As opposed to mirrors that deform images and reflect an altered version of reality, the shrink sleeve application process is exactly the opposite, starting with a deformed image on a tubular label that is corrected once shrunk onto and around the container. This transformation process is called “anamorphosis.”

In order to verify that a shrink sleeve label was applied correctly, it should have the same appearance that it would have had if printed on a flat surface. Easy? Well, not exactly. The initial “sleeve” has a cylindrical shape regardless of the shape of the container that the sleeve will be applied to. So there is no standard recipe for “predeforming” the initial image. Each situation brings new challenges and a new distortion of an image that needs to be anticipated. The end objective, however, is always the same: guarantee accurate results that conform in every way to the visual identity of the product and its brand.

The sleeve application process requires a rather high level of expertise. Sleeve anamorphosis should be planned, calculated in a 3D environment, tested, adjusted, tested again. Although designers generally have access to specialised software programs, no error-proof calculations exist today that would work perfectly on the first try. But once the calculation phase successfully passed, the results are impressive.

Sleeves for an enhanced consumer experience

As you may notice on our microsite specially dedicated to sleeves, the quality of the printing is remarkable and the look on the whole of a sleeve-labeled product is highly superior to that of products with traditional labels.

Not only does the shrink sleeve offer a dynamic visual experience, the different types of films used also offer various textures that are perceptible to the touch. So not losing sight of the transformation of the image printed on the sleeve is essential. If unsure, we encourage you to contact one of our specialists here at IMS!

Have you had a bad experience because of anamorphosis? Have you seen sleeves where the final version seemed questionable because of the distortion of the image? Send us your comments and pictures.