From a purely practical point of view, the most important part of a label is the adhesive.
If you choose the wrong sort of adhesive for your particular application then you may well find that your labels simply won’t do the job that you need them to do.
Many people don’t realise that there are different types and strengths of adhesive – although for most applications a simple standard permanent adhesive will do the job. The problem is that there are a handful of label applications that require the use of a different kind of adhesive because a standard permanent adhesive simply doesn’t meet the requirements of that application.
These alternative adhesives tend to be designed specifically for a particular kind of label application and will therefore have properties and characteristics that allow them to function efficiently in that application. The most common reasons that you might need to use something other than a standard permanent adhesive are:
- You Need Temporary Labels
If you need labels that will stay in place for a fixed (short) time only, you may find that standard permanent adhesives are not a suitable choice. Instead you should look at removable adhesives, which are designed to provide a good adhesive bond while a label is needed before peeling away cleanly from a surface without doing any damage in the process.
- You Need Labels That Will Survive In More Challenging Environments
While standard permanent adhesives will function efficiently on a range of surfaces in “normal” or “standard” conditions, you might need labels that can survive in more challenging environments; for example, your application might involve different or fluctuating conditions, such as high or low temperatures or even exposure to water. These conditions will most likely cause a standard adhesive to fail, which means you would need to choose a special adhesive designed to cope with more extreme conditions.
- You Need Labels That Can Adhere To Unusual Or Curved Surfaces
Certain materials and surfaces may prove too difficult for standard permanent adhesives to bond with properly, which means that if you want to make sure your labels stay in place you’ll have to choose a stronger permanent adhesive.
So how do I go about choosing the right sort of adhesive?
Adhesives are primarily classified as “Permanent” or “Removable”, so the first choice you need to make is whether you need your labels to be “Permanent” or “Temporary”; choose a permanent adhesive for permanent labels (to make sure they stay firmly in place) and a removable adhesive for temporary labels (to make sure they can be removed without damage when you no longer need them).
Once you’ve narrowed your search to one of these two kinds of adhesive, you need to take into account any environmental factors that might require the use of a more specialised adhesive; try to think of anything in your label application that might cause a problem for a standard adhesive – if you can’t think of anything then you should be okay with a standard adhesive BUT if there are specific requirements that you need your labels to cope with then you should take a look at more specialised adhesives with specific properties that make them better suited to your application.
For example: Choosing The Right Permanent Adhesive
We have twenty two products with permanent adhesives, which can be grouped as follows:
- Standard Permanent Labels (STA/MPQ/GWPQ/BRK/C/FC/GW/LG/LS/SG)
Simply choose the label product with the colour and/or finish that you like best.
- Durable and/or Waterproof Permanent Labels (MWP/MWPE/GWP/SMP/GCP/GTP/MTP)
Choose one of these if you need your labels to be durable and/or waterproof, especially if you’re looking to create long life tracking labels.
- Strong Permanent Labels (For Unusual Surfaces) (Mega Tack/HT/MWP/MWPE)
Choose one of these if you need a label that will stay firmly stuck or you need to label an unusual surface that standard adhesives struggle to bond with.
- Freezer Labels (DF)
Choose these labels if you need to label items that are to be stored or used in freezer conditions (for example, food and drink products or medical and research samples).
- Outdoor Labels (MWP/MWPE)
Choose one of these if you need a label that can survive in outdoor conditions, particularly if those conditions include exposure to or submersion in water.
- Security Labels (SVP and TEV)
Choose one of these if you’re looking for a label product that will improve the security of your items by providing evidence if an attempt is made to tamper with the labels (and therefore your items).
For example: Choosing The Right Removable Adhesive
We have five products with removable adhesives, which can be grouped as follows:
- Standard Removable Labels (REM and REMC)
Choose one of these if you need a basic temporary label (in white or colour).
- Durable and/or Waterproof Removable Labels (GTR and MWR)
Choose one of these if you need temporary labels that are more durable and waterproof.
- Removable Labels For Delicate Surfaces or Long Term Use (GREM)
Choose these labels if you need to label delicate items (e.g. those made of paper or glass) and/or it is absolutely vital that no damage is done when your labels are removed.
To help you work out which adhesive is the best option for you, we’ve created a “Complete List of all our Label Adhesives” page, which lists all of our products according to the type of adhesive they are made with, along with a description of the characteristics of each adhesive. Remember, you can also request a sample of any label products that you are interested in so you can test them to make sure they will work for you before you go ahead and buy. We recommend that you replicate the conditions of your application as closely as possible with your samples so you know for certain that they are the right labels for the job.