Health and Beauty labels: Graphium labels part 4

Health and Beauty is one of the most demanding label market sectors and producing Health and Beauty labels that ‘sell’ off the shelf is a big challenge. Because the products are essentially liquids, shelf appeal is one of the predominant aspects of the purchase decision. Many product brands in the Health and Beauty segment consist of a range of products, for example, shampoos or conditioners for different hair types or with added ‘ingredients’, in different pack sizes or with different language options. This means that a simple shampoo and conditioner range could require many different labels and versions within one brand.  For example, Procter & Gamble has more than 50 different products in its Pantene Pro-V shampoo line.

Catching the eye of consumers

This proliferation of products and product categories is making it all the more challenging for brands to ensure that their products ‘catch the eye’ of the consumer. “No Label look” labels, spot colours, foils and holograms are frequently used to grab buyers’ attention. Boutique brands from independent salons, small scale producers and private label combined with an ever evolving range of products and product variants drives a demanding set of requirements in a crowded sector. It’s absolutely critical for products to make a strong first impression.  Health and Beauty labels must help their product stand out on the shelf.

The “no label look” is very popular as it emulates direct printing (Screen or pad) which is used on the high-end designer products. Thick ‘raised’ ink film, particularly on white is regarded as a sign of quality.


In addition to the aesthetic aspects of the Health and Beauty label, it must also function in wet, humid and steamy environments. The contents may contain detergents, acidic, alkaline and oils depending on their function and for this reason wet resistance and robustness are key.

Accommodating the trend toward consumer niche marketing and providing manufacturers with the capability to produce numerous product variations presents a number of challenges to the converter of Health and Beauty labels.  Not only does it mean a reduction in the length of print runs, but it can also increases the complexity of cost effectively managing the different multiple SKUs.

Vital Statistics

Application: A front and back short run shampoo label job over 5 sorts (i.e. 10 different labels)

Press: Graphium

Size: 72 mm x 142 mm

Run length: 3,000 labels per sort including front and back labels (30,000 labels in total)

Finishing: In line die cut and slit

Rewind on AB Graphics Vectra multi-turret rewinder

Substrate: UPM top-coated PP clear on PET liner

Lay-up: 5 lanes across

Total print time: 36 minutes


Stunning Health and Beauty labels

The label highlights how short run Health and Beauty labels can be printed, die cut and slit on the Graphium press, followed by in-line rewind to the AB Graphics multi-turret rewinder. In addition we demonstrated a highly saturated digitally printed label. It had the desirable “no label look” highly opaque and robust white, excellent adhesion of overprinted CMYK and tactile ink profile.

Making it happen

The original design files were first passed through a pre-flight template in Graphium Label Workflow. This allows many aspects of the file to be fixed automatically leaving essential tasks, which can only be achieved with human intervention, to the skill of the prepress operator. This type of workflow significantly improves efficiency within prepress.

We then used RealPro Toolkit’s white under print feature to generate the white under print from artwork. The benefit of this is to trap the white under the artwork to ensure edges are not viewed at an angle. The white under print tool also detects blends and white areas of artwork allowing white gradients to be produced quickly, accurately and efficiently.

The CAD setup tool was used to define the cutter path and annotations used within the file. The defined cutter was then detected by the Step and Repeat chart tool. This is a totally unique approach to step and repeat which allows the operator to load mathematical formulas to control fields such as offsets, distribution of labels and the gaps between them.

Finally the files were returned to Graphium Label Workflow, which performed colour mapping and spot colour conversions directly to the Press Profiles ensuring the widest gamut possible was used.

When more demanding labels are required, Graphium is fully capable of being extended to a full hybrid digital press offering. Integrating foiling, varnish, Flexo, lamination and die cutting entirely inline.