Glossary

Acrylic Adhesive

A pressure-based adhesive suitable for applying to a range of materials, including glass, metal, or wood. Somewhat less effective on plastic and can be more expensive than rubber-based adhesive. They are extremely versatile as they are resistant to UV light, moisture, solvents, and extreme temperatures.

Anti-fog film

A thin layer of material that prevents water condensation from forming small droplets on the substrate surface.

Clinical Trial Label

Labels designed to meet the requirements of the Code of Federal Regulations in the US and the Guideline on Readability in the European Union. They are specially engineered to withstand the extreme temperature of testing storage and matching primary packaging. They can have blinding, randomized computerized data printing, code-break scratch areas, and tamper-evident features as needed.

Co-Extruded film

A film made up of one or more layers of film with different characteristics. One example is “chip film,” or a cereal liner, which combines HDPE for barrier protection and LDPE for sealability.

Digitally Printed Labels

Labels that start as digital files which are converted into a dot matrix pattern, usually via a Raster Image Processor. The resolution of the final image is specified in pixels/inch (PPI). Since no plates are involved, variable image printing is an option, where each impression can vary slightly from the previous one, if desired.

Flexible Packaging

These containers, when filled, will roughly conform to the shape of their contents. Flexible packaging can be lower in cost due to less material consumption and made from sustainable materials, making it an attractive alternative to rigid packaging.

Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications & Tolerances (FIRST)

A set of specifications created and maintained by the Flexographic Technical Association. FIRST defines terminology, workflows, design elements, prepress procedures, and pressrun tools aimed at producing consistent flexographic materials throughout the industry.

Flexographic Label

Labels created using a flexographic printing process. This process involves passing label stock through a series of flexible printing relief plates, each coated with a single printed color that works in tandem to produce the final full-color label. Flexographic printing can incorporate laminating, folding, or die-cutting into a single pass operation.

Gloss Finish

 A varnish or laminate that distinctly reflects light imparting a shine or luster to the surface.

Grade Label

Labels that come into direct or indirect contact with food and must meet strict government standards for inks and adhesives. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Commission (EC) established and enforced these standards.

Linear Low-Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) Film

LLDPE film is impact and puncture resistant with excellent flexibility. It is used for pouches and stretch wrap and can be recycled into composite flooring, lumber, or new plastic films.

Low-Density Polyethylene Film

Film made from Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE) resins and used in applications such as food storage bags, liners, and flexible packaging. It is known for its clarity, density, strength, and printability.

Onsert

Also known as an Expanded or Extended Content Label (ECL), an onsert is a booklet or pamphlet style label used to add more information than can fit in a single layer of available space. They require a permanent adhesive to attach to the primary package and a repositionable microsphere adhesive allowing the onsert to be opened for viewing and resealed.

Permanent Adhesive

An adhesive with a high initial tack, which adheres securely to a substrate, making it difficult to remove and leaving residue behind. A permanent adhesive will have a “peel adhesion” value of 20-28 N/25mm (1”).

Removable Adhesive

An adhesive with low initial tack. It adheres securely to the substrate but removes easily, leaving no adhesive residue. The “peel adhesion” value for a removable adhesive is less than 19 N/25mm (1”).

Repositionable Adhesive

An adhesive that allows labels to be removed and repositioned without damaging the substrate and leaving no residue behind. While most adhesives will reach permanent adhesion at some point, these may be treated to extend the time taken to reach permanent adhesion or prevent permanent adhesion from ever being achieved.

Rubber-Based Adhesive

An adhesive with natural or synthetic rubber as its base material. It works particularly well in low temperatures and adhering to plastics. It is less expensive than acrylic or silicone adhesives, but it is more susceptible to UV light, high temperatures, and moisture.

Rust/Corrosion Inhibitor Film

A film with chemical additives that emit odorless, non-toxic vapors producing a rust-resistant barrier. This treated film protects against dirt, moisture, and corrosion.

Solventless Adhesive Lamination

Applying a solventless adhesive to one or more substrate layers and then bonding them together with a heated nip roller.

Specialty Labels

A variety of special-use labels including, but not limited to, magnets, static clings, scratch-off, scratch and smell, glow in the dark, and variable data printed. These labels typically involve unique adhesives, coatings, and cutting or finishing methods.