The A-Z of Label printing (E-L)


Edge Lift
The tendency of the edge of a label / digital label to rise off the substrate. This condition occurs most frequently on small diameter, curved substrates. Resistance to edge lift is dependent on the bond strength of the adhesive and the flexibility of the face material.

Electrostatic label printing
A method of printing used by label printers in which the ink is affixed to the face material by electrostatic methods. See also: Ion Deposition Printing, Laser Printing.

Elmendorf Test
A standard test for determining the tearing strength of paper.

The increase in length of a material produced by extending it to the point of rupture. See also: Stretch.

A condition in which an image is pressed into a material to create an image that is raised above the normal level of the material. Deposing creates the opposite effect.

Emulsion System
A dispersion of fine particles or globules in another liquid. Many pressure sensitive adhesives are emulsion system adhesives.

Environmentally Friendly Labels
Environmentally friendly labels comply with guidelines, services, laws and policies - reducing and minimalising damage to ecosystems and the environment.


Face Cut Label
A die cut or square cut label from which the matrix, or waste between labels, has not been removed.

Face Material/Face Stock
Any paper, film, fabric, foil, or plastic material suitable for converting into pressure sensitive labels. In a finished construction, the face material is bonded to an adhesive layer and carried on a liner. It is the functional part of the construction.

A gradual decrease in brilliance of colour; often applies to the change in colour produced by prolonged exposure to light.

Fan-Fold/Fan-Folded Labels
Pressure sensitive labels on a continuous backing that is perforated, and then folded back and forth along the perforations, so as to create a flat pack.

Plastic face material manufactured from synthetic high molecular weight polymers. Examples are: polyester, polyethylene, and vinyl.

The surface property of a paper sheet determined by its surface contour and gloss. Terms referring to paper finish include: antique, eggshell, vellum, machine, super-calendared, and plate.

Fish Eyes
Round or eye-shaped deformations in a coating.

A marker, usually made of strips of coloured paper, placed in rolls of pressure sensitive materials during printing (or converting) to designate a deviation from a standard -- such as a splice, defect, or specification change.

A property of face material, measured under specified conditions that indicates how readily it will conform to curved surfaces.

A rotary web letterpress method of printing characterized by raised-image, flexible rubber plates and fast-drying inks.

Fluorescent Paper
A paper coated with a pigment which reflects light in such a way that it has a glowing appearance or effect.

A thin metal sheet used as a face material.

Foil Paper Laminate
A face material consisting of metal foil laminated to paper used by label printers. The foil usually carries a clear coat to improve ink receptivity.

Food Contact Adhesives
Adhesive meeting specified sections of the Food and Drug Administration Code of Federal Regulations. These regulations cover direct food labelling as well as incidental contact. Special product recommendations are necessary for specific applications.

Four Colour Process Printing
Printing and reproduction of full colour images using the four process printing colours -- yellow, cyan, magenta, and black -- to create an image with an infinite number of resultant colours.

Freezer Grade Adhesive
See: Adhesive: Cold Temperature.


Indistinct image patterns appearing as solids or reverse printing, typically caused by poor ink distribution, inconsistency in plate and/or substrate thickness, and/or poor base ink formulation. See also: Shadows.

Ghost Printing
Involves the use of a low-density screen to print a ghost-like background image on the digital labels.

A super-calendared, dense transparent or semi-transparent material manufactured primarily from chemical wood pulps, which have been beaten to secure a high degree of density in the stock.

That property of a surface which causes it to have a mirror-like finish.

Gloss Paper
See: Cast-Coated Paper.

Gravure Printing
An intaglio printing process employing minute engraved wells. In general principle, the deeply-etched wells carry more ink than a raised surface, and, therefore, print dark values. Shallow wells print light values. A scraping device, called a doctor blade, wipes excess ink from the cylindrical printing surface before the ink is pressed into the face material. Rotogravure employs etched cylinders and web-fed stock. Sheet-fed gravure, as its name implies, involves individual sheet feeding.


A method of screening a continuous tone image (like a photograph) for printing or reproduction. The dots in the screen vary in size and density, so as to recreate the complete range of highlights, lowlights, and mid-tones of the original image.

Heavy Coat Weight
A higher -than-standard weight of coating per unit area.

High Gloss Paper
A cast-coated gloss paper that features high strength material and excellent ink receptivity.

High Temperature Adhesive
See: Adhesive: High Temperature.

Horizontal Spaces
The horizontal space created by the removed matrix, revealing only the liner in a pressure sensitive label construction.

Hot Melt Adhesive
See: Adhesive: Hot Melt.

Hot Stamping
An image producing method used by label printers that involves a film carrying a thin leaf of colour which is transferred to a material using heat and pressure. It is commonly used with gold or metallic leaf, but many colours, patterns, and finishes of leaf are available. It is especially popular for labels used in the textile and apparel markets.


Impact Printing
A printing method that uses a hammer striking a ribbon to transfer ink onto a material. See also: Dot Matrix Printing, Platen.

Technique in which copy is applied to blank or previously printed labels with a secondary printing device such as an imprinter, computer printer, or typewriter.

Ink Jet Printing
A non-impact printing process whereby fluid ink is projected from a nozzle directly onto a material to form the desired image.

Intaglio Printing
A method of printing used by label printers in which an engraved or acid-etched printing plate (or cylinder) carries ink to the material surface. The material when pressed against the printing plate actually squeezes into the inked grooves and, thereby, receives the image.

Inverted Face Material
A face stock that has the adhesive applied to the surface normally printed upon.

Ion Deposition Printing
An electronic printing process used by label printers whereby a static charge is created on a printing cylinder, attracting toner. The toner is subsequently transferred to a printable surface, creating the image. See also: Electrostatic Printing, Laser Printing.




The functional portion of a pressure sensitive construction comprised of the face material and adhesive, cut into various shapes.

Label Height/Label Length/Label Samples
The vertical measurement on labels / digital labels (from top to bottom) when the label / label sample is travelling in the machine direction.

A coating applied to a face material for protection or decoration the labels / digital labels / label samples. Lacquer usually requires ultraviolet curing or drying.

A web material formed by bonding two or more materials.

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