A guide to office labels

DATE:November 30, 2015

From shipping a package to labeling your files, office labels assist with everyday tasks and keep track of information within the organization. Office labels feature a variety of materials, purposes and packaging—from paper to plastic and label rolls to sheets. It can be confusing to determine the right labels to use for your business needs. Here is a quick and handy guide to navigating office labels.

Businesses should select labels that will best fit their needs while keeping cost in mind. Before buying any labels, consider checking the types of labels available, the purposes they serve and the composition—such as material, adhesive type, and number of labels in each package.

Types of labels

While labels come in different shapes and sizes, there is one primary way of sticking the label to the paper or envelope, through a pressure-sensitive adhesive backing. Here are the three different adhesive options available:

  • Permanent label – Once placed on the medium, the label cannot be removed without ripping. Permanent labels may take time for the adhesive to set, allowing the label to be adjusted if necessary
  • Peelable label – Also referred to as a removable label, can be removed fairly easily or placed on a new surface.
  • Ultra-peelable label – These labels can be easily removed without leaving residue; however, once removed, it is hard to stick these labels to another surface.

Depending on what you will be using your labels for will determine the types of label adhesives that should be used. If you are sending a mailing, consider using a permanent adhesive. For using a label that will be placed on multiple surfaces, use a peelable adhesive label. Finally, for labels that you intend to remove and discard, use ultra-peelable labels.

Label material options

There are multiple label material options to choose from that will work differently for a variety of tasks:

  • Litho labels – Litho labels are some of the most common types of labeling material and stick to almost any surface type. They are removable from most hard surfaces with the assistance of water.
  • Latex labels – Latex labels are typically more flexible than litho labels and fit around curves and corners easily. These labels are permanent, waterproof, and smudge resistant.
  • Plastic labels – Plastic labels are usually made of vinyl, acetate or another plastic and have good strength and flexibility. These labels require special printing equipment, and do not print well with conventional ink.
  • Foil labels – These labels are durable and typically made from aluminum or an aluminum reinforced foil. They can come in bright or matte finishes.
  • Thermal labels – Lettering is applied to thermal labels through the use of heat; however, once applied, another heat source can ruin the image or it can fade over time.
  • Thermal transfer labels – These labels are similar to thermal labels, but are more durable and can be used in close proximity to heat sources, with less fading over time.

Most common uses for labels

Items around the office that need labels commonly include shipping labels, CD/DVD labels, and inkjet labels. Below are some of the most common types of labels found around the office:

  • Address shipping label – Typically come as blank labels on a sheet or as a roll of thermal labels, depending on the application.
  • Inkjet label – These common labels are used for mailings and name tags and can be used in inkjet printers. They are typically blank labels on a label sheet and printed in black.
  • Laser label – These labels are used in a laser printer, are not subject to running or smudging and can be printed in color.
  • CD/DVD label – These labels are made to be put onto a CD or DVD.
  • Return address labels – Return address labels are usually pre-printed, as the return address is typically the office address being shipped from. 

While each office differs in some aspect, most have some use for labels in their daily business tasks, especially for mailings. We have the resources to help you office fulfill all of your label needs – give us a call.

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