custom label printing

Hub Labels at ANA D.C.

We had such a great time at the 2020 ANA D.C. Conference. If you stopped by our booth or grabbed one of our sticker sheets it was nice meeting you! If you missed us or want another sticker sheet just send Don Andersen an email at dandersen@hublabels.com.

Here are some photos we took from the conference!

custom labelsprinting labelscustom labelscustom labels

Inks & Finishes

Inks

UV Screen-Printing Inks

8MK

Ink that is best for paint reproduction

Label Gloss

Ink that adheres to most types of labels for various products.

Rotoprint Roto-gloss

This ink is designed for labels that are running on rotary presses.

Special Effect Inks

Fluorescent Effects

UV fluorescent ink is made from a powder that will react with certain substances under the right conditions to radiate the effect.

Glitter Inks

Inks that contain glitter particles. Light reflects off of platelets located throughout the ink to give off the effect.

Pearlescent Effects

Similar to the glitter effect, pearlescent effects are achieved by pearlescent particles throughout the ink reflecting light off of different surfaces of the platelets.

Phosphorescent Effects

This effect is created from a phosphoric powder that will store light energy and re-emit it over a period of time.

Slate Effect Ink

These inks are for the printing of slates and scrapers. They are textured with a resistance to scratch.

Thermochromic Effects

These inks change color based on what temperature they experience.

UV Chrome

UV screen ink that creates a reflective metallic surface to emulate chromium.

Embellishments & Finishes 

Label embellishments and finishes aren’t just for looks; they also play an important role in maintaining the integrity of the label. Different labels face different sorts of conditions based on what products they are applied on. For example, a label applied to an ice cream container in a freezer is going to undergo different stresses than a label on a peanut butter jar sitting on a shelve.

There are three main finishes to choose from and they are lamination, varnish, or UV coating. With each of these there is typically an option to add a gloss or matte finish as well.

Lamination

Lamination involves taking a film material and applying it over the label to provide extra protection. This is best used for labels that will face moisture or exposure to light.

Varnish

A varnish is a clear liquid coating that can be applied to an entire label or just parts of a label to create a unique visual presentation. They are cheaper than laminates but do not last as long.

UV Coatings

UV Coatings is varnish that is cured by UV light during the printing process. UV coatings are a higher cost than

Understand Label Face Stock and Liner Choices

Basic Label Face Stock Options

Hub Labels offers a huge library of label face stocks and we know the various choices can feel overwhelming. A label face stock, also known as the label substrate, is the front side of the label where the inks are placed. Label face stocks fall into two main categories: paper labels and film labels.

Paper Labels

Paper labels is the most common choice for a prime label application. Paper labels are made from natural wood or pulp and are typically more environmentally friendly, though the label adhesive can limit recyclability. To make your paper label more eco-friendly, we recommend considering a thinner face stock. Label thickness is measured by the unit, “mil” and is equal to one thousandth of an inch or .001 inch.

Film Labels

Film labels are made from plastic or synthetic material. Through our partnership with UPM Raflatac, Hub Labels is also able to offer a clear film made of wood. Film Labels are best suited in the food industry, health and beauty, beverage market or for any surface that risks moisture exposure.

Film labels can be broken down further to include plastic or BOPP labels, also known as Biaxially-Oriented (BO) Polypropylene (PP), vinyl labels, polyester (PET) labels, and polyimide labels. Each of these materials have different levels of chemical resistance, temperature resistance, U.V. resistance, conformability, and cost.

BOPP labels are very popular film labels due to their resilience and moisture resistant properties. BOPP labels are thin, strong, recyclable and are oil/water resistance. These labels work well for tubes and other squeezable containers, making them a staple in the health and beauty market-space.

Specialty Paper and Film Labels

Now that we know that all labels are paper or film, let’s explore other specialty label materials that are available. These specialty label substrate choices can be useful when you want to achieve a unique look over an entire label. We may recommend that you consider other label embellishments, such as cold foil, when the embellishment needs to be limited to one or two elements on the label face stock.

Metallized Labels

Metallized labels are available as a paper substrate or a film substrate. Metallized labels are easy to print on and make the inks look bright and shiny. These silver foil backed labels really make a product stand-out on the shelf and are great to catch the eye of the consumer.

Foil Labels

Foil labels are also known as MaxFlex labels. Foil labels are paper labels, so the material can tear. The foil in the label is made from aluminum or other alloys. Foil labels can be a great option for the snack food industry.

Tag labels

Tag labels are made out of paper and are most commonly used in the retail industry or in an unsupported market that does not see a huge demand. Tag labels are usually quite thick at 70mm.

Static cling labels

Static cling labels are made of PVC vinyl film face stock and are perfect for smooth surfaces, such as glass. These unique labels do not have an adhesive and are usually quite thick at 6 mil thickness. They typically use a heavy liner and are considered a premium piece in the direct mail space because of the soft touch feel of the material. Due to static cling’s properties, it is not considered environmentally friendly. In response to this, Hub Labels has identified a lite-tack window cling BOPP material that is 2 mil thick, clear with an ultra-removable adhesive and a thinner liner.

Magnet labels

Magnet labels are made with paper or film and have a flexible magnet on the bottom layer of the label. Magnetic labels are very thick and can produce more waste than a typical label run.

Holographic labels or HaloFX labels

Holographic labels, also known as HaloFX labels, are very similar to metallized labels in that the material will make inks bright and shiny. HaloFX labels are available as paper or film face stocks. When you need the entire label to have a holographic look that is sure to capture the consumers attention, we have various label options to fit the job.

FDA food compliant labels

FDA food compliant labels are face stocks that come in contact with food and meet FDA regulations. See our FDA guide available for download. We must know if your label comes in direct contact with food so we can properly advise you on your label options.

Label Liner Options

Label liner is an important part of a pressure sensitive label. Also known as backing paper, the label liner is what carries the label to the product applicator and protects the label prior to application. For different types of products and application methods, we will recommend a liner best suited for your label application process.

SCK Liner

SCK liner, also known as semi-calendered kraft liner, is a low-cost liner for paper materials which is ideal for die-cutting and stripping.

PK Liner

PK liner, also known as poly-coater kraft liner, is more expensive than the SCK liner due to the fact that it has a layer of poly that improves the die-cutting process and strengthens the liner to reduce web breaks. This helps reduce down-time and stops to production.

LF Liner

LF liners or lay flat liners, won’t curl and gives the label more stability.

PET Liner

PET liner or polyester film liner, is the most common liner on the market. PET liners are thinner and can fit more labels on a roll which equates to less down-time, creates more value and is a great sustainable option due to its recyclability. PET liners are ideal for high speed die-cutting and stripping.

BG liners

BG liners are bleached glassine liners that are good for low to medium speed dispensing.

Which label materials do I need for my custom label?

Here’s the good news. When you work with Hub Labels, we’ll ask you the questions that will help us identify the right materials for your job. Want to try a new face stock? Contact Hub Labels and we will work with you to complete label test runs and we willl be available to help solve any issues that arise during the application process. We work with our label manufacturing partners, label application equipment suppliers and our customers to find solutions.

Understand Label Adhesive Choices

What is a label adhesive?

Pressure sensitive labels, or PS Labels, use an adhesive to make the label stick to a surface. PS label adhesives require no solvents or heat to be activated. There are three main types of adhesives that are used by label converters: permanent, removable, and repositionable. Each adhesive type has their own unique properties.

When labels fall off prematurely, it can cost a company a lot of time and money to correct. Inventory without a prime label cannot be sold in stores and the expectation is that “the label should just stick”. By working with a custom label converter, like Hub Labels, you can avoid costly mistakes. When application issues do arise, Hub Labels will work with you, the label applicator equipment manufacturer, and the label manufacturer we purchase from to find a solution to minimize down-time.

Permanent Label Adhesives

Permanent label adhesives are the most budget friendly solution. Permanent adhesives work for most label applications and create a strong bond wherever they are applied. Permanent adhesives will likely damage a surface if removed.

Repositionable Label Adhesives

Repositionable label adhesives can be removed after application for a short-term and then reapplied. These labels are ideal when hand applying labels because any crooked label can quickly and easily be adjusted.

Removable Label Adhesives

Labels with removable adhesive can be removed for a certain amount of time after they have been applied without damaging the label or the application surface. However, temperature can affect the integrity of this functionality.

In addition to these broad types of pressure sensitive adhesives, label adhesives also have varying qualities within these categories that separates them even further from one another.

Common Adhesion Terminology

Initial Tack

Initial Tack refers to the initial stickiness or grip that a label adhesive will have upon making contact with a surface. Low initial tack means there will be low adhesion allowing for an easier removal whereas high initial tack brings a higher level of adhesion. Low initial tack will build up adhesion over time when not removed.

Mandrel Hold

The Mandrel Hold will ensure a label adhesive can stick to a curved or non-flat surface. Label adhesives with good mandrel holds will not flag, which means the edges won’t fold up.

Shear Resistance

Label adhesives with a low shear have a high initial tack but they are soft and can split apart easier. A label adhesive with high shear is stronger and less likely to tear apart easy but will have a low initial tack.

Solvent Resistance

A solvent resistant label ensures a label will not lose adhesion when exposed to a variety of solvents such as water, alcohol, plasticizers, petrochemical solutions, etc..

Ultimate Adhesion

Ultimate adhesion measures the maximum amount of adhesion expected after being applied to a surface. Ultimate adhesion usually takes anywhere between 2 and 24 hours and it all depends on factors such as the stiffness of the adhesive, the condition or feel of the surface it is being applied to, or environmental conditions.

U.V. Resistance

Labels exposed to Ultra Violet or UV light for long periods of time are at risk for color change or adhesion decay. Labels that are exposed to UV light, whether through use or during the printing process, should have some level of UV resistance.

Cold Flow

Cold flow is a label adhesive’s ability to stay bonded to a surface in below-normal temperatures.

Minimum Application Temperature

When an adhesive does not have cold flow and isn’t designed for cold temperatures, the adhesive will weaken as the temperature drops. The minimum application temperature for these types of adhesives is around 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Service Temperature Range

The service temperature is the temperature range a label adhesive will still function in once it was has reached ultimate adhesion.