04 Nov

Are Clear Labels the Clear Choice for Your Business?

By Kevin Crimmins

Are Clear Labels the Clear Choice for Your Business?

The rich deep amber of fine aged whiskey. The hazy gold of craft-brewed ale. The silky, shimmering whiteness of luxury skin cream. The crystal-clear purity of artesian spring water.

Some products do their own visual marketing, with gorgeous colors imbued by nature and time that would be a crime to conceal.  

So... why try?

Clear custom labels put your product center stage while letting your brand communicate the essentials to your customers.

What Are Clear Labels?

Clear custom labels are product labels printed on transparent plastic film. The plastic can be matte or glossy to match the texture of the surface below. The effect is as if there is no label at all; logos, text, and images appear to be printed directly onto the product packaging.

You’ll find clear labels most often on glass and plastic containers. The product itself is usually visible through the container.

Why Use Clear Labels?

Clear labels send an implicit message to your customers and potential customers: “We have nothing to hide.” The message speaks to a generation of consumers that craves authenticity, values transparency, and is suspicious of unfamiliar ingredients.

Clear labels are a natural fit for natural products, where simplicity is the name of the game.

Here’s an example: Jamie’s Hive to Table raw honey. It’s pure, it’s raw, and it’s honey. “What else do you need to know?” the label asks.

Jamie's Raw Honey Label

(image source)


Clear labels can also add a measure of reassurance to products that are traditionally associated with harsh chemicals and unpronounceable components.

For example, Bausch and Lomb Biotrue contact lens solution may contain hyaluronan and sulfobetaine, but the transparent packaging, which evokes natural tears, emphasizes the slogan, “Works Like Your Eyes.”

Bausch and Lomb Label(image source)


Method, a popular line of non-toxic cleaners, takes a similar approach. Here, the clear label does double duty, drawing attention to the purity of the product and underscoring the cleanliness it can help buyers achieve.

Method Cleaner Label

(image source)


The beauty industry is a natural home for clear labels, where manufacturers want to show off the purity and color of their products. Nivea uses this to great effect with its eye makeup remover, showing off the two-toned liquid that needs to be mixed before use.


(image source)

Johnson’s gets in on the act as well with certain versions of their baby oil gel product, a clear label with just a hint of translucent color lets the clear product denote a sense of purity – an important consideration with products designed for babies.

Johnsons Baby Oil Gel Label

(image source)


Considerations for Using Clear Custom Labels

A clear label can help your brand grab the attention of consumers with a clean, minimalist look that showcases the quality of your product. A knowledgeable custom label printer should be able to help you decide if a clear label is a good fit for your brand.

Another factor to consider is how the color of your product and packaging will interact with the color of the ink used for text and imagery. The colors may combine for unexpected results. To counteract this effect, your label printer should be able to “underprint” with white ink that acts as a light block and prevents colors from mixing inadvertently.

We hope this article has provided some clarity (ahem) on the potential of clear labels. Contact the experts at The Label Printers to discover the full spectrum of label materials and technology for bringing your brand identity to life.

Download our FREE Label Buying Guide

5 Freelance Beer Label Designers to Watch

In the craft brewing business, the operative word is “craft.” A craft beer reflects the expertise, passion, and artistry of its maker, with enthusiasts prizing each brewer’s individuality.


By The Label Printers
Custom Label Design Inspiration: The 1980s

“The past is never dead,” wrote William Faulkner in an oft-quoted line. “It’s not even past.”

Nostalgia is among the most powerful and universal human emotions. According to a recent YouGov study:

By The Label Printers
10 Tips for Great Product Labels

What are you not thinking about when you think about product labels?

Eye-catching design features get all the glory. But when you’re planning a new label, all the seemingly “minor” decisions you[...]

By The Label Printers
5 Product Label Printing Mistakes to Avoid

If you don’t spend every hour of the workday thinking about product labels (like we do), you may not realize they’re more than just sticky pieces of paper or plastic. A surprising number of[...]

By Kevin Crimmins
Why Custom Stickers Make Great Swag

Everybody loves a sticker.

As kids, we plastered our favorite cartoon characters over our lunchboxes and binders. A few years later, we decorated the inside of our lockers with our favorite bands.

By Kevin Crimmins
What to Know About Writable Custom Labels

As often as we write about printing on this blog – sometimes diving into centuries of history – we rarely mention the original written-word technology: good old-fashioned handwriting. Sometimes,[...]

By Kevin Crimmins