Labels for Tapered Containers: A Compatibility Guide

Tapered Labels

Not every label works on every container. I’m sure you’ve seen labels that are misaligned, bubbling, or wrinkled. This is a compatibility issue.

For instance, we often receive requests to print labels for tapered wine or spirits bottles. It’s a request that requires experience, industry knowledge, and...math. Tapered containers need their own type of label considerations. Let’s see why.

What Are Tapered Containers?

Tapered containers are containers that change their dimensions from one end to the other. They can narrow or round up around the middle, for example. Wine and spirit bottles are often tapered to create unique shapes.

tapered wine bottle  tapered spirits bottle

If you have to label an area that tapers, you have to plan ahead and build your label accordingly.

How Are Labels for Tapered Containers Different?

If you tried to use a rectangular label on a tapered container, you’d immediately see it crease, fold, overlap, or get wrinkled. Tapered labels need to be specifically created for your container, using precise measurements. 

Here’s an example of what a rectangular label looks like when laid flat vs. what a tapered label might look like, depending on bottle shape, label requirements, and more.

Tapered Label Example

When you care about your brand and are crafting premium labels for your products, it’s important that they fit right and look great once applied. The best way to accomplish this is to make sure you work with your bottle supplier, label designer, label printer, and bottler to nail down requirements and communicate throughout the process. 

How Can You Create Tapered Labels that Fit Perfectly?

We recently had a customer discover the nuances of tapered labels. Thanks to various supply chain shortages, this customer’s bottle supplier had to change bottles on them. Unfortunately, the new bottles had a different taper than the original bottles and that change didn’t get communicated to the designer, the printer (us) or the bottler. The labels were too big for the new bottles, and production was delayed. 

You’ll want to avoid situations like that, so in addition to communicating with all involved, there are things you can do to ensure properly tapered labels. If you work with the right partner, tapered labels aren’t scary. Here’s what you need to think about when you’re creating labels that fit perfectly and showcase your brand the right way.

Know Where Will Your Label Will Go

Start by deciding where exactly on the bottle your label will go. How much real estate will it take up? Will it be set in the middle of the taper? Will it be a continuous wrap around, be one-sided, or have a front label and a back label?

It’s tempting to try to take up as much real estate as possible, but if the shape of your bottles is truly unique or if you used colored glass you may want to give those assets space to shine.

All these decisions matter a lot, so consider them carefully and, again, work with your bottle and label partners.

Measure Your Label

Here comes the tricky part: the math. You need precise measurements for your bottle, the taper, the angles, and where you want the label to go. You can request these from your bottle supplier and pass them along to your designer, printer, and bottler. You can even send (or have your supplier send) a bottle to us so we can get the measurements and craft the perfectly tapered label.

If you want to grab your protractor and dig into the nitty gritty measurements, designer David Cole has a great guide on what to measure and how.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

We can’t say it enough, so we’ll say it again. Make sure your bottle supplier, designer, label printer, and bottler are all in the loop on bottle specs, label shape and size, and any changes made throughout the process. 

For Those Without Math Degrees

Before you start frantically looking for your high school geometry textbooks and protractor, you don’t have to tackle tapered labels alone. At Labeltronix, we can work with you and your other suppliers to craft premium tapered labels that set your brand apart. No compass required.

Better yet, your tapered labels can have all the aesthetic and tactical finishes you need to stand out on shelves (or online) and attract new customers. Embossing, spot varnish, and eco-friendly materials are just a few examples of ways you can stand out from an already crowded crowd.

Want to know more about crafting premium tapered labels? Let’s talk!

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