Self-Adhesive Labels Where it All Began


Self-Adhesive Labels Where it All Began

Self-adhesive labels. They're everywhere, from high street shops and supermarkets to small business window displays but where did they come from? Easy to apply, not so easy to remove but from whence did they come?

Back in the Beginning

You might think that self-adhesive labels are a modern invention, but you'd be mistaken. Let's jump back in time to the early 1800's. The introduction to sticky labels is all thanks to the European artists of the early 19th century. They experimented with the idea of sticking coloured labels onto a product in hopes that it would help it sell. Well, needless to say, it worked. That's why even today in our high-tech society, companies are spending millions of pounds a year on this simple but effective marketing tool.

Older Self Adhesive Labels

Some of the antique labels are still available at auctions across the world and are sold at skyline price marks. Would you spend £3000 on a self-adhesive label? Although, until very recently, not strictly self-adhesive, the postage stamp is a familiar type of label and one of those has sold for nearly $10 million. In more recent times, however, self-adhesive labels are seen all over and paper is no longer the only material they're made of. Although these early pioneers had a great idea, it wasn't necessarily the best means to the end. Today, self-adhesive sticky labels are more likely to be printed, and often made of vinyl or similar material, are always extremely sticky and often implement a custom design.

Mr Avery - The Architect of Modern Self-Adhesive Labels

If we jump ahead in time from the early 1800's, it was in the 1930’s when an ambitious entrepreneur by the name of R. Stanton Avery thought up the idea of a machine that produced self-adhesive labels which could be applied to any material. Isn't that a rather ingenious idea? It was from R. Stanton Avery’s incredible idea in the early 20th Century that the modern pressure sensitive labels were developed. The common issue, however, was that up until around 1980, to have properly printed labels, buyers would pay premium pricing.

The Inkjet Printer and How it Changed Self-Adhesive Labels

The first inkjets were developed in the 1950’s but they started being seen in the commercial sector in the early 1980's. This was no mundane invention, the inkjet printer revolutionised the use of adhesive labels as well as many other industries because marketable quality printing was now available without the need to go to a printing company. This was a game-changing invention as now it wasn't only large companies which could afford premium pricing who were able to utilise printed stickers, now people in one-man small businesses could implement the use of self-adhesive labels.

Next came the laser printer

Laser printing was invented in 1969 but remained prohibitively expensive until the mid-eighties. With technology becoming better and more affordable as time went on, it only made sense that labels too would continue to grow in popularity. They were now an affordable way to give information on products, identify machinery, and even promote sales.

A world without self-adhesive labels

Just try to imagine for a moment, a world without sticky labels. Sure, students would find other ways to make their coursework and study notes easier to manage. Though just imagine not having the listed ingredients on everyday food products. Ingredients aside, imagine a bottle of juice without a label, you'd never know what you're looking at or what you were about to consume.

Similar products

Self-adhesive label is a broad term, what counts as a self-adhesive label? Here's a list of things that could be placed in the category:

Labels in America

Labels became more popular in America as the farming market industry became more and more competitive. The idea of lithography that had come from European artists was quickly becoming a good way to sell produce for farmers at markets, they were great for drawing the attention of prospective customers with the bright coloured papers on offer. Labels played such a large influence in marketing worldwide, that Microsoft Office Word processor includes a template for self-adhesive labels.

Obtaining Labels Today

So, now we've had our little journey through time, and seeing how easy it is to obtain printed labels these days where can you get them?

Well, we have a simple solution for you, firstly ‘Try before you buy’ with our handy free sample pack. You will be able to see our amazing print quality and test our samples on your very own products to check which suits your exact purpose.

Once you know which material is right for you then head to our easy to use label sticker maker, enter your label size, the material of choice and the number of labels you require for an instant quote. Once you’re happy then go ahead and securely buy your labels online and receive them 24 hours later, now that’s handy!

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