Sticker labels or self adhesive labels as they are also known feature everywhere in today’s modern society. However, it was only 50 years ago, when self adhesive labels were very rare. As with postage stamps, many sticker labels had to have water added to them before they would stick to their surface. My father used to import account collection stickers from England and they needed water to be applied before they could be added to collection letters or statements.
Today, sticker labels are everywhere and they have many applications. These self adhesive labels are used for stamps, mailing labels, address labels, packaging labels and product labels such as bottle labels, wine labels, skincare labels and candle labels. There are also warning labels, window labels, bumper stickers and even labels on buses. Yes, buses and other public forms of transport display advertising for all to see. It looks like they are painted on. Sometimes they are painted but advertising is usually for a short period of time, so labels are used because they are easy to apply and remove, and it is much simpler than painting and repainting.
In fact, many sticker labels do not look like labels at all. It looks like advertising is painted or painted on the actual materials but it is more cost effective to add self adhesive labels to products in a tube such as toothpaste and sunscreen than it is to print directly onto the tubes.
Technology has allowed sticker labels to not look like labels at all. They seem to look like the advertising and product detail are actually printed onto the products. It is partly technology but what really enables the quality of sticker labels in today’s society is the adhesive backing and the actual material used. It will not surprise you that there are different materials for different uses.
Reputable label printing companies will know what types of label stock to use. Here are a few different types of sticker labels available. It is by no means an exhaustive list.
- Permanent matt label stock: This material is the least expensive. It enables easy writing and is commonly used for mailing labels.
- Permanent gloss label stock: This material has a shiny surface and is also inexpensive. It is for indoor use and can be used when the label is not exposed to weather conditions or moisture.
- Removable label stock: Sometimes the label is to be temporary. An example is a sign here sticker which is removed by the person signing legal documents. Most labels are permanent and are difficult to remove.
- Fluorescent label stock: This is similar to matt label stock but it comes in colours such as red, orange, pink, yellow and green that really stand out. These are ideal for warning or packaging labels. Black printing only is normally recommended as the background colour already makes these labels stand out.
- Metallic label stock: These are similar to fluorescent labels but in metallic colours, usually silver or gold. There are different metallic labels available. Some metallic labels have a shiny look so it can indicate high value.
- Synthetic labels: These are stronger than regular gloss labels as they can withstand moisture and some changes in temperature and the labels can be immersed in ice without disintegrating. We use WLK202 which is actually the recommended label stock for the wine industry.
- Vinyl labels: These labels are waterproof and are designed for outdoor use so they can withstand harsh weather conditions for three to seven years.