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Custom Label Buying Guide

This buying guide will help you to choose the best label construction for your client’s needs.

Custom Label Buying Guide – What You Need to Know

Custom labels are critical to your clients business whether there using labels for product packaging or warehouse shelves. This basic buying guide will help you to advise your customer on the right labels to use.

Label Shapes

Standard Shapes – Every shape of label requires its own “die.” The die is what we use to cut each label from the material used for printing. We keep a wide variety of dies in inventory and we add to that inventory regularly.

Standard shapes include rounded corner rectangles, squares, circles and ovals. If you want to avoid the cost of creating a custom shape, stick with a standard shape. Just make sure you aren’t diminishing the effectiveness of your customers packaging just to avoid a distinctive shape.

Custom Label Shapes – Custom shapes are most often used for product packaging. A label with a unique shape can set your product apart from your competition. You customer product must differentiate itself form the competition on the crowded marketplace shelves.

Label Sizes

Choosing the best size for your labels should be done considering both the application and the printing process. For example, we can print custom labels up to 12”x24”. If you designed a label that was 13” x 8”, we couldn’t make the best use of the material, and the cost would be higher than if your label was 12”x6” where two labels could be printed side by side.

We provide a wide variety of standard sizes that will ensure that you’re getting the most for your investment. If you are designing a custom label, it’s always a good idea to finalize the size of the label after talking to our experts. In that way, you’ll be sure to pick the size that does the job well without being unnecessarily expensive.


Materials for labels are chosen based on the application. You may need matte, semi-gloss or gloss finish paper. Or, film could be better for your use, in white or clear. Or you may need a specialty material to meet your needs. The decision here depends on where the label will be used and how long it needs to last.


Custom label adhesives also need to be matched to how the label will be used. In general, there are two types of adhesive, permanent removable. But, there are ranges within those two categories and your choice will depend on whether you need a label to stay in one place, to be repositioned easily or to be simply easily removed.


Using a finish on your labels will protect them during use and prevent ink from rubbing off or smearing. The finish you choose will depend on how the labels will be used and your preference on how you want the labels to look. Our most popular laminate gives a gloss finish, but some people prefer a matte finish. If you need something with a bit of scuff resistance, you should choose a varnish. And, if you need outdoor-safe labels, a laminate is definitely called for.

Roll Direction

Roll direction refers to how the labels are positioned on the roll itself. You’ll also hear this referred to as the unwind or rewind direction. It’s something you need to consider whether you’re going to apply the labels by hand or by machine. There are eight different ways the roll direction can work, and you’ll need to determine which one will be the easiest for you, or which one will work with the equipment that will apply the labels. If you’re currently applying the labels by hand, it’s a good idea to think ahead and set the roll direction as it needs to be for machine application. That will avoid reworking the labels should you change how they are being applied.


Like all printing, the cost per label will vary depending on the quantity you order at one time. When labels are printed, the job requires the same set up time whether we’re printing one label or 3,000. Therefore, for larger quantities we can pass that per-piece savings along to you. When you quote custom labels, we can provide you with pricing on multiple quantities. You can review those quantities to determine how the price per label changes as the quantity goes up. Whenever printing is concerned, quantity has a big influence on cost. For example, it’s better to order a three- six- or twelve-month supply as opposed to once a month. Increasing your understanding of the things you need to keep in mind when ordering custom labels will help save you time. But, don’t feel like you’re completely on your own. Our New Dimension Labels CSR’s have the expertise to guide you through all the decision-making process for your next custom label order.