How Are Self Adhesive Labels Printed?

How Are Self Adhesive Labels Printed?

Have you ever used self-adhesive labels before? You have probably received these for free from companies that are trying to market some type of service.

They typically give you a return address sticker that will have your name and address on them.

To imagine that they are sending out thousands of these stickers, you know that they have a cost-effective way of getting them printed.

There are three specific ways that this can be done.

Let's discuss the different methods, starting with the fastest, and finishing with the one that most of us have used.

ALSO READ: What are the types of printing services?

Flexographic Self Adhesive Label Printing

If you have a substantial order for self-adhesive labels, flexographic printing is most likely going to be your first choice - but not necessarily the best choice.

You will provide the printer with the words and logo to go on the stickers and they will create a plate that will then convey that image onto each sticker with ink.

These plates are designed in a similar way to the old style newspaper printing machines.

The main difference is that you are printing on labels. These can be either on individual rolls or those that are on flat sheets of nonstick paper.

Professional Digital Label Printing

The second way self adhesive labels printing is done is by using digital printers that are specifically designed for rapid label printing.

Some of them will be designed to work with rolls of stickers that you will put on the printer, similar to old-fashioned movie projector machines.

They will then print on each individual sticker and will complete the job with the rolls ready for shipping.

This can be very fast, depending upon the size of the machines, and the way it is designed, as they can work with rolls or flat sheets of labels.

Standard Digital Label Printing

This is by far the slowest way to print labels. It is also the most common way with almost everyone with a digital printer having tried before.

This is done by purchasing blank labels at your local store, ones that are on flat sheets, and then you will put these in your paper tray so they can be printed on.

You must have software such as Word, where you will choose the proper settings for the labels you have purchased.

That allows it to follow a preprogrammed template for printing. Once you have your label design set up, you will then hit print, and the labels will be printed.

This is a slower process simply because you are using a standard printer that will probably print anywhere between 20 and 30 labels over the course of a couple of minutes per sheet.

This is ideal for people that want to design their own labels, typically for a return address, and they don't need to have thousands of them printed.


These are the three ways that most self-adhesive labels are printed. The one that you choose is always dependent upon your intentions.

If your goal is to print massive quantities of these, on flat sheets or rolls, flexo might be the best choice.

If you want superior quality with the end product ready for immediate shipping, then digital printing is your best choice.

Finally, you can try and design your own content and print that on the labels yourself. This is slow and is not recommended if you need large quantities.

However, when it comes to superior quality, you cannot beat digital printing. Your customers deserve only the best quality as it’s a reflection on their brand.

This is where Onpack comes into it.

Onpack is an Australian owned company and we offer a personalised digital printing service catering to each individual brief and label requirement.

Please call us today on +61 3 8388 8100 or email us on for all your digital label requirements.