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By Daniel Millions
One of the most ubiquitous items in our culture today is the ever present and multi-talented sticker. Labels go on just about everything and the list of various uses they are put to continues to grow. While the materials a sticker is printed on can range from paper and plastic all the way up to metals and metallic foil, there are essentially only two types of stickers; permanent or temporary.
The core of a label’s function is the adhesive placed on the back of it. For applications that are meant to last, such as warning labels on containers or equipment, the adhesive will be a strong bonding agent that will require tearing of the surface material or solvents to remove. You will find this type of label on just about any jar of food in the grocery store. Stickers and labels are not only a convenient way to dissemble information but are also used extensively to permanently attach Radio Frequency Inventory Devices (RFID) to products to aid in the prevention of shoplifting.
Decals are only slightly different from regular labels in that they usually have the printed matter on the same side as the adhesive so the image is protected from wear. Usually created on clear acrylic substrate, these types of labels allow a product to show through the background.
Even the average office will contain many stickers and labels in their repertoire of supplies. Rolled print runs of shipping labels can quickly facilitate the addressing of mass mailings of your product or newsletter. Return address stickers can add color and variety to your return address. Filing folders and even the cabinets themselves are more easily organized with color coded stickers.
For applications that require an informational sticker to be on a product at the purchase but unwanted afterwards, as in the case of pricing labels, there are several types of removable adhesives that can be used. Most of these are designed to be peeled off without damaging the surface or leaving adhesive residue behind. Removable adhesive is used on labeling fresh produce as well.
However, stickers are not just for serious business. With the printing of peel-off self-adhesive label material so inexpensive, stickers can be printed in any imaginable color. With the two ply labeling material you can use die cutting forms to make your stickers and labels in almost any shape as well.
Stickers are extremely popular with children and can be obtained either flat or made of a puffy, sponge-like interior for added dimension. Since they are designed for play, most stickers made for children come with removable adhesives for ease of cleanup and removal when they are applied indiscriminately. Labels and stickers of this sort are extremely customizable and can be used for such various items as automobile bumper stickers and name-tags for parties and social gatherings.
There are a number of specialized high-tech stickers as well. A newly designed antimicrobial label has been developed that allows health care providers and hospital employees to see at a glance if there are harmful bacteria in the air. Radioactive labels and stickers have been developed for the use in tracking dangerous compounds. These are used when the label information must be read via an electronic scanner through special shielding containers.
While the words sticker and label are usually interchangeable there is one distinct difference. All stickers have a 100% adhesive backing whereas an ordinary label may only be attached at certain points on the bottom surface.
About the Author: Stickers and Decals for every occasion.
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