History of the Self Adhesive Label

09 November 2018
labels on roll

Every now and again, there is an innovation that occurs which can make our lives easier. And one such occurrence of this was the invention of the self-adhesive label.

How did the self-adhesive label come to fruition?

You may believe that the self-adhesive label is a relatively modern invention. In fact, it has actually existed since the early 1800s where it began life as sticky paper labels. Interestingly, they came to life by artists who wanted an easy way to capture a customers attention. Artists would attach a bright label to their paintings to draw people to the price, and make a purchase. If we fast forward this to the present day, companies are now spending many thousands of pounds on labelling based on the very foundations of this concept.

How do today’s self-adhesive labels vary to antique labels?

Auctions sometimes feature antique labels. And because of their rarity, they tend to attract high bids. Nevertheless, in the present day, self-adhesive labels aren’t special. And in the present day are made from a variety of different materials. Early labels were no way as sticky as their modern counterparts and as such were prone to falling off. Modern labels in comparison are usually made of vinyl and are very sticky. And they can also feature custom designs.

red and blue stickers

When did labels become their best?

Although the history goes right back to the 1800s, it was only really in 1932 that the first properly sticky label became available.  And this was invented by R. Stanton Avery. Up until around the 1980s, users that required custom label printing would have to pay a high price for the privilege.

When did custom labels become cheaper?

The invention of the inkjet paper in the 80s exploded the use of custom printing of labels. Both in terms of home use and also for commercial purposes. Therefore, customers could now print A4 sheets of labels with any design of their choosing.

How did the invent of laser printer change labelling even further?

Upon the invent of the laser printer, custom label production only increased even further. It became the go-to way of identifying documents, sale items and machinery. And upon the launch of the barcode, this expanded opportunities even further.

selection of labels

How has labelling helped businesses reduce their expenditure?

The combination of A4 labelling sheets, along with the invent of new printing technology helped to eliminate the un-necessary expenditure associated with printing custom labels.

What are the key points regarding the history of self-adhesive labels?
  • In the 1800s, self-adhesive labels were invented. They allowed artists of the time to identify their work and encourage customers to purchase
  • It was only in 1932 that the first proper sticky label was invented. This is still visible today as the Avery brand
  • When inkjet label printing became viable, this exploded the possibilities for customers to print their own custom labels. Helping them to save significant amounts of money. Even more opportunities became available when the laser printer became available

At Accurate Systems Labelling we offer custom labels in a range of sizes and colours which can be fully customised to match your branding. Why not request a quote today?