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Glossary of Terms Related To Label Printing

As a premier label printing company, there is a variety of technical terms and industry jargon we may use when strategizing on the optimal way to meet our clients’ label printing goals.

We are pleased to partner with Avery Dennison and share this valuable glossary with our customers. Here you will find definitions of frequently-used terms, as well as other resources related to label printing.

E-H Terms


Edge Curl: The peeling back of lifting of the outer edge of a tape which has been applied in a curve.

Edge Lift: The tendency of the edge of a label to rise off the surface of the substrate. This condition occurs most frequently on small diameter curved surfaces. Resistance to edge life is dependent on the bond strength of the adhesive and the flexibility of the facestock.

Edge Ooze: Uneven adhesive residue around label perimeter

EDM: Electronic Discharge Medium. An electronic discharge method of manufacturing rotary dies.

EDP: Electronic Data Processing

Elastomer: Generally a rubber-like substance which is easily deformed by a force but returns to its original shape. Elastomers are the basis of most pressure-sensitive adhesives.

Electronic Data Processing: Data processing by electronic equipment. Pressure sensitive labels produced for imprinting on this equipment incorporate line hole punching and perforations.

Electrostatic Printing: The property of a material which relates to the degree of its growth or shrinkage.

Elongation: The increase in length of a material produced by extending it to the point of rupture.

Embossed Finish: Paper with a raised or depressed surface resembling wood, cloth, leather or other pattern.

Embossing: Impressing an image in relief to achieve a raised surface; either overprinting or on blank paper (called blind embossing).

Emulsion: A dispersion of fine particles or globules of a liquid in liquid normally incompatible with it.

Emulsion Adhesive: A dispersion of the fine particles or globules in another liquid. Many PS adhesives are emulsion systems.

Ethylene Oxide Gas: A widely used sterilization process utilizing either pure Ethylene Oxide gas or a combination with an inert gas such as carbon dioxide or Freon. Sterilization is done in a sealed chamber where a vacuum is drawn.

Exposure Temperature: The temperature that a labeled product is exposed to.

Extrude: To expel or force through a measured orifice to apply a molten thermoplastic adhesive onto a web.


Face Material: Any material, including paper, film, fabric, laminated or solid foil, suitable for converting into PS label stock.

Face Side: The unlined side of a double-coated tape.

Face Splits: Linear cuts put in the facestock during coating or on press to meet specialized end-use requirements.

Facestock: Any material, including paper, film, fabric, laminated or solid foil, suitable for converting into PS label stock.

Fan Fold: Zig-zag fold. The put-up of pressure-sensitive labels on a continuous backing in such a way as to form a flat pack as different from roll form.

FasStrip: 40# and 50# bleached super-calendered paper liners. Characterized by good surface hardness and good tensile strength.

FC: FasClear®

FDA: Food and Drug Administration. Regulations for PS applications apply to the following area: Adhesives: (1) Direct food contact, such as labeling of fruit and vegetable with an edible skin (175.125); (2) Indirect food contact, where incidental between an adhesive and a food may be possible (175.105). Facestocks: (1) Contact between paper and dry foods (175.180); (2) Contact between paper and aqueous and/or fatty foods (176.170).

Feeder: In printing presses, the section that separates the sheets and feeds them in position for printing.

Feel: The degree of stickiness of the adhesive determined by touching with one’s finger. This is often a misleading test to determine adhesion.

Felt Side: The smoother side of the paper for printing. The top side of sheet in paper manufacturing.

Fiber Filled: An adhesive that has had fibers added to it. These fibers help in conversion of the products, by preventing adhesive flow. Fiber filling does allow for as much elongation as a regular transfer tape. Fiber filling does not provide as much stability on conversion as a “Carriered” product.

Film Coating: Application of light, pigmented coating.

Films: Acetate, polyester, polyethylene vinyls and other polymeric. Face material manufacturing from synthetic high molecular weight polymers.

Finish: The surface property of a film determined by its texture and gloss. A gloss finish, for example, can be shiny and highly reflective, while a matte finish is generally dull and reflects little light.

Firm: Refers to the resistance of an adhesive to flow.

Fish Eye: Round or oval deformation in an adhesive, coating, or ink.

Flagging: A lifting or peeling away of the end of a tape wound on a spiral-wrap application.

Flame Resistant: The ability of a tape to withstand exposure to a flame. Flame resistant (fire-retardant self-extinguishing) materials will burn when exposed to flame, but will not continue to burn after the flame is removed. Burning rate, smoke density, toxicity of fumes and melt drippings are important factors in assessing flame resistance.

Flame Retardant: A material that resists burning when exposed to a flame.

Flexibility: Property of facestock material that indicates how readily it conforms to curved surfaces.

Flexographic Printing: A method of rotary letterpress printing.

Flow: In printing, the ability of an ink to spread over the surface the rollers of a press.

Flow Out: The ability of an adhesive to level after application.

Food Contact Adhesives: Adhesives meeting specified sections of the Food & Drug Administration Code of Federal Regulations. These regulations cover direct food labeling as well as incidental contact. Special product recommendations are necessary for specific applications.

FSC: Forest Stewardship Council

F.O.B.: Free on board. Indicates that a quoted price includes loading on a railroad car or truck at the designated point, but no further transportation cost are included.


Gapping: That type of deformation wherein any two layers become separated from each other causing an opening.

Ghosting: A haze-like deposit of an adhesive left by a tape after its removal.

Gloss: A shiny finish on a smooth surface such as vinyl or paint.

GP: General Purpose

Grain: The machine direction of paper as opposed to the cross direction. Also, a measurement of pressure-sensitive adhesive on a given area.

Gravure Coating: The amount of coating applied to the web is metered by the depth of the over-all engraved pattern in a print roll.

Gravure Printing: A printing process that employs minute engraved wells. Deeply etched wells carry more ink than a raised surface, hence print darker value shallow wells are used to print values. A doctor blade wipes excess ink from the cylindrical printing surface.


Haze: A degree of cloudiness in a plastic material.

HD: High Durability

Heat Activated: To soften a dried thermo-plastic adhesive film to a sticky stage by application of heat. After bringing the adhesive to its melting point, the process of bonding can then take place.

Heat Aging: A controlled environment to provide an indication of any deterioration of an end use or finished product.

Heat Resistance: Property of a material which inhibits the occurrence of physical or chemical changes caused by exposure to high temperatures.

HG: High Gloss

High Temperature Adhesive: An adhesive that will enable a pressure-sensitive label to adhere or stick well when applied to a hot substrate and has a high degree of resistance to aging or deterioration at elevated temperatures.

Holding Power: The ability of a tape to resist slippage under shear stress. Usually measured by applying a standard area of tape to a vertical test panel and suspending standard weight on the free end of the tape.

Hot Melt: A pressure-sensitive adhesive applied to the liner or backing in a hot molten form which cools to form a conventional pressure-sensitive adhesive.

Hot Stamping: A decorating process in which the desired image is transferred to a substrate by a heated, positive copy die. Images are normally limited to one color positive copy line.