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Shelf Strips

Shelf Strip Pictures

Channel Strips, and Shelf Edge Strips Custom Printed on Vinyl

Shelf strips may be small, but they can also be remarkably great sales tools. When designed well, these custom printed vinyl strips that fit in the channel of shelf edges can do the job of signage 10 times their size. Whoever thought up the idea of using that one and a quarter inch area is a genius. They are a pop of color graphics in an otherwise boring sea of gray supermarket shelving. So how best to use that space to your advantage?

That depends on what you want them to do for you. In this article, we'll go over how to use shelf strips, aka channel strips, to market a new product, provide a call-to-action with a special promotion, design an effective shelf strip, and use a template. We even make custom cooler and freezer overlays for shelf strips that you can find on ourvinyl menu flavor strips page.

Need something taller? We also offer Shelf Channel Cards. They're taller than traditional shelf strips, so they only snap into the bottom channel of a retail shelf edge. They can also be used to pop into ready-made plastic covers that affix to shelf channels. Head over to our shelf flags and tags page to see what they're all about.


If you have a new product, a colorful shelf strip is a great way to announce it. Whether your brand is new to the market, or you just want to promote a new product, a shelf edge strip sitting under the merchandise will get a shopper's attention. Consumers can't try your new product if they don't know about it; and using the space directly below the item is a great way to tell them.

Since shelf strips are only 1.25" tall, it's important to let the consumer know—front and center— that this is a new product on the market. Simply Good's® 12" strip does just that by using the largest text to point it out to potential customers. The words, "NEW ITEM" are also on a background area that is the least busy.

Printed shelf strip for Simply Good promoting new product.
This shelf strip by Simply Good uses a large font in a contrasting style and color to the rest of the rest of the strip to announce their new product.

The example above shows how those little data strips in shelf channels can grab attention to inform shoppers of new items; whether they're on regular store shelves or in the cooler or freezer sections of the store. Because we custom print our shelf strips on rigid 10 mil vinyl, they'll hold up well in any area of the store (coolers, freezers and even outside in garden areas).


By far, the best advantage of these little strips is their ability to generate impulse buys. With the words, "Limited Time," "On Sale," or "2 For," they create a call-to-action. Roughly 40% of purchases are impulse buys and of those, over 80% are the result of sale or a "deal." Shoppers automatically look to the channel on a shelf's edge to find the price. When they see not only the price data strip, but a limited-time sale, they're more likely to make a spontaneous buy; especially when the product is either something they've purchased before or by a brand they already trust. This marketing strategy is effective with seasonal items or flavors.

Kellogs Special K Shelf Strip printed by Dilco showing call-to-action.
Kellogg's® Special K® uses a "2 for" sale strategy on these Shelf Strips we printed for their Protein Shakes. It's especially effective that they also list the higher price if they buy only one.


For most applications shelf strips printed on vinyl that is 1-1/4" high are standard because they fit into common edge channels at the front of retail shelving. But what if your channels are a different height? What if you have custom shelving for your marketing display? What if your shelf strips will be used as freezer menu strips in an ice cream shop? That's where custom die cutting comes in. That's where a specialist in custom die cutting becomes your printing go-to.

Below is an example of shelf strips we printed for Hint® Water. For their display, the standard 1.25" high shelf strips wouldn't fit, as their channels are considerably shorter; so they had us print and custom die cut them to just .625" high [by 3.52" wide]. For more examples of custom-sized shelf strips, visit our vinyl menu flavor strips page. Have an odd-size shelf channel strip or menu strip? We'll be happy to give you a custom quote.

Custom size vinyl shelf strips printing by Dilco for Hint Water
Custom size vinyl shelf strips for Hint® Water die cut to just .625" high to fit in channel of display. The finished size of this shelf strip is 3.52x.625.


Regardless of whether or not your product is new, on sale, or seasonal, sometimes the design alone can make people want what you're selling. We show a lot of pictures of different kinds of strips on our sample page for inspiration, but the one below is one of my favorites.

If this shelf strip (okay, cooler strip, if you want to be technical) doesn't give you design ideas, I don't know what will. Between the nostalgic design and complementary retro colors, it could very easily be the tipping point that has a consumer choose their dairy products over another. In a saturated market like milk products, Top O' The Morn Dairies'® design alone edges out the competition. Their name coupled with the aesthetics of this strip scream "fresh!" without a lot of unnecessary words. That's one of the reasons this design was so successful.

Retro Inspired Shelf Strip Design Printed by Dilco for Top O' The Morn
Top O' The Morn Dairies shelf strip does retro right. The colors go beautifully with the old fashioned milk truck to make for a very nostalgic and effective shelf strip.


Shelf strips work anywhere you have a shelf edge with a channel; that's why they're also sometimes called channel strips. They are 1-1/4" tall by virtually any width. We print them on rigid vinyl so they're very easy to snap into the channel.

Don't have a channel? No worries. We also offer folding shelf talkers. They go under your product, similar to shelf strips, but they actually fold over the shelf's edge and hang below it.


You can easily download a template from the pricing page. Once you have it unzipped, bring it into Photoshop® or Illustrator® and place it on its own layer on top of your artwork, leaving a 1/8" bleed around the edges. You can get more information on using the templates here.

Whether you're creating standard Shelf Strips, aka: Channel Strips, Data Strips, elaborate Freezer Menu Strips, Shelf Channel Cards, or Extra Large Shelf Strips, we'll be happy to go over your requirements and give you any advice you need. You can give us a call, drop us an email, or fill out our free quote form for more information on custom strips.