Label Printing Terminology

No matter where we work, we are often guilty of using jargon. Label printing is no different. There are many terms that are only heard in the label printing industry. Here are some terms to help you understand label printing a little more easily.

Adhesive: This is the glue used to make the labels stick to the surface.

Bleed: This refers to the colours running right to the edge of the label.

Butt cut: Labels are printed and cut with square corners.

CMYK: Also known as four colour process printing. The colours, cyan, magenta, yellow and black, are used in various percentages to create the final colours of your label.

Copy: This is the text or words on the label.

Die Cut: Labels are printed with rounded corners. Also, there are spaces between the labels. This term also refers to unusually shaped labels which are cut to specific size and shape.

Digital Labels: These labels are printed straight from the computer without any need for film or plates.

Gloss: This is when labels have a shiny look to them and is due to the gloss label stock.

Laminate: This is a protective coating that is placed on top of the label to make it more durable.

Mat: This is a dull label stock and is ideal to write on.

Permanent: The label is to be stuck on its surface and is to remain there indefinitely.

Plates: This is the rubber or metal material used to enable the artwork to be transferred to the labels.

Removable: The label is only temporarily placed on its surface and it can be removed easily.

PMS: This is a Pantone Matching System and enables you to choose exact colours for your labels. Such PMS colours are not available for digital label printing but the results will be very close.

Polyester: This is a highly durable synthetic material designed to cope with outdoor conditions and extreme temperatures. Labels printed on polyester stock are ideal for labels exposed to moisture, chemicals, oils and similar substances.

Press Proof: This is an actual printed sample of your label.

Registration: This refers to the quality of the label printing and in particular, how well the colours blend in to give the final printed image in full colour.

Reverse print: The label is printed in full colour and the text becomes the same colour of the label, usually white.

Screens: This refers to various shadings of the one colour.

Vinyl: This is a durable and waterproof stock that is ideal for outdoor use where adverse weather conditions will affect the label.

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