When it comes to custom labels, the options are seemingly endless. From small sticker labels to extra large flooring labels and a long list of other color, material, and adhesive options – it may feel overwhelming to figure out what kind of label will best suit your needs. Here, we’ll guide you through Alpine’s label printing options, and offer guidance on choosing the right labels for your product.


How many labels will you need?


As you begin the process of designing custom labels, you’ll want to determine how many labels you will need. Will you need them on a continuous basis, or will you only require one order? Keep in mind that larger bulk orders may be beneficial from a cost perspective, and small batch orders are not offered by all label printers. 


What size labels do you need?


The next step in designing your labels will be to determine the size and shape. If you are designing a circular label, you’ll need to determine the radius of the label, and if it’s a rectangle, you’ll need to define the length and width. More complicated shapes will require you to work closely with one of our Label Engineers to design and determine the shape and size. 


What is the background of your label?


Will your label be clear, white, silver, gold – or any other color? If your label is clear, be sure you will be able to see the information printed on the label against the color of your product or packaging. Sometimes we will need to add a white ink to have the letters or art stand out better on a clear label, and especially behind a UPC barcode for readability.


What type of adhesive will you need?


Will your label be permanent? Removable? Or will your label be exposed to extreme temperatures? If so, you’ll want to consider all-temperature adhesive, which performs well in a large range of temperatures. The material that you will be applying your labels to will also have an impact on the type of adhesive that should be used. Will you be applying your labels to corrugated boxes, glass, metal, plastic, or another material?


How many colors will be printed on your label?


Alpine allows up to six different colors to be printed on your label. Once you have a design, it will be important that you can identify up to six colors that will be used. 


How will your labels be cut?


When working with a label printer, you’ll hear the terms “die-cut” and “butt-cut.” “Die-cut” labels are cut using a round edge, while “butt-cut” labels are cut with a straight edge. Die cut labels are available in various shapes (rectangles, circles, ovals and special shapes), and have spacing between each label for easy peel and automatic labeling equipment.  Conversely, Butt-cut labels have no space between the labels as they are “butt up” against each other.


What environments will you labels be exposed to during and after application?


It is important to understand the environments that your labels are likely to be exposed to, both during and after the labels are applied. If you are applying labels in a wet environment (such as beer labels) or if your labels will be exposed to water or extreme temperatures after they are applied, it is important that your label supplier understands you process. Certain adhesives and label finishes will ensure label integrity from application through the life of your product. 


How will your labels be applied?


Will your labels be applied by hand or by a machine? Will this be done in-house, or will it be outsourced? This is an important detail, as it will help your supplier understand how your labels should be delivered. 


What type of labels will you need?


In some cases, depending on how your labels will be applied will determine what type of labels you will need. Alpine can provide rolls, individually sheeted, pin-fed, or fan-folded labels.