What is a Pressure Sensitive Label?

pressure sensitive labels

Pressure sensitive labels are everywhere and stuck to almost everything we consume on a daily basis. Labels are ambassadors for business brands and connect with consumers on a very personal level, yet most people have no idea about the elements and complexities of a label.

Pressure sensitive labels or “ps labels” can be applied to anything with very light pressure and does not require messy glue to be applied during the production of a product. There are five layers that make up a label that we refer to as “The Sandwich”.


The backing material made from paper or plastic film and allows the labels to be wound on a roll, so the labels do not stick to one another. Once a label has been removed from the liner to be applied to a product, the liner is thrown away after or sent to select recycling facilities to be converted into a safe alternative fuel source.


Applied to the liner, the release coating is designed to allow the label face-stock to easily peel away from the liner during application.


Perhaps the most under appreciated component of a label, the adhesive is the glue that holds the label face-stock to a product. Brands should work closely with their packaging manufacturer and label manufacturer to ensure the adhesive formula is constructed to suit the needs of the product and the variables for any given application. This includes the materials used, the temperature during label application, wet or dry storing environments, storage temperature, packaging texture, package materials, etc.


This is what people see and think of as the “label”. Brands should work with their label manufacturer to discover label materials (substrates) and embellishments that can enhance the artwork being printed on the face stock. Common materials used for the face stock include paper, plastic films, foils and laminates.


This last layer of the “label sandwich” is what protects a label and can also be used to add different textures or finishes to the look of a label.

Finally, to allow for machine application of the labels, the matrix must be stripped and the labels rewound in the correct orientation for the packaging line equipment. Pressure sensitive labels are used across many industries and various products including foodbeverage, household chemicals, beer and winehealth and personal care, cannabis, and so many other products purchased everyday across the United States.

Call Hub Labels at (301) 790-1660 or complete our online contact us form to get a free label consultation and quote for your next label order.