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Cover Up Labels: How to Fix Printing Errors on Packaging

cover up labelsA spelling mistake, updated nutritional information, an new logo—all of these changes don’t necessarily mean that product packaging has to be reprinted. Luckily, there is a cost-effective and easy alternative. Custom cover up labels, otherwise known as block out labels save businesses time and money by helping them  avoid costly reprinting or repackaging.

What Are Block Out Labels?

These labels have an adhesive opaque black barrier coating printed on the underside of the label, where it won’t be noticed.

The opaque barrier covers up the mistake underneath—completely preventing it from being seen. However, the front of the label can be customized to match the existing material or packaging with the same original fonts and designs. This allows the label to blend in seamlessly on the original packaging.

Using a standard adhesive label doesn’t adequately cover mistakes because the adhesive on the back is clear, which means the information underneath might still be visible. The only real barrier is the thickness of the label itself. Although this can work in some situations, it doesn’t always. For example, if a white label is put on top of dark background with light lettering, the information underneath will still be seen.

The Benefits Of The Black Adhesive

By using black adhesive on the back side of the label, the information underneath is completely covered. It won’t ever become visible. This is why the labels are called “block out”—they cover what is underneath them.

Because the front side of the label can be customized to match existing packaging, the label won’t draw attention to what is being covered up. For example, suppose a package is printed on a black box with white lettering. The color of the box and the style and color of the lettering can be reproduced on the correction sticker.

The labels can be created for use on virtually any type of package. They can adhere to boxes, bottles, plastic bags, DVDs. Although generally square or rectangular, the labels can be die-cut to any shape.

Fixing Packaging Errors

There are numerous situations in which these types of labels are needed, but they are primarily used to fix printing mistakes on packaging. Sometimes the mistake is a result of human error, but often the change is simply part of doing business. Particularly with food and drug products, having up-to-date information on packaging is essential. Below are a few examples of when these labels come in handy:

  • A change to a graphic, image, or logo
  • New or updated product ingredients
  • Safety updates (such as warnings, instructions, or dosages)
  • Changes in nutritional information
  • New or updated UPC, barcode, or QR code
  • Pricing changes
  • Change to contact information (address or telephone number)
  • Update to a product description
  • Grammatical or spelling mistakes
  • Printing errors
  • Outdated information.

Basically, any information that needs to be concealed or covered up can be quickly and affordably corrected with these correction stickers. In addition, the adhesive is permanent, so the label can’t be easily peeled off to see the mistake underneath.

Repackaging Services Are Not Needed

To avoid delays in releasing retail products, these labels are essential. When it comes to correcting mistakes on packaging, speed is of the essence. Some tips for avoiding delays and ensuring that the labels fix the problem are provided below.

  • Use the correct terminology. Be sure to specify that labels are needed to cover up printing errors to ensure that the appropriate adhesive and materials are used.
  • Ask for samples. Most printers are happy to provide samples so businesses can test it out before ordering.
  • Have specific information on the colors, fonts, and materials used in the original packaging. This will allow the printer to create a label that blends in with the original packaging without having to guess which colors or fonts were used.
  • Specify exactly what needs to be covered up. By narrowing down exactly where and what needs to be covered up—and on what type of packaging—it will be easier for the printer to identify the ideal solution for the situation.
  • Review the label design and information for accuracy. Because a mistake is being corrected, be doubly sure that the information on the label that is fixing the problem is 100% correct.

Save Time and Money On Reprinting Products

Over the years, Nova Custom Label Printing has helped numerous clients correct mistakes on packaging with these types of custom labels. Clients who have ordered these labels include KIND Snacks (The natural food company), Eleven Madison Park restaurant in NYC (voted best restaurant in the world 2017),  Georgia Louise (the skin care experts based in London and New York City), and many more.

Here are just a few representative scenarios where the labels came to the rescue and helped clients avoid the hassle and expense of reprinting their packaging.

  • A food company completed printing boxes for a product and then realized that an ingredient had been left off the ingredients list.
  • A misprint was discovered in the nutritional information on a supplement bottle.
  • The production company name was misspelled on a DVD.
  • The UPC on the packaging for toilet paper had to be updated.
  • An address for a candy company was listed incorrectly on the plastic bag packaging.
  • The safety information on a household cleaner bottle omitted critical data.
  • The product description on a package of napkins had a spelling error.
  • The numbers in a company’s toll-free number were transposed.

Avoiding Product Recalls

As these scenarios demonstrate, information on packaging might need to be changed or updated for many reasons. These can be reasons due to human error or changes in the manufacturing process. In all of these cases, printing new packaging materials would have been expensive and time-consuming.

In the case of product recalls, this can be enormously expensive for manufacturers. If mistakes are caught before products go out to retail, they can be cured by labels that cover the errors.

Custom cover up labels provide a more cost-effective and efficient solution to repackaging. As the list demonstrates, these custom labels can be used on a variety of materials. They can include plastic bags, boxes, DVDs, bottles, and much more.

Case Studies

One particularly interesting and challenging job involved printing a custom block out label for our clients, Roust USA, one of the world’s largest vodka producers.

The trick was that the back of Zubrowka vodka bottles were silk-screened with a two-sided “label.” The silk screen faced both directions so it was visible if you were looking at it from the front or the back of the bottle. The information differed depending on which angle you were looking at the bottle.

The client wanted to ensure that when the label was applied, it covered up the silk screen on the front (which included copy and a UPC code) but didn’t overwhelm or block the silkscreen on the back (which included artwork). During testing, the black adhesive actually enhanced the colors of the artwork and made it look nicer. 

With 24+ years in business printing custom product labels, there aren’t many situations that Nova Custom Label Printing hasn’t already encountered. With a commitment to customer service and getting the job right the first time, businesses can be sure that fixing packaging errors will be affordable and free of stress.