A police officer is checking UV resistant sticker on the windshield of a car.

UV-resistant Labels, Stickers, and Decals

Outdoor UV Resistant Labels

Outdoor UV-resistant labels include any label, sticker, or decal that will be exposed to sun, rain, hail, snow, wind, or any other outdoor element. Fade resistance is a powerful factor that should not be overlooked.  Ultraviolet sun rays are mighty and will affect the longevity and durability of the exposed print. The right combination of the proper materials and ink can help ensure the intended life of your label.

Fade Resistant Inks

What would happen if the wrong inks were printed on your outdoor label? In Colorado, you can expect anything printed with yellow and magenta to fade as quickly as a few days or within a week. Cyan would be next with black ink being the most durable. Most digitally printed labels and stickers are printed using a method known as process printing. Process printing uses cyan, magenta, yellow, and black layered together to make all the other colors, so just because your label is green and not strictly yellow, doesn’t mean that you can avoid this problem. Outdoor labels, stickers, and decals require inks that will not fade in the sun.

Did you know Colorado’s sun shines an average of 300 days a year? High altitude locations experience a higher UV index. And don’t underestimate the strength of UV rays during bad weather. Reflection of the sun on water and snow also produces a higher UV index. The amount of time a label could be in the path of direct sunlight, and the strength of UV rays, are all factors considered when engineering a label structure and quote for your specific application. Be sure to communicate with your label representative that your label will be used outdoors and how long it needs to last.

UV Varnish

Even if your label quote specifies UV varnish, understand this does not inherently mean that your label is UV-resistant. This is a common misnomer as the UV indication only means the varnish is cured using ultraviolet lights and unless otherwise specified, it contains zero implications beyond that. It is possible your outdoor label quote will have a UV varnish finish, but now you know that not all UV varnishes are the same.

Outdoor Laminate for UV-resistant Labels

A quote for outdoor labels from Columbine Label will most likely include an outdoor laminate for durability. Our outdoor laminate has inherent UV-resistance properties. Through a series of tests performed by Columbine Label and our vendors, we are able to identify which inks, laminations, and varnishes are best for your project needs. If your outdoor label expectation is limited to a short amount of time, Columbine Label will present a quote that will fit your needs. Conversely, if your outdoor label lifetime is extended, Columbine Label will present a quote that will fit your needs.

When working with Columbine Label, our specialized process includes getting to know you and understanding your business. Through this, we can ensure that you have a label, sticker, or decal that is exactly what you want and need!