Jargon – this summary might help you to understand the complex world of getting ink on a sticker



Adhesive: Sticky glue applied to the back or front of a label making it possible for stock to hold to a surface.

All-Temperature Adhesive: Label adhesive able to be used in a wide range of
temperatures from hot to cold.

Barcode: A machine-readable code of numbers scanned to provide pricing and other information. Generally used in retail.

Bleed: When ink runs beyond the edge of the label.

Butt Cut: Square cornered label with no spacing between labels.

Carrier Width: Size of the liner or backing that the labels are packaged on.

Cold Temperature Adhesive: Adhesive designed for use in refrigerators, freezers, or other cold/freezing applications.

Color Matches: Mixing ink colors to match a specific Pantone or PMS (Pantone Matching System) color. Pantone colors are identified by universal numbers that most printers are familiar with.

Color Proof: Created prior to printing, this is a color prototype of the finished label, generally supplied in PDF format.

Copy: The image or text on a label.

Coupon Label: A label that can be easily removed from a surface and redeemed.

Cut Marks: The lines on artwork indicating where the label should be cut.

Die: Tooling that creates the shape of a label.

Die Cut: Round corner labels with spacing between each label.

Die Line: Lines indicating where a label should be cut to create a shape.

Direct Thermal: Heat is used to transfer an image to special paper.

Embossed: Labels are created by pressing an image onto a label stock causing the image to rise above the surface of the stock.

Fanfold: Labels are finished and folded accordion style with perforation between each label.

Flexographic: Also known as “flexo” this popular printing process uses raised, inked printing plates made of rubber or plastic to transfer an image to a substrate. The transfer occurs when the image is rotated on a cylinder to the stock.

Four-Color Process: The use of four ink colors, cyan, magenta, yellow, and key a.k.a. black to create one full-color image. Also know was CMYK.

Freezer Grade Adhesive: Adhesive able to be stored in temperatures below 32˚ F.

Gloss: A shiny and polished stock that is used when writing or typing on the label is not necessary.

Gradient: Printing tones that go from light to dark.

Halftones: Using dots to create a lighter version of a base color.

Hot Foil Stamped: Labels are created using heat to transfer foil onto a variety of label stocks.

Label Length: The label’s size from one side to the other based on the direction the labels come off the roll.

Label Width: The label’s size from one side to the other across the edge of the roll.

Lamination: Protective coating placed over the top of a label stock.

Laser Stock: Matte (dull), imprintable paper able to be used with a laser printer.

Latex Impregnated: Heavyweight paper that is saturated with latex for durability, strength and flexibility. It is also resistant to moisture and abrasion.

Liner: The silicone backing that holds the labels to the roll, designed for adhesion and release.

Litho: Also referred to as “matte” this is a dull stock that can be written or typed on.

M: Symbolizes 1000, i.e. 30M = 30,000

Matrix: The excess stock that is discarded from a label once it has been die cut.

Opaque Stock: Blackout stock that prevents anything from being seen through the label. Generally used to cover outdated or incorrect information.

Matte: This dull finish is ideal for labels that need to be written or typed on.

Overlaminate: A protection coating, usually clear film, UV varnish, or a clear lacquer coat to provide the label with added protection.

Perforation: Dotted cuts placed between labels to allow for easy tearing or folding.

Permanent: General adhesive suitable for most applications.

Piggyback: Two-liner labels created with a top label that is removed and re-applied to another surface.

Pin Feed: Tractor-feed stock with margin holes on each side usually used with dot matrix printers.

Plate: Usually made of rubber, the label’s artwork is imprinted on this raised
surface, which is then used with ink to create the label’s impression.

PMS: Pantone Matching System used by the printing industry for color consistency.  Each color has a specific number.

Polyester: Highly durable synthetic material designed to withstand outdoor
applications where extreme conditions and abusive environmental factors like,
moisture, chemicals, oils, and solvents threaten the label’s sustainability.

Polypropylene: 2-mil clear plastic film stock.

Press Proof: Printed sample of the actual label intended to give a realistic proof of the end product.

Proof: Generally presented as a PDF, this is a pre-press sample of a label, including color matches, die lines, and cut marks.

Registration: The placement of all the ink colors in a label.

Release: The chemical process of label removal from the liner to its intended

Removable Adhesive: Allows label to be taken off a surface once applied without leaving pieces of the label or adhesive behind.

Repositionable Adhesive: Allows the label to be applied, removed, and reapplied on a variety of surfaces.

Reverse Print: A label stock is flooded with ink using the label’s stock color to create an image.

Screens: Shading variations of one color to create gradients and halftones.

Static Cling: Static charge allows for adhesion without using a standard adhesive.  The labels can be easily and cleanly removed and repositioned from clean smooth surfaces, such as glass or enamel finishes.

Substrate: Top protective layer of a label, generally made of a polypropylene vinyl.

Tamper Resistant: Labels designed to leave a residue, pattern, or simply fall apart when removal is attempted.

Thermal Transfer: Thermal stocks are created for use with the industries leading printers and scales. The stock activates at 185˚.

Tooling: The machinery, equipment and dies able to cut and print a finished label.

Tyvek: High-density polyethylene stock that is very strong and difficult to tear.

UV Coating: Applied after printing, a UV (Ultraviolet) clear coat provides the label with a hard, semi-gloss finish able to protect against fingerprinting, abrasion, light surface moisture, chemicals and solvents.

Vinyl: A durable and waterproof stock ideal for indoor and outdoor environments where weather or harsh conditions may affect the label


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