Product Labels is a piece of paper, polymer, cloth, metal, or other material affixed to a container or product, on which is printed information about the product. Information printed directly on a container or article can also be considered labeling.
Labels have many uses including providing information on a product’s origin, use, shelf-life and disposal.
Methods of production and attachment to packaging are many and various and may also be subject to internationally recognized standards.
- Piggyback labels are made from combining two layers of adhesive substrate. The bottom layer forms the backing for the top. The label can be applied to any object as normal, the top layer can be a removable label that can be applied elsewhere, which may change the message or marking on the remaining label underneath. Often used on Express mail envelopes. Other applications include price change labels where when being scanned at the till the till assistant can peel back the price-reduction label and scan the original barcode enabling stock flow management. Also, as the retained label is adhesive free it prevents customers from re-applying the cheaper priced labels to premium products.
- Smart labels have RFID chips embedded under the label stock.
- Blockout labels are not see-through at all, concealing what lies underneath with a strong gray adhesive.
- Radioactive labels The use of radioactive isotopes of chemical elements, such as carbon-14, to allow the in vivo tracking of chemical compounds.
- Laser or printer labels are generally die cut on 8.5″ x 11″ (US letter) or A4 sized sheets, and come in many different shapes, sizes, formats and materials. Laser label material is a nonporous stock made to withstand the intense heat of laser printers and copiers. A drawback of laser labels is that the entire sheet needs to be printed before any labels are used; once labels have been removed the sheet cannot be put through the printer again without damaging the printing mechanism. Inkjet label material is a porous stock made to accept ink and dye from an inkjet printer. One of the more modern inkjet label material stocks is waterproof printable inkjet material commonly used for soap or shower gel containers.
- Security labels are used for anti-counterfeiting, brand protection, tamper-evident seals, anti-pilferage seals, etc. These combine a number of overt and covert features to make reproduction difficult. The use of security printing, holography, embossing, barcodes, RFID chips, custom printing, weak (or weakened) backings, etc. is common. They are used forauthentication, theft reduction, and protection against counterfeit and are commonly used on ID cards, credit cards, packaging, and products from CDs to electronics to clothing.
- Antimicrobial labels. With the growth in hospital acquired infections such as MRSA and E-Coli the use of antimicrobial labels in infection sensitive areas of hospitals are helping in combating these types of microbes.
- Fold-out labels, also known as booklet, multi-page or extended labels, or lablets (combined label + leaflet). Where the pack is not large enough for a single label to carry all the required information, fold-out labels are often preferred to separate leaflets, which can easily be lost. These labels are frequently seen on agricultural chemicals and consumer pharmaceuticals.