Packaging Innovation
shrink sleeve packaging design tips
May 13, 2016

Packaging design: 4 tips for your shrink sleeves

If you’re designing packaging for, let’s say, pickled pearl onions, shrink sleeves are probably something to steer clear from. When it comes to food packaged in jars, after all, consumers like to see the food they’re buying. But if you’re working on a packaging design for a food or drink that tends to be sold in opaque bottles or containers, shrink sleeves are definitely an option. Shrink sleeves may be more difficult to design and more expensive to produce than regular labels, but their stunning shelf appeal is absolutely worth the extra time and effort. Is this your first time designing shrink sleeve packaging? We’ve compiled some helpful tips to get you started:

1.     Know your container

There is little use in designing a shrink sleeve label when you have no idea of the dimensions of the container you’re designing for. Ask the manufacturer to provide you with the exact dimensions of the container or, even better, a sample before you start designing.

2.     Respect the shrink sleeve label code for barcodes

When designing shrink sleeve labels, don’t forget to turn the barcode ninety degrees so that it ends up vertically. A horizontal barcode may no longer be scannable once the sleeve has shrunk.

3.     Opt for a sustainable packaging design

Consumers tend to prefer packaging that is clearly sustainable over packaging that is not. Opt for shrink film that is environmentally friendly, such as polylactic acid by EarthFirst. Also, don’t forget to mention your sustainability efforts on the packaging.

4.     Use Studio Toolkit for Shrink Sleeves

Evidently, the main challenge you’re faced with when designing a shrink sleeve label is anticipating how your design will be distorted once the label has shrunk. A matter of trial-and-error? Not necessarily! Esko’s Toolkit for Shrink Sleeves allows you to simulate exactly how your design will look on the container and easily apply an automatic counter distortion.