What Is Label Printing and How Did It Get Started?

The labels on everything you buy in the market contain information such as usage directions for a certain product or how to wash a specific fabric. It could incorporate the nutritional information of an edible product or a visually appealing design to get more buyers to purchase the item in question. But, who was the first to come up with the concept of label printing?

Label printing is the process of creating personalized labels using various ways. There are various printing options available to you, including flexographic printing, wide-format printing, and digital printing, among others.

An Overview of the History of Label Printing

Consider the history of label printing to understand better how it works.

Adhesive labels have been around since the early 1800s; originally, these paper labels had a gum adhesive on the reverse to hold them in place. To use the glue, the user would lick it. People began using these labels on fruit boxes that were being carried from one state to another and on drug information labels for various reasons. In the labelling sector, lithography opened up a whole new world of possibilities because it allowed for the commercialization of these labels. The first step was necessary to transfer an oil-based picture on a treated piece of paper over a flat surface.

In the 1930s, Stanton Avery was the first person to come up with the idea of a self-adhesive label. During that time, companies utilized these labels to print ingredients, taglines, and health advantages, among other things. Avery’s invention made it easier for these businesses to attach these labels to their items before shipping them to customers.

The 1950s saw the introduction of flexographic printing for label production, a modern version of the letterpress that used rotating reliefs to print fluid onto flexible material. Vinyl and films served as this flexible foundation, allowing label designers and manufacturers to be more imaginative with their label designs.

  • Flexographic printing could resolve many challenges that had plagued prior printing processes. The following are some of the advantages of using it that you should be aware of.
  • As opposed to rotogravure, digital printing was more efficient, allowing enterprises to manufacture more labels in a shorter period.
  • The flexographic printing technology was extremely adaptable, allowing for effective printing on virtually any absorbent material with relative ease.
  • This form of printing allowed producers to create text for little pouch bags since it was a more precise printing method.
  • It is compatible with a wide range of colours, allowing manufacturers to experiment with various designs.
  • It’s compatible with both water-based and oil-based inks without any issues. Because oil-based inks can be poisonous and harmful, water-based inks are becoming increasingly popular.

Label Printing in the Modern Era

Flexographic printing paved the way for the development of digital printing, which is now the predominant printing process in use today. The most recent printing machines employ inkjet technology, which allows for creating high-quality, multicolored graphics on labels with relative ease. It also takes less labour and is a safer printing alternative than traditional printing methods.


Label printing has become more sophisticated, and we will continue to see more sophisticated and effective technologies soon. You may discover more about these modern ways and check out online guides to learn about the most up-to-date label printing machines on the market by visiting the links provided.

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