Custom Labels 101

From personal projects to business uses, custom labels serve a number of unique needs, and using personalized labels for your projects is an easy and affordable way to ensure your message is in the minds of your customers and clients every day. From labeling files or packages, to adding a special touch to gift or product packaging, to branding your marketing materials, custom labels can do it all, and we are here to help make creating custom labels a breeze!

When it comes to our label collection, our offerings are vast! We have shipping labels, waterproof labels, foil labels, embossed labels, and more. Whether you want circle, square, or rectangle labels, we can do it all! We even offer custom shaped labels, as well as labels in every imaginable size (within reason!). You can start by browsing our online selection here, but if you don’t see the shape, color, or size you’re looking for, don’t worry! There are thousands of different labels options available, so we’ve only included our most commonly ordered labels online. If you’re not seeing what you’re looking for, give us a call! We’re confident we can meet your needs.



Custom Label Material Terminology

Ever wonder what “bleed” is? What about “face stock?” We get that there’s a lot of printing and material terminology involved with ordering custom labels, but don’t let this overwhelm you. Most of it is pretty basic, but like with anything, having a good reference guide really makes things easier. To start, let’s that a look at some of the most commonly used terms you’ll encounter when ordering custom labels:


Adhesive refers to the glue on the label. We can apply the adhesive in two ways:

  • Back adhesive – Adhesive is applied to the back (blank side) of the label. If a back adhesive label is applied to a window, it goes on the outside of the window.
  • Face adhesive – Adhesive is applied to the front (printed side) the label. If a face adhesive label is applied to a window, it goes on the inside of the window.

BOPP Stock

Biaxially-oriented polypropylene, more commonly referred to as BOPP, is a moisture and oil resistant film that is commonly used for labeling bath and body products as well as food and beverages.

Extended Life Durable Decals

Labels that are manufactured to withstand harsh conditions, temperatures, and rugged applications.


Clear plastic coating that provides extra label durability. There are four types of label laminations:

  • Matte – dull surface that typically can be written on
  • Textured – used to add texture to labels
  • Shiny – glossy coating
  • White – used with clear stock to create a white face stock


A darkened adhesive that is used as a “cover up.” Opaque adhesive restricts copy from showing through the face stock.

Removable Adhesive 

A low tack adhesive that for a short period of time (up to 6 months) allows labels to be easily removed from a surface without leaving residue on smooth surfaces.

Repositionable Labels 

Repositionable labels feature a patterned adhesive that allows the label to be applied and reapplied to almost any surface. Repositionable labels remove cleanly and leave no residue for the life of the label.

Static Cling

Static cling labels are labels that have no adhesive and adhere to glass or other smooth surfaces with static electricity.


There are four types of label varnishes, a liquid coating that’s printed to the label surface:

  • UV – provides a very high gloss finish
  • Water based – protects labels from slight moisture
  • Matte – a dull varnish that allows for labels to be written on
  • Spot – only part of the label is varnished to highlight an area of interest

Weatherproof labels 

Weatherproof labels can withstand heat, cold, water, and sunlight for up to 1 to 1.5 years.


Custom Label Printing Terminology

Backside Printing 

Backside printing means the copy is printed on the liner of the label. This printing method is used to offer coupons or convey additional information.


When a label “bleeds,” it means it features ink that extends to the edge of the label, instead of there being a small white border around the artwork.


An image is pressed into the material to raise it above the normal level of the material.

Full Color Printing (CMYK) 

Full color printing, also known as four color or process color printing, refers to the printing process that uses four ink colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) to create an image. Full color printing is most often used for colorful or vivid designs.


Perforation refers to the small cuts between labels which allows them to be easily separated.

Rewind Direction

Score vs. Tab

A score is a slit on the liner of the label, whereas a tab is a face slit in the label itself. Both score and tab are to ease removal of label.

Single Labels

Single labels are individually cut and stacked.

Spot Color Printing 

The use of one ink for each color printed. Separate plates are required for each ink color being applied to the material.

Square Cut 

Also known as “butt cut”, square cut labels are cut exactly to size with no excess liner around the label.


Stock and Adhesive Information Guide

Now that you have an idea what some of the most common label material and printing terminology means, this “label stock 101” chart will be your best friend when deciding exactly which kind of material and stock is best for your project. The “face stock” option is what you’ll choose under “product color” during your ordering process, so this guide will be really useful in deciding which “color” works best for your labels.


Here to Help

Still feeling overwhelmed? Or would you maybe rather not even deal with label terminology at all? Whether you have one question or want us to handle everything for you, we are here to help every step of the way! Our knowledgeable team of printing experts know just the right questions to ask to help you decide which label is best for your project. We can even help with artwork! If you don’t have a logo or artwork ready, just tell us your ideas, and our talented graphic designers will bring them to life!

Start online now or call us today. We look forward to helping you with all of your custom label needs!




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