Self-adhesive labels that complement your products

Axicon labels blog

Adam Carey

Labels manager

Axicon Labels


Adam Carey manages Axicon Labels, and having joined Axicon in 1992, has a very broad knowledge of label production techniques and possibilities.

Adhesives – An overview.



You need a label. You need it to stay stuck…. But what to? For how long? At what temperature?


Getting a label that sticks may seem not too much to ask, but one of fundamental challenges for a self-adhesive label supplier is to ensure that the adhesive on your labels is the best possible match for your product.


Permanent labels need to stay on; removable labels need to peel-off; re-sealable labels need to stay on, then peel off, then stay on and then peel off and then…. you get the idea.


Having a clear understanding of your products and how you envisage the labels working on them allows us to advise on the best solution as well as being able to provide an accurate quotation. Supplying an unprinted sample for testing shouldn’t be a problem.


Initial Tack

This is the term used to describe the strength of the bond that the label will have when initially applied. This ranges from low to extremely high. If you are hand applying labels to a jar and need to ensure that they are straight, you would need a lower initial tack so that these can be repositioned. Whereas machine applying outer case barcode labels to corrugated board on a conveyor will require a much high initial tack.


If you try to remove a permanent label immediately after applying you may well find that it will peel away from the surface. However, in time the adhesive will set and give you a much better indication of the long-term performance. We typically suggest that you leave this overnight.


Long Term Adhesion

The world of adhesives is extremely technical and full of jargon. Essentially there are two types of adhesives.


Permanent labels are designed to stay on your product for the length of its life. It may not be impossible to remove these labels but they should remain in place during typical handling. There are factors including changes in temperature or humidity that can affect this.


Removable labels are designed to peel away without damaging either the product or the label. As well as the factors above, the length of time the label is stuck on will affect how well it peels off.


Within these two categories are a multitude of variations taking into consideration specific requirements including temperature, the surface that they will be applied to and whether this is textured, curved, uneven or even greasy.


The technical term for this is the long term adhesion of the label. It’s important to know that this is not an arbitrary measure - permanent adhesive should be permanent no matter who supplies it. These standards are specified by FINAT - The European association for the self-adhesive label industry (

The look of your label is important. You’ve spent a great deal of time and money on the branding, design and finish of your labels. If it is poorly positioned or peeling away, all of that is undone in an instant.


A good label supplier should help you by ensuring that all aspects of your label are fit for purpose and especially the unsung hero – the adhesive.

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Bicester, Oxfordshire, OX25 3QP, UK

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