PRINTED LABEL DEMAND
There is a huge demand for printed labels and printing companies compete vigorously against one another in their ongoing efforts to supply as many different types as possible. Printed labels come in sheets, rolls, fanfold, and single-cut varieties in a wide selection of materials such as cloth, paper, plastic, vinyl, polyester, or other synthetics. Surfaces of printed labels are usually matte, gloss, semi-gloss, or laminated. They can be made with colors, usually up to eight different choices are available, as well as composed in different writing styles, print or script. The actual printing methods for labels include flexographic, lithographic, hot foil, and digital. Various selections of backings are also used for printed labels, such as adhesive, tacky, and even Velcro.
Some of the more popular printed labels are those made with bar coding. There are numerous types of bar code printing available including codabar for sequential numbering used by libraries, package tracking and processing systems, and membership cards for organizations such as AARP and AAA. Other printed labels display retail product codes such as the EAN for European numbering and the UPC for the United States. The USPS uses printed labels extensively for efficient processing of all their automated mail including catalogs, envelopes, and packages. All printed labels use black ink for the actual bar coding, with optional PMS for spot color or CMYK for in process color on the rest of the label.
Printed labels can be bought in bulk, up to thousands at a time, or custom ordered in smaller quantities, depending upon the preferences of the individual or company. Pre-sized labels are also available, as well as digital bar code printing which allows the customer the option to select a different size and shape for the printed label. Digital printing, however, is best used for smaller orders of printed labels, usually 5,000 or less. In addition, there is always a choice of text, numbering, and materials, as long as the printed label meets the requirements of bar code scanning.