Label Glossary


Adhesive which in a dry form is tacky at room temperature. It creates a bond when pressure is applied. There are many adhesive options availalble, contact your account manager to find the best adhesive for your application. 

Coated Paper

Paper with a coating allowing it to be more receptive to printing. These types of substrates will typically produce more vibrant color. 

Die Cut

The process in which a Die is used to cut the perimeter shape of a label. These can include simple shapes like rectangles and circles as well as more complex shapes that follow the contour of graphics.

Digital Printing

A printing process that works directly from digital data, which does not require printing plates. 


A technique that creates raised or lowered graphics by use of specialized plates or dies. Embossing can either be sculpted with different levels of details or single level, also known as Polymer Embossing. 

Flexographic Printing

Method of printing which employs flexible plates, rotary die cutting, rapid-drying inks, in-line laminating and other converting operations. 


A rectangular "mark" used to activate an automatic electronic sensor "eye" for controlling registration. These are typically needed on application machines for labels that do not have a defining edge, such as clear labels. 

Hot Stamping Foil

A printing process in which foil is transferred by a plate or die to a label material using a combination of heat and pressure. Using hot foil produces finer detail than using cold foil. 


A plastic film that is bonded to the paper or label material for protection and/or appearance. Common types of lamination are clear gloss or clear matte. 


Refers to the carrier sheet on the non printing side of pressure sensitive label material. Common types of liners in the label industry are: 44 PK (brown), 1.2 PET (clear), and 40SCK (white). 

Magnetic Die

A thin, flexible steel cutting plate that is held onto a base cylinder magnetically. Magnetic dies typically cost less to manufacture than solid rotary cutting dies. 

Offset Printing

Print method in which ink from the plate is impressed on a rubber-blanket, which impresses the substrate. The print plate does not directly print on the paper, i.e. it is offset. This method of printing provides superior print detail and vibrant color reproduction. 

Photopolymer (Poly)

Plate material that is photosensitive and upon exposure to light, its compounds form a tough, abrasion resistant surface which becomes the inking media. Photopolymer plates are made with our Kodak NX Plate System and yeild finer dots than traditional Flexographic plates. 

Pressure Sensitive Label

A label produced on a substrate with adhesive that adheres to surfaces by applying pressure. Also known as a Self Adhesive Label.

Process Color (CMYK)

Multi-color printing utilizing cyan, magenta, yellow, and black inks (CMYK) to produce the optical illusion of all colors and hues being present in the final print. Most color photographs and images are printed with Process Color. 


The alignment of elements in relation to each other including ink colors, die cut, emboss, and hotstamping foil. 

Screen Printing (High Build)

Method of printing in which ink is forced through a mesh screen and onto the substrate. This process results in a heavy ink deposit not possible with other print methods. 

Spot Gloss

A label finishing option that adds gloss varnish to selective areas of the label. Spot Gloss helps text and artwork stand out from the rest of the label. 

Substrate (Paper or Film)

The printable surface of a material (paper, foil, or film) which can also include the liner and adhesive. Each type of substrate has a unique texture, finsh and appearence. Contact your account manager to review all substrate options for your label. 


Cylinders or plates that are engraved out of metal or polymer material that are used to cut, hotstamp or emboss labels. 


A clear protective coating applied to a label. Standard varnish has little effect on sheen but varnishes are also available that make the label have a matte or gloss finish. 


A roll of material or finished labels that moves through a printing press or label applicator. 

Uncoated Paper

Substrates that are printed directly on the pulp surface. These papers do not produce the color vibrancy of coated papers but are often desirable with wine labels due to their low sheen and texture. 

Unwind Direction

The orientation of a label on the roll in relation to how the roll unwinds. Common unwind directions are #3 (off right) and #4 (off left). 

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