The Label Glossary: 25 Terms To Know About Labels

The Label Glossary: 25 Terms To Know About Labels

Barcode Basics | 24 July 2019

Posted by Lisa Sarvie

The Label Glossary_ 25 Terms You Need To Know About Labels

Do you ever have trouble understanding what your label supplier is talking about? Or explaining an issue you’re having with your labels to your supplier because you don’t know how to describe it? We’re here to help. Since 1975 we’ve been dedicated to providing quality labels to a variety of industries, so we know a thing or two about the sticky little sheets to say the least. Here we’ve compiled a list of 25 terms we think will help you communicate even more effectively with your label supplier and make the most of your solution.


The bond established between two surfaces. When no adhesive is applied between two surfaces there is no adhesion, when a light amount of weak adhesive is applied between two surfaces there is low adhesion and when a strong adhesive is applied between two surfaces there is high adhesion.


A substance that bonds one surface to another.

Adhesive Ooze

This occurs when adhesive spreads out from the edge of a label after a sheet or roll is die cut making them sticky where they shouldn’t be. Exposure to heat, pressure and other situations an adhesive wasn’t engineered to withstand can cause adhesive ooze to occur.


A water based ink or coating is considered to be aqueous.


When rolls or sheets of labels stick to each other it is called blocking. This is typically caused by adhesive ooze and is not a desirable situation.


Labels made from ceramic material that are carefully applied to glass containers, baked in a kiln and permanently bonded to the surface of the glass container. These labels can only be supplied through outsourcing programs since the application process requires special attention and equipment. At Computype, we provide ceramic labels through our Ready Labware Services program.


This occurs when an adhesive does not lift from a surface it should release from, such as a release liner.


(or cryogenic labels) are specially engineered labels designed to remain adhered, readable, and in-tact during cryogenic storage. At Computype we offer two types:

Freezer Cryo Labels

Freezer cryo labels can perform at temperatures as low as -80 degrees Celsius and are solvent resistant. These labels are typically a white, standard poly label made of either polyethylene or polypropylene material, and they’re available as a pre-printed or print-on-demand solution. Freezer cryo labels are best suited to fit plastic containers for long-term storage needs.

Liquid Nitrogen Cryo Labels

These labels can be applied to glass or plastic tubes and vials and can withstand temperatures as low as -196 degrees Celsius. This type of cryo label is specifically engineered with a clear tab that wraps back over itself, ensuring the barcode image is never exposed to the external environment. Thanks to this clear tab, these labels can withstand both direct and vapor liquid nitrogen exposure. Notably, liquid nitrogen cryo labels can be applied to an already frozen container, as long as the frost is wiped prior to the application.

Direct Mark

A process where inks are applied directly onto a product instead of onto a label and specially cured so they can remain permanently affixed to the product. Another form of direct mark involves etching symbols onto a product. At Computype we offer coloured ink direct mark through our Ready Labware Services program.

Dry edge

When the adhesive doesn’t extend to the edge of the label it is considered to have a dry edge. This is typically done to prevent adhesive ooze from affecting the area surrounding the label or the face stock in situations where minor adhesive oozing is unavoidable.

Face stock

The main material the label is made from where the image is printed.

FLAP Label

FLAP is an acronym for Flexible Lamination After Printing. FLAP labels were specially designed by Computype engineers to self-laminate to prevent label discolouration during the staining process involved in processing histology microscope slides. More information on Computype’s innovative FLAP labels can be found here.


A clear film applied over a label to protect it.


A material that is able to block light.


A liquid coating applied to face stock to help it accept ink.

Pressure sensitive

A label that is applied to a surface using pressure. Adhesive labels are typically pressure sensitive.

RFID inlay

An RFID antenna and chip that are attached to face stock.

Dry inlay

An RFID inlay with no adhesive applied.

Wet Inlay

An RFID inlay with adhesive applied.


The force required to remove a label from its liner.

Release Liner

The material you peel off the back of a label.


When referring to labels substrate refers to the face stock layer.


The level of adhesion obtained when a label is applied to a surface and pulled away quickly.


A liquid coating applied to face stock to protect the printed image. An alternative term for varnish.


A material that is not able to fully block light.


A liquid coating applied to face stock to protect the printed image. An alternative term for topcoat.

Wrap-around Label

A type of label engineered by Computype, with a clear laminate extension that wraps around to cover the face stock of the label when applied to a tube or vial. The wraparound laminate provides extra print protection during cryogenic storage processes.

Click here to find wraparound cryo-labels

Clear communication is key in any partnership, so of course you need to know how to properly communicate with your label supplier. When you and your supplier are on the same page, things run more smoothly and quickly giving you more time to focus on what’s important to you, and your supplier more time to focus on developing your solution.

Take a look at our barcode glossary >

Join the Discussion


Lisa Sarvie

Lisa Sarvie is the Director of Customer Excellence here at Computype. From St Paul, MN, she works very closely with customers to ensure a positive experience. Lisa’s team works to ensure the customer experience with Computype is consistently satisfactory. Additionally, her team manages customer accounts to ensure all needs and specifications are consistently met.