The Evolution of Self-Adhesive Labels
Posted by : Mercury Labels Ltd on Monday, July 19, 2021 in A4 Labels.
Have you ever stopped to wonder who invented the first self-adhesive labels? Probably not, but it’s food for thought when you take the time to think about it!
Often mistaken as a modern creation, sticky labels have actually been around since the early 19th century. It was at this time that European artists began experimenting with coloured sticky labels on their creations, hoping they would help them sell more works.
An interesting idea which apparently succeeded, given the evolution of
sticky labels ever since. Marketing products with sticky labels is something businesses do today without a second thought, not realising it’s something that has been happening for several centuries.
A Tip of the Hat to Mr Avery
If we’re talking today’s more typical self-adhesive labels, all credit must go the way of a chap named R. Stanton Avery. An entrepreneur by trade, he put together the first machine that produced self-adhesive labels back in the 1930s.
Technically speaking, he’s the father of all pressure-sensitive labels
as we know them today. Exceptionally affordable marketing tools today, but a premium asset back in the day comparatively few could afford.
The Inkjet Printing Revolution
By the time the 1950s came along, the first rudimentary inkjet printers were doing their thing. They were fairly expensive and cumbersome machines at first but would pave the way for the commercial inkjets that dominated the printing landscape throughout the 1980s.
This marked a huge transition in the world of printed labels, as suddenly businesses of all sizes could print their own labels at affordable prices. It was no longer only the larger companies with deeper pockets that could benefit from custom sticky labels.
…Followed by Laser Printing
The laser printer has also been around for some time, having been invented in the 1950s. Though again, the technology was so prohibitively overpriced that nobody could afford to buy it or use it.
Laser printing technology became more widely affordable in the mid to late 1980s, again having a marked impact on label printing practices. It was still comparatively expensive compared to inkjet printing, but costs were coming down all the time.
Today’s Sticky Label Landscape
Today, it’s probably fair to say that the vast majority of people take sticky labels for granted. They’re absolutely everywhere in our everyday lives, yet we don’t give them a second thought.
But just for a second, try to picture a world where sticky labels had never been invented. Imagine if some bright spark had never come up with the idea of pressure-sensitive stickers, which didn’t call for any other tools or adhesives.
A farfetched notion, but one that highlights just how important the revolutionary invention of sticky labels turned out to be.
At Mercury Labels, we offer a full custom label design and printing service for all purposes. From one-off short runs to ongoing orders, we’re here to set you up with the premium labels you need at a price you can afford. Call or e-mail anytime to learn more.