Derksen News and Industry Trends

How do they get labels to change color when the temperature of the contents changes?

Feb 15

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2/15/2016 4:05 PM  RssIcon

In life, it seems as if the only thing that stays the same is change. One exception to that, is the color of paint on your car. You might really hate that lime green, but there is no way -- no way -- you're going through the expensive and time-consuming chore of painting it all over again. You wish that the colors of the things in your life were as dynamic as life itself.

Well, sometimes our possessions and paints really can change color, thanks in part to thermochromic ink technology. Thermochromic inks take advantage of thermochromism, which refers to materials that change their hues in response to temperature fluctuations. Still hate that lime green? Pony up for the right paint and on a warm day, it could morph from a Kermit the Frog hue into a more tolerable sunshine yellow.

Thermochromic inks first hit the mainstream in the 1970s, appearing in one of that era's lasting icons -- the mood ring, which supposedly used the wearer's body heat as a sign of his or her emotional state.

More recently, a microwaveable maple syrup bottle featured a thermochromic label that indicated when it’s buttery, delicious goodness was warm enough for your waffles. And some beer cans sport graphics that appear when their hoppy contents are cool enough to provide optimum refreshment.

Since mood rings, thermochromic inks have evolved at a steady pace. They're still used in all sorts of silly novelty items, but they have many useful and creative applications, too: thermometers, clothing, paint, drink containers, toys, battery indicators, plastic products of all kinds and much more.

There are numerous companies integrating these dynamic, eye-catching inks into their products. Doing so can help them grab consumers' attention and differentiate a brand from those that use old-fashioned inks with just one static hue. Paired with a clever bit of creativity, such products provide real visual wow.

2 comment(s) so far...


Re: How do they get labels to change color when the temperature of the contents changes?

You can buy thermochromic inks and pigments from a company called SFXC in the UK:
I have also found another company for you that sell the labels ready made for use:
I hope this helps.


By Oliver Dredge on   5/3/2016 7:57 AM

Re: How do they get labels to change color when the temperature of the contents changes?

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By Kennethjsherwood on   11/30/2016 3:13 AM