When it comes to premium drinks brands, every detail matters. From the exquisite taste to the impeccable packaging, clients understand the significance of creating a captivating experience for their discerning consumers.

One crucial element that adds a touch of elegance and luxury to these products is the label. In this comparative guide, we will explore different options for metal labels with the aim of helping you choose the perfect metal effect for your bottle designs.

A comparative guide

Tin labels: Timeless appeal

Crafted with durability in mind, as a naturally occurring metal, tin labels are durable and therefore can preserve design integrity and messaging over long periods of time – it boasts exceptional corrosion resistance that ensures your bottle continues to captivate customers, even in challenging storage conditions. Tin is often considered for its flexibility that allows labelling to curve around complex curves without creasing.

However, it is a heavier metal at the end of the day, that may compromise a more sleek and lightweight aesthetic. Moreso for those who are prioritising GHG emission reduction may want to review the value of choosing this type of label over lighter weight alternatives – as part of their overall environmental sustainability goals.

Pewter labels: Distinctive elegance

Pewter embodies a very distinctive elegance. As an early-day tin alloy, it offers a characteristic silver-grey colour tone that creates an authentic, traditional look of heritage.

Much like tin, this metal alloy offers remarkable flexibility and creates a slightly heightened depth when using embossing / debossing techniques – offering the final design slightly more tactility. Finer details may be compromised on more intricate designs, which is not as well suited for pewter.

Nonetheless, the main draw of pewter is its natural antique allure, which is a draw for brands looking for a more traditional, authentic look.

However, colour control and antiquing finishes could be difficult to manage batch-to-batch therefore compromising consistency. This is great when your brand wants to exude an artisan look as the variation gives a sense of individuality, but an important consideration if brand consistency across mass quantities is more of a priority.

Paper labels: Affordable opulence

Heavier metals like tin and pewter will be a lot more expensive cost-wise than any of the alternatives we discuss here.

Contrastingly, paper labels combines affordability with opulent aesthetics. Metallised paper labels or paper labels with aluminium foiling are a compelling option for brand owners who seek to make a statement without compromising their budget.

Beyond the cost, paper labels are favoured as they give a contrasting tactile effect to the sleek, shiny gloss of a glass bottle – delivering a more balanced overall look. These labels seamlessly blend the versatility of paper with the alluring reflective metal effects, resulting in a mesmerising contrast effect.

A few considerations:

  • When using metallised labels i.e. paper that has a metallised look, you risk compromising the overall luxury feel of a brand as it quite easily leans toward what some may deem a ‘cheap’ look. Be mindful of this if you’re looking to incorporate the use of metallised labels in your overall bottle design.
  • When incorporating aluminium foiling on paper, embossing will have slightly lower depths so you won’t get the same level of tactility through this method. Comparatively, metal labels keep their shape better compared to paper so this is simply a material attribute.
  • As a final consideration, please keep in mind that paper labels of any kind may not possess the same level of durability as metal labels. Paper is not waterproof and damage could include tears, stains, peeling, and if kept in colder or wet conditions like freezers or ice buckets, they’ll not offer much longevity for your brand.

Marque labels by Signet: The epitome of distinction

Introducing Signet’s Marque™ labels—an exclusive and exceptional solution for brand owners who refuse to settle for anything less than perfection. Although we admit our obvious bias here – it is not unfounded – and we’ll confidently demonstrate this when you request your next Marque™ sample pack from us.

These self-adhesive aluminium labels are a lightweight alternative and combine the positive attributes of metal labels like: durability, flexibility and heightened tactility through embossing techniques, with control over consistency, thickness and better versatility of finish and colour.

Let’s explore this a little:

  • Durability
    Durable metal alloy, withstanding extreme temperature conditions, with full protection from corrosion, oxidisation and other climatic damage.
  • Flexibility
    As a metal label, there is fantastic flexibility to the curvature of standard and bespoke bottle, though tin would be potentially be slightly superior if applying metal label to highly complex curves on a shoulder.
  • Tactility
    Excellent propensity for embossing, but superior with intricate designs that might require finer details or micro-embossing techniques
  • Consistency
    Mitigating the pitfalls of tin and pewter, Marque™ gives a brand full power over consistency. So if you still wanted that traditional, artisan look which varies batch to batch, we can deliberately design in tolerance and specification of different variations in a controlled way.
  • Thickness
    Though theoretically possible for other metal labels, tin and pewter labels are often produced in one grade. Marque™ is available in multiple thicknesses ranging from 86 to 200 microns, that can be hand or automatically applied. We can also use foam layering to make it even thicker, giving you the option to provide more 3D appeal or allow stand-out embellishments from a recess in a bottle.
  • Finish
    Considering the limitation of other metal labels, Marque™ provides versatility of foiling, paper overlay, bold colouring and holographic finishes, high build varnish, and a whole host of other choices to meet the aesthetic of any brand

Of course, some may say the pitfall is that Marque™ is exclusively available at Signet and that combined with its unrivalled quality and prestige may result in higher costs. That’s not the case.

Though paper labels will be a cheaper alternative, this isn’t really a like-for-like comparison. Paper offers one aesthetic, and metal labels offer advantages that are likewise incomparable. As Marque™ is an aluminium alloy, it comparably will be cheaper to other metal alternatives.

Ultimately, it is about choosing a label material that aligns best with your brand’s vision and aspirations, and how much it can help communicate and extend a brand’s story.

If you’d like to talk to us more about it – we’re ready when you are.


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