StickerYou Blog

Types of Roll Labels: Which Roll Label Material Should You Choose?

June 4, 2018  |  
Roll label for a large quantity of stickers

When ordering custom labels for your products, you need to give much thought to which specific type to choose. Roll labels are the most common orders, giving you a large quantity of stickers to use for your product packaging and labeling needs.

But there are various types of roll label materials, each one with unique characteristics. To help you find the right custom label for you and your intended application, we’ve put together this guide. 

What are Roll Labels?

A roll label is a type of label that is mounted on or attached to a roll. The labels are printed on a specialized printer, which wraps them around a cardboard core usually measuring 3 inches. 

The roll label printing process yields several stickers that you can peel off from the roll and apply to your intended surface. Their popularity is owing to them being ready-made and easy to use, perfect for labeling a range of products. 

Label Material Composition

A roll label is made up of a few basic parts or layers produced on a roll, including the face stock, adhesive, liner, top coat, and core. Here’s the anatomy of a roll label: 

Face Stock

The face stock is the part of the label on which the design is printed. From the name itself, it’s the face of the roll label, sitting on top of the adhesive layer. The face stock can be made of many different materials, the most common being paper, film, fabric, and foil. 

Adhesive

The adhesive layer is what makes the label stick. It is attached to the liner and can be peeled off for easy application to your intended surface. The adhesives used for roll labels are various. They can be all temperature, cold temperature, permanent, or removable. 

A mixture of materials that bond together makes up the adhesive to ensure the label sticks and doesn’t delaminate. 

Liner

The liner, also called the carrier or backing, is the layer that carries the adhesive and keeps it in place until the label is ready for use. 

Liners for roll labels are usually made of kraft paper with a special coating, usually silicone, to ensure the easy release of the adhesive. There are also liners made of polyethylene terephthalate and other materials. 

Top Coat

The top coat is a protective layer that is applied to the label. It doesn’t appear in all roll labels but is usually included to protect the face stock from scratches and other damage. 

Top coats also come in different types. They can be glossy or matte, adding another element to the label design. 

Core

Serving as the base or foundation of a roll label, the core is a sturdy cardboard center that holds everything together. It’s kind of like the piece of cardboard at the center of a roll of tissue paper. 

The core can come in different sizes, depending on the label application equipment used. Commonly, however, they are either 1 inch or 3 inches in diameter. 

Types of Roll Label Materials

There are different types of materials used to make roll labels. Each one sports unique characteristics that contribute to the label’s appearance, print quality, and durability.

Paper

Paper is the most basic material used to make roll labels. It is the cheapest among the other options, making it a popular label material choice for products with disposable packaging. 

Paper, of course, isn’t oil or waterproof, which means it’s not the most durable material. However, it is preferred by businesses aiming for an environmentally friendly label design to suit their sustainable products. 

Laminated Paper

Paper labels can easily tear and break up when exposed to liquid and humidity. If you want something that will last a little bit longer, you can opt for laminated paper. This roll label material features an extra protective layer that sits over the paper to help wick off liquid and protect the design.

BOPP

BOPP, or Biaxially-Oriented (BO) Polypropylene, is a popular label material used for beauty and personal care products. It’s also a go-to for food and beverage brands. 

This is because of its versatile and resilient nature. BOPP is highly durable, holding up well to water and oil exposure. It usually comes with a permanent adhesive to ensure a strong and long-lasting hold. 

BOPP comes in a variety of types, including clear, white, and removable BOPP. 

Polypropylene

Like BOPP, polypropylene is another waterproof and tearproof material that creates extremely strong labels. It is able to withstand prolonged exposure to water, oil, and moisture while retaining the quality of the print. 

Polypropylene prevents the discoloration and fading of the label design. It lasts for the entire life of the product it’s attached to. 

Vinyl (PVC) Label Material

Finally, we have vinyl roll labels. Vinyl boasts longevity thanks to its water resistance, chemical resistance, and UV resistance qualities. It’s best used for products intended for the outdoors or those that see exposure to the elements frequently. 

Aside from being highly durable. Vinyl can also be complemented by a strong adhesive that allows it to be applied to sharp and curved surfaces. 

Types of roll label materials chart

What You Need to Know About Roll Labels

Roll labels are usually priced per sticker or label, and price breaks exist at certain quantities. A sales representative will be able to advise you on where these price breaks exist. You can get in touch with a sales representative here.

Pricing for roll labels is based on the size of the labels and the quantity you wish to order. Labels of unusual die-cut shapes may have a slightly higher cost as a unique die will need to be manufactured to cut these labels.

Labels with many different colors may also have a slightly higher cost than labels with four or fewer ink colors.

Specialty effects for roll labels are available; such as foil effects, embossing, debossing, spot UV coating, and perforated rolls. To find out more about these effects or add them to your roll order, request a custom quote.

Roll labels will be delivered as rolls, not as single stickers or labels.

How to Select Your Material

You can upload your logo or design to our online platform or create your own using our design tools. Once you have designed the perfect label in our Label Editor, click the blue Done Editing button. Now you can select your label material!

In the order details, navigate to the "Material" drop-down and you will see all of the available material options. Select the material that fulfills your packaging requirements based on the features in the above chart and then specify your other order details like label quantity.

StickerYou label editor

Note: Only standard, durable, and clear roll labels can be designed on our website. Writable roll labels can only be ordered by filling out this custom quote form.

Types of Roll Label Materials: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between cut label and roll label?

Cut labels are printed on sheets and then cut according to the specified size and shape. Roll labels, on the other hand, are printed on a roll. The labels are spun around a spool using specialized equipment. 

Are sheet or roll labels cheaper?

Roll labels are printed on a continuous roll. Because of this, the cost per label is lower than that of sheet labels. Roll labels also yield a higher quantity than sheet labels, allowing you to order in bulk. 

Are roll labels sticky?

Roll labels have a layer of adhesive that allows them to be applied to any surface. But to ensure long-lasting adhesion, it pays to choose the right roll label material. BOPP and vinyl are the top contenders for sticky and durable roll labels.