Here's a guide to using self adhesive labels as part of displays in galleries and exhibition spaces.
We have a number of customers who purchase labels for use as title cards or information boards in galleries and exhibitions to provide details about each item on display. Some of these customers require labels that they can simply (and easily) apply directly onto walls before removing each label when the exhibition or event comes to a close.
While it might seem a simple enough task to find a label suitable for this purpose, you must take into careful consideration the properties of the wall’s surface – and the potential problems that these might cause.
When a customer requires a removable label that won’t do any damage, we recommend choosing one of our label products with a removable adhesive; these adhesives are designed to provide a bond that will hold the label in place while it is needed before removing cleanly from the surface without leaving behind any adhesive residue or doing any damage to the surface. Using a permanent adhesive will usually result in some adhesive residue being left behind and can do minor damage to the surface when a label is removed – which rules out permanent adhesives for direct applications onto walls in galleries & exhibitions.
However, some walls have surfaces that make it more difficult for an adhesive bond to form; for example, some paints, coatings, and finishes on walls will create a porous surface that adhesives may struggle to bond with, while walls made from natural materials (e.g. exposed brickwork or wood) have uneven, rough surfaces that can prove challenging for removable adhesives that are designed to create light, temporary bonds. Usually, when a customer needs a label that is capable of bonding with an uneven or unusual surface, we recommend stronger permanent adhesives but these would damage the walls and so are unsuitable for this type of application.
So what can you do if you need to create labels for an exhibition or event?
- Use placeholders:
Add a small placeholder next to each display space and apply your labels to the placeholder rather than the walls. This way you can choose a material for your placeholder that provides a flat, smooth surface that removable labels can both adhere to and be removed from easily. Alternatively, you could use a permanent adhesive that might do some damage upon removal but isn’t as much of an issue because the damage is done to the (replaceable) placeholder and not the wall itself.
- Request a sample first:
Request a sample of our removable labels so you can test for yourself if our labels will work on the surface you need to label. This will also allow you to see if there are alternative places/surfaces where you could apply your labels; for example, while the wall behind your display may prove to be an unsuitable surface, you might find that your items are being put into glass or plastic cases or frames whereby the smooth surface of the case or frame allows the adhesive to bond firmly enough to hold each label in place during your exhibition or event, before removing cleanly from the surface once the label is no longer needed.
You can find a full list of our removable adhesive products by visiting our Removable Adhesives page.