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Labels have been around since the 1600’s, where they were first used to print logos onto flour sacks, and tie tags to packages. Have you ever really thought of just how many different products use labels? which is why we as an industry are still so essential. Printed products did not start to come about until the 1800’s, where medicines and pharmaceutical drugs needed information on prescriptions bottles.

This industry created the concept of ‘stocked labels’, developed to give people a fast warning or message, such as the ‘danger’ or ‘poison’ symbols we have now come to know well. By 1845 we started to print using colours, engravings, and other new methods. R Stanton Avery was the inventor of the first adhesive label, which Is why it is such a well-recognised name and company. By the year 1980, barcodes were becoming such a heavily used item for recognising products, labels became a much more popularised method, following the industrial revolution and sparking their popularity.

So, just how did labels the first labels come about? And how were they made?

The first label was originally used to label small medical containers, and all labels were printed on handmade paper using a wooden press, and then glued on. During this team, glue contained animal and meat products, but by the mid 1800’s, the first rubber-based glues were introduced. By 1930 chemists were able to develop fully synthetic adhesives.

The architect of Modern self-adhesive labels (R. Stanton Avery) created a machine that produced self-adhesive labels that could be applied to any material. This led to the invention of inkjet printers in the 1950’s, as quality printing was not available to the public, whereas before it was costly to use the existing printing companies, which was revolutionary as smaller companies were now able to afford printing and utilise self-adhesive stickers.

To see our full roll labels workflow, from the manufacturing to the final product, click the link below, and discover how each and every one of your labels are produced: