How To Buy Shrink Sleeve Labels

Shrink sleeve labels are a popular product labeling solution because they provide full-color, 360-degree coverage. They make the products stand out from the rest on the shelves, especially simple items requiring visual appeal to attract customers. These versatile labels also offer eye-catching designs, increasing business sales and brand recognition.

This article dives into shrink sleeve labels — from how they work to a guide on the standard steps in purchasing shrink sleeves.

How Does Shrink Sleeve Labeling Work?

In shrink sleeve labeling, a pre-printed film sleeve is placed on a container and shrunk to fit the shape using heat. It starts with generating a digital design, subsequently printed onto a flat film. Next, the printed film is cut and joined to form a tube, which is then wrapped around the container and heated. The type of film used determines the heat source utilized, which may be a heat tunnel or a steam tunnel.

This labeling technique offers numerous advantages over other methods. For one, it enables complete coverage of the lid and bottom of the container. Shrink sleeves can also be printed with high-quality graphics and text, making them ideal for branding and promotional purposes.

Step-by-Step Guide to Purchasing Shrink Sleeves

It is important to understand the process involved in shrink sleeve labeling to ensure the procurement of high-quality labels that meet specific needs and budgets. Here is a walkthrough of the process:

Step 1: Determining the Label Needs

Determining the label requirements involves identifying the type of product being labeled, the material of the container, the label size, and the desired visual design. The product type will specify the label materials and durability requirements, such as moisture or abrasion resistance. On the other hand, the label size is determined by the container and any legal requirements for labeling.

Step 2: Finding a Shrink Sleeve Label Manufacturer

Working with a reliable and experienced manufacturer can ensure that businesses receive high-quality shrink sleeves. This can be done through online research, recommendations from colleagues or industry associations, or attending trade shows and events. When selecting a manufacturer, it is crucial to consider their experience and expertise in producing labels for the specific product type.

Businesses should also review the manufacturer’s quality control processes and certification. Other key considerations are the production capacity and lead times to meet the required production volume and delivery timelines.

Step 3: Requesting a Quote

Obtaining an accurate and detailed quote involves providing the manufacturer with specifications like label size, material, finishing requirements, and the quantity needed. This information enables them to give an estimate that covers all the necessary expenses. If assistance is needed to determine the shrink sleeve label size that best fits the container, there are several options.

One option is to send containers to the manufacturer that can be properly measured for the best fitting sleeve. Another option is for the manufacturer to provide film, called grid film, that can be applied to the product then it can be easily measured for the lay flat and cut length requirements.  A quote usually includes material costs, printing, and additional services such as pre-press work or design.

Step 4: Placing the Order

Once a suitable manufacturer has been selected based on the quotes received, the next step is to place the order. The manufacturer usually requires a deposit to initiate printing, typically a percentage of the total order cost. The deposit amount often varies depending on the order size and the manufacturer’s policies.

Step 5: Providing Artwork and Approving Proofs

After placing the order and paying the deposit, the manufacturer will require the artwork for the shrink sleeves. The manufacturer can provide a design template that allows artwork to be properly placed for printing and finishing the sleeves so that all the artwork aligns correctly on the container when it is applied. Providing them in the required format and dimensions ensures a smooth printing process. Some manufacturers also offer design services but may charge an additional fee.

Once the artwork is ready, the manufacturer will present a digital proof for the client’s approval. The proof is a final product model, including the design, size, and finishing details. It is essential to thoroughly review the proof and confirm that it meets all requirements. Any design modifications or adjustments made at this stage may incur additional reprint charges.

Step 6: Receiving the Labels and Applying Them to the Product

The manufacturer will provide a delivery date when the labels will be ready for shipment. Upon delivery, the customer should inspect the labels to ensure they meet the agreed-upon specifications. After that, the application process starts, depending on the product and the available labeling equipment. Some businesses use manual application methods, while others use automated machinery.

Trust FOCUSales for High-Quality Labeling Solutions!

FOCUSales is your reliable go-to source for high-quality and customized shrink sleeve labels! We offer various printing options — including digital, gravure, and flexographic printing — catering to different shrink sleeves. Our commitment to excellence in quality and service has made us a trusted partner for businesses of all sizes!

Contact us or request a quote to start your shrink sleeve labeling project.

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