How to Choose the Right Material, Adhesive & Finish for Your Digitally Printed Labels

CS Labels | 11th November 2020

Rapscallion-Soda-Seasonal-Line Digitally Printed Labels- with materials and Adhesive

Digitally Printed Labels

Choosing the right label materials makes a big difference when it comes to manufacturing and producing your digitally printed labels. Different materials are suited to different purposes. In this article, we’ll talk about digital print labels and the things you need to take into consideration when choosing the right materials, adhesives and finishes for your custom digital label printing needs.

Materials & Finishes

At CS Labels, we offer a wide range of materials including PP (clear and white), PE (clear and white), silver BOP and premium finish/kraft paper. In addition to this, we also offer an extensive range of finishes including gloss, semi-gloss, matt and textured. Ultimately, the customer has the final say on what materials are used to create their digitally printed labels, but generally, there are a few things to consider when choosing the right material for your label. Firstly, you need to know what the chosen material is being stuck onto; for example, glass, plastic or metal.

Adhesives for Digitally Printed Labels

There are several different types of label adhesives and choosing the right one for your label is essential as not every surface is compatible to having a label stuck onto it. At CS Labels, we offer a wide range of adhesive types including:

  • Standard removable
  • Ultra-removable
  • Standard permanent for paper
  • Standard permanent for filmic
  • Permanent – Hi tack
  • Permanent – Hi tack (up to – 10 °C)
  • Permanent – Water based materials

What to Consider

One of the first things you should consider is the environment in which your product is going to be stored. For example, if your product is going to be stored in a cold environment; you want a material and an adhesive that can last in these conditions. If your product is stored within or is a plastic container, the type of adhesive you may want to look at is a permanent Hi tack (Tack is a term used with pressure-sensitive adhesives and is used to measure how quickly a bond is formed); this adhesive is acrylic based and has a very high tack with a service temperature starting from -30 °C to 80 °C. The benefit of this adhesive type is that thanks to the initial tack, it’s ideal for fast running applications and makes the label highly waterproof.

Toner coverage is also an important thing to consider when determining the finish of your label. If a label has high coverage on an edge, we would most likely recommend laminating your label to prevent the fused toner cracking on the edges of your label. There are a wide range of finishes to choose from including gloss, semi-gloss, matt and textured

One final consideration you must take is deciding whether or not your digitally printed label requires a high volume of information. If so, you may want to look at using peel and reveal labels; the reason for this is that peel and reveal labels provide you with a larger amount of space, allowing you to include more detailed product specifications, guidelines, instructions, pictures or promotional information.

Two Types of Label Printing

Dry Toner

One form of label printing is dry toner. The way dry toner works is by being transported on-to the substrate through the air, meaning that there is no additional drying time unlike water-based and solvent-based printing, where the drying time is extended because of the time it takes for the water or solvent to evaporate. One other reason you may choose to use dry toner over inkjet is its sustainability. Unlike inkjet, dry toner doesn’t fade in the sunlight, meaning the dry toner labels high quality is maintained.

In comparison to water and solvent-based printing, dry toner is superior in terms of quality. This is due to dry toner not being absorbed by the substrate, meaning it always achieves an optimal optical density.


Another form of digital label printing is inkjet. Over the last several years, there has been an incredible growth in the use of inkjet printing as the technology has been continuously improved upon. The way inkjet printing works is by using wet ink which is instantly cured via UV (ultraviolet light). Instant curing helps to prevent any droplets of ink from spreading or bleeding, providing you with a sharper image. Inkjet also supplies you with extraordinary ways to customise and personalise your digitally printed labels. As well as this, inkjet printing has high durability, making it perfect for products that require a more hardwearing product label.

At CS Labels, we have used inkjet on a number of our customer's labels including Buxton Brewery. This particular customer prints just two sets of labels on BOPP silver each year. These labels are used for their award-winning barrel-aged ales.

Example project - Buxton Brewery

  • Barrel Aged Buxton Brewery Labels:
  • Printed on BOPP silver
  • 4 colour process + white
  • Ink Jet
  • Spot textured matt varnish

What We Did

“When we originally reviewed the artwork, we felt that inkjet would offer the customer a more vibrant finish helping the design to stand-out in a different way compared with our usual dry toner. The label design then evolved to also include a textured matt finish making the lightning bolts be even more eye-catching.

Following this, we worked closely with the customer’s designer and our internal Studio to discuss the supplied artwork, making any required amendments. Following this, we did a print test, photographed the results and then sent these to the customer for a review prior to the final print.” - Jane Parry - CS Labels

The Final Print

Many different factors need to be considered when deciding on what material, adhesive and finish to use on your digitally printed labels. If you are unsure on what material, adhesive and finish to use on your label or would simply like some advice, get in touch and speak to a member of the CS Labels team on 01902 365840 or send us an email on Alternatively, you can contact us via the contact form below. We look forward to hearing from you.

Runaway Brewery

Runaway Brewery Labels

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