Pressure Sensitive Labels, Explained

Pressure sensitive labels are one of the most commonly used labels on the market these days. According to a research study, they account for 77% of label demands in the U.S. Popularly known as self-adhesive labels, these labels do not require glue, heat, or water and are simply applied using pressure either manually or mechanically. The rationale behind this is that the label forms a bond with the smooth, non-contoured container as pressure is applied.

Pressure sensitive labels are used on food and beverage containers, alcohol bottles and cans, toys, plastic and glass items, beauty and cosmetic products, household and durable products, cannabis, nutritional supplements, and more. They are compatible with a wide variety of design attributes like foils, embossing, specialty inks, printing, customization, and more. Even with such a high versatility, they are quite cost-effective.

Composition of Pressure-Sensitive Labels

Pressure sensitive labels are made of several layers of specialized materials for an excellent finish — liner, release coat, adhesive, face stock, and top coat. Allow us to walk you through the details.


The first layer of a pressure sensitive label, the liner, is the backing paper that ensures the labels can be released from it onto the product. Coated with a material that allows you to peel off even intense adhesives, it can be a film, roll, or paper-based. It is slightly wider than the width of the label.

Release Coat

As a second layer, a release coat is applied on a liner to resist the adhesive. So, the face stock and adhesive peel away from the liner without creating a hassle.


The adhesive is what sticks the label on the surface of a container. You can use different types of adhesive, such as repositionable, removable, or permanent, depending on the end goal of your label. The adhesive you choose will depend on the label’s several factors like permanence, the product surface, the storage environment and conditions of the product, etc.

Face Stock

The face stock is the central part, or the “face,” on which your label is printed. It can come in many options like film, paper, foil, synthetic, and more. The right face stock material for you depends on the storage environment of the product and the label’s permanence.

Top Coat

The top coat is the last layer of a label which includes a coating or lamination applied over the face stock to improve the label’s longevity, protect it, and enhance its appearance and design.

Applications of Pressure Sensitive Labels

Pressure sensitive labels are compatible with scores of industries producing smooth textured cans, containers, bottles, jars, and more. They do not adhere solidly to contoured items or ones that need squeezing, as they tend to get wrinkled. However, they are highly durable and can withstand extreme conditions like heat and cold. Such labels can be the most yielding when you choose the right materials in their composition in consonance with your product and industry needs.

Pressure sensitive labels can be applied on a product’s front and back and optimized for permanent or removable applications. Additionally, they have no bars for graphics, so they allow a variety of designs, printing, and other finishing elements per varying industry demands.

Advantages of Pressure Sensitive Labels

Here are some quick benefits of using pressure sensitive labels:

They Are Easy to Apply

To install pressure sensitive labels on your products, all you need to do is apply them on the packaging firmly with your hands. This works sufficiently enough for removable and permanent labels alike. Without the need to process with heat, water, or any other solvent, the labels can be easily applied by hand.

They Can Be Customized With High-Quality Graphics and Designs

You can customize the graphics on the labels per your taste. All kinds of ink and embellishments work equally wonderfully on pressure sensitive labels with an unmatched finish.

They Are Durable and Sturdy for Use Under Extreme Conditions

Pressure sensitive labels are highly durable depending upon the material they are made of. With the ability to withstand extremely harsh indoor and outdoor conditions, they can sustain permanently.

They Can Be Printed Using Different Methods and Techniques

Printing options like flexographic, digital, and digital hybrid label printing, among others, are available for pressure sensitive labels. The best one for your products depends on factors like your order’s quantity, design requirements, dimensions, etc. Nonetheless, they all are visually pleasing.

Partner With DRG for Your Labeling Needs

For over 30 years, DRG Technologies has been a leading custom label products and solutions manufacturer delivering world-class supply chain solutions. With extensive equipment, product solutions, and a relentless commitment to solving our customers’ greatest supply chain challenges, we’ve become the label manufacturing partner of choice for organizations across the U.S. and Mexico.

DRG Technologies proudly manufactures a complete portfolio of label products that meet today’s most stringent quality, safety, performance, and security standards. Our products span a variety of needs, ranging from durable label solutions to high-performance labels, specialty labels, and packaging labels. We specialize in a wide variety of labels and can customize them to meet your exact needs. Contact us for your labeling needs today!