Printing white on transparent labels: considerations for the cosmetics industry

White on transparant substrate

Printing white on transparent labels: considerations for the cosmetics industry

The colour white holds a crucial role in the cosmetics industry. Selling successful beauty products starts with product packaging that looks amazing on the shelves. Cosmetics product designers require the brightest shade of white possible for their haircare, bodycare, and skincare products. However, achieving crisp, vibrant white on transparent labels isn’t an easy task. This involves navigating through various printing techniques, materials, and considerations. In this blog post, we delve into the intricacies of printing white labels, exploring different printing techniques and the factors to consider when choosing the right approach for your printing needs.


White cosmetics label

Why is the colour white so important for cosmetics packaging?

Have you ever wondered why the colour white is quite common for cosmetic packaging?

Here are several reasons:

  • Clean and pure image: white is associated with cleanliness and purity, which are desirable qualities for cosmetic products. It gives the impression of freshness and simplicity, which is appealing to consumers, especially in skincare and beauty products.
  • Versatility: white is a neutral colour that complements a wide range of product colours and designs. It allows the product itself to stand out and can be easily paired with other colours or patterns for branding purposes.
  • Perceived quality: white labels often convey a sense of luxury and sophistication. It is commonly used by high-end cosmetic brands to signify quality and exclusivity.
  • Visibility of product: white backgrounds make it easier for product colours and textures to be seen and appreciated by consumers.
  • Association with hygiene: white is often associated with cleanliness and hygiene, which is crucial for products that are applied to the skin, face, or body. It instils confidence in consumers about the safety and purity of the product.


Bath gel label


Understanding white ink printing

 White ink serves as a cornerstone in label printing, enabling radiant and opaque designs on various substrates. Unlike other colours, white ink often requires special attention due to its unique properties. It acts as a base layer, providing a blank canvas for vibrant colours to stand out and ensuring visibility on dark or transparent materials.

Did you know that printing with white ink on transparent labels presents challenges such as achieving opacity, maintaining consistency, and compatibility with different printing techniques? Printing different shades of white and achieving opaque bright white also requires precision and advanced technical knowledge.


Shower gel label


Different techniques for printing white on transparent labels

 There are different printing techniques available for printing white on transparent labels. Here’s an overview of the options available for the cosmetics industry:

  • Inkjet printing white: inkjet printing utilises digital technology to deposit ink droplets onto the substrate, offering flexibility and precision. Inkjet white ink delivers excellent colour reproduction and resolution, suitable for intricate designs and variable data printing. However, achieving opacity comparable to screen printing may require multiple passes, extending production time. Things to keep in mind about the inkjet printing technique:
    • It currently is the leading technology in the industry
    • It offers flexibility and precision.
    • It may require multiple passes to achieve opacity.
  • Screen printing white: screen printing is a traditional technique that involves pushing ink through a mesh screen onto the substrate. Screen white ink offers excellent opacity and durability, making it suitable for a wide range of applications. However, it may be less cost-effective for small print runs or intricate designs. Things to consider when choosing the screen printing white technique:
    • Excellent opacity and durability.
    • Cost-effective for big runs..
    • Through this technique, it is possible to print small text with high opacity.
  • Flexographic printing white: flexographic printing utilises flexible relief plates to transfer ink onto the substrate, enabling high-speed production and consistent results. Flexo white ink offers good opacity and versatility, making it suitable for large-scale label manufacturing. However, it may require additional setup time and adjustments to achieve optimal opacity on certain substrates. Insights for your consideration:
    • It enables high-speed production.
    • High opacity is achievable but difficult with small text.
  • Double flexo white: double flexo white involves applying multiple layers of ink to enhance opacity and brightness. This technique combines the speed and efficiency of flexographic printing with the superior coverage of double white ink layers. It is well-suited for large print runs and applications requiring maximum opacity and durability. Points to take into consideration:
    • It combines efficiency with superior coverage.
    • It may be more suitable for large print runs.


White label on transparant bottle


What to expect for cosmetic packaging in 2024

Relying on a cosmetic packaging specialist is your first strategic move to be on top of the industry’s trends, ensuring your product shines. Keep an eye on the trends below to take your cosmetic packaging to new heights.

  • White is still the number 1 choice for the cosmetics industry. Purity, cleanliness, and timelessness are all attributes that the colour white brings to cosmetics products.
  • Bright & vibrant colours add boldness to the product with a fashionable and comfortable feel. Bright colours stand out and draw attention to products on shelves.
  • Minimalist design embraces serenity with muted tones and minimalist designs. It maintains simplicity while incorporating vibrant elements.
  • Flat & simple design represents simplicity and accessibility. It allows for consistent branding across platforms. Cosmetic packaging should be simple, enticing, and convey information quickly.
  • Flexible packaging accommodates various product types. Consumers can squeeze products to use every last drop, reducing waste.
  • Transparent packaging allows consumers to see product details before purchase while showcasing product colour, texture, and size. Materials like PET are recyclable and have a lower environmental impact.
  • Custom packaging enhances consumer experience and brand recognition. It creates unique products that resonate with consumers on an emotional level, fostering customer loyalty.


resealable label

Choosing the right technique for printing white on your transparent cosmetics labels

Printing white on transparent labels requires careful consideration of techniques, ink properties, and project requirements to ensure optimal results. By understanding the advantages and limitations of each printing technique, you can make informed decisions and achieve stunning white labels that captivate customers and enhance brand visibility.

Selecting the appropriate printing technique depends on various factors, including print volume, design complexity, material to be printed on, and budget. These are a lot of factors to consider. You are not alone in making these important decisions for your business.

Here at Asteria Group, we have experts in cosmetics labelling that can help you with the best printing technique for your white printing needs. With 30+ printing plants located throughout Europe, Asteria is a pioneer in printing cosmetic labels. Through the years we’ve invested in the best printing machinery and technology, giving us the capability of printing using all the techniques discussed in this article.


We’re able to print different shades of white with consistency and precision, offering the brightest shades available in the industry. Asteria provides a comprehensive range of printing techniques outlined in this article, and our specialists can always search for the right solution tailored to meet each client’s unique requirements.

Contact your local Asteria expert today and let’s discuss how to elevate your cosmetics packaging strategy by leveraging the best techniques to print white on transparent labels.

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