How to design clear stickers and labels

This article is all about how to design the perfect clear vinyl stickers or labels. It covers design aspects that are specific to transparent stickers and labels.

Some of the most premium stickers and labels are crystal clear and look beautiful when applied to your product or product packaging. This means getting the design right to create the most beautiful clear sticker or label is super important.

We will go in-depth on 4 points that are vital to think about and specific to designing for printed clear stickers transparent materials. They are:

  • Think about the colour of your background
  • Ensure your font is legible
  • Create a white layer
  • Use high-contrast colours we needed

Think about the colour of your background

When you design your sticker or label, you need to think about the colour of the background - the background will be whatever is behind the label (the object you're sticking it to).

For example, if your clear stickers or labels are stuck to transparent glass bottles, the colour of the liquid is important.

Or if your transparent product label is stuck to a dark-coloured box or another piece of packaging, you'll need to use white or other high-contrast colours to show against the packaging.

The image below shows a great example of using white as a high-contrast colour to show up against the contents of the transparent glass container.

Rectangle clear jar labels applied to four spice jars filled with different spices

Ensure your font is legible

When designing for clear materials, you'll generally have less of a contrast than, say, when your design for a white material.

While this is not always the case, it is something to consider during the design phase.

Because there is less of a contrast, or the background can distort the design, you want to ensure the fonts are nice and legible for your readers - even when they forget their glasses!

It would be a shame to lose a sale because the customer cannot read the ingredients, identify the scent, or understand other vital information - especially when you have created custom clear logo stickers.

The image below shows an example where the background can become slightly distorted. This is why the fonts used are larger, so they're still nice and easy to read.

Clear rounded corner sticker applied to a clear candle jar with a white candle next to white flowers in a vase

Compare this to the design below. The designer has used much smaller fonts because they've got the high-contrast white background that they control because of their choice of material.

Rectangle biodegradable paper stickers with detox design applied to a clear glass jar filled with soaking salts

Use high-contrast colours where needed

Now we know to think carefully about what our clear sticker or label will be stuck to, and we can consider our use of colours.

For parts of your design, you want to stand out, choose the highest contrast colours possible.

However, in some of the areas of your label or sticker, you may want to be much more subtle to complement your design or to frame your brand.

The image below shows a perfect example of this. The artist has used big, bold, dark font for the product name on this candle label but then brought the essence of the brand through with the subtle colours used for the background - and it works perfectly!

Rectangular eco-friendly clear stickers applied to a clear candle jar with an orange candle

Create a white layer

When designing customised clear stickers or labels, you'll inevitably need to think about white ink. Printing on clear stickers relies heavily on white ink.

White ink is a bit special, but nothing to be scared of.

Not all print suppliers offer white ink printing, so be sure to check that out before placing your order. Sticker it offers white ink printing as standard on many materials, including clear.

White ink can also be more expensive than printing with CMYK inks. However, it's often worth the investment to get that extra bit of design pizzazz.

When used correctly, white ink can really make your design pop - especially on clear labels. Take this for a perfect example:

Rectangular clear gin label applied to a pink gin bottle next to a measuring cup and mint leaves

The white layer in this design utilises the pink colour of the liquid perfectly.

How to make transparent stickers online

If this sounds like too much hassle, you can make clear stickers and labels super easily. Simply visit Graphic, our free online design tool to get started.

Select your material of choice, and it will immediately generate a clear background for you to fill.

It is as simple as this with most other design tools. Select the "background" tool from the toolbar on the left-hand side of the screen.

You can then choose the "Transparent" option from the background colour drop-down menu.

Now, your entire design will have a transparent background! When you order your clear stickers, our design team can also create a clear background for you.

Then choose your favourite sticker template to edit and modify.

There is no need to worry about your bleed area or white ink. Simply create your design, submit it and leave our design team instructions as to which parts of your design you want white ink printed behind or any other ideas you have.

They will then send you a design proof, a digital representation that shows your final design. If you are happy, send it to print.

Are you ready to print clear labels? Our clear stickers page is the perfect place to start. You can generate an instant quote by inserting the quantity and size you need.

Or, you can stay right here and check out our blog to learn everything about sticker and label printing.

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