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Choosing the Right Label Size for Your Bottle

Wine Bottles

Bottles are available in a multitude of shapes and sizes. Choosing the proper label size for your bottle is a common problem many face when buying labels. Several factors, such as the size and shape of the bottle, the usable labeling space, and the amount of information displayed on the label, will help determine the correct label size. It is never wise to guess the size or shape, as label printing without proper testing can lead to costly mistakes.

There are two ways to measure your bottle to get the most accurate label size. You can use a flexible tape measure or wrap a piece of paper around the labeling surface, mark the overlapping point, and then measure with a ruler. Just be sure you start your measurement from 0 inches. The extra inch makes a big difference! For labels that wrap around the entire labeling surface, it is common practice to subtract between 1/8" to 1/4" from your measurements. This provides a margin for curvature, ensuring that your label edges align accurately. If you want the label ends to overlap, then add 1/4" to the width.



Round bottles are widely available and offer some flexibility regarding label placement. Do you want your label to completely encircle the bottle or leave a gap between label edges? When evaluating the height of your label, focus on the truly "flat" sections of the bottle's sides and where the "shoulder" of the bottle begins. This is particularly important for bottles with ridges, such as water bottles, as these have a smaller area for labeling. To determine the appropriate label size:

  1. Measure the circumference of the labeling area.

  2. Measure the height of the bottle, starting just above the curve towards the bottom and ending just below the curve into the neck.


Square bottles can impart a distinctive and contemporary aesthetic to your product. To ascertain the appropriate label size for your square bottle, begin by deciding if you want a label that encompasses the entire bottle or if you intend to label only select panels.

  1. Measure the height and width of a single panel using a ruler.

  2. If you opt for a label that envelops the entire bottle, you should measure the height first. Then measure the whole width of the bottle using a flexible rule or the paper method mentioned earlier.


Tapered bottles have a gradually changing width along their height. You can check if your bottle is tapered by using a straight-edged object, like an index card or ruler, and comparing it to the container's edge. If you see a gap along the edge, then you have a tapered bottle. Regular rectangular labels can't lay flat on a tapered surface, causing problems like wrinkling, lifting, bubbling, and creasing. To avoid these issues you can opt for smaller curved labels or shrink sleeves instead of traditional adhesive labels. We recommend sending a sample bottle to our customer service department to guarantee an accurately sized label!

  1. Measure your top circumference by wrapping the measuring tape or paper around the top of the container where you want the label to start.

  2. Repeat this process at the lower section of the container, where you want the label to end, and note the measurement as the bottom circumference.

  3. To determine the label's height, measure from the top circumference down to the bottom circumference.


Unconventional bottle shapes can make your product more visible on store shelves, but these unique shapes can be challenging to label. We don't recommend using a large label that would cover up or distract from the bottle's shape. You will need to figure out what works best for coverage. It is easy to take a few measurements and build a quick mockup of your label using scissors and paper. If your bottle has a flat surface, you can provide the precise dimensions to your label printer. However, if your bottle has multiple curved or uneven surfaces, it may be best to consider using a shrink sleeve instead of a regular label.


Keep your content in mind when selecting the size of your labels! If you have a lot of product information that needs to be conveyed to customers, then a wrap-around label that covers the entire surface will give you the most space to work with. Logo labels are typically printed on circle or oval labels because they draw the eye and grab the viewers' attention.

At Trebnick Systems, we have a team of in-house graphic designers who can help you determine your final design and label template. We consider bottle tapering and surface imperfections, creating a label shaped for your bottles. We will send you a proof of your label design before you place your order. Be sure to check it thoroughly! Due to the different ways LCD screens and printing create color, an image on your computer may not match the look of the full-color finished label. We have printed labels for all sorts of bottles. Our experienced team can make recommendations so you get the perfect label for your product!


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