Everything to know about wine labels and printing finishes

4 wine bottle images by Outshinery featuring creative dielines where the labels don’t fit in the usual rectangle format
32 min read

Wine labels

The wine label, acting as a silent salesperson on the shelf, is often the first thing to catch the eye of potential drinkers. It's a delicate balance of design, information, and tactile appeal that can either make or break a wine's success. Our guide will lead you through the enchanting world of popular printing finishes that add an extra touch of sophistication and allure to wine labels.

A wine bottle label has dual purposes: identifying the wine type and providing details about its origin, maker, and bottling date. This valuable information aids in making an informed decision on whether to purchase a specific bottle.

The importance of wine labels in marketing wines

In the competitive world of wine production, labels play an integral role in marketing and selling wines. They often serve as the first point of contact between the consumer and the product, making them an indispensable tool in communicating the brand's story and the wine's characteristics. Labels that capture attention with their aesthetics while offering comprehensive information about the wine tend to create a favorable impression on potential customers.

The design and details on a wine label can be reflective of the quality of the wine within. High-quality materials, unique design concepts, and detailed information about the provenance and varietals used often appeal to consumers looking for premium wines. Conversely, fun and quirky designs may attract a younger demographic or those new to wine drinking.

In essence, a well-designed and informative wine label can significantly influence a customer's purchasing decision, making it a crucial element in the marketing strategy of wineries.

[fs-toc-h3]Wine label paper stocks and adhesives

[fs-toc-omit]Types of paper stocks

Coated paper: This type of paper has a moderate appeal, with an affordable and slightly inexpensive appearance. The coating enables high-quality printing, which is perfect for intricate designs and typography.

Strawberry red wine label using coated paper that is slightly glossy
The label for this strawberry red wine features coated paper with a subtle glossy finish.
Introducing the top wine label paper suppliers

Selecting the right wine label paper supplier is a crucial decision that can significantly impact the presentation and appeal of your wine bottles. Here are a few renowned suppliers:

  • Arconvert-Ritrama: A global entity recognized for their exceptional self-adhesive materials. They offer premium wine label papers designed to resist moisture and pass the ice bucket tests, ensuring your label remains intact and presentable in different storage conditions.

  • Fasson Avery Dennison: This is a global powerhouse in materials science and manufacturing. They design and manufacture a vast array of labeling and functional materials, including high-quality wine label paper stocks that cater to diverse aesthetic and functional requirements.

  • Fedrigoni Group: Hailing from Italy, Fedrigoni Group is known for its superb-quality paper products suitable for printing, labels, bookbinding, and packaging. Their specialty papers for wine labels offer a blend of elegance and durability that imbues your wine bottles with a touch of Italian sophistication.

  • UPM Raflatac: As a leading supplier of pressure-sensitive labeling solutions, UPM Raflatac delivers innovative and sustainable self-adhesive label materials for wine bottles. Their products are designed for high performance, quality aesthetics, and environmental sustainability.

Each of these suppliers offers unique strengths and specialties, allowing you to select the best match for your winery's specific needs and brand identity.

Uncoated paper: This type of paper provides a textured, natural feel for the labels, adding a touch of elegance to the wine bottle. However, it might not fare well in damp conditions as it lacks the water-resistant coating. Typically, a flood varnish is applied during the printing process to safeguard the label.

Cabernet Sauvignon wine label using a textured matte uncoated paper
This Cabernet Sauvignon label is crafted using a luxurious textured matte uncoated paper, adding a touch of elegance and sophistication.
Diving deeper into uncoated paper stocks for wine labels

Some well-regarded uncoated paper stocks for wine labels include the Fasson Matte Litho, which provides a smooth, matte finish exuding sophistication. Fasson Eggshell Felt distinguishes itself with its distinctive and pleasing tactile characteristics.

closeup of a wine label using cream eggshell paper for a rich and textured look
A detailed shot showcasing a wine label made with luxurious cream eggshell paper, adding richness and texture to the entire packaging.

The Fasson Estate series is an excellent option for those seeking a rustic charm that exudes the essence of handmade paper. Among the series, Estate 8 and Estate Label 9 stand out as the most renowned choices. Renowned not only for their durability, but also for their elegant finish, they are frequently favored when it comes to top-tier wines.

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon featuring an Estate 8 paper and gloss varnish for an elevated design.
This elegant wine is expertly printed on exquisite Estate 8 paper and enhanced with a glossy varnish, making its elevated design truly stand out.

Fasson Classic Crest, Classic Felt, and Classic Laid have distinctive textures and a premium feel, adding a touch of luxury to wine bottles.

Organic Spanish wine relying on the rich and elegant paper texture of the Fasson Classic Crest stock
This Spanish wine label features Fasson Classic Crest stock, known for its luxurious texture, adding allure and sophistication to the product.

Fasson Classic Linen presents a delicate and refined aesthetic, drawing inspiration from the unique texture of linen fabric.

Wine label taking advantage of the classic paper linen to enhance its packaging appeal on the shelf
The label takes advantage of the timeless elegance of Classic Linen paper to elevate its appeal.

Manter's Tintoretto Gesso, a beautiful uncoated paper, is celebrated for its beautiful texture and organic feel on wine labels.

Contemporary Primitivo wine label using the Manter 63# Tintoretto Gesso Waterproof and high build varnish
The Primitivo label uses Manter 63# Tintoretto Gesso paper and is finished with a high-build varnish for a modern look.

Thick and  matte cotton paper stocks exude a sense of premium quality and create a visually pleasing contrast with the brilliance of the glass bottle in the background.

Napa Valley Pinot Noir using a rich and thick cotton paper stock that is ideal for debossing, providing a rich texturing that is appealing to consumers
Crafted from luxurious cotton paper with a debossed design, this packaging captivates even discerning consumers.

Kraft paper, with its natural and earthy appearance, provides a distinctive visual and tactile experience. However, it tends to produce slightly darker prints, which can dull the colors compared to white paper stocks.

Virginia Valley wine using an organic kraft paper stock for a distinctive look
This wine label utilizes a kraft paper stock to create a unique and naturally appealing aesthetic.

[fs-toc-omit]Specialty label stocks

Clear BOPP film: Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene (BOPP) is a type of clear film stock that offers a unique, modern look to wine labels. It's also water-resistant and durable, making it ideal for wines meant for outdoor events or travel.

label for a rosé wine that is printed on clear BOPP plastic film and that is using silver holographic foil to catch the eye of shoppers
This rosé label is printed on clear BOPP plastic film, and features eye-catching silver holographic foil to attract shoppers' attention.

Metallized BOPP: A film coated with a thin layer of metal, typically aluminum. This gives the label a shiny, reflective surface that is eye-catching and unique. In addition to its aesthetic appeal, Metallized BOPP is also resistant to water, oil, and temperature variations, making it a durable choice for wine labels.

Stunning Sauvignon Blanc wine label using a silver BOPP synthetic paper stock, embossing and high-build varnish
The Sauvignon Blanc label features lustrous metalsilver BOPP synthetic paper stock, embossing, and a high-build varnish, adding to its allure and appeal.

Wood stock: High-end labeling material offers an authentic and rustic appearance to wine labels, enhancing the overall aesthetic of the packaging. This durable and eco-friendly material adds a touch of sophistication and natural elegance, making the wine stand out on the shelf.

Premium red wine label printed on dark cherry wood using a silver alufin Kurz foil on top
This premium red wine label is elegantly printed on dark cherry wood, enhanced with a silver Alufin Kurz foil applied on top and a gloss varnish border.

Velvet stock: This soft-to-the-touch material provides a luxurious feel to wine labels, making them stand out from the crowd. It also offers excellent print quality and durability, making it a popular choice for premium wine packaging.

Fun and soft to the touch Ontario Gamay label uses a blue velvet paper which turns the pouring of wine into a tactile experience
This Gamay uses blue velvet paper stock to add playfulness. Its irresistibly soft texture invites you to indulge in the tactile pleasure it provides.
Diving deeper into specialty paper stocks for wine labels

Fasson offers a variety of specialty paper stocks worth exploring. Fasson Cuvée Platinum stands out with a refined metallic finish for a luxurious feel. Fasson Bright Foil Silver and Fasson Dull Foil Gold are popular choices for elegant labels with a metallic sheen.

Cabernet Sauvignon label featuring an embossed background reminiscent of of the texture of a golf ball for a limited edition printed on Fasson Dull Foil gold
The limited edition Cabernet Sauvignon has an embossed background, evoking the textured surface of a golf ball. It is elegantly printed on Fasson Dull Foil Gold, adding a refined touch to this exquisite wine.

For water-resistant properties, Fasson Aqua Proof Orion is an excellent option for wines exposed to moisture. It has a unique silver, pearlescent filmic material with a structured aspect.

Premium California rose wine label using the Fasson Orion paper for a water-resistant with stunning embossed and gold foil illustration
This reserve Grenache Rosé label showcases the elegance of Fasson Orion paper, adorned with intricate embossed details and captivating illustration in metallic gold foil.

Fasson 70# Cambric Birch is also an excellent option to consider. It is an elegant uncoated paper with a soft finish and distinctive fiber strands woven into it.

Rose of Sangiovese label using a distinctive diamond label shape using Fasson Cambric Birch paper stock.
This Rosé of Sangiovese label stands out with its unique and elegant diamond shape, crafted with Fasson Cambric Birch paper stock.

From Manter, Habana Wood offers a rustic charm with its embossed wood grain effect. Manter Sirio Pearl Oyster Shell provides a pearlescent finish for a luxurious touch.

Arconvert's Ipanema White is a high wet-strength embossed paper with a pearlescent finish. Arconvert Refit Craft is a self-adhesive material made from recycled fibers and calcium carbonate, offering sustainability and a textured finish.

UPM Raflatac's Raflatac Silvervac PET adds a high-shine finish to wine labels. Raflatac Ice Premium withstands moisture and ice water for durability. Raflatac's Biofilm is a biodegradable film material that provides an eco-friendly choice without compromising aesthetics or durability.

[fs-toc-h3]Types of adhesive

Once you've chosen an appropriate paper stock, the next crucial step is to verify that it possesses the appropriate adhesive type that aligns with the intended use of your product.

Permanent adhesive: As the name suggests, these are designed to firmly stick to the bottle's surface, resisting removal attempts. They are ideal for wines meant for long-term storage.

Removable adhesive: This type allows for easy removal of the label without leaving any residue on the bottle. It's a good choice for wine bottles that will be reused or for consumers who might want to keep the label.

Cold temperature adhesive: For wines that require refrigeration or will be served chilled, cold temperature adhesives are the best option. They ensure the label remains intact and presentable even under cold conditions.

Wet adhesive: This type of adhesive is used primarily for glass bottles. It's water-activated and provides a strong bond, ensuring the label withstands moisture and temperature variations.

It is crucial to consider the specific needs of the wine bottle, the conditions it will be exposed to, and the target market when deciding on the paper stock and adhesive type for wine labels.

[fs-toc-h3]Wine label paper printing techniques and technologies

In our exploration of wine label production, we will delve into the diverse printing techniques and technologies employed. These methods not only enhance the visual appeal but also shape the overall perception of the wine. Selecting the appropriate printing technology is a crucial aspect of effective wine marketing and branding. Join us as we uncover the artistry and technology behind the captivating world of wine label printing.

[fs-toc-omit]Digital printing

Digital printing is a method that involves printing digital-based images directly onto a variety of media, including paper, cardstock, and even adhesive materials used for labels. Unlike traditional methods such as flexography or lithography, it doesn't require a printing plate. Instead, it uses options like laser or inkjet printers to apply the digital image onto the media.

  • Flexibility and customization: Digital printing allows for high customization, allowing each label to be different if necessary. This is ideal for creating personalized labels or limited-edition bottles with unique designs.

  • Speed: Without the need for plates, digital printing significantly speeds up the production process, providing quicker turnaround times.

  • Quality: Digital printing often results in high-resolution images, which make labels more visually appealing and professional.

  • Cost-effectiveness: For smaller print runs, digital printing can be more cost-effective due to the lack of setup fees.

  • Cost: For large print runs, traditional printing methods may be more cost-effective.

  • Limitations in material and color: Digital printing might have limitations in color matching and may not work on every type of material, potentially reducing the choices for label design.

  • Durability: Labels produced through digital printing may not be as durable, especially when it comes to resistance against fading or damage from moisture and heat.

In conclusion, digital printing can be a valuable tool for wine label production offering flexibility, speed, and quality. However, the choice of printing method should be driven by factors such as the size of the print run, the desired durability of the label, and the specific design requirements.

[fs-toc-omit]Flexographic printing

Flexographic printing, often referred to as flexo, is a technique that employs flexible relief plates used in printing on a variety of materials. The process works much like a modern-day letterpress and can be used for large orders of custom labels.

  • High speed: Flexo printing is renowned for its high-speed production, which makes it ideal for large print runs.

  • Versatility: It can print on a wide range of materials including paper, plastic, metallic films, and even non-porous substrates. This flexibility opens up a world of design possibilities for wine labels.

  • Durability: Flexographic printed labels tend to be highly durable and resistant to fading, moisture, and heat, making this technique an excellent choice for wine bottles that face varying storage conditions.

  • Color brilliance: The method allows for high-quality prints with vibrant, lasting colors and sharp precision, providing a premium look and feel to the wine labels.

  • Setup costs: The initial setup cost for flexographic printing can be high due to the need for creating printing plates. This can make it less cost-effective for small print runs.

  • Less flexibility for changes: Once the plates are made, making changes to the design can be expensive and time-consuming.

  • Quality: Although flexo can produce high-quality prints, it may not deliver the same level of detail and resolution as digital printing on intricate designs.

In summary, flexographic printing can be an ideal choice for wine label production, especially for large print runs and when durability and versatility of materials are a priority. However, considerations around setup costs, flexibility for design changes, and quality of intricate designs need to be taken into account.

[fs-toc-omit]Offset printing

Offset printing, also known as lithography, is a traditional method of printing where an inked image is transferred from a plate to a rubber blanket and then to the printing surface. This technique is known for producing clear, clean, and high-quality images and is often used for high volume commercial printing.

Famous New-Zealand sparkling wine with a high-end label using gold hotstamping as well as pearl foil for an extra touch of luxury
This design indulges in printing finishes with precious gold hot stamp and the opulence of pearl foil, adding an exquisite touch of luxury to every sip.
  • Quality: Offset printing is known for producing high-definition images with a wide range of colors, making it ideal for wine labels that require detailed, vibrant designs.

  • Material versatility: It can print on a variety of materials, including specialty papers, thus providing more design options for wine labels.

  • Cost-effective for large runs: While the initial setup cost can be high, the cost per unit decreases with the increase in quantity, making it a cost-effective solution for larger print runs.

  • High setup costs: The initial setup for offset printing can be costly due to the need to create plates, making it less cost-effective for smaller print runs.

  • Time-consuming: The setup process can be time-consuming, leading to longer turnaround times.

  • Less flexibility: Changes in design after the plates have been created can be costly and time-consuming.

In summary, offset printing can be an excellent choice for wine label production, particularly for large print runs that require high-quality, detailed and vibrant designs. However, the high setup costs, longer turnaround times, and lack of flexibility for design changes after plate creation are factors to consider.

[fs-toc-omit]Letterpress printing

Letterpress printing is a traditional method of printing that involves a process of direct relief printing. It uses a printing press where a raised surface is inked and then pressed onto a soft material to obtain an inked image. This technique is known for its textural quality, providing a unique and tactile appeal to the print.

Sonoma County Zinfandel using a highly textured letterpress wine label for an artisan look
This Zinfandel label is meticulously crafted using a rich letterpress print finish, enhancing its artisan appeal and allure.
  • Aesthetic appeal: The unique, tactile feel of letterpress prints can add a high-end, artisanal appeal to wine labels.

  • Color accuracy: Letterpress is known for its excellent color accuracy, which can enhance the visual impact of wine labels.

  • Customization: It allows for a high degree of customization, which can be particularly advantageous for creating unique, limited-edition wine labels.

  • Cost: Letterpress printing can be expensive, especially for small print runs, due to the manual labor involved and the cost of creating custom plates.

  • Time: Letterpress is a time-intensive process which can lead to longer turnaround times.

  • Limitations on design: This method might not be suitable for designs with fine details or large solid areas.

In summary, letterpress printing can offer a distinctive, high-end appeal to wine labels, making it an excellent choice for bespoke or limited-edition labels. However, the higher costs, longer turnaround times, and potential design limitations are factors to consider when choosing this technique for wine label printing.

[fs-toc-h3]Wine label embellishments

Beyond the basic printing techniques, adding embellishments to your wine labels can enhance the aesthetic appeal and tactile experience, making your product stand out on the shelves. In this section, we will explore various paper wine label embellishments, discussing their advantages and potential drawbacks. These embellishments can add a unique flair to your labels, further elevating the perceived quality and value of your wine.

[fs-toc-omit]Custom die cut

Custom die cutting is a versatile embellishment technique used in wine label printing to create unique, non-rectangular shapes and patterns, adding a distinctive touch to the packaging. This technique uses specially designed dies - sharp, steel blades formed into a specific shape - to cut through the label material.

lineup of bottles photographed by Outshinery using 3D software, each featuring a unique diecut label shape
Wine labels with unique die-cuts that break away from the conventional rectangular format.

Process: The custom die-cut process typically involves preparing a digital design of the desired label shape, which is then converted into a metal die. This die is used to cut the labels from sheets or rolls of label material, resulting in labels that match the unique shape of the die.

Appearance: Custom die-cut labels can take on any form, from simple geometric shapes to intricate patterns or outlines that follow the contours of the label's design elements. This allows for creative freedom in designing labels that are highly tailored to the visual identity of the wine brand, contributing to a cohesive and engaging visual presentation.

Pros: Custom die cutting can make the wine stand out in a crowded marketplace by adding a unique, tactile element to the label that goes beyond the printed design. It can also enhance the consumer's interaction with the product, as the unique shapes and textures invite customers to touch and engage with the label.

Cons: On the downside, custom die cutting can entail higher costs and longer production times, as the dies must be custom-made for each design. Moreover, intricate or complex shapes may not always cut cleanly, potentially affecting the overall look and quality of the label.

In summary, custom die cutting is a powerful embellishment technique that can elevate the aesthetic appeal of wine labels. However, considerations regarding cost, production time, and design feasibility should be taken into account.

[fs-toc-omit]Custom laser cutting

Custom laser cutting is an advanced embellishment technique used in wine label production to create intricate designs and patterns that may be difficult to achieve with traditional die-cutting. This technology uses lasers to precisely cut the label material, resulting in clean, sharp lines and edges.

Closeup on a California Chardonnay wine label that has laser cut holes in the paper to showcase the glass below
Eye-catching Chardonnay label featuring meticulously crafted laser-cut holes in the paper that elegantly unveil the glass beneath.

Process: In the custom laser-cut process, a digital design is programmed into the laser cutting machine. The machine then uses a focused laser beam to cut or engrave the design into the label material. This high-energy beam vaporizes the material in a very precise manner, allowing for detailed and complex designs.

Appearance: Laser cut labels can feature extremely detailed and intricate designs, including fine lines, sharp corners, and complex geometric patterns. The precision of laser cutting also means that there is less risk of damage to the label material, resulting in a high-quality, professional finish. The cut-out sections can create a unique play of light and shadow, contributing to the product's premium appeal.

Pros: Custom laser cutting allows for a high degree of design complexity and precision, which can make the wine label stand out on the shelf. The technique also offers a unique, tactile experience as customers can feel the cut-out shapes and textures on the label.

Cons: Despite its advantages, laser cutting can be more expensive than traditional die-cutting, due to the cost of the machinery and the time required for the cutting process. Also, not all label materials may be suitable for laser cutting, and there may be limitations on the size and complexity of the designs that can be created.

In summary, custom laser cutting is a cutting-edge embellishment technique that offers a high degree of design flexibility and precision, lending a unique, high-quality appearance to wine labels. However, the cost and material considerations involved should be taken into account.

[fs-toc-omit]Foil stamping

Foil stamping is a specialty printing process that applies a thin metallic or pigmented film onto the surface of wine labels, often used to create a decorative and premium finish. In the context of wine label printing, foil stamping can add an element of luxury and distinctiveness, making the wine bottles stand out on store shelves.

3 red wine bottles with labels making good use of metallic hot stamping to stand out on the shelf, both online and offline
Wine labels that utilize metallic hot stamping effectively captivate attention both on the shelf and in the digital realm.

Process: The process involves the application of heat and pressure to the metallic foil, transferring it onto the label. The foil can be pressed onto the label to create a flat design, or it can be combined with embossing to create a three-dimensional effect.

Appearance: The result is a shiny, reflective design that catches the light and draws attention to the wine label. The foil can be gold, silver, or a variety of other colors, and it can be used to highlight specific elements of the label design, such as the brand name, logo, or other decorative elements.

Pros: Foil stamping can enhance the overall visual appeal of the wine label, creating a sense of premium quality. It can also offer good resistance to moisture, a crucial factor considering the conditions under which wine bottles are often stored.

Cons: However, foil stamping can be a relatively expensive and time-consuming process, especially if it involves complex designs or multiple colors. Also, it may not adhere well to certain types of label materials, and the choice of foil colors may be limited compared to traditional printing inks.

In summary, foil stamping can be an attractive option for wine labels that need to convey a premium, high-quality image. However, the cost, time, and material considerations involved should also be taken into account.

Diving deeper into hot stamping, also known as foil stamping

Kurz is a global leader in foil stamping solutions, renowned for premium quality products like the Luxor series, known for its wide color palette and superior gloss. The Kurz LIGHT Line Series incorporates holographic effects into wine labels, taking foil stamping to new levels of sophistication.

Stunning gold foil hot stamp enhanced by an embossed design that allows the whole illustration to catch the light
Mesmerizing gold foil hot stamp paired with an 3D-embossed design that captivates light, creating a captivating packaging.
Playful label for a natural wine making good use of holographic hot stamping to catch the attention on the shelf
A delightfully whimsical label for a Californian natural wine. It cleverly utilizes holographic foil from the Kurz LIGHT Line Series to instantly capture attention on the shelf.

Foilco is an international supplier of hot stamping foils, offering a wide range of finishes, including metallic, pigment, pearl, holographic, and security. Their extensive color range enables businesses to enhance brand appeal through creative packaging. Foilco is committed to sustainability.

Holographic silver hot stamp by Infinity foil for a sparkling wine
Incorporating a holographic silver hot stamp, such as the one by Foilco, offers a captivating way to grab attention and leave a lasting impression.

Infinity Foils is a globally recognized company known for high-quality foil products. The Nakai series adds vibrant appeal to wine labels, while the Infinity Foil M Series offers a metallic finish. Foil stamping can convey a premium image for wine labels, considering cost, time, and material factors.

Bright metallic orange hotstamp by Foilco on a wine label that stands out from the competition
The wine label boasts a striking metallic orange hot stamp by Infinity Foils, setting it apart from the competition with its captivating brilliance that no regular ink can rival.

[fs-toc-omit]Embossing and debossing

Embossing and debossing are two similar but distinct embellishment techniques used to create raised or recessed relief images and designs on wine labels. They add texture and depth to the label, contributing to a more tactile and visually appealing product.


Embossing involves creating a raised design on the label. This process uses custom-made dies and high pressure to push the paper up from the back, creating a three-dimensional effect. The result is a design element that catches light and shadows differently, adding a sophisticated touch to a wine label. It can be used to accentuate certain elements like the brand name or logo, or to create an interesting tactile effect that invites customers to touch and feel the label.

Reserve Chenin Blanc label that makes good use of embossing and gold foil to make the wine look premium and elevated
This Chenin Blanc label creatively utilizes embossing and gold foil to evoke a premium and elevated aesthetic, enhancing the overall appeal and desirability of the wine.
Blind embossing

Blind embossing, however, creates a raised design without any ink or foil. This technique involves stamping the label material with a die but does not include any additional colors or finishes.

Zoom on a modern premium wine label, making excellent use of blind embossing and copper foil to stand out and command a high price point
This modern premium wine label captivates with its exquisite attention to detail. By strategically using blind embossing and copper foil, it commands attention and justifies its high price point.

Debossing, on the other hand, is the opposite of embossing. Instead of creating a raised design, debossing pushes the design down into the label material, creating a recessed or indented effect. This technique can also be used to highlight specific elements of the design and adds a unique texture that can enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of the wine label.

Okanagan Valley rosé wine label that effectively uses print finishes to stand out: debossing of the letters and metallic gold hotstamp to catch the light
This rosé wine label impresses with tasteful debossing and metallic gold hot stamp, creating a captivating visual impact that catches the light and stands out beautifully.

Both embossing and debossing can be combined with other embellishment techniques such as foil stamping for an even more luxurious feel.

Pros: Embossing and debossing can enhance the tactile experience of interacting with a wine label, making the product more memorable. These techniques add a sense of luxury and quality to the wine label, making it stand out on the shelf.

Cons: However, these processes can be more expensive and time-consuming than other embellishment techniques, requiring custom dies and specialized machinery. They may also not work as well with certain types of label materials or designs with intricate details.

In summary, embossing and debossing can be effective techniques for enhancing the visual and tactile appeal of wine labels, but considerations regarding cost, time, and material compatibility should be taken into account.

[fs-toc-omit]Micro embossing

Micro embossing is a refined variant of the classic embossing technique, used to create a series of very fine, detailed, and closely spaced raised patterns on the surface of wine labels. This process enables the creation of an incredibly detailed and textured surface, adding an exclusive tactile feature to the wine label. It is typically used in conjunction with hotstamping.

Stunning use of precious gold metallic Luxor foil that is then micro embossed for a standout look with blind paper emboss
The use of metallic Luxor foil, meticulously micro-embossed, creates a captivating visual allure that truly stands out. Notably, the blind embossing surrounding the prominent gold circle further enhances the overall appeal of the design.

Process: Micro embossing requires the use of a precision engraved die to create the intricate embossed pattern. The die is pressed onto the label material with high pressure, thereby creating a series of very small raised details.

Appearance: This technique gives the labels a remarkably unique texture that can be both felt and seen. The resulting pattern could be as subtle or as pronounced as desired, depending on the design considerations. The micro embossed areas catch light differently, creating a shimmering effect which makes the wine bottles visually appealing on the shelf.

Pros: Micro embossing provides a unique and sophisticated aesthetic to a wine label, setting the product apart from its competitors. The added texture can also influence purchase decisions by enticing customers to touch and interact with the label.

Cons: Despite its advantages, the micro embossing process can be more costly and time-consuming due to the level of precision required in creating the die and the careful calibration needed to achieve the desired effect. Also, it might not be suitable for all types of label materials or designs with very fine details.

In summary, micro embossing can give a premium and exclusive look to wine labels, enhancing both their visual and tactile appeal. However, considerations about cost, time, and design compatibility are important before opting for this embellishment technique.

[fs-toc-omit]Sculpted embossing

Sculpted embossing is an advanced form of embossing that takes label design to the next level by creating multi-dimensional, high-relief effects on wine labels. This technique allows for varying depths and levels of embossing, giving designs a more realistic, sculpted appearance.

beautiful Russian River Valley Chardonnay wine label using illustration and sculpted embossing for a premium look
With meticulous attention to detail, this Chardonnay label features captivating illustrations, sculpted embossing, and metallic copper foil. This artistic design enhances the wine's appearance, exuding sophistication and premium quality.

Process: At the crux of sculpted embossing is a sculpted die, which is meticulously carved to reflect different levels and depths of the design. When applied with pressure on the label material, the sculpted die imparts its multi-dimensional form, creating a highly tactile and visually appealing effect.

Appearance: Wine labels that have undergone sculpted embossing exhibit extraordinary depth and texture, creating a visually captivating and touch-enticing experience. Whether it's the brand's logo, a decorative motif, or text elements, sculpted embossing enhances the details and gives a premium feel to the wine label.

Pros: The main advantage of sculpted embossing is that it makes the wine label aesthetically appealing and more memorable, thereby enhancing brand perception and encouraging purchase decisions.

Cons: However, sculpted embossing requires a higher level of craftsmanship and precision in creating the sculpted dies, making it more expensive and time-consuming than standard embossing. Moreover, it may not be suitable for label materials that can't withstand the high pressure or designs that are too intricate.

In summary, sculpted embossing is an excellent choice for wine labels aimed at conveying a top-tier, distinctive image. However, factors such as cost, time, and design suitability should be thoroughly evaluated before opting for this embellishment technique.

[fs-toc-omit]Glow-in-the-dark ink

Glow-in-the-dark ink, also known as phosphorescent ink, takes your standard wine label and transforms it into an attention-grabbing masterpiece that glows when the lights are turned off. This unique embellishment technique can create an unforgettable experience for consumers, setting your brand apart on the crowded wine shelf.

example of a limited-edition Halloween wine label using glow-in-the-dark ink to stand out as a wine experience for consumers
This limited-edition Halloween label stands out with a colorful illustration and glow-in-the-dark ink, creating an unforgettable wine experience for discerning consumers!

Process: The glow-in-the-dark effect is achieved by using a special ink that absorbs light and then re-emits it in a darker environment. When applied to a wine label, this phosphorescent ink can be used to highlight certain design elements, text, or even the entire label.

Appearance: In normal lighting conditions, glow-in-the-dark ink can appear as a standard color or be invisible to the naked eye. However, when exposed to darkness, the ink illuminates, creating an incredible glowing effect that's sure to capture everyone's attention.

Pros: Glow-in-the-dark wine labels offer a creative and innovative way to grab consumer's attention. This can be particularly effective when launching a product around specific events such as Halloween, New Year's Eve, or at venues with dimmed lighting like bars and clubs. Moreover, the intrigue and buzz generated by glow-in-the-dark labels can significantly enhance brand recall and customer engagement.

Cons: While undeniably impactful, glow-in-the-dark ink can be more expensive to produce than traditional inks, and may present some technical challenges during the printing process. Also, the glowing effect may fade over time or under certain storage conditions.

In summary, using glow-in-the-dark ink for wine labels offers a unique, engaging, and memorable consumer experience. However, it's essential to weigh up considerations regarding cost, complexity, and longevity before opting for this distinctive embellishment technique.

[fs-toc-omit]Coating and varnishes

Coatings and varnishes are finishing techniques that are often used in wine label printing to add both aesthetic appeal and functional protection to the label. These techniques involve applying a clear layer of material over the label to enhance its appearance, provide durability and potentially add a tactile element.

There are several types of varnishes that a winery can consider for their wine labels:

  • Matte varnish: This type of varnish provides a non-glossy, textural finish to your labels which can impart a sense of elegance and sophistication. Matte varnish is perfect for wineries that want a subdued and classic look for their labels.

  • Gloss varnish: Gloss varnish can give your wine labels a shiny and vibrant appearance, making the colors pop and the details stand out. This is a great choice if you want your labels to catch the eye on the shelf.

  • Satin varnish: As the name suggests, satin varnish provides a finish that falls between matte and gloss. It offers a smooth, luxurious texture as well as a subtle sheen.

  • UV varnish: UV varnish is applied and then cured (hardened) using ultraviolet light. This results in a highly durable finish that can withstand sunlight, moisture, and other environmental factors.

  • Spot varnish: Spot varnish allows you to apply varnish to specific areas of the label to highlight them. This can be used to create a dimensional or tactile effect, adding an extra level of interest and sophistication to your wine labels.

  • Scuff varnish:  This type of varnish is highly resistant to scratches and scuffing, making it ideal for wine labels that may undergo frequent handling or transportation.

Each of these varnishes can lend a unique aesthetic to a wine label, enhancing its visual appeal and providing protection against wear and tear. The choice of varnish should align with the brand image and the desired visual effect.

Napa Cabernet Sauvignon uses high build varnish on black paper to saturate the color and provide a tactile experience
Using high-build varnish intensifies the black paper color and creates a delightful tactile sensation, enhancing the aesthetic appeal.

Process: The coating or varnish is typically applied after the printing and embellishing processes. The varnish or coating can be applied to the whole label or selectively to highlight specific areas or elements of the design.

Appearance: Coatings and varnishes can add a glossy, matte, or satin finish to the label, enhancing its overall look and feel. They can also add depth and dimension to the label, making certain elements stand out and adding a tactile quality.

Pros: Coatings and varnishes not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of the wine label but also provide a layer of protection against moisture, scuffing, and UV light, extending the life of the label. They can also make the label easier to handle during the bottling process.

Cons: Coating and varnishing processes can add to the overall cost and production time of the wine labels. Plus, not all varnishes work well with all types of label materials and inks, potentially impacting the final appearance of the label.

In summary, coatings and varnishes are valuable embellishment techniques that can enhance the visual and tactile appeal of wine labels, while also providing functionality. However, it's important to consider the cost, production time, and compatibility with other label elements.

Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc label that makes great use of embossing and gloss varnish to stand out
The clever use of teal color, embossing, and glossy varnish makes this Sauvignon Blanc stand out.

[fs-toc-h3]Screen printed wine labels

Screen printing is a printing technique where a mesh is used to transfer ink onto a substrate, except in areas made impermeable to the ink by a blocking stencil. For wine labels, this method provides a unique, high-end look and feel that is particularly appealing for premium wine brands.

2 silk screen wine bottles, CGI by Outshinery
Silkscreened wine bottles, known as ACL (Applied Ceramic Labeling), make an impact in a crowded market. With vibrant designs and standout appeal, they capture attention and enhance presentation.

Process: In the screen printing process, a design is imposed on a screen of polyester or other fine mesh, with blank areas coated with an impermeable substance. Ink is forced into the mesh openings by the fill blade and by wetting the substrate, transferred onto the printing surface during the squeegee stroke. As the screen rebounds away from the substrate, the ink remains on the substrate.

Appearance: Screen-printed wine labels are known for their vibrant, rich color and unique texture. The ink used in screen printing is typically thicker, which results in bright, bold colors that stand out. The process also allows for the inclusion of textures and other tactile elements that can give the label a distinctive feel.

Pros: Screen printing is a long-lasting and durable printing method. The thick ink used in the process stands up well to handling and environmental factors, keeping the label looking good for longer. Additionally, screen-printed labels offer a premium look and feel, helping to elevate the perceived value of the wine.

Cons: The main downside to screen printing is cost and time. The process can be more expensive and time-consuming than other printing methods, especially for designs with multiple colors or intricate details. However, for high-end wines, the unique, premium look of screen-printed labels can be worth the extra cost and time.

Environmental impact: While screen printing offers a premium look, it's worth noting that it also has a higher carbon footprint. The process requires more energy due to curing the ink and shipping bottles. The cleaning process may involve chemicals, and plastisol inks can contribute to plastic waste. Wineries concerned with sustainability should consider these factors when choosing screen printing for label production.

In conclusion, screen-printed wine labels offer a unique, premium look and feel, making them a good choice for high-end wines. However, the cost and time implications of this printing method should be carefully considered.

[fs-toc-h3]Etched wine labels

Etched wine labels offer a distinctive and high-end aesthetic, ideal for premium wines or special editions. This technique involves engraving the surface of the wine bottle itself, rather than affixing a paper label. It is often used on large formats, such as magnums.

Large format wine bottle using the premium etched label in the glass for extra luxury and appeal.
Enhance your wine's large format selection by incorporating etched labels, which add an exquisite touch of opulence and allure to every sip.

Process: The etching process begins by creating a design, which is then applied to the bottle using a stencil. The exposed areas of the bottle are then etched with a technique using a combination of high pressure and an abrasive material like sand, which carves the design into the glass.

Appearance: Etched wine labels offer a three-dimensional, tactile feel. The elegant, carved look is often augmented with paint to make the design stand out against the bottle. The final result is a refined and elegant bottle with a unique, personalized touch.

Pros: Etched labels are permanent and highly durable. They stand up exceptionally well to handling and environmental factors and do not risk peeling or damage like paper labels. They also provide a unique and premium feel, significantly enhancing the perceived value of the wine.

Cons: The main drawbacks of etched labels are their cost and production time. The process is labor-intensive and can be time-consuming, particularly for more intricate designs. The cost per bottle is also much higher compared to traditional label printing methods.

Environmental impact: The etching process is relatively environmentally friendly, as it does not require the use of paper. However, the use of abrasive materials and the energy consumption of the process should be considered.

In conclusion, etched wine labels offer a unique, sophisticated option for wineries looking to differentiate their product on the shelf. Their premium appeal can elevate a brand, but the associated costs and production time must be factored into decision-making.

[fs-toc-h3]Shrink sleeved wine labels

Shrink sleeve wine labels are a modern and innovative packaging solution that uses heat-sensitive polymer film to fit snugly over bottles, providing a full 360-degree branding canvas. Shrink sleeves offer maximum design flexibility, as they can cover the entire bottle surface, including the neck and cap.

3 wine using plastic shrink sleeves over the glass bottles for a fully 360-degree branding opportunity
Glass bottles with plastic shrink sleeves offer 360-degree branding. This innovative approach maximizes visibility and branding options from all angles.

Process: The process begins with the creation of a design that is then printed on a flexible plastic film. This film is cut to the shape of the wine bottle and placed over it. When heat is applied, the film shrinks to fit the bottle perfectly, adhering seamlessly to its contours.

Appearance: Shrink sleeve labels are known for their vibrant, high-resolution graphics that wrap around the entire bottle, allowing for a greater visual impact. The ability to incorporate striking colors, text, and images onto the label gives wineries the opportunity to create eye-catching designs that stand out on the shelf.

Pros: Shrink sleeves are resistant to moisture and scuffing, making them an excellent choice for wines that will be chilled or stored in damp conditions. They also allow for complete customization of the bottle, including the cap and neck, which can provide a unified, professional look.

Cons: While shrink sleeves offer many advantages, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. The process can be more expensive than traditional label printing, especially for small runs. Also, they can be challenging to remove for consumers who wish to recycle the bottle.

Environmental impact: The use of plastic in shrink sleeve labels presents specific environmental challenges. While some materials used are recyclable, consumers often find them difficult to remove, leading to lower recycling rates. However, recent advancements have led to the development of eco-friendly shrink sleeve materials, alleviating some of these concerns.

In summary, shrink sleeve wine labels offer a modern, customizable, and visually impactful labeling solution. But, costs, recyclability, and the suitability of the label for the specific wine and its storage conditions should be considered.

[fs-toc-h3]How can wineries choose their label techniques wisely?

When it comes to choosing label printing techniques, wineries should carefully consider their brand image, target demographic, budget, and environmental impact. Each label technique, from screen printing to etching, offers unique aesthetic and tactile qualities that can significantly influence consumers' perception of the wine.

The first step is to understand the brand positioning and the message that needs to be communicated through the label. For premium or high-end wines, techniques like screen printing or etching can offer a unique, upscale appeal. However, these methods tend to be more expensive and time-consuming, so they may not be suitable for wines that need to be produced at scale or for cost-conscious brands.

Next, consider the target demographic. Different consumer demographics are drawn to different label styles. For instance, younger consumers may be more attracted to bold, colorful designs, while older consumers may appreciate the sophistication of an etched label.

Budget is another crucial factor. While higher-cost methods can provide a premium look and feel, they can also impact the overall profitability of the wine. Hence, it's essential to strike a balance between aesthetic appeal and cost-effectiveness.

Lastly, consider the environmental impact. As consumers become increasingly conscious of sustainability, wineries should consider how their label production methods align with their sustainable practices.

In conclusion, choosing the right wine label printing technique is a multifaceted decision that involves considering the brand, the target audience, cost factors, and environmental impact. By weighing these factors carefully, wineries can choose a label technique that not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of their product but also aligns with their brand values and market positioning.

Methode traditionnelle sparkling wine with a stunning label using 2 different precious metallic hot stamps (gold and bronze) as well as high-build varnish and paper texture embossing
This sparkling wine features a captivating label with two precious foils in gold and bronze. Enhanced with high-build varnish and textured paper embossing, it exudes elegance and sophistication.

[fs-toc-h3]Wine labels, in summary

In the world of wine, your label is far more than just a legal necessity—it's the visual voice of your brand, a compelling storyteller, and a strategic tool designed to engage consumers and boost sales. From choosing the right paper stocks and adhesives, to selecting printing techniques and embellishments, each decision significantly shapes your brand image and how it resonates with your target audience.

But crafting the perfect wine label that embodies your brand's essence and appeals to your market can be complex—this is where professional expertise comes into play.

At Outshinery, we offer high-quality product photography services that breathe life into your brand and create unforgettable impressions. After all, the success of your wine isn't just about what's inside the bottle—it's also about what's on the bottle.

Wine label paper suppliers:
  • Arconvert-Ritrama: An international group specializing in the production of self-adhesive materials. Their offerings include premium wine label papers with excellent resistance to moisture and ice bucket test.
  • Fasson Avery Dennison: A global materials science and manufacturing company specializing in designing and manufacturing a wide variety of labeling and functional materials, including wine label paper stocks.
  • Fedrigoni Group: An Italian company producing fine-quality papers for printing, editing, labels, bookbinding, and packaging. They offer a wide range of specialty papers for wine labels.
  • Neenah Paper: A leading manufacturer and distributor of premium, specialty, and sustainable papers used in a variety of applications, including wine labels, offering high-quality paper stocks for prestigious brands.
  • UPM Raflatac: A leading global supplier of pressure-sensitive labeling solutions offering high-quality, sustainable, and innovative self-adhesive label materials for wine bottles.
  • Wausau Coated Products: A US-based company specializing in the development and production of custom-engineered pressure-sensitive products, including specialty paper stocks for wine labels.
Wine label embellishment suppliers:
  • API Foils: A leading brand globally, providing hot stamping foil technology for a wide range of applications, including wine labels.
  • Crown Roll Leaf: One of the largest manufacturers of hot stamping foils and holographic diffraction patterns, offering a comprehensive range of products.
  • Eagle Systems: Known for their Foil Stamping and Embossing solutions, Eagle Systems provides high-quality products for a variety of industries, including wine labeling.
  • Foilco: A globally recognized supplier of hot stamping foils in a wide range of colors and finishes for different applications.
  • Infinity Foils, Inc.: A comprehensive resource for many stamping foil requirements, including those for wine labels.
  • Kurz: A leading international supplier, Kurz offers a wide range of hot stamping foils, embossing dies, and other related products.
  • Magnesium Elektron: Specializes in the production of hot foil stamping and embossing dies, widely used in the wine label industry.
  • Masterfoil: Renowned for their quality hot stamping foils and embossing plates, Masterfoil caters to various industries, including wine labeling.
  • Univacco Foils Corporation: A professional manufacturer of hot stamping foils, offering a complete range of foils for different applications.
Wine label printers:
  • Avery Dennison Printer Solutions: A global leader in providing innovative, intelligent, and sustainable printer and label solutions, including for wine labels, enhancing brand appeal and operational efficiency.
  • Blue Label Digital Printing: Specializes in custom digital printing, including wine labels, with a focus on quality and detail to make labels stand out on the shelf.
  • CCL Label: The world’s largest converter of pressure sensitive and extruded film materials for a wide range of decorative, instructional, and functional applications, including wine labels.
  • Collotype Labels: A part of the Multi-Color Corporation, it's known for its premium label solutions for wine and spirits with operations in the USA, Australia, South Africa, and Europe.
  • Fort Dearborn Company: An American company with a rich history in high-quality and innovative label printing, offering a comprehensive and versatile platform for wine labels.
  • Inland Packaging: A US-based label and packaging provider with capabilities in label printing, flexible packaging, shrink sleeves including for wine bottles.
  • Labeltronix: A Southern California printer that specializes in crafting impactful labels, including wine labels, using the latest printing technology.
  • MCC Label: Multi-Color Corporation, a global leader in label solutions, provides premium labels for a variety of industries, including wine and spirits.
  • Resource Label Group: A full-service label company providing innovative label design and flexible packaging solutions for a diverse range of industries, including wine labeling.
  • Tapp Label: With multiple locations in North America, Tapp Label Company offers superior quality print labels for the wine industry.
  • Trysk Print Solutions: Based in Seattle, is a top label and packaging provider for the wine, spirits, and craft beverage industry. They use their craftsmanship and innovative technology to deliver high-quality, dynamic labels that stand out in a crowded marketplace.
  • WS Packaging Group, Inc.: One of the largest printing and label companies in North America, offering innovative packaging solutions, including wine labels.
photo of a ultra premium red wine from Napa Valley featuring custom emboss design in the glass bottle (image by Outshinery)
Laurie MillotteYana

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