Space-saving Labeling Solutions

Dry release labels are often used for instant redeemable coupons. Image courtesy of Premium Labels & Packaging Solutions.

Which Extended Content Label is Right for Your Product?

By Leslie Gurland, vice president of sales and marketing at Premium Labels & Packaging Solutions

Need more space than a traditional label can fit? Extended content labels may be the answer, as they increase the area of packaging needed to convey a large amount of product information not typically included on the primary label.

Also known as ECLs, they combine a pressure sensitive label and a folded or bound outsert, and can be revealed and resealed for future reference. They are commonly used on products with extensive product information, including safety warnings, health information, instructions, ingredients, on-pack coupons, game pieces, and more. Not only are they an efficient labeling solution, but they also eliminate the need for paper inserts or, in some cases, cartons, which saves money and trees.

ECLs also come in myriad styles and are used in various industries, from healthcare to household products, beauty to food, and nutraceuticals to industrial applications.  With so many options, we’ve broken down the different types of ECLs to consider:

Booklet labels make room for content

Booklet labels are pressure sensitive labels with a small book or folded leaflet incorporated into the construction. This label is often several pages long, and some printers can print up to 60 pages in multiple colors. The booklet category includes several types, such as flat surface, curved and foldout.

Additional functional features can be added to the booklet labels, like a split-base label that allows the reseal to wrap around a 90-degree corner, a peel-off label for track and trace, and specialized constructions that allow these multi-page labels to be wrapped around bottles, vials, syringes and cartons without lifting or wrinkling.  Booklet labels are typically used in the following applications:

  • Chemicals requiring hazard information
  • Food items with recipes
  • Regulated pharmaceutical containers
  • Products intended for multi-lingual audiences
  • Retail items with lengthy branded stories

Extended content labels eliminate the need for paper inserts or, in some cases, cartons, which saves money and trees. Image courtesy of Premium Labels & Packaging Solutions.

Foldout labels open up possibilities

Fold-out labels are also known as accordion or plow-folded because they allow content to be printed onto a large piece of paper, folded, and then applied to a pressure sensitive label stock all in-line and in one process. They can be advantageous for presenting longer information or graphics that spread across multiple panels and have numerous applications, including:

  • Promotional campaigns: rebates, game pieces, instant redeemable coupons, and point-of-purchase displays
  • Pharmaceutical and clinical trials: directions, ingredients, and regulatory information
  • Chemicals: directions, ingredients regulatory information, and branding
  • Nutraceuticals: directions, ingredients, regulatory information, and dietary information
  • Beauty and cosmetics: directions, regulatory information, ingredients, and branding

Peel and reseal labels keep content accessible

Extended content labels come in many different sizes and formats depending on use. From left to right in the front: plow fold and peel and reseal labels. From left to right in the back: prime booklet combo and foldout labels. Image courtesy of Premium Labels & Packaging Solutions.

Designed for easy opening and multiple open-closure cycling, peel and reseal labels can be lifted to reveal additional information and then resealed numerous times, all while staying attached to the package. This product is produced on three or five full-color panels of information and contained within the confines of a regular prime label size. They are available in either a 2-ply or 3-ply peel and are also known as peel off, peel & reveal, and peel back labels.

More economical to produce than booklet labels, peel and reseal labels are often used for managing Globally Harmonized Systems (GHS) for classification of chemicals, or regulatory compliance requirements. They are also an ideal solution for sharp radiuses. They are typically more economical to produce than booklet labels and compatible with auto and manual applications.  Common uses include:

  • Pharmaceutical and over-the-counter product clinical trials: multi-language regulatory information, instructions, placebo information, ingredients
  • Nutraceuticals: directions, ingredients, regulatory information, and dietary information
  • Chemicals: ingredients, instructions, multi-language regulatory information, symbology requirements, and GHS compliance
  • Food and beverage: recipes, cooking instructions, ingredients, and QR codes
  • Cosmetic and beauty: ingredients, application instructions and regulatory information

Dry release labels expand content and can increase sales

Dry release labels are typically affixed to consumer products and peeled off to reveal a savings or promotion. Otherwise known as Instant Redeemable Coupons (IRCs), they can be up to 3 panels of imagery and information. When removed from the core package, the clear film affixing them won’t leave any sticky residue. Brands love this product because it often drives sales and creates customer goodwill. Typical uses and applications include:

  • Consumer goods: promotional advertisements, in-store marketing, instant rebates, POS coupons, and instant redeemable coupons
  • Direct mail: membership cards
  • Manufacturing: quality check-off labels

Prime/booklet combo labels

Some round surface packaging calls for a prime label and a booklet label. This package requirement may be for a container as small as a pill bottle or as large as a one or 2-gallon round jug. Some printers offer a prime/booklet combination label product whereby a high-quality prime label is attached to a booklet label. The prime or single-ply area of the label can be as much as 75% of the total label coverage, or the prime and booklet areas can split the total area coverage. It includes a “peel here” area so the booklet portion of the label can be easily opened and resealed.

This label easily wraps on the curved surface of a bottle without any of the pages bunching up, and there is no need to modify existing label equipment as it can run on most standard auto labelers.  Typical uses and applications of prime/booklet Combo labels include bottles, vials, canisters, and quart/ gallon jugs.

Ask the experts

Extended content labels can be the perfect solution to multiple packaging needs, but can be highly technical in their design.  Working with a converter with expertise in this area is crucial to the label’s success. You could say that an experienced ECL label printer is an engineer.  They can help you choose the right type of label for your needs and ensure it is properly constructed to ensure its effectiveness.

About the Author

Leslie Gurland, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Premium Labels & Packaging Solutions, is a veteran of the label and packaging industry and has expertise in a variety of areas, including sales, marketing, product development and operations.  Learn more at

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