Sometimes, labels are meant for applications that go beyond the standard progression from store shelves to consumers' homes. The great outdoors, with all of the moisture, abrasive elements and UV rays that come along, might damage labels before they can do their job and effectively sell products. This is when it's wise for designers to turn to overlaminates. Applied during the finishing process, these clear coatings add a layer of defense that will keep labels looking good when the going gets tough.
Types of Overlaminates
"It's possible for leaders to get labels that are more affordable or formulated to be extra-strong."
There are different types of laminates available depending on the look and feel companies want for their finished labels. These types include clear gloss film made of polyester and propylene, as well as matte polyester and polypropylene. Clear gloss options create a slick surface, while matte options have a different look and feel, which is significantly less shiny. Within these large categories, it's possible for leaders to get labels that are more affordable or formulated to be extra-strong. Furthermore, there are specialized laminates for thermal printing.
The sizes and shapes of laminate rolls are standardized at 8.25" wide and 2500 feet long. This is just a baseline, however, and companies can order customized sizes and quantities. The laminate is bonded to the labels during the label finishing process, which also entails the cutting of labels into their correct shapes and the removal of excess matrix material. When finishing is completed, the labels are wound back onto spools ready for application, now with a protective layer in place to keep them safe.
Companies that know their products will end up in tough situations can prepare ahead of time by adding overlamination to their finishing processes. Considering how common it is for items to get use in outdoor settings or come into contact with water or oils, this is an option with a huge potential user base. Even if items are sold in controlled environments, it's worth considering where they'll be used. If labels stay strong over a product's lifespan, they act as mini billboards for the brand for the entire lifespan of that object, urging the consumer and everyone who sees the package to buy more.
Pick the Right Brand
Fortunately for companies that have decided to bring their labeling processes in-house by purchasing and operating their own printers and finishing solutions, they can apply these protective elements themselves. The exact overlaminate will differ based on the brand selected. Find out more about overlaminates, and discover DuraFast's whole lineup, on our U.S. site or the equivalent Canadian page.