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How to design clear stickers and labels

This article is all about how to design the perfect clear stickers or labels.

It covers design aspects that are specific to transparent stickers and labels. If you want a full, in-depth guide to designing the perfect label, see our article How do I design my own custom 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 transparent materials. They are:

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

If you want to find out more about what a clear sticker is, click here. If not, let's get started.

Think about the color of your background

When you design your sticker or label, you need to think about the color 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 color of the liquid is important.

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

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

You can find some amazing examples of this in our shortlist of the best clear stickers we have seen.

Rectangle clear 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, identifiy the scent, or understand other vital information.

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 colors 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 colors.

For parts of your design, you want to stand out, choose the highest contrast colors 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 colors 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. Clear printing relies heavily on white ink.

White ink is a bit special, but nothing to be scared of. You can read more about printing white on stickers and labels here.

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 label applied to a pink gin bottle

The white layer in this design utilises the pink color 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 color 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 favorite 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.

Some beautiful examples of custom clear stickers and labels

There is nothing better than some great examples to show you what works well and also what is possible.

Here is a selection of beautifully designed transparent labels to give you some inspiration. We hope they help to improve your next label design and get your clear labels printed:

Oval clear sticker with gin logo applied to a clear gin bottle
Round clear sticker applied to a cardboard box with a pink bow containing a wedding gift for guest on a white plate
Rectangular clear labels applied to clear soap dispensers next to bars of soap
Clear eco friendly labels applied to three different honey jars
Clear eco friendly labels applied to a glass soap dispensers containing exfoliant
Clear eco friendly stickers applied to glass containers with brown sugar and oats

If you are looking for even more inspiration, have a look at the best ways to use clear stickers and labels here or check out our article on how clear stickers and labels are made.

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.