Self-adhesive Labelling
Spirit Labels


Spirit labels cover a broad range from Whiskey and Gin to Vodka. Hence there is a broad range of print media, embellishment and print used to decorate the bottles which hold the spirit.

Self-adhesive labels as such (aka ‘pressure sensitive labels’ or PSL) are made by printing onto a laminated construction of 3 layers: a release liner (otherwise known as the backing paper, carrier or glassine), a layer or adhesive and the facestock material. The laminate is printed and then converted in a roll containing the requested number of labels per roll. A web-fed process brings a high label application speed on the packaging line and allows for more embellishing processes. In addition, its flexibility of application is enormous, either during or after the filling process and on any type of surface/container just by taking another glue.

Production details

Here you can see a self-adhesive spirit label sample printed on a Xeikon 3300 digital press.

  • Print dimensions: 90 x 110 mm
  • Substrate: Clear-on-clear substrate
  • Toner: One-pass opaque white, deep rich black Super black and CMY QA-I toner
  • Finishing: Xeikon DCoat Series, varnish, die cut, slit rewind

The Xeikon 3300 has been the press of choice as it provides broad color gamut and offers one-pass opaque white in one and is complementary to conventional offset. The Xeikon 3300 is an affordable industrial printing press for professionals.

Sample of a digital printed spirit label

What is the value of digital printing?

As the market creates more versions of different spirits with different flavors, the large label runs are broken down into smaller ones which makes it more complex to print these cost-effectively on conventional printing presses. Top brands are experimenting with personalized versions which can only be done through digital printing.

Furthermore digital printing with Xeikon offers:

  • a range of digital presses which fit with any type of print volume
  • high quality level which can be tuned to expectation (flexo, offset or gravure look-a-like)
  • an ink system without being not able to effect consumer experience

Which is the preferred digital press for self-adhesive spirit labels?

The Xeikon CX3 digital printing press. The narrow web flagship excels in productivity and high quality printing at true 1200 dpi, built around commonly used 330 mm (13" web width):

  • dry toner technology: ability to print on the broadest range of conventional materials (clear-on-clear substrate and natural papers) with the highest quality, while offering color strength
  • full rotary printing: ensures a consistent image positioning on the web required for finishing
  • variable repeat length: allows for the printing of any type of label length minimizing waste, maximizing productivity
  • high quality printing: 1200 dpi with wide color gamut and spot colors

Which is the preferred digital production solution?

Below you can see an example of a full production set-up for self-adhesive spirit labels: a roll-to-roll Self-adhesive Label Suite with a two stage production process - (1) printing and (2) embellishing and converting. The Xeikon CX3 will create the full color graphic with the underlying opaque white layer (in case of a no label look labels e.g. printing clear on clear label stock) in one pass. The printed reel is than placed on a converting unit that can apply spot varnish, hot foiling, micro embossing, die cut slit and rewind. It is our complete digital printing solution, which comes with all the necessary components for seamless digital label printing.

Digital production solution with a Xeikon CX3


You can see this application live in the following events:

Xeikon Café - Packaging Innovations