Learn about the Construction of PS Labels, the Material types and the applications they’re suited for!

October 19, 2020

What are Labels?

A Label can be a piece of paper, plastic film, cloth, metal, or other material affixed to a container or product. It usually contains written / printed information or symbols about the product or item. Information printed directly on container or article can also be considered labeling.

What are PS Labels?

Pressure-sensitive (PS) Labels are those that adhere or stick to the substrate through the use of slight pressure. No other additional force such as water, heat, etc. is required for the label to adhere. Some customers also refer to them as ‘self-adhesive’ labels

Construction of a PS Label

There are four main components or elements in a PS Label:

  • Face stock
  • Adhesive (pressure-sensitive)
  • Release coating (silicone) on liner
  • Liner
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  • Why PS Labels?
  • Shelf Appeal
  • High quality graphics, no label look
  • Operational Efficiency
  • High Speed Label Application
  • Quick setup/changeover
  • Reduced scrap and cleanup
  • Wide variety of paper, film, and specialty materials
  • Resistance to harsh consumer environments
  • Faster Speed to Market with New Designs
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The “No-Label” Look

Other label types

PS labels are the most commonly used and also what we mainly produce. But what other types of labels are there?

Wet Labels are usually printed on one-side coated (C1S) paper and supplied individually without glue. Wet Glue is applied to the label and the label is applied to product in the production line.

Strip-gummed Labels are another type, where strips of glue are pasted to the sides, and they’re manually peeled and pasted onto product.

Shrink-Sleeves are another type of label where printed plastic is seamed to form a tube, and the tube is shrunk over the container.

In-Mold Labels (IML) are another form of labels which are supplied individually, and are integrated into the container during the injection molding or thermoforming processes.

There are many others such as cloth labels which are sewn on garments, etc.

Face Stock

The Face stock is most visible part of label – it carries the printing, and defines how it feels to touch, as well as how it reacts to the surroundings (such as water, oil, etc.). Broadly, face stock types can be divided into two – PAPER and FILMIC.

Paper Face Stocks are most commonly 1-side coated paper (Chromo / C1S), but are also available in uncoated, mirror coated and metallized. There are specialty papers too, such as coloured papers, thermal papers, etc.

Filmic Face Stocks are usually available in the following materials: 

  • PP / BOPP (Polypropylene)
  • Most widely used filmic substrate
  • PE (Polyethylene)
  • Most widely used when “squeezability” is required (shampoo, lotion, etc.)
  • PET (Poly Ethylene Terephthalate)
  • Used when additional strength / chemical resistance / temperature resistance is required
  • Vinyls (PVC – poly vinyl chloride)
  • Used in durable applications (requirement of greater than 3 years lifecycle)
  • Also used in some tamper evident applications


Adhesives can be classified by their functionality as follows

  • Permanent – they bond strongly to substrate; trying to remove will destroy, damage or tear the label.
  • Removable – can be removed from the substrate without leaving adhesive residue or damaging the face.
  • Repositionable – maintains some short-term removability before becoming permanent
  • E.g.: when one wants to remove and re-stick the label when they see an issue during labelling

Liner & Release Coating

Liners are mainly of two types - Glassine / paper liners or Filmic / PET liners. Release coating is applied to the liner. It is usually a silicone coating layer, and its main functions are acting as an Adhesive carrier and as the Release surface.

Finding the right solution!

Find out your needs – in terms of the type of container on which the label is to be applied, the functional requirements (will it get wet, does the label need to be removed without leaving residue, etc.). Finally, the effect you want (e.g. metallic?).

Give us these needs, and we will be happy to recommend the best choice to you in terms of functionality as well as cost-effectiveness.

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