19 Apr

Screen printing labels with special effects

At Lorpon Labels, screen printing is all about Owning the Shelf. It’s one of many options in our toolbox that enables our clients’ products to stand out, grab the attention of the consumer, and have them stop to pick up your product.

What is screen printing?

Screen printing is a method of printing, where mesh is used to transfer ink onto a material, such as a product label. Originally, these meshes were made of silk, and so the term silk screen printing is often used. Although in the modern screen print process, the mesh material is made of durable polyester fabric.  An emulsion is used to block out areas where ink is not intended to pass through and a rubber squeegee is used to push ink through the mesh onto the substrate – in our case – a label.

Coarse meshes are used for less detail and thicker, raised clear inks, which often tend to be for special effects rather than printing with pigmented inks.  Fine mesh is used for higher detail print, usually with different colored inks, including high opacity white.

At Lorpon, the screen inks that we use have no solvents or VOC’s in them. Typically the original way screen inks dried was to evaporate the solvent in them, which creates an awful, strong odour, and releases a large amount of VOC’s in the process. Our inks have no solvents to evaporate, and are not dried with air – but are cured – with UV light. The natural UV radiation present in the high-intensity lamps we use creates a chemical reaction that turns the liquid ink solid. Think of our screen inks like a liquid plastic, that turn solid when hit with high-intensity light. This curing process happens in a fraction of a second.

Spot varnish

There are two main ways to create spot varnish effects – with flexo printing or screen printing. At Lorpon we can offer both methods. There are benefits and drawbacks to each.

Flexo spot varnish is lower cost to set-up and runs at a faster speed when compared to screen spot varnish, which is a little more expensive for set-up as well as running slower. The positives to screen print is the ability to deposit a high volume of ink compared to flexo. This allows for super high gloss or ultra matte spot varnish effects. It also allows “high build” or tactile effects to be created – even printing raised dots that can be used for braille.

Special effects

Screen printing also allows us to produce some unique effects that encourage consumer interaction with your package – such as glitter and sparkle effects, sandpaper feel, suede soft touch, rubber feel, as well as the traditional clear raised high build varnish.

Screen printed ink is some of the most durable printing inks in the world. Need labels that are resistant to chemicals? Or, fade resistant to sunlight and outdoor elements? No problem!

How about scratch and abrasion resistance? When we match our best screen inks with the most durable label film stocks we have – you have an almost indestructible label that is guaranteed to last for years to convey important information.

Which industries are using screen printing?

Wine and spirit companies concentrate on creating an emotional connection. When you only have seven seconds to #OwnTheShelf, customers are going to fall in love with your product packaging long before they even use the contents inside.

Nutraceutical and sports nutrition businesses are in a highly competitive market vying for consumer attention – it’s a crowded shelf. Brands are looking for ways to differentiate with effects such as high build, glitter and sandpaper texture.

In the cosmetics industry, screen print is an alternative to embossing, while creating a high-gloss, high-build tactile effect to highlight parts of the label. As well, high opacity white ink can be used to really stand out. Metallic inks are also common on cosmetics packaging, and because of the high amount of pigment, there is no better metallic effect than one printed with screen ink.

Have you ever given thought to the labels on outdoor products like fire extinguishers, warning labels on lawn mowers, or other outdoor electrical devices and appliances? They require durability in harsh environments. Screen printed ink can provide a solution to these challenges when paired with the right label material.

The Lorpon advantage

Lorpon offers many types of print technology, including flexo, digital, hot and cold foil stamping, as well as screen printing. Our primary print technologies are digital and flexo – and we use screen printing as an embellishment effect. We create tactile sensations to enhance consumer interaction; colors that pop with high pigment loads; and a durable, high-end product.

In short, we use it to decorate already printed labels. The end result is to motivate consumers to interact with your product in ways they haven’t before. Creating an emotional connection with your brand – that is the end goal for everything we do – and it ensures your brand’s continued success with your consumers.