This post kicks off a five-part blog series on permanent labeling applications by guest contributor Kim Hensley, who serves as Manager, Films in the Mactac® Performance Adhesives Group. The Permanent Record will discuss the latest trends in permanent labeling, as well as best practices for creating labels that will last in various long-term applications.

When we hear the word “labeling,” our minds tend to go immediately to consumer packaged goods, food labels or other labeling applications we encounter every day. We can hardly be blamed; after all, we interact with these sorts of labels constantly, and they are often designed to be as eye-catching as possible. Whether you realize it or not, however, there is another important form of labeling application you may encounter nearly as much, but don’t always consciously process—“permanent” or “durable” labels.

Permanent labeling applications are those that require use of sturdy label stock, resilient adhesive, and sometimes special features to ensure the messages they carry will not be lost, or the integrity of the items they protect will not be jeopardized. These labels rarely exist just to look pretty, and they often carry critical information related to safe usage, compliance or product integrity. In some cases, a durable label might be all that stands between a consumer and disaster, warning of inherent product dangers or showing evidence of tampering or counterfeiting.

Durable labels provide important information that we consume without realizing it practically every day, and they are thus always worth understanding better. That said, they can be complex in nature and require specialized knowledge to construct effectively. The topic of permanent labeling is also especially relevant right now because of shifts in the way compliance testing is being conducted and an emphasis on regulated labeling at the moment—from chemical drums to medical devices and beyond. For these reasons and more, today kicks off a blog series that will delve into what you really need to know about permanent labeling.

So what can you expect from The Permanent Record in the coming weeks? First, we will take a look at considerations for compliance labeling in more detail, especially given the changes taking place in that realm. I will offer insights into how to design labels to last, where compliance labeling is most important and what developments are most exciting in this space.

Next, we will talk security labeling. Labels have a crucial role to play in detecting/deterring counterfeiting and tampering, and I will cover some of the leading security measures label designers are putting in place to protect assets and consumers.

I will also cover instructional labeling for durable goods. These labels may or may not be required by regulation, but they provide important information about how to use and maintain products, equipment ratings and more.

Finally, this series will include perspective on what the future of durable labels holds. We will talk current trends, future developments and what we, as an industry, need to succeed in permanent labeling applications moving forward.

Are you prepared to create or select the right durable labels to keep consumers safe and informed no matter what conditions a label might experience? If so, great! If not, check back for the next post in The Permanent Record series to get started on a path to more holistic understanding.