Guide to Label Wind Direction for Your Custom Labels

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Label Wind Direction for Your Custom Labels

Custom label production is a highly detail-oriented process. You will need to know if your label is being applied by hand or by machine.  If by hand, label wind can be in any direction of your choosing.  If by machine, then you must have this information exactly correct or this will cause application issues that will affect production.

You will need to know 2 key pieces of information:

  • The label wind direction is also known as copy position or run direction.
  • Label Wound In or Wound Out.

What is “Label Wind Direction” and why is it So Important?

Label wind direction refers to the direction your labels face on the roll as it unwinds. There are 4 options: top out first, bottom out first, right side out first, or left side out first. Therefore, it impacts the way you remove labels from the liner for use.

The wind direction is important because it varies based on the label application process. For instance, if you have your labels applied automatically by the applicator machine, it will require a specific winding direction. So, it’s essential to get this detail right.

The Difference Between “Labels Wound Out” vs. “Labels Wound In”

Additionally, it’s important to understand two key terms regarding the roll label winding directions. These directions are referred to as “Labels Wound Out” or “Labels Wound In.” Double-check your applicator for what option you need to use.

Labels Wound Out: the label faces the outside of the roll. This makes the labels visible on a finished roll.

Labels Wound In: the label faces the inside of the roll. This makes only the liner visible on a finished roll.

How do Reverse Printing and Surface Printing Impact Label Wind Direction?

Reserve printing is a label printing method that prints ink on the inner layer of the substrate material. This process involves a laminated barrier; hence the print does not come in contact with human skin or weather. It is common in snack food and juice packaging.

Surface printing applies ink to the substrate. This is a more common printing technique and can touch other materials without having to use lamination.

Both reverse printing and surface printing impact the label wind direction.

  • Reverse-printed labels typically are Labels Wound In
  • Surface printed labels typically are Labels Wound Out.

How to Get the Label Wind Direction Right

Getting it right depends on how the machine will apply your label.

There are four run direction choices for any label

  • Top out first
  • Bottom out first
  • Right side out first
  • Left side out first

Each of these can also be produced Label Wound Out or Label Wound In.

This concludes that there are 8 different total wind directions as seen below.

Label Wind Direction Chart

To best understand the various label wind directions, take a look at this chart:

Labels-Wound-out-and-in Guide to Label Wind Direction for Your Custom Labels

Figures 1–4 demonstrate a “label wound out” roll. Figures 5–8 demonstrate a “label wound in” roll.

For instance, figures 3 and 7 both show the right side out first but you need to know whether it’s Wound Out or Wound In to get the correct final direction on the finished roll.

Optimize your Label Costs

Here at Kwality Labels, we’re committed to bringing your custom label visions to life. That’s why we pay close attention to details and beyond.

Our team of experts offers a range of products to meet your brand’s label needs. Consider Kwality Labels the label printing Toronto professionals. Discover more of our work and let’s connect. We look forward to serving your label expectations.