What is the difference between a label and a sticker?
A label (as distinct from signage) is a piece of paper, plastic film, cloth, metal, or other material affixed to a container or product, on which is written or printed information or symbols about the product or item. Information printed directly on a container or article can also be considered labelling.
Labels have many uses, including promotion and providing information on a product’s origin, the manufacturer (e.g., brand name), use, shelf-life and disposal, some or all of which may be governed by legislation such as that for food.
Methods of production and attachment to packaging are many and various and may also be subject to internationally recognised standards. In many countries, hazardous products such as poisons or flammable liquids must have a warning label.
A sticker is a type of label: a piece of printed paper, plastic, vinyl, or other material with pressure-sensitive adhesive on one side. They can be used for decoration or for functional purposes, depending on the situation.
Stickers can come in many different shapes and sizes and also vary widely in colour and design. They are often adhered to items such as lunchboxes, paper, lockers, notebooks, walls, cars, windows, and so on. Temporary name tags for example are frequently stickers.
Stickers are very widely used when an object requires identification with a word or idea. Brand stickers may be attached to products to label these products as coming from a certain company. They may also be used to describe characteristics of the products that would not be obvious from simple examination.
Stickers placed on automobile bumpers, magnetic and permanent, called bumper stickers, are often used by individuals as a way of demonstrating support for political or ideological causes. Identification of vehicle registration and last service details are two examples of stickers on the inside of most car windscreens. The term “window sticker” is generally used for vinyl labels that are stuck to the inside of a vehicle’s window, as opposed to water-resistant stickers that are stuck to the outside of a vehicle but can be affixed to anything.
They are frequently distributed as part of promotional, and political campaigns; for example, in many voting districts in the U.S., stickers indicating an individual has voted are given to each voter as they leave the polling place, largely as a reminder to others to vote. Observers may clap hands, honk a horn or otherwise applaud a good sticker.
Who invented the first self-adhesive labels or stickers?
There were two giants of the label industry who are attributed with the invention of the self-adhesive label materials.
- Stanton Avery
- Stanton Avery (January 13, 1907 – December 12, 1997) was an American inventor,] most known for creating self-adhesive labels (modern stickers).
Using a $100 loan from his then-fiancé Dorothy Durfee, and combining used machine parts with a sabre saw, he created and patented the world’s first self-adhesive (also called pressure sensitive) die-cut labelling machine. In 1935, he founded what is now the Avery Dennison Corporation.
Werner Jackstädt was the son of the owner of a fine paper wholesaler in Wuppertal.
He spent his time as a volunteer in a Belgian paper mill before he was called up for military service in 1943 . In 1947 he returned from Soviet captivity and joined his father’s company.
In 1949, in the basement of this company, he and three employees produced the first self-adhesive postcards . In the 1950s, shortly after the export had started, Werner Jackstädt dissolved his father’s paper wholesaler and decided to concentrate on self-adhesive papers and foils.
Eventually he founded a company called Jacpaper, the Major global competitor of Fasson a division of Avery Dennison as previously founded by Stanton Avery above.
How are labels made?
Most labels are professionally printed either on rolls or on sheets.
In years gone by they were usually printed on letterpress, offset or flexographic machines with plates and die cut or kiss cut inline and offline.
These days most labels are printed digitally from a file and are becoming extremely popular as they are already die cut in A4 sheets and just require printing on either a laser printer or an inkjet printer.
Laser and inkjet printer labels and stickers
Laser or printer labels are generally die cut on A4 sized sheets, and come in many different shapes, sizes, formats and materials. Laser label material is a nonporous stock made to withstand the intense heat of laser printers and copiers.
Inkjet label material is a porous stock made to accept ink and dye from an inkjet printer. One of the more modern inkjet label material stocks is waterproof printable inkjet material commonly used for soap or shower gel containers.
Popular label and sticker materials are:
Laser Gloss perm , Laser Gloss extra perm ,Laser Matt perm , Laser Matt extra perm , Clear Poly Laser, White Poly Laser, Laser Matt Removable, Inkjet Gloss perm, Gloss Block out perm, Gloss Verdure wine, Embossed Linen wine, Multi inkjet and laser vinyl and Tyre Label .
There are also a range of colours most suited to laser printing.
Fluro Red, Fluro Green, Fluro Pink, Fluro Orange, Fluro Yellow, Laser Candy Pink ,Laser Orange, Laser Red, Laser Baby Pink, Laser Lilac, Laser Apple Green, Laser Dark Green, Laser Yellow, Laser Dark Blue, Laser Baby Blue and Brown Kraft.
Pressure-sensitive adhesive types
Pressure-sensitive label adhesives are commonly made from water-based acrylic adhesives, with a smaller volume made using solvent-based adhesives and hotmelt adhesives.
The most common adhesive types are:
Permanent – Typically not designed to be removed without tearing the stock, damaging the surface, or using solvents.
Removable – Adhesion is strong and will not fall off in normal circumstances, but the label can be removed relatively easily without tearing the base stock or leaving adhesive behind on the old surface. The adhesive is usually strong enough to be applied again elsewhere.
Extra permanent – A type of permanent adhesive that exhibits a high initial grab to the application surfaces and is commonly used at higher coat weights to enable labels to adhere strongly to difficult, rough or dirty surfaces.
Content summarized from Wikipedia.