Definition of self-adhesive labels

A Self-adhesive Label is a specific type of label that includes a pressure-sensitive adhesive on one side. Also known as a sticker, pressure-sensitive label or self-stick label, this component is typically made from paper or plastic film, with adhesive applied to the back, and is designed to be attached to an object for purposes such as identification, description, operation, or promotion.

Structure and Composition

A self-adhesive label typically consists of three layers:

  1. Face Material: This is the outer part of the label which carries the printed information. It can be made from a variety of materials, including paper, plastic, film, metal foil, fabric or laminates.
  2. Adhesive Layer: This is the middle part of the label which makes it stick to surfaces. The adhesive can be permanent, semi-permanent or removable, depending on the intended use of the label. It is designed to adhere under light pressure and at room temperature.
  3. Backing or Release Liner: This is a carrier sheet made from paper or plastic film that prevents the adhesive from sticking until it is ready to be applied. It is coated on one side with a release agent that allows the label to peel off easily.

Types of Self-Adhesive Labels

Self-adhesive labels come in different forms based on their intended use:

  • Permanent Labels: These are designed to bond with a surface permanently, and attempting to remove them may damage the label or the surface.
  • Removable Labels: These are designed for temporary use, and can be removed without leaving residue on the surface.
  • Repositionable Labels: These can be removed and reapplied to a surface without losing their adhesive properties.


Self-adhesive labels are widely used in a variety of industries, including food and beverage, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, logistics, and retail. They can carry a wide range of information, such as product descriptions, barcodes, pricing, safety warnings, or promotional messages.

Printing Techniques

Different printing techniques can be used on self-adhesive labels, including digital, flexographic, offset, screen, and gravure. The choice of printing technique depends on the volume, cost, quality, and desired aesthetic of the labels.

Environmental Considerations

There has been increasing focus on the environmental impact of self-adhesive labels. This includes considerations of the recyclability of the label materials and the reduction of waste in the label production process. In response to these concerns, manufacturers have developed labels using biodegradable materials, recycling-compatible adhesives, and linerless labels that eliminate the need for a release liner.

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