What is the shelf life of labels?

When we get asked about the shelf life of labels, it’s important to distinguish these two concepts – shelf life and service life. Shelf life is the length of time that a label material may be stored without becoming unfit for use, whereas, the service life of a label material is the minimum length of time that a label will reliably stay fixed on a surface while being used for its intended purpose and exposed to typical conditions. Using a material past its shelf life could hinder print quality, adhesive performance, and general durability – a reliable label company will monitor how long materials have been in stock in order to prevent the quality of a label from being compromised.

Label materials typically have a shelf life of one year when stored at 72 degrees F and 50% relative humidity, however, the service life of a printed label will vary depending on how it’s used and the conditions it faces. If your labels will be used for a short period of time, such as within six months, the majority of label materials will work for your application. On the other hand, if your labels will be outside, or face extreme conditions (freezing temperature, chemical exposure, etc.), or need to last for years, then it’s important to let us know so we can select a label material with a service life that fits your labeling needs.

For more information on label materials specifications, call us at 1-800-475-2235 or email sales@consolidatedlabel.com.