Labeling vs. Screen Printing

Labeling vs. Screen Printing

It won't be wrong to say that nowadays, packaging and how you present your brand hold the same importance as your product quality. There are hundreds of products in the market, and there's a high possibility your product is also on the same shelf.

Now, what will make your product shine even in a crowded market?

You have to tell them that your product is the best of all. Gain consumer attention so they will prefer your product over others. This is possible by using high-quality packaging and labeling.

According to a recent study, customers are more inclined to purchase visually appealing products. It gives them a sense of fulfillment that they are spending their money on the right product.

Labeling and screen printing are the two most common methods for making your product extraordinary. But which one is best for your product?

If you're confused about this, keep reading because, in this guide, I'll share some of the most important points of differentiation and much more to help you make the best decision.

So let's get started.

What Is Labeling?

It is the application of adhesive labels on the product surfaces. These labels can be applied on paper, plastic, fabric, or any other object. You can get one step ahead of everyone and customize your labels, making your customers feel special.

In this pre-printed or digital labels are attached to the package of the product. There are different types of custom labels, and many big companies like Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and Apple have used them.

It's cost-effective, so even small businesses can use this without worrying about breaking the bank. A label tells people about your brand story, values, or information.

Pros & Cons Of Labeling

Many businesses use product labels, and it's essential for every business. However, you should know the pros and cons as it'll clarify labels and how to use them to your advantage.


  • Cost-Effective for Small Runs: It is economical for small production quantities. It is suitable for startups or businesses that offer limited-edition products.
  • Ease of Application: Labels are relatively easy to apply manually or through automated labeling machines. It decreases production time and labor costs.
  • Choice of Materials: Labels can be made from a wide range of materials, such as paper, plastic, or fabric. They can cater to different product types and desired aesthetics.


  • Durability: Labels can peel or fade over time, especially when exposed to harsh conditions like moisture, heat, chemical exposure, or friction.
  • Appearance Variation: Manual application can lead to slight variations in label placement. It can potentially impact the visual consistency of products.

What Is Screen Printing?

You can already tell by the name that this is a printing technique. It involves applying ink through a stencil-like screen onto a substrate, typically fabric, paper, or other materials. A mesh screen is utilized, which is stretched over the frame.

But you might wonder what stencil is made of.

It is made of light-sensitive material. The biggest plus point is that it blocks out areas where ink should not pass through. Ink is then applied on the screen and only pushed on open areas of the stencil. Here's an overview of this process.

Mesh screen - > Streched over frame - > Ink - > applied on the screen - > Stencil - > only allows ink to spread on open areas - > printed image design

Pros And Cons Of Screen Printing

It is widely used in clothing industries, and its use case is increasing because of a spike in custom clothing brands. Here are some pros and cons that you should know before choosing screen printing.


  • Vibrant colors: It offers vibrant and intense colors. It means you'll get eye-catching and visually appealing designs.
  • Durability: The ink used in screen printing bonds strongly to the material, resulting in long-lasting prints that resist fading, peeling, and wear.
  • Color Accuracy: Precise color matching is achievable. Thus it maintains consistency across different prints and batches.


  • High Production Costs: The creation of screens and stencils requires setup costs and time. That's why it's less efficient for small runs.
  • Complex Designs: Highly complex graphics and designs can be challenging to reproduce accurately. It requires careful planning and expertise.

Labeling VS Screen Printing

Now that you know what they are, it's time to discuss the main topic: the difference between them. I'll share some of the most important points in the table below.



Screen Printing

Printing Method

Adhesive labels are applied to the surface

Ink pushed through a stencil on a screen

Application Surface

Works well on various surfaces

Best suited for flat and smooth surfaces

Setup Time

Quick setup, suitable for smaller runs

Setup time required, more efficient for bulk

Environmental Impact

Eco-friendly options available

Potential environmental concerns with inks

Ease Of Application

Easy application using machines or manually

Requires skill for accurate ink application

Design Flexibility

Accommodates varied sizes and designs

Allows intricate designs and vibrant colors


Wine bottles, Cosmetics

T-shirts, bottles, beverage containers

Which Option Is More Suitable For You: Labeling vs. Screen Printing?

You might be asking this question right now. Because in the end, you want to come to a conclusion and decide what's best for business. You don't want to choose the wrong option, which will turn into a nightmare.

That's why I'll share three important tips that will make picking the right option much easier.

What Kind Of Design Do You Want?

Any method will work fine if you want a simple design without fancy text or compelling images. But what if you want high-quality graphic images and artwork?

In this case, you should use labeling because screen printing isn't good for such complex designs. Most importantly, the moment you add more colors, your cost for this project will start increasing.

You might have noticed that many high-end brands and cosmetic products have a sophisticated no-label look. Many people think that they can only achieve this look by choosing prints. But you can get a much better look by using clear labels. They are designed intricately to blend with the product.

But when should you use screen printing?

When you want a textured look and aesthetic for your products, you can use it to get a high build effect.

Its design has a raised surface, and colors are most easily distinguishable. It gains consumer attention and makes your product high-quality.

How Much Should You Order?

Before ordering, you should decide on the order volume. Screen printing is suitable if you want the same designs in vast quantities because it consists of only one decorating process, unlike labels involving two processes, i.e., application and printing.

However, it's not a practical approach because companies usually have lots of products, and they have to design them differently. Moreover, if you're launching promotional, seasonal, or special offers, you must make your products extra special, from labelings to packaging.

The same copy-paste method will not work here.

If you have a small or medium-sized order for every product in your inventory, then choosing screen printing will not help you in the long run. Labelings is a much better option where. You can print a broader range of designs and colors according to your choice.

What's Your Storage Capacity?

Suppose you have printed your product's labels or packages in large quantities. But now you are encountering a big problem.

It is the storage space.

You forgot that you don't have enough storage space for all these materials. This is a big mess. That's why you should know how much capacity you have.

Depending on the choice of screen printing you might have a high number of minimum order quantities. So if you're choosing it, you will need a lot of space to store them.

However, labels don't take up too much space. In just a small space, you can easily fit thousands of labels. Due to this, it's a top preference of many business owners. It also allows you to stock up on them without worrying about space.


Now, the customers are smart, and old tactics to draw their attention to your product don't work effectively. However choosing the right exterior aesthetic for your product can be a game changer.

That's why you need to be creative and decorate your products so it touches the heart of your audience. But where can you find someone to help you in this process?

Don't worry, Altro Labels is here to solve this problem. High-quality label printing is an art, and only those skilled enough can make a perfect masterpiece.

By working with us, you don't have to worry about designs, turnaround time, or quality because, as professionals, we know how to meet the demands of our clients and fulfill their requirements.

So contact us today, and let's discuss how we can help you and maximize your brand charm through eye-catching label printing.