A Quick Guide to Labeling System Types: Which is Right for Your Products?

A Quick Guide to Labeling System Types: Which is Right for Your Products?

Choosing the right labeling system for your products is crucial for ensuring efficiency, compliance and brand appeal. Each product has unique labeling requirements, and needs a labeling system that can handle their demands. In this guide, we’ll explore three popular types of labeling systems—print-and-apply, pressure sensitive and shrink sleeve systems—to help you determine which is the best fit for your products.


Print-and-apply labeling systems are ideal for businesses that need to print labels on-demand and apply them directly to products or packaging. These systems are versatile and can handle various label types, sizes and materials.

The key advantage of print-and-apply systems is their customization capability. They allow for real-time printing of variable data such as barcodes, batch numbers and expiration dates, making them highly efficient for high-speed production environments. Plus, advanced print-and-apply systems ensure precise label placement, reducing the risk of mislabeling and ensuring compliance with industry standards. This makes them particularly suitable for products requiring frequent label changes, high-volume manufacturing environments and applications needing variable information on each label.

Pressure sensitive

Pressure sensitive labeling systems are widely used across various industries due to their simplicity and versatility. These systems use adhesive-backed labels that are applied to products using pressure, without the need for heat, solvents or water.

One of the primary benefits of pressure sensitive labels is their ease of use, which makes them a cost-effective solution. They can accommodate a wide range of label shapes and sizes, suitable for flat, curved or irregular surfaces.

Furthermore, pressure sensitive labels provide strong adhesion and are resistant to moisture, chemicals and abrasion, ensuring they remain intact throughout the product’s lifecycle. These characteristics make them ideal for products with varied shapes and surfaces, applications requiring durable and long-lasting labels, and businesses looking for a straightforward labeling solution.

Shrink sleeve

Finally, shrink sleeve labeling systems offer a unique and visually appealing way to label products. These systems use heat to shrink pre-printed labels onto the contours of the product, providing 360-degree coverage. The full-surface decoration offered by shrink sleeves maximizes the branding space, creating a high-impact visual appeal.

The full-wrap nature of shrink sleeves offers tamper-evident protection, which is great for food, beverage and pharmaceutical products.

Shrink sleeves can conform to any shape, making them perfect for uniquely shaped containers that traditional labels cannot accommodate. This makes shrink sleeve systems best suited for products with complex or unique shapes, applications requiring high-impact branding and aesthetics and items which require tamper-evident features.

Making the decision

Selecting the right labeling system depends on your specific product needs, production environment and branding goals. High-volume, changeable production lines benefit from the speed and accuracy of print-and-apply systems. For products exposed to harsh conditions, pressure sensitive systems offer robust and long-lasting labels. If your product design calls for a visually striking and tamper-evident label, shrink sleeve systems are the way to go.

Investing in the right labeling system is essential for streamlining your production process, ensuring compliance and enhancing your product’s market appeal. Contact the team at Quadrel today to learn more about our labeling solutions. We’re happy to help you make the right choice to ensure your products stand out on the shelf.