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Types of Custom Shrink Sleeves

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Types of custom shrink sleeves
Custom shrink sleeves (aka “shrink sleeve labels”) can add visual interest to products, secure your product’s contents, and even bundle multiple products together. Selecting the right shrink sleeve style for a product depends on various factors like packaging design, security needs, and even your marketing goals. It may sound complicated, but after reading this article, you’ll have a clearer idea of what type of shrink sleeve will work best for your project.

4 Types of Shrink Sleeves To Know

Custom shrink sleeves are an investment so it’s crucial to select a type that will work best for your project’s goal to avoid wasting time and resources. The image above represents each type of shrink sleeve from left to right.

  • Combination packaging: Combines multiple containers together for the purpose of offering it as one product unit. Combination packaging can be used to package different sizes and shaped containers together for a variety of reasons:
    • Customer savings with multipack pricing
    • Free samples of new products added
    • “Buy one, get one free” promotions
    • Free gift/bonus with purchase
    • Decreasing excess inventory by selling slow moving items with more attractive packaging
  • Full-body shrink sleeves: Also termed “Over The Cap” coverage, the entire container is covered with the sleeve from top to bottom, creating 360-degree graphics coverage top-to-bottom. The portion of the sleeve covering the cap or lid acts as a tamper evident seal and can be perforated for easier removal.
  • Standard shrink sleeves: A portion or most of the container is covered with high impact graphics but the sleeve doesn’t cover the neck and cap/lid. Standard shrink sleeves work for a variety of products and container types, but if you would like a seal incorporated into your sleeve, full-body shrink sleeves are just what you need.
  • Shrink bands: Often used as a tamper evident band or safety seal, shrink bands are small strips of film that are shrunk around the container’s cap. They can be clear, colored, or custom printed with a design like a logo or symbol.

Whichever type of shrink sleeve you select, it’s imperative that you have the right equipment to apply the shrink sleeve. Unlike pressure sensitive labels that have an adhesive and are applied by pressure, shrink sleeves do not use adhesive and are shrunk onto the container using mechanical shrinking equipment like a steam tunnel (preferred method), radiant heat tunnel, hot air tunnel, or hybrid tunnel (combines heat and steam). Application equipment requires a significant initial investment or you will need the services of a co-packer that understands the shrinking process.

Getting custom shrink sleeves is a big decision that requires special design, printing, and application considerations. The process always starts with an evaluation of your container and testing the correct sizing before we ever add graphics to the process. But don’t worry…our customer service team is here to help answer any questions you may have and guide you through the ordering process.

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