StickerYou Blog

Label Material Types: Which One is Right For You?

September 29, 2020  |  
Guides/Tutorials
Infographic about label materials

At StickerYou, we work around the clock to make improvements to our products and services, so in turn, you can make what matters stick. Today, we're revisiting one of our most popular products, labels. StickerYou provides two main types of custom labels: roll labels and Customisable Labels on sheets.

Types of Label Materials

There are several types of label materials, each with its own printing method, features, and applications. To help you choose the best option for your product and branding, here are the different types available.

Paper Labels

Paper is the most basic material used for labeling products. Paper labels are printed on white or colored paper and can have either a glossy or matte finish. The adhesive is strong, usually made of general-purpose acrylic.

However, paper labels aren’t as durable as other types. As such, they’re best used for products that aren’t exposed to water or moisture, such as disposable cardboard or plastic food containers. 

Vinyl Labels

Vinyl labels are the most common type of label for products meant for outdoor use. They are highly durable and resistant to UV, weather, and chemicals. Vinyl can also stretch to a certain extent, allowing application on sharp or curved surfaces. You’ll often see them used as decals or labels for tools, rental equipment, etc. 

Polyester Labels

Polyester labels are probably the strongest of the bunch, able to resist abrasion, tearing, chemicals, and heat. These types of labels come in white matte polyester, white gloss polyester, clear polyester, or silver polyester. 

Because of their durability, polyester labels can be used for products exposed to harsh environments and high temperatures. They can also hold up well to rain, sun, grease, oil, and alcohol exposure. 

Polypropylene Labels

Polypropylene labels are top-coated and bi-axially oriented, equipped with a general-purpose permanent adhesive. They have a glossy finish that looks great on product packaging. 

Because they are quite durable, polypropylene labels can be used for products that will be exposed to moisture. They also adhere well to curved surfaces, with a longevity of 6 months to a year. 

Thermal Labels

Thermal labels are often white in color, usually used for barcodes or address labels. Instead of using ink, toner, or transfer methods, thermal labels use temperature-activated layering where heat is used to darken the label and reveal images and text. 

Because of this, thermal labels do fade over time, especially when exposed to excessive heat or light. This makes them best for labels meant to convey temporary information. 

Fabric Labels

Fabric labels, also called textile labels, are a special type of label material mostly used for clothing. Usually made of fabrics like satin, damask, semi-damask, taffeta, cotton, canvas, and felt, they’re pinned to garments to communicate information like the clothing’s size, brand, care instructions, fabric content, and other product details. 

Metalized Labels

Metalized labels have a mirror-like chrome finish, almost appearing like stainless steel. They can be finished with matte and glossy surfaces depending on the design you’re going for.

Metalized labels have dimensional constancy and an aptitude that can withstand harsh temperatures and conditions. They’re commonly used to label tools and appliances. 

Removable Labels

Removable labels allow for a less permanent application. They can be removed from any surface they are attached to and often do not leave sticky adhesive residue. The label is resistant to damage when peeled off and can be reapplied to another surface. 

Because of this, removable labels are perfect for temporary use on reusable containers, as price and promotion stickers, or as custom wine bottle labels.

Fluorescent Labels

Fluorescent labels are the brightest of the bunch, usually coming in stand-out colors like orange, red, green, or pink. Because of their eye-catching colors, they are often used as labels for safety equipment. They also have a strong permanent adhesive. 

Kraft Labels

Kraft labels are made of paper material with a similar appearance to fine cardboard. Unlike regular paper labels, they are more durable and have a rougher texture. This gives them a unique DIY look, perfect for homemade or handcrafted products. 

Clear Labels

Clear labels are usually made of a plastic material called Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene (BOPP). Their translucent nature makes them the best option for clear product packaging, such as bottles or food containers.

Because they have a simple, no-label look, they can highlight the contents of the container, aka your product, effectively. 

Infographic about custom roll label solutions.

Label Recommendations For Different Products

BOPP Labels

Durable Roll Labels or BOPP Labels (Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene – essentially a plastic-based label) are ideal for labeling products that require extra durability. They're water resistant, UV fade resistant, oil resistant, heat resistant, and abrasion resistant. 

This makes them truly durable for products in the health and beauty, beverage, and industrial industries. They're also outdoor-friendly, allowing them to be used on outdoor products.

Matte Roll Labels

Matte-Writable Roll Labels & Matte-Writable Label Sheets are a quick and easy way to label your products while customizing each label manually with the date of production, best before, or flavor or scent categorization. 

These labels also offer the most "organic" look and feel, as they have no gloss, and are appropriate for products that have a "natural" positioning, such as certain foods and beauty products.

Silver Foil Labels

Silver Foil Labels add a high-quality, luxurious look to your product. The SILVERVAC material gives your packaging the extra oomph it deserves. They can be used for industrial, consumer product, and apparel packaging, as well as for event packaging such as birthdays, anniversaries, marriages, and more!

Gold Foil Labels

Gold Foil Labels are printed with a shiny, metallic finish, these gold foil stickers are perfect for sealing gift boxes or packaging, and give your products an elegant look.

Clear Roll Labels

Clear Roll Labels & Clear Label Sheets have great full-color reproduction, which will ensure your logo or label design looks great – particularly on glass objects. 

Perfect for honey or jam jars and beer bottles, the durable, tear-proof material with permanent adhesive will help keep your label intact and in place on your product.

Paper Roll Labels

Paper (Standard) Roll Labels are a quick and easy way to order custom labels in bulk and at a reasonable price. Paper roll labels are easy to dispense and distribute. Simply put, they're the most popular economic choice for blank packaging and label branding.

Eco-Safe Roll Labels

Eco-Safe Roll Labels are a paper laminate material made from paper pulp, and bio-degrade naturally! They’re also safe for a variety of types of packaging, including food, as they are certified food-grade.

Removable Roll Labels

Removable Roll Labels are printed on glossy stock with totally removable adhesive, meaning your labels appear bold and bright and can be removed without any residue.

Label recommendations for different products.

Conclusion

Now that you know about the different types of label materials you can use, you are in a much better position to find the option that suits your product and branding. Every label material will have its own unique features and applications, so take the time to assess your options and find the best choice for you. 

If you’re looking to order a product not available directly through the website, feel free to fill out a quote form, or send your artwork to our team at [email protected]!

Label Material Types: Frequently Asked Questions

What material is used for labels?

There are several materials used for labels, the most common of which are paper, vinyl, polyester, and polyethylene. Some labels also make use of specialty films like BOPP or fluorescent materials. 

What is the material used in brand labels?

Brand labels can be made of different materials. But generally, businesses often opt for paper, polyester, vinyl, or polyethylene depending on the features they need, the durability of the sticker, and their intended application. 

What type of paper are labels printed on?

Labels can be printed on a lot of different materials, from matte or glossy sticker paper to vinyl and BOPP. This is done using offset and flexographic printing techniques, depending on the type of material used.