Everyone knows what a label is but deciding which type of label is suitable for each application requires some understanding of the different materials. In its simplest form a label consists of printed ink on top of a base material which is backed by an adhesive plus a throw away liner.

Vinyl Labels

This type of label is cheap to produce. The material is readily available as a complete product only requiring printing on the top surface and minimum processing. The vinyl is normally white (other colours are available) or clear and comes with an adhesive backing. Different grades are available depending on product life. The disadvantage of a basic vinyl label is that the ink is exposed to fading and scratching and the vinyl itself is a “soft” material. To improve on this label it is possible as an extra process to over laminate with a clear protective layer but this adds to the processing and material cost.

Polycarbonate Labels

Polycarbonate offers a greater variation and superior performance to that of a vinyl label. The base material is clear without adhesive. The ink is printed on the reverse side of the material, the final print being viewed through the material itself. The material being clear does not have a background colour so the background colour is printed last which offers an infinite choice of colour including matching the colour to the object that label is finally adhered to. Polycarbonate is available in different grades and finishes, the matt velvet look being the most popular, resulting in a very scratch resistant, hard wearing product. Because the printing ink has been applied behind the material it is protected by the material itself. To complete the product an adhesive layer is added before the label is cut to size. Different adhesives are available depending on the final requirement.

Factors in deciding the adhesive specification could be for example, heat, humidity, contact surface and life expectancy.

The final cut:

Any shape, size, with square corners, round corners, holes, recessed, and we can even split the backing liner for easy application. We can die cut, laser cut, stamp or hand cut depending on volume.

To Conclude:

Label material choice will be dependent on your application, cosmetic requirement, environment and budget. We have the experience and know how to recommend and design the most suitable label for your application, so don’t hesitate to discuss your requirements.

PS: Check cut out domed label for a special look.