Hand Applied Labels

Key Facts About Hand Applied Labels

Hand applied labels require careful consideration of various factors to ensure effective and efficient labeling. These include:

  • Ease of Handling: The label material and size should be easy to handle and maneuver by hand. This includes considering the label’s backing paper, which should be easy to peel off.
  • Adhesive Suitability: Depending on the application, choose an adhesive that is suitable for manual application, whether it needs to be permanent, removable, or repositionable. The adhesive should bond well to the surface without requiring excessive pressure.
  • Label Flexibility and Durability: The label material should be flexible enough to conform to various surfaces yet durable enough to withstand handling. This is especially important for labels applied to curved or uneven surfaces.
  • Alignment and Positioning: Manual application requires precision in alignment and positioning. Consider labels with guiding lines or templates that assist in applying the label accurately.
  • Environmental Considerations: The labels should be suitable for the environment where they will be applied and used, such as exposure to cold storage, high heat, and chemicals.
  • User-Friendly Printing Options: If labels are to be printed manually, ensure they are compatible with standard printers and the print method (e.g., direct thermal, thermal transfer, laser, inkjet) you intend to use. Labels should maintain print clarity and legibility after application.
  • Application Efficiency: For situations where a large number of labels need to be applied by hand, consider the efficiency of the process. This might involve easy-to-use dispensers or templates that speed up the application process without sacrificing accuracy.

How To Apply Labels By Hand

Applying labels by hand can be both an art and a science, requiring specific techniques to achieve the right results. Whether you’re working with cylindrical containers, large, flat surfaces, or need to overlay labels, there’s a method tailored for every scenario. These include:

  • The Roll-On Method: Ideal for cylindrical containers. Begin by placing one edge of the label against the container. Hold that edge and gently roll the container over the label, pressing down to ensure even application without air bubbles or wrinkles.
  • The Hinge Method: Best for large labels. Start by sticking the middle of the label like a hinge, then smoothly apply each half, ensuring a smooth, bubble-free finish.
  • The Corner Start Method: Great for square or rectangular labels. Align one corner with the container and smoothly apply the rest from that starting point, ensuring straight application on flat surfaces.
  • The Inside-Out Method: Place the middle of the label down first, then push outwards to stick the rest, avoiding trapped air for a smooth application.
  • The Tack and Smooth Method: Attach one edge of the label to the surface, then gently smooth towards the other side to keep it flat and bubble-free.
  • The Band-Aid Method: Suitable for any label size. Stick one edge first for proper alignment, then smoothly lay down the rest, keeping fingers away from the adhesive.
  • The Squeegee Method: Use a credit card or similar tool to flatten the label from one edge, applying even pressure to prevent air bubbles.
  • The Overlay Method: For labels needing application over another label or textured surface. Slightly overlay the new label’s edge over the existing one or surface edge, then apply smoothly for a seamless appearance.
  • The Center-Out Method: A twist on the Inside-Out Method. Start by placing the label’s center down, then use a small, soft roller to press outwards from the center, ensuring a firm adhesion and smooth finish, especially for larger labels.