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The facestock is the top surface of the label and will have an impact on the final appearance of the label. Facestocks come in a vast range of colors, opacity & textures. When choosing the face stock for your labels you will need to consider a range of things:
• your budget (balance between price & performance)
• final appearance (do you want a glossy finish, a matte textured feel or a shiny metallic look)
• printability (will the label be overprinted or what quality of print will work with the face stock)
• and most importantly, end use (the shape and material of the packaging & temperatures it will be exposed to)
Label Facestocks come in many variations of 2 main types: Paper or Synthetic
PAPER BASED FACESTOCKS
The family of facesheets made of material converted from wood to paper. Suitable for most dry environments where the intended use will not be exposed to the elements nor required for an extended period of time. Paper based labels are very popular for fast moving items in office and retail environments such as consumer goods and office labels. Paper face materials are highly versatile, economic and can achieve outstanding print results, particularly when combined with other embellishments like varnishes and overlaminates.
SYNTHETIC (OR FILM) FACESTOCKS
The family of facesheets which are plastic or film are made of synthetic polymers. As a general rule – if you can’t tear the stock both ways it is usually a synthetic stock. Used in applications where durability of the label is an issue such as in wet areas, or where the label needs to be of the same plastic construction as the bottle for recycling. They are popular for beverages, cosmetics and personal care items as well as for chemical and electronic packaging that may be subject to variations in temperature and environmental conditions.
There are 3 main types of synthetic material:
PE: Polyethylene (where squeezability/flexibility is required)
PP: Polypropylene (durable and available in white, silver or clear)
PET: Polyester (used when resistance to water, oil or chemicals is required)