Printed labels are produced by a number of different methods but they are always presented in one of four ways. For flexographic printing and some digital label printing machines, labels are printed on continuous label stock so they will be more easily presented in a roll. Rolls are also easiest for application by machine but manual applications of printed labels onto products are also common.
The size of the roll produced depends on three things. Firstly, it depends on the width of the continuous label stock fed through the machine for printing. Secondly, it depends on the size of the each label printed. Thirdly, the labels must be prepared in such a way that allows for easy packaging. Our Epson digital label printing machine produces labels in this way.
The next most common form of label preparation is on sheets. Mostly, labels start out in continuous roll form and are produced on rolls after bring printed. If labels are required on sheets, then often a guillotine or a sheeting machine is used to produce labels on sheets. Also, the wastage around each label is stripped off at the same time or earlier during the printing process.
Also, labels can be initially prepared on sheets, usually of an A4 size, before they are printed. The labels are already die-cut to the correct size but the wastage must be stripped off after printing. This as an economical way to produce a small number of full colour printed labels in short runs.
The above method has limitations though. Some labels are larger than A4. These types of labels are normally printed individually. Bumper stickers are an example of labels printed individually.
Smaller labels which are printed for resale by retailers are sometimes prepared in dispenser boxes. This makes it easier for the consumer to use these. The best example here is a roll of 100 postage stamps which are simply self adhesive printed labels. Dispenser boxes are only suitable when the labels are quite small.