and energy to produce. Since flexible packaging is made using less water and energy than rigid packaging, it can be considered a greener packaging option.
  • It enhances the shelf appeal of products. The broad range of packaging designs and customization options enables flexible packaging containers to be optimized for shelf appeal, which improves the likelihood of the product catching the eye of potential customers.
  • It reduces shipping and handling costs. Flexible packaging containers are generally lighter than comparable rigid packaging containers, making them easier and, consequently, cheaper to handle and ship.

Finding the Right Fit: Types of Flexible Packaging

Flexible packaging is available in various designs, materials, and sizes. It also comes in formed (pre-shaped containers ready for in-house filled and sealing operations) and unformed (rolls of materials intended to be sent to co-packers for forming, filling, and sealing) configurations. Examples of flexible packaging containers include stock bags, pouches, sachets, and printed roll stock.

Flexible Packaging vs. Rigid Packaging

Both flexible packaging and rigid packaging are widely used by product manufacturers. The key difference between them is that flexible packaging is made from materials that can be easily bent without risk of breaking, while rigid packaging is made from materials that cannot be easily bent without risk of breaking. This material difference makes flexible packaging better suited for products that require durable, portable, and lightweight containers and rigid packaging better suited for products that require highly protective containers. Typical products packaged in flexible packaging containers include chips, milk, frozen food, biscuits, bread, sour cream, and yogurt. Typical products packaged in rigid packaging containers include aerosols sprays, soups, water, laundry detergent, liquor, and perfumes.

Ensure Your Product Stands Out on the Shelves With Star Label Products

The customizability of flexible packaging enables you to tailor your containers to suit your exact functional and aesthetic needs. However, it is important to partner with an experienced flexible packaging manufacturer to ensure they have the knowledge and skills to produce them to your specifications and standards.

At Star Label Products, we are one of a handful of label manufacturers that offer flexible packaging solutions. Our in-housing printing capabilities allow us to create custom printed flexible packaging roll stock that is co-packer ready. If you need a co-packer recommendation for form and filling operations, we have an extensive list of reliable companies we trust. We can act as a liaison between you and the co-packer, including directly shipping the printed rolls to them for streamlined operations.

Typical products for which we provide flexible packaging solutions include:

If you’re looking for a single-source provider of custom flexible packaging solutions, contact us today. Our free sample packets ensure you find the solution that is perfect for you, while our 1-2 week turnaround time makes certain you receive your solution quickly.

A Guide to Custom Labels

custom labels

Product labels serve different functions depending on the interested party—e.g., supplier vs. consumer. For product manufacturers and distributors, they enable them to differentiate between different items within a line, convey product information, and market their company’s brand to consumers. However, how a label is designed and manufactured significantly impacts how effective it is at performing the above functions. For this reason, many companies use custom labels when manufacturing and marketing their products.

Custom labels are a way to ensure a product—and its important information—is easily identifiable by consumers. They also allow industry professionals to customize the design of the product’s packaging—such as the graphics, textures, and finishes—to suit their brand’s aesthetic. While many industries use custom labels for their products, ranging from cosmetics and personal care products to cannabis and craft beers, ensuring they stand out in the marketplace often necessitates partnering with an experienced and knowledgeable service provider with superior graphic services.

The following article provides an overview of custom labels, covering how to make a custom label stand out, key manufacturing processes, and typical applications.

Key Design Considerations for Custom Labels

When designing custom labels for products, there is no one-size-fits-all format that will ensure the products catch a consumer’s eye. However, there are several design elements to consider that make a label more compelling and appealing, both in the in-store and online markets. Some of the design considerations to keep in mind are:

1. Material

The first step in designing a label is choosing a material. The material selected sets a tone and limitations for all other design elements. For example, an opaque white material offers considerable design freedom as it can be colored over or left as is for the graphics and texts, while a clear material highlights a product’s internal contents. 

2. Color

The choice of color can draw attention to a product, increasing the likelihood of a consumer picking it up. Additionally, label colors that contrast with those of competing products make it easy for consumers to distinguish a product on a retail shelf or web page.

When choosing a color, it’s important to consider the overall package. The colors of the label should work with the colors of the packaging and the product contents. Otherwise, the product as a whole may be less visually attractive.

3. Graphics

Similar to color, graphics affect the overall effectiveness of a label. Graphics that are visually appealing attract more consumer attention. Additionally, if well-designed, they can reduce the amount of text required to convey the necessary product and brand information, resulting in a more streamlined and polished label design.  

4. Font

The font chosen for a label is critical. It must draw attention from consumers without sacrificing readability. When selecting one, you should avoid both overly common fonts and overly decorative fonts. You may also choose to invest in a custom font that fits your brand’s aesthetic taste.

5. Finish

The finish of a label largely depends on your company’s taste and the effect you want to achieve. Both glossy and matte finishes offer their own advantages; the reflective and shiny look of a glossy finish adds impact, while the subdued look of a matte finish makes for a simpler and more classic look.

6. Size

The size of a product label should correspond with other aspects of the product’s packaging, including the size and shape of the packaging container. For example, for large round containers, you may use either one wraparound label or individual smaller labels for the front and back sides. Regardless of which option you choose, it is important to keep the branding information centered in the front as it is what draws consumer attention to your product.

7. Shape

In addition to color, graphics, and text font, consumers take notice of a label’s shape. Unusually and interestingly shaped labels are more recognizable and memorable. Alternatively, you can use color to mimic the effect of a custom shaped label by printing the shape on clear material.

8. Theme

Product lines with multiple variations—e.g., different flavors—should have labels with consistent design themes. While each label should clearly identify the variation, it should be easy for the consumer to recognize all variations as belonging to the same line.

9. Contact Information

Labels are multi-functional. In addition to attracting attention from consumers, they serve as a method of putting your brand out there. You should capitalize on the advertising space provided by product labels by adding contact information—such as a phone number or website—that allows consumers to interact with you directly if desired.

5 Processes Used to Create High-Quality Custom Labels

Industry professionals employ a variety of different processes to manufacture labels. When creating high-quality custom labels, five of the most commonly used methods are:

1. Flexographic Printing

Flexographic printing is a high-speed rotary printing process that uses a flexible printing plate to transfer ink—including metallics, pastels, and opaque whites—to various substrates. It offers fast and efficient printing, including for large swathes of color and on non-porous materials, in low to high volume production runs.

2. Digital Printing

Compared to traditional printing methods, the digital printing process offers greater precision and accuracy with shorter lead times and lower costs. It employs digital software and printing equipment—such as an HP Indigo digital press—to produce high-resolution images and text. As it does not require conventional printing plates and physical inking, it comes with much lower material and labor costs. 

Additionally, its use of digital design software allows you to make alterations to a label’s design, at little to no additional cost, to meet changing needs. Altogether, these qualities make the process suitable for prototyping and small-medium volume runs.

3. Extended Content Label Production

Extended content labels are used for products that have a significant amount of information that needs to be conveyed to consumers, such as pharmaceutical products. They feature multiple layers, providing a larger surface area on which text and graphics can be printed.

4. Embellishment

Embellishment operations allow you to customize your label further to improve its effectiveness. For example, you can laminate the label which increases its durability and longevity while adding textures and finishes that help it stand out. Some examples are leather, linen, and soft touch (silky). 

5. Thermal, Laser, and Dot Matrix Printing

Some applications require labels with variable information, meaning each label features different information from every other label in the roll. One example is “best by” labels. For these situations, thermal printing, laser printing, and dot-matrix printing all serve as an ideal solution. These processes accommodate and apply a variety of ink colors to specified areas of a label, allowing for information to be added as needed.

Regardless of the type of label manufacturing method employed, having a design file for your label ready significantly facilitates production operations and better ensures the final product meets your exact specifications. 

For assistance preparing a design file, see our How to Prepare an Art File page.

Applications of Custom Labels

Custom labels find application in a wide range of industries. At Star Label Products, we have extensive experience designing and delivering the following types:

Custom Cannabis Labels

Recent legalization efforts have led to a growing market for cannabis-infused products. While legal standings vary from state to state, for areas where cannabis products are allowed, the industry carries specific guidelines on what information should be included on product labels. Key factors include strain name, date tested, lab name and test confirmation number, net weight in grams, CBD percentage, and THC percentage. How this information should be displayed, however, depends on the state. Non-compliance with the state’s requirements can lead to the product being pulled from the shelves.  

If you want to bring a new cannabis product to market, turn to the experts at Star Label Products. We can produce cost-effective custom cannabis labels that showcase your products and comply with all applicable federal and state requirements. As cannabis industry regulations are constantly changing, our digital printing capabilities—which accommodate prototyping and short-run projects—make us the ideal partner. We also offer flexographic printing capabilities for longer runs. Some of the cannabis products we regularly make labels for include flower, edibles, tinctures, oil, topicals, and more.

Custom Cosmetic Labels and Custom Personal Care Product Labels

Our design and printing capabilities—including UV flexographic printing, digital printing, and rotary screen printing—accommodate a wide range of cosmetic and personal care product label needs. Equipped with over 40 years of printing experience, our expert team has the knowledge and skills to produce high-quality, durable, and eye-catching labels that suit your company’s aesthetic and all applicable industry requirements. 

We provide labels in a variety of materials, designs, shapes, and colors to suit different cosmetic and personal care products, including eye shadow, lipstick, nail polish, shampoo, and soap.

Custom Craft Beer Labels

The popularity of craft beer is rising, and with it comes a growing demand for craft beer bottle labels. For new and existing craft breweries, our digital printing services are an ideal solution for their beer label needs. We offer a variety of face stock and adhesive options to produce attractive and long-lasting digitally printed custom labels for bottles and cans at a low cost. Each label features all pertinent brand and government-mandated information (e.g., alcohol content and surgeon general warning)

Custom Food Labels and Custom Beverage Labels

For food and beverages, labels often serve as the first point of contact between the product and the consumer. The quality of the design can spell the difference between a successful product and a failed product. If the label does not convey the necessary product information (as dictated by the FDA) or establish an adequate understanding of your brand in the consumer, there is a much lower risk of a repeat purchase.

By working with us, you can guarantee your custom food or beverage labels comply with FDA guidelines and showcase your brand. We accommodate a variety of food and beverage products—including dairy, candies, condiments, dressings, meat and seafood, pastries, soups and stews, and more—with our digital label printing, flexographic printing, and embellishment processes.

Custom Household Product Labels

The two main challenges faced when producing labels for household goods are the nature of the products (i.e., the product ingredients degrade the label) and the irregularly shaped product packaging (i.e., the packaging shape prevents the label from adequately adhering).

At Star Label Products, our digital printing, UV flexographic printing, and extended content label production methods overcome both of these challenges. We produce high-quality labels for a variety of household products, such as all-purpose, specialty, and floor and furniture cleaners.

Custom Pharmaceutical Labels and Custom Nutraceutical Labels

Like many products intended for human consumption, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products come with strict packaging and labeling requirements. Our in-depth knowledge of the standards and best practices of both industries enables us to design, develop, and deliver compliant custom labels for their many products, such as medicines, supplements, and vitamins.  

Custom Promotional Labels

Promotional labels are marketing materials used to draw additional attention to products without making changes to their packaging. Equipped with an adhesive backing, they can be easily applied when needed.

Our team is well-versed in the design and production of these labels. Regardless of the simplicity or complexity of the design, if you need a custom promotional label, we can produce it to your exact specifications.

Custom Proposition 65 Warning Labels

Proposition 65 refers to the Safe Drinking and Toxic Enforcement act—also known as the “right to know” law. Effective as of 1986, it dictates that California-based businesses with 10 or more employees must provide “clear and reasonable” warnings regarding exposure to compounds that can cause birth defects, cancer, or reproductive issues. Ultimately, the law aims to prevent California residents from ingesting water that may contain these substances. As such, any company that manufactures, distributes, or sells products in California must have compliant product labels.

The Star Label Products team is well aware of the label requirements outlined by the law. We can produce full-color custom prop 65 labels in a variety of materials and sizes, either as a standalone solution or by integrating the warning into an existing design.

Custom Security Labels

Security labels protect products from tampering, counterfeiting, and illegal handling. Our high-quality security label solutions defend your consumers and your brand’s integrity. We can print your labels with custom barcodes, text, or serial numbers as needed. Microtext and invisible ink are just two additional examples of how Star Label Products can offer increased security for your products. 

Custom UL/CSA Labels

UL and CSA labels identify a product as in compliance with UL standards and CSA standards, respectively. At Star Label Products, we are authorized to print UL registered certification marks for products that meet UL standards. We also supply blank UL recognized labels so you can print your own labels in-house. All of our UL and CSA labels are designed and constructed to UL and CSA standards.

Help Your Custom Labels Stand Out With Our Superior Graphic Services

In addition to our label manufacturing capabilities, we also provide graphic services to help customers develop a label design that meets their exact needs. Armed with extensive experience and state-of-the-art design software and hardware, our graphics department is well-equipped to produce artwork for any label application.

Partner With Star Label Products for High-Quality Custom Label Solutions

At Star Label Products, we design and deliver high-quality custom labels for a wide range of industries. By partnering with us for your custom label needs, you benefit from our:

  • Over four decades of industry experience
  • Extensive label manufacturing services, including design assistance, printing, and the addition of embellishment techniques 
  • A broad range of material, color, size, and other label customization options

To find out more about our custom label capabilities or request a quote, contact us today.

The Tough Questions

In our last blog we walked you through the basics, the questions we ask to get things moving. But on the way to crafting the perfect label solution, there are more questions to be asked, questions that change with the application. Here are some examples:

How is the product packaged? This can entail many aspects of a project. Are we providing a label for a bottle? If so, what type of line is it filled on? If it’s wet and messy and liquid is likely to spill over onto the area where the label will be applied, that calls for a different solution than a label that goes on in a dry environment. What is the application temperature? The service temperature? A label could be applied in a 35°F environment, but then the product could go on to be used in a -20°F environment. That has to be taken into consideration. Will the label be applied by hand or by an automated machine? If the label will be applied by a machine, more factors come into play. Orientation becomes critical. We have to know exactly how the label feeds off the roll. Does the side, top, or bottom of the label have to roll off first? What are the requirements of the machine? If the machine can handle a roll with a 20 in. outer diameter, and we provide a 10 in. diameter roll you’ll be stopping your line twice as often as you need to.

What conditions will the product be subjected to? The label solutions we provide need to withstand the same conditions as the products they’re being applied to. In the case of outdoor recessed lighting for example, UL safety labels are required that need to last the life of the product. Knowing the conditions allows us to provide solutions that are up to the task.

Are there any concerns with current labels? If past labels have failed, we need to make sure we provide solutions that won’t. We once worked with a customer who sold packs of baseball cards. People would peel price labels from cheaper card sets and place them over the price labels of more expensive sets. We were able to provide a tamper-resistant solution that put an end to this.

Does the label need to be removed? If you’re supplying fine crystal ware, you want your end users to be able to remove the labels from your products, but you don’t want them to remove those labels in the store. We can employ special label adhesives that break down when exposed to a certain temperature of water. This way customers can’t peel off the labels in the store, but with a wash cloth and some hot water at home the adhesive dissolves and the labels are easily removed.

The goal is to understand what an end user experiences once they have the product in their hands and to work backwards from there. We put those considerations together with the concerns of our customers, and provide a custom label solution that takes care of everyone’s needs.

The Fastest Service in the Industry

At Star Label Products, we’re focused on providing the highest quality label solutions for your product. To start that process, we ask our customers the basics of their application:

What are you labeling? This is the most important question, for obvious reasons. We work with multiple adhesives and processes, allowing us to tailor solutions to the exact needs of a project. That all starts with finding out the “what.”

Do you have artwork? If so, can you share it with us? We have a highly skilled Graphics Department here at Star Label. They can prepare your artwork for label printing and converting, or help craft a design that will make your product jump off the shelf.

How do you need these labels supplied? Should they be on a roll? Do you want individual labels? Should there be multiple labels on one sheet? Once again, we are committed to providing exactly what you need.

Are there different versions? If you’re looking to label a line of products, such as fragrances, we can provide variations on the same label design. We can give each label a unique look, while preserving a theme that lets customers know these products are all part of the same line.

How many labels do you need? This helps us determine what printing method to employ to provide you with the most cost effective solution.

What’s the time frame? We’re proud of all aspects of the service we provide here, but we are most proud of our turnaround time.  You won’t find anyone faster in the industry. And that’s a good thing, as many of our clients need their labels yesterday. We understand this, which is why at Star Label you don’t pay extra for emergency service. The most important part of getting you the solutions you need is getting them to you when you need them. And we’re happy to oblige.