At Label Planet, we often group our labels into categories based on specific qualities and many of our product ranges take their names from the qualities that those labels possess. If you’re new to the world of labels, however, it can be a bit confusing if you aren’t sure what some (or all) of these terms mean – or at least what they mean in the specific world of labels and labelling. This short guide should help to make it clear what we mean when we use the following terms to describe our labels:
We use the word permanent to refer to labels that are made with a permanent adhesive; permanent adhesives are designed to create a strong bond between a label and an object that is difficult to break. It does NOT mean that these labels are impossible to remove; if someone is determined enough to remove a permanent label they will be able to do so (albeit with a serious amount of intent and effort and the likely result that both the label itself and the labelled item will be damaged in the process).
This refers to labels that are made with extremely strong, permanent adhesives; “tack” refers to the property of materials that allows them to adhere to a surface immediately upon contact – in other words, it describes how “sticky” a material is in a fluid or semi-fluid state. High tack labels, therefore, are highly sticky labels!
We use the term removable to refer to labels that are made with a removable adhesive; removable adhesives are designed to create a bond between a label and an object so that the label can be removed cleanly and easily (without doing any damage or leaving behind any adhesive residue) when it is no longer needed. For this reason, removable labels may also be called “Temporary Labels”.
This term refers to the qualities and properties of a material’s surface, including its appearance and texture. We supply three types of finish:
- Gloss: gloss surfaces are generally very smooth and are highly efficient at reflecting light, which produces a decorative bright and shiny appearance.
- Matt: matt surfaces are very poor at reflecting light, which creates a dull and non-shiny appearance.
- Semi-Gloss: as a compromise between gloss and matt, semi-gloss surfaces do reflect light (but less efficiently than full gloss surfaces), which creates a more subtle shine.
Opaque materials do not transmit light; light cannot travel through these materials, which means that opaque materials cannot be seen through. Opaque materials are used to create “Blockout” labels that will prevent any existing print or design work from showing through a label, even if it is applied to a highly decorative surface. They are ideal for covering up existing print, recycling packaging, covering up errors, or simply to create a completely blank background onto which a new design or print can be added.
Transparent materials are extremely efficient at transmitting light; light travels through these materials, which means that you can see through transparent materials. Our transparent labels are not 100% transparent because they use an adhesive, which means that they may trap small air bubbles or particles of dust during application. Please note that we also use the term “clear” to refer to transparent materials.
If a material only transmits some light, then it will not be completely transparent – these labels are usually known as Transluscent or Frosted labels.
Waterproof materials can survive exposure to or immersion in water – which means our waterproof labels are the best option to choose if you need labels for an application that may involve water, for example outdoor labels or labels for use on items that will be stored and used in kitchens or bathrooms.
This is a term that we use to describe our GW (gloss laser labels) and SG (semi-gloss laser labels); both of these products are paper labels, which means that they are not waterproof BUT the coatings applied to these labels to give them their gloss and semi-gloss finishes do provide limited protection if the labels are lightly splashed with water or get slightly dirty (hence splashproof). These labels provide a compromise between using standard paper labels (with no protection against water damage) and our synthetic labels (which are completely waterproof) – especially if you need to work within a limited budget.
Essentially, when we describe one of our labels as being “compatible” with a label product from a different company, we mean that the label size and layout (but not the materials used to make the labels) are the same for our labels as they are for the other product. For example, many of our label products are described as “Avery Compatible” and we provide “Compatible Avery Template Codes” for customers to use when printing their labels. All this means is that the label size and layout of our labels is the same as those of Avery labels and you can therefore use the same template to print both our labels and Avery labels.
Also known as “Media Labels”, these labels are a group of products that were each originally created to suit a specific purpose but can also be used for a wider range of label applications. They tend to be sizes that were designed for use on storage devices and folders, such as CDs and DVDs, box files and lever arch files, or videos and data cartridges.
Plastic is a general term that can be used to describe any synthetic material made from a wide range of organic polymers. We have three plastic materials; polyester, polyethylene, and vinyl (our Tamper Evident Vinyl). When we use the term “Plastic labels”, we are referring to our polyester and polyethylene (and vinyl) labels.
A type of security label; security labels are labels with special features that are designed to improve the security of the items they are used to label. Tamper evident labels have features that allow them to provide visual evidence that someone has tampered with an item. We have TWO tamper evident labels; our Silver Void Labels leave the message “VOID” behind when they are removed from an item, while our Tamper Evident Vinyl Labels will disintegrate into tiny pieces if someone attempts to remove them.
You can find even more label terms (along with their definitions) in our online Glossary. If you have any questions or queries about what a particular term means or if you need any assistance choosing the right label for your specific label application, you can get in touch with our Customer Service Team by phone or email to find out more.