Shrink sleeves
Vibrant graphics. Minimum waste.
Durable labels. Innovative application.

Shrink sleeves

Shrink sleeves are a relatively new type of label and are quickly gaining use for many products. They’re printed on a digital or flexographic press, with text on the inside of the shrink sleeves, then slipped over a container and tightened around the container using heat (heat-shrunk). The label then conforms to the surface of the container.

Benefits of shrink sleeves

Shrink sleeves provide some of the most standout design possibilities and often reduce costs and turnaround times. They’re full-body labels that wrap around the entirety of a container, offering 360 degree branding and messaging on your product. Many brands turn to shrink sleeves to enhance the vibrancy of their designs and achieve one-of-a-kind labels. Shrink sleeves can be printed digitally, eliminating the need for printing plates and making them economical for short runs while ensuring the finest printing quality. They offer a range of additional benefits, including:

  • Versatile use on common or specialty containers
  • Fast and easy design changes from run to run with digital presses
  • Tamper-evident labels — shrink sleeves can go over a bottle’s cap to create a secure seal
  • All sleeves can be moisture proof
  • Abrasion resistance, as graphics are printed on the inside of the shrink sleeves
  • Full recyclability of both the label and container because shrink sleeves can be easily removed since they use adhesive-free application
  • Cost savings with generic containers, because shrink sleeves cover the entire container

Applications for shrink sleeves

These innovative labels are used on plastic, glass or metal containers and are common in a wide variety of markets.

They’re especially popular for food and beverage labels, particularly juices, energy drinks and alcoholic beverages, because they offer tamper-evident seals. They’re common on pharmaceutical and nutraceutical labels for the same reason. Shrink sleeves also make it easy to comply with regulations, as text and graphics can be updated on the shrink sleeves, which are easy to remove from containers without wasting the containers themselves. They’re common on household cleaning products now too (detergents, soaps, cleaning agents), as they can use highly durable materials that withstand moisture, friction and high temperatures.

Applying shrink sleeves to your products

Shrink sleeves are typically machine-applied and heat-shrunk onto containers using steam tunnels. Steam tunnels use relatively low temperatures (often 170 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit), a safe environment for most filled products. If you prefer not to purchase the necessary equipment, you can partner with copackers who apply shrink sleeves.

Our capabilities and service

We provide a robust range of label design and printing capabilities, including the design and printing of shrink sleeves for a wide variety of uses. We can supply shrink sleeves even for specialty applications, including multi-pack sleeves and pack sample promotions. With our robust printing capabilities, we can meet any design customization, including those that use embossed labels, cold foil labels, UV metallic inks, custom matte or gloss finishes and much more.

Even more importantly, we guide you through the label process from start to finish, making it easy for you. Our experienced team provides hands-on service to ensure your label uses the best structure and materials and meets your budget and schedule needs. You get the best bang for your buck and a label that’s just right for your brand, budget and product.