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Label and Printing Technology Glossary

Acceptable print files

At sheet labels, we accept the following print file formats: PDF, EPS, TIFF, AI, PSD, JPEG



A substance used for sticking objects or materials together (glue). At sheetlabels.com we have labels with general-purpose permanent adhesives, a label material with a high-tack permanent adhesive and labels with a removable adhesive.

Permanent adhesive - labels that do not remove from surfaces with ease. These are meant for long time use.

Removable adhesive - a type of adhesive that allows you to adhere and remove labels from almost all surfaces with ease.



The .ai filename extension is a proprietary file format developed by adobe systems used by adobe illustrator.



Printing that extends to the very edge of a sheet after it is trimmed at the crop marks.


CMYK (cyan-magenta-yellow-black)

The color model in which all colors are made as a mixture of these 4 colors. This color model is used in offset printing.



The actual makeup of the face, adhesive, and liner of your labels

Face – the top portion of the sheet (actual label and adhesive backing)

Liner – backing of your label construction


Crop marks (also known as registration marks)

Lines printed on the margin of a sheet that indicates to the printer/bindery where the finished product should be trimmed.



When your sheets of labels are distorted and will not lie flat due to changing temperature or humidity. Please see this video for help working the curl out of your labels.


Custom tooling

Customized die that is made specifically for your unique size labels. If you cannot find the size label you’re looking for, we offer custom sizes for our customers.



Tool for cutting and scoring label stock, paper products, and more.



The process of cutting and scoring label stock, paper products, and more.


Digital proofing

Page proofs that are sent and reviewed electronically to ensure that the artwork is set up exactly as customer requests. These must be approved by the customer before any printing will be done.


Dots per inch (DPI)

A measurement of resolution of input, output, and display devices. Dpi measures how many dots fit into a linear inch. Our recommended printing resolution is 300 dpi



Eps files are self-contained postscript documents that describe an image or drawing and can be placed in another postscript document. Eps stands for encapsulated postscript.


Frosty clear

Frosty clear labels have a cloudy, matte appearance. Not a crystal clear appearance.


Full bleed

Text or graphic that extends to the edge of the paper it is printed on. After trimming, the bleed ensures that no unprinted edges occur in the final trimmed document.



A coating on labels/paper that provides a higher reflection of light which creates a shiny appearance. The gloss label coating can reduce ink absorption which gives the printed product much better contrast and color definition.


GSM rating (also known as paper density or paperweight)

GSM is grams per square meter. This denotes the thickness and weight of the material. Certain printers have a maximum GSM rating, which is the thickest material the printer can handle.



A continuous tone image that has been scanned and converted into tiny dots that vary in size to create a variation in tone. Light areas have small dots and the darker areas have larger dots. This is how printing various shades of grey is possible with black ink.


Horizontal spacing

The distance between the columns of labels on a die-cut sheet


Individual cut-down labels

We offer printed cut-down labels. These labels are shipped as individual labels and all cut-down labels have square corners.


Ink absorbency

The attribute of paper that determines the quantity of ink penetrating the paper and the rate at which it is soaked up after contact.



JPEG (seen with a .jpg or .jpeg filename extension) is a commonly used method of lossless compression for digital images.jpeg is the most common image format used by digital cameras. "jpeg" is an acronym for the joint photographic expert's group.



The process of die-cutting the top layer, but not the backing of self-adhesive papers.



An opening, left in a printed area, in which a design or picture can be placed.


Kraft paper

Kraft paper labels use a tough brown paper that has a high-pulp content, most often used for wrapping paper, grocery bags, and some kinds of envelopes.


Laser sheet labels

Laser sheet labels are loose single sheets that have been constructed to fit the requirements to pass through an inkjet or laser printing machine.



8.5-inch x 14-inch sized paper.



A lot is a printing term used to refer to an individual design. Having multiple lots means that you have multiple designs for a single order – and that each design is unique.


Marginal copy

Any copy that is printed in the margins of a page.



The waste area of label stock that is removed from the label after it is to die cut

A mold in which something, such as printing, is cast or shaped



Dull and flat, without a glossy shine.


Natural colored

Paper color resulting from the use of no chemical coloring.


Offset printing

The conveyance of an inked image from a plate to a blanket cylinder, which in turn transmits the image to the printing material as it is fed between the blanket and the impression cylinder, where pressure is put on.



The attribute of paper that prevents show-through of printing from the opposite side.


Pantone matching system (PMS)

The standard printing industry color matching system for the CMYK color model.



A file type that provides an electronic image of text and graphics that looks like a printed document and can be viewed, printed, and electronically transmitted. Pdf stands for portable document format.



A row of small holes punched into the material to allow for easy tearing. Perforation size is based on the size of the cuts (holes) and ties (space between holes), with the value listed as teeth per inch.

  • Micro perforation – large cut size and very small tie size. Allows for extremely easy tearing
  • Slit over perf – a slit in the face of the material right above a perforation in the liner of the material
  • Horizontal perforation – a perforation that runs down a sheet from left to right and is parallel to the text
  • Vertical perforation –  a perforation that runs down a sheet from top to bottom and is perpendicular to text


Permanent adhesive

A label with permanent adhesive cannot be removed without destroying the label or leaving adhesive residue on the object that the label was applied to.



Pixel is short for “picture element”, a pixel is a single point in a graphic image.



A noticeable display of pixels that form jagged edges when an image is enlarged causing the square pixels to become more noticeable on lines.



A synthetic resin in which the polymer units are linked by ester groups, used chiefly to make synthetic textile fibers.



Responsive to pressure; adhering under the influence of pressure.


Pressure-sensitive adhesive

It is called pressure sensitive because when the adhesive comes in contact with a surface and pressure is put on to the label, the adhesive will allow the label/material to stick.


Process color

Creating color images by combining the four standard printing inks (cyan, yellow, magenta, and black) in a fashion that permits almost all colors to be reproduced.



The default format that Photoshop uses for saving data. PSD is a proprietary file that allows the user to work with individual layers of an image, even after the file has been saved. PSD stands for Photoshop document.


Registration marks (also known as crop marks)

Lines printed on the margin of a sheet that indicates to the printer/bindery where the finished product should be trimmed.


Remote proofing

Digitally transmitting a file of a proof to a remote location to be output at that location for approval.


Removable adhesive

removable label can be removed where it was stuck without pieces remaining on the surface. A removable label with a very tacky adhesive can damage the surface of some materials when removed. After an extended time or weather exposure, the removable label will also become permanent.



The measurement of output quality expressed in dots per inch on printed media, and pixels per inch on a computer monitor.


RFID (radio frequency identification)

Radiofrequency identification is the wireless use of electromagnetic fields to transfer data to automatically identify and track smart labels and tags attached to objects. The tags contain electronically stored information and can be reprogrammed.


Roll labels

Roll labels that are on a continuous roll for automated or hand application.


Safe zone

The black dotted line on your digital proof. Your artwork should stay within this area unless you have a full bleed.


Self-adhesive label

Pressure-sensitive labels.



This is the process when rolls of label stock are converted into sheets of the finished product by cutting them to length on a rotary press.


Shelf life

How long a label product can be stored under specified conditions and remain usable.


Smart labels

Labels that contain electronic devices that can store and access information. (see RFID)


Static (in polyester materials)

The stationary electric charge in polyester materials that causes the sheets to cling to each other.


Sunlight resistance

The ability for a material to resist deterioration from prolonged exposure to sunlight.



The property of a pressure-sensitive label that causes it to adhere to a surface instantly with applied pressure.



The label layout. The margins on label printing templates are the same as on your sheet of labels.



TIFF is a computer file format for storing raster graphics images that is popular among graphic artists and professional photographers .tiff stands for tagged image file format.


Transparent label

A label that is completely see-through and gives a product a no-label appearance.



The time it is going to take to print your labels from the time you approve your proof. We have three standard turnaround times at sheetlabels.com:

  • 24-hour rush
  • 2 business days
  • Standard 4 business days


Variable data printing

Printing in which the elements, both text, and image, can be changed or customized on each label.


Vector graphic

A computer image that is stored in memory as lines rather than a series of dots, allowing it to be rotated or proportionally scaled.


Vertical spacing

The distance between the rows of labels on a die-cut sheet



Synthetic resin or plastic consisting of polyvinyl chloride or a related polymer, used especially for wallpapers and other covering materials and for phonograph records.


Weatherproof labels

Weatherproof labels are resistant to the effects of condensation, snow, rain, and other places they will get exposed to the moisture.

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Our expert customer service team is ready to help you with any questions or concerns you may have. Real time help is available Monday through Friday 9AM - 6PM EST
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