Challenges in Label Design – Shampoo Bottles

One of the most challenging products to label is, believe it or not, a shampoo bottle. The beginning considerations are pretty basic: What kind of plastic is the bottle made of? Is it a fully squeezable bottle? Semi-squeezable? Fully rigid? This lets us know how flexible the label needs to be.

The real challenge comes from silicone. You know those sticker sheets you used to get as a kid where the stickers would peel easily off of that smooth, white paper? The reason the stickers came off so easily is because the paper was silicone treated. Plastic shampoo bottles are typically made through a process known as plastic injection molding, where liquid plastic is injected into a mold hollowed into the desired shampoo bottle shape. To get the finished bottles to release from the molds faster, shops often coat the molds with a silicon release agent, similar to the one used on sticker sheets. This release agent winds up coating the bottles as well.

As you can imagine, a coating designed for easy release makes it difficult for a label to adhere. Some bottles are flame treated, a process that burns off the silicone without melting the bottle. Flame treated bottles are much easier to label. Sometimes however, the silicone release agent is actually mixed into the plastic itself, so flame treating it away simply isn’t an option.

Don’t get us wrong, we can supply a label for each of these scenarios. It’s simply a matter of knowing what we’re up against so we can provide a label that’s up to the task. That’s why we ask the questions we do. Most companies don’t know how their bottles are made, but a quick inquiry to their manufacturer can save rounds of failed label designs.