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What to Know About Writable Custom Labels

By Kevin Crimmins on November 21, 2019

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, you just want to be able to scrawl something.

There’s a label for that.

What Are Writable Custom Labels, and How Do They Work?

Writeable custom labels, as the term implies, let you add handwritten information to printed labels. They combine the best of both worlds: the clarity and professional polish of printing with the immediacy and flexibility of handwriting.

Writable custom labels can be printed on paper or synthetic material such as polypropylene. What they have in common is a matte finish that accepts ink or pencil handwriting without smudging or smearing. The matte finish also prevents glare, which can make handwriting harder to read.

When to Use Writable Custom Labels

Here are some scenarios where writable labels can come in handy:

Organization. You can use your writable labels to record dates, times, locations, ingredients, flavors, and anything else that helps identify items in a warehouse, storeroom, or on a retailer’s shelves.


Custom checklists. Custom checklist labels are an excellent way to make sure your team follows specific procedures for assembling, inspecting, or servicing products.


Name tags. You can do better than a generic “Hello, my name is…” sticker. With custom labels, you can add your organization’s name, logo, and colors to name tags. Custom name tags add a nice touch of personalization to large meetings, tour groups, and classrooms.


next service due labelService labels. If you have a car, take a look at your oil change sticker. That’s a writeable label. Similarly, service companies - like HVAC contractors, fire safety equipment companies and electricians - commonly use writable labels to record the completion of scheduled maintenance or to indicate when a repair has been made. These also have the added benefit of providing a reminder to the consumer of how to get in touch with the service company when more work is needed.


Handmade products. Consumers appreciate handmade products for their authenticity and wholesome goodness. A bit of handwriting on a label says, “This product was lovingly made by a person, not a machine.”


Humanizing your brand. More and more brands are experimenting with handwritten-style typography as a unique way to make a statement and connect with consumers. Some research shows that handwritten-style fonts may enhance “the emotional attachment between the consumer and the product.” The same principle may apply to genuine handwriting.

When Not to Use Writable Custom Labels

If you plan on using writable custom labels as product labels, consider how much time and effort it will take to add handwritten information to every label. If you’re printing more than a few hundred, it may be more efficient (and easier on your wrist) to personalize your labels using technology such as digital printing.

Another factor to consider is durability. If your label requires a varnish or laminate to protect it from a harsh environment, make sure the coating won’t repel handwriting. Talk to your label printer about creating a label that is both tough and writable. Your label printer has access to laminates and varnishes engineered to be receptive to different types of writing instruments. They will have a few questions for you that will help them select the one that will provide the surface you need.

For the Best Possible Label, Work with the Experts

Whether you need a few hundred name tags or a million beer bottle labels, we have the experience, technology, and knowledge to build an attractive custom label that fulfills your purpose and fits your budget. Click here to get in touch with the Label Printers today.

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Tags: Label Design, Product Labels