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Label Printers A-Z of Label printing (A-D)


Abrasion Resistance
Label surface resistance to something that rubs against it, including the label printers material itself, ink, or a protective coating.

Transparent and cellulose films used as face materials; cellulose is a plant product.

A bond established upon contact between two surfaces.

A substance capable of holding materials together by surface attachment.

Adhesive: Acrylic
A pressure sensitive adhesive based on high-strength, acrylic polymers. It can be coated as a solvent or emulsion.

Adhesive: Aqueous
A water-based pressure sensitive adhesive.

Adhesive: Cold Temperature
An adhesive that adheres to refrigerated or frozen substrates (generally +35 degrees F or colder).

Adhesive: High Temperature
An adhesive that withstands sustained, high temperature (+200 degrees F or higher).

Adhesive: Hot Melt
A pressure sensitive adhesive that is applied to the release liner at an elevated temperature and then cools into a conventional, highly-tacky pressure sensitive adhesive.

Adhesive: Opaque
A darkened adhesive that restricts printing from showing through the adhesive-coated side of a label

Adhesive: Pattern Coated
Refers to the spacing arrangement of areas of adhesive on the face material that are coated parallel to the machine direction. Also referred to as dry lap, strip coated, or zone coated adhesive.

Adhesive: Permanent
A pressure sensitive adhesive characterized as having relatively high ultimate adhesion to a wide variety of substrates. The label either cannot be removed intact or requires a great deal of force to be removed.

Adhesive: Removable
A pressure sensitive adhesive characterized by low ultimate adhesion. The label can be removed from most substrates without damaging the surface or leaving adhesive residue or stain.

Adhesive: Rubber Based
A pressure sensitive adhesive derived from natural or synthetic rubbers.

Adhesive: Water Based
A pressure sensitive adhesive derived from water based materials.

Adhesive: Water Soluble
A pressure sensitive adhesive in which all components are water soluble.

Adhesive Bleed
The adhesive migration from pressure sensitive material and labels. Note: Especially critical in laser printing. See also: Cold Flow, Flow or Ooze.

Adhesive Deposit/Adhesive Residue
The pressure sensitive adhesive remaining on a substrate when a label is removed.

The specific adhesion of a pressure sensitive material to a substrate.

Anvil Cut Labels
Pressure sensitive labels that are die cut through all components of the label stock, including the liner. Also called steel-to-steel, zero tolerance, punched out, or blanked out labels.

Application Temperature
Temperature of a label material at the time of application. All adhesives have a minimum application temperature rating. Testing is recommended in minimum and maximum application temperature situations.

A device that automatically feeds and applies pressure sensitive labels to a substrate or product.


The label Carrier, Liner, Release Liner.

Back Splits
Linear cuts put in the liner during the coating process, or while on-press, to meet specialized end use requirements. See also: Slit Back, Split Back/Split Liner.

Bar Code/Bar Code Symbol
A specific pattern made of lines (or bars) and spaces, of varying width, which represent alpha or numeric data in machine-readable form. The most general format for a bar code consists of: a lead margin, a start character, data or message characters, a stop character, and a trailing margin. There are 30+ bar code symbologies.

Barrier Coat
A coating applied to a face material on the side opposite the printing surface that lies between the material and the adhesive coat. It provides increased opacity to the face material, and/or prevents migration of adhesive to the face material, and/or improves anchorage of adhesive to the face material.

Battery Label Stock
A durable, acid-resistant label material designed for the demanding environment associated with automotive batteries.

Blown-On Labels
A method of label application that uses air pressure to remove the label from the carrier and position it on the product.

The (blue light) reflectivity of a sheet of paper measured under standardized conditions on an instrument designed and calibrated specifically for that purpose.

Butt-Cut Labels
Rectangular, square-cornered labels in continuous form that are separated by a single knife cut to the liner.


Calender Finish
A term applied to a paper with a glazed surface finish created by means of calenders (cast iron rollers with chilled, hardened surfaces).  Semi gloss litho and High gloss/Cast gloss paper are examples of calendared paper.

The thickness of a sheet of paper or plastic measured in units of one thousandth of an inch or microns.

Cast-Coated Paper
A paper coating which is allowed to harden or set while in contact with a finishing surface. In general, cast-coated papers usually have a high gloss finish.

Chemical Drum Label
A label of durable material like vinyl or polyester which resists adverse conditions associated with chemical drum containers.

Chemical Resistance
The resistance of a pressure sensitive label to the deteriorating effects of chemicals, under specified conditions.

Clear Coat
A coating that protects the printing and the surface of a pressure sensitive label from abrasion, sunlight, chemicals, moisture, or any combination of these. Varnish and lacquer are examples of clear coats.

Coat Weight
The amount or weight of coating per unit area. This is expressed in various units including grams per square meter or pounds per ream. Applies to adhesives, primers, varnishes, and lacquers.

Cohesive Failure
The breakdown of molecular bond by which particles of a body, or bodies, are united. See also: Adhesive Splitting.

Cohesive Strength
The internal strength of the adhesive. The measure of a labels resistance to removal. See also: Cohesion, Internal bond, Shear.

The ability of a pressure sensitive label to retain its true colour under normal conditions and/or to resist change in colour when exposed to light, heat, or other influences.

Colour Separation
The process of separating a colour image into its component primary printing colours.

Core/Core Size
Refers to the inside diameter of the cardboard core in a roll of labels.

The lateral movement of a pressure sensitive label on a surface due to low cohesive strength.

The direction perpendicular to the machine direction in the plane of a label printing material. See also: Cross-Web.

The tendency of paper to bend or warp, either by itself or because of a coating or laminate.


Destructible Label
Made using a material that will chip away like paint.

The tool used by label printers to cut the label shape.

Die Cut Label
Pressure sensitive labels on a release liner where the matrix, or waste between the labels, usually has been removed.

Dimensional Stability
The property of a material which relates to the degree of its ability to retain (or recall) its original shape or state. Like a Memory.

Dot Matrix Printing
An economical and versatile method of printing used by label printers that produces images by printing tiny ink dots closely together. First, a computer sends data which determines the arrangement of pins that are to be fired against a ribbon. These pins are in horizontal and vertical rows on the printing head. As the printing head moves back and forth across the page, the pins fire many times per second, forming an image.

Dots per inch; a measure referring to dot resolution in images created by dot matrix, laser, and thermal label printers and imprinters.

Dry Peel
A label construction in which two materials are bonded together with a dry adhesive. The top ply of the construction can be removed with no adhesive residue, the bottom ply is typically made of a clear material, so the substrate can be seen through it. A common use of this label construction is for instantly redeemable coupons or for promotions. See also: Coupon Base, Dry Tag.