We’ve been away from social media for a while, so we never updated our followers on the label durability test. Results are as follows:
- The cold glue (paper cut & stack) label was a bust. It actually came off the canoe on the drive to the river. We don’t even have a picture of it.
- Our flagship semi-gloss label stock with laminate held up pretty well. As you can see from the Tall Tales and SnowLine labels, the adhesive didn’t come off in water, but it’s not rock-proof. The Tall Tales label took a direct hit. All I can say about that is that in a head on collision like we experienced, your container will break before the label gives.
- Surprisingly, our flagship semi-gloss label stock with ordinary UV cured varnish held up pretty well. We fully expected the Columbus label to wear away (leaving only the adhesive) over the course of the trip, but it didn’t.
- It’s no surprise that our synthetic (BOPP) label fared best. With no fibers to wick in water, this Bloomington label could probably have done another week in the Missouri Ozark waters without showing any wear.
- The most pleasant surprise came with the Jekyll Copious Stout label. That label has a “waterproof” UV-cured textured varnish on it. The textured varnish repelled water even better than the gloss laminate.
So what are my takeaways? First, cold glue labels stink (unless you’re reusing bottles and want the label to come off on its own). Second, our pressure sensitive label adhesives are certainly permanent. Third, where there’s heavy abrasion, paper labels may not hold up, but the synthetic labels certainly do. Fourth, varnishes are far more moisture-tolerant that most of us expect them to be, and are a good option to slightly label cost as your volume grows.