Packaging University in Toronto
September 26-27th 2023
Guide to Pressure Sensitive Labels
What are Pressure Sensitive Labels
Pressure sensitive labels, also known as self-adhesive labels, are a type of label that adheres to a surface when pressure is applied. These labels are made of three layers: the facestock (the label material), the adhesive layer, and the liner (the backing material). When pressure is applied to the label, the adhesive layer sticks to the surface, creating a bond. This type of label is commonly used for product labeling, packaging, and branding purposes. Pressure sensitive labels can be made from a variety of materials, including paper, plastic, and foil, and they can be printed in a range of colors and designs. They are easy to apply and remove, making them a popular choice for labeling products in many industries.
Quality labels are an essential component of any product, as they not only enhance the visual appeal of your product but also communicate critical product information, create brand recognition, and leave a lasting impression on your customers. Therefore, investing in unique and eye-catching labels is a smart way to connect with customers and increase sales. However, selecting the perfect label requires a careful balance of various elements, including your budget, the quantity of labels you need, and the time required to produce them. Other factors that you must consider are your product design, customer interaction, regulatory requirements, and logistics demands. Additionally, one of the commonly disregarded factors is the environmental conditions your product is exposed to.
In this guide, we will explore the various factors affecting the selection of labels and the options available to you when choosing the perfect label for your product. We will also delve into the different types of pressure-sensitive labels, the die-cut options available, and the materials and finishes you can choose from.
Factors Affecting Pressure Sensitive Label Selection
When selecting labels for your product, you must consider a variety of factors that will influence your decision. Below are some of the critical factors to consider:
- Budget: Your budget will determine the type of label you can afford, the quality of the materials used, and the quantity of labels produced.
- Quantity of Labels: The number of labels you require will affect the production process, cost, and lead time.
- Time Frame: If you need your labels urgently, you may have to consider faster production methods that may cost more.
- Product Design: The design of your product will influence the size, shape, and color of the label.
- Customer Interaction: Consider how your customers will interact with your product and the label.
- Regulatory Requirements: Depending on your industry, there may be regulatory requirements that must be met for labeling.
- Unique Demands: Depending on your industry, promotional, retailer, or logistics requirements may have to be met.
- Environmental Hazards: Your product must survive the environmental conditions it is exposed to, such as sunlight, moisture, temperature, chemical exposure, and other hazards.
Understanding the Label Choices You Will Need to Make
Once you have defined the factors that affect your label selection, you will need to make several decisions. Below are some of the choices you will have to make:
- Pressure-sensitive Labels: This type of label accounts for over 80% of all product labels and can be used on almost any type of product. They are high-tech stickers that come in rolls or sheets, and they use paper, film, or foil as the primary label material.
- Die Cut: The shape of your label is known as the die-cut. There are thousands of die-cut options available, from different-sized circles, ovals, and squares to nearly any shape you can imagine. Your choice of die-cut depends on your product, packaging, label design, and container shape.
- Roll Direction: Pressure-sensitive labels come in rolls and are later applied to your product. If you hand-apply them, the roll direction doesn’t matter. However, if you machine-apply them, your label manufacturer must provide labels in a roll that works with your application machine.
- Label Materials: Pressure-sensitive labels consist of four primary parts: topcoat, face stock with printed ink, adhesive, and liner and release coating. Your choice of face material significantly affects the price and appearance of your label. Papers are traditional and less expensive, while films are more durable and can withstand tough environments. Foils are the most premium option and are used for specialty products or by brands looking to stand out with a metallic look.
- Adhesive: Your adhesive choice depends on your face stock material, packaging