Determining which ink is right for your labels will depend on your needs. We use water-based and UV curable inks for most of our customers since they offer great print quality and are less harmful to the environment than solvent inks. Water-based inks are our go-to choice as they’re less expensive and work on a variety of paper and film materials. UV inks, however, offer several benefits. UV inks are a more specialized type of ink that is cured by an ultraviolet lamp which turns them from a liquid into solid – this process is much faster than air drying other types of inks. UV inks also offer easier press setups and reduce energy consumption since they dry nearly instantaneously. The quick drying time produces sharper colors, however, they tend to cost more than other inks.
If your label will be outdoors, one of the biggest challenges will be preserving the printed image – especially if it’s in constant, direct sunlight. The ink on your label will fade over time if it’s not formulated to handle UV sun rays. Using fade resistant inks instead of regular water-based inks will help increase the lifespan of the label because they have higher grade pigments that will fade less when exposed to sunlight. Since fade resistant inks are a special type of ink, ask your label manufacturer if they can procure it for you.
Note: If your label will primarily be used outdoors in direct sunlight, silk screen printing is the best method to maintain the label’s quality. At this time, we do not offer silk screen printing.