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See-Through Strategies: Considerations for Clear and Transparent Product Labels


Sometimes a see-through label is the perfect way to make sure people notice your products. Clear and transparent product labels create a striking look that emphasize your container – and potentially everything inside of it. When done right, see-through or transparent labels can give alcohol, beauty products, and other types of packaging a clear advantage over the competition.

Of course, the key phrase here is “when done right.” There are some issues that can occur without proper planning. However, planning ahead for these factors can help you attain a stunning look for your labels. Here are some things to consider when investing in clear or transparent labels.

Be Careful with Colors on Clear or Transparent Product Labels

Both the container and the contents of that container can impact the colors on your label. Let’s say you use a bold red color for a bottle label. If the liquid in your bottle or the bottle itself is blue, your ink may end up looking more purple than red.

Since the label is clear, the colors behind it can completely change the look of your label. To avoid this, you’ll want to put a layer of white behind the individual elements of your design. This can even take a couple of layers of white ink to shield your design from the container or its contents. You may also want to consider test printing just to confirm how your label will look when applied to your container. For a small fee, printers can give you a physical proof so that you can make sure your brand colors are perfect for your standards before you make a full investment.

A single beer can made with a clear can label.

Pay Attention to Label Placement

When you want to use some form of see-through label, you need to consider exactly how people will look at your product. If you want to put a transparent label on a clear bottle, do you want people to read your label from the back of the bottle or the front – or both?

Clear and transparent labels can be utilized in many ways. A clear label placed on a white container can create the appearance of a screen-printed container, such as the Fernson Brewing Co. cans seen above. You can use a single clear or transparent label, such as a solo front panel or something that full wraps around your container. Or you can also have dual see-through labels on the front and back of your container, leaving a minimalist design that highlights your branding and product.

You can also pair a see-through label with a solid label so that customers can see different designs, images, or messages on the interior of the container. In this case, you’ll want a double-sided label with a layer of white in-between the inside and outside designs. If you don’t, you’ll see both designs directly on top of each other, which makes for an illegible mess. Also, don’t forget to mirror the interior design. Interior designs are inverted when applied, so mirroring these elements will make sure your design isn’t backwards when it’s place on your container.

An example of a clear product label with different designs on both sides.

Choose Materials Based on Your Container

If you want clear or transparent labels, you’ll need to use some type of film material, such as a BOPP – after all, there is no see-through paper label material. Since you’ll need a film, you’ll also want to add a laminate or varnish to protect your label from scratches and other damage. In terms of what type of film is best, it largely depends on your container.

Identifying the right clear label material really comes down to what your container is meant to do. If you need a label for a squeeze bottle, you’ll want a material like MDO that’s meant for flexible containers. More rigid containers like glass bottles may lead you to crystal clear films so that you can showcase your product, such as labels for spirits and other higher-end products. These details can help a label printing company identify which material is best for your specific situation.

Make Sure Your Application is on Point

One of the great aspects about clear labels is that they can show off everything in your container. One of the downfalls is that they can show off every imperfection from the application process. Common label application issues like air bubbles, wrinkles, or other faults are magnified on clear and transparent films since there’s no color to hide them. As such, it’s important to have a clean, tight application process that won’t result in accidental fingerprints, dust, or any other foreign objects under the label.

Find the Right Printing Company for Your Clear Product Labels

Now that you know how to prepare for clear or transparent labels, you still need the right company to help you pull off your see-through vision. At Blue Label, we have the tools and expertise to develop high-quality labels with your specific needs in mind. You know your products and we know label printing. Together, we can make sure that your labels compliment your products and make people notice your brand.

Ready to wow your customers with eye-catching product labels? Contact Blue Label today to talk to one of our experts about your next label project.