What is pressure sensitive paper?


A business’s first impression

Your business depends on pressure sensitive paper, even if you don’t know what it is. 

In the simplest terms, pressure sensitive paper is the stock material used to make labels. 

So, whether a product sits in a plastic container on a retail shelf or arrives via mail in a cardboard box, quality pressure sensitive paper is critical to making a good first impression.


No pressure, right?


The name pressure sensitive paper is an industry term that can be a bit confusing to those outside of the paper biz. No, it won’t bruise if you push it. The term just means you apply it using pressure, the adhesive does the rest. 

Pressure sensitive paper is made of three parts: a liner, or backing; an adhesive; and face stock which will become the label. 

Maybe it should be called peel and stick paper. 

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Performance under pressure

Would you show up to a meeting with investors wearing jean shorts and flip flops?

Of course not! 

Using quality pressure sensitive paper is like dressing a product in a tailored suit. But not all pressure sensitive paper is created equal. 

High-quality pressure sensitive paper:

-Prints well, with sharp, crisp images and letters. 

-Is bright and smooth. 

-Doesn’t come off unexpectedly.  

-Lays flat. 

-Adheres to a variety of surfaces, from cellophane to glass. 

Low-quality pressure sensitive paper:

-Doesn’t take ink well and smudges. 

-Is dull and sometimes rough to the touch. 

-Has problems sticking to some materials. 

-Curls up on the edges. 

-Has a chemical smell. 

It’s not just about looking good, either. Quality products will flow smoothly through printers without jamming them up, saving you time and frustration. 


Types of Pressure Sensitive Paper

Variety is the spice of life, even in the pressure-sensitive paper world. 

With so many options to choose from, you can almost customize the pressure sensitive label stock to fit your needs. Variations include::

-->Color: While the options aren’t endless, there are plenty of colors available for a background. If you can’t find anything to match your brand, you can always go with white. It’s classic. You can even choose clear or foil varietes. 

-->Adhesive: Do you want your label to be permanent or removable? Or somewhere in between? Those are all options. 

-->Size: Pressure sensitive stock comes in a variety of sheet sizes, from 8.5x11” to 17x22”. It all depends on your printing needs.

-->Finish: Think of this like paint. You can choose glossy or matte, or something in between.

-->Weight: Often measured in pounds (#). The bigger the number, the heavier the paper. 

-->Score or no score: Scored paper has a partial cut to facilitate bending, creasing, folding, or tearing. 

-->Printer type: Inkjet or laser? Choosing the correct paper will give you best results. 

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What about die cut?

Die cut labels are a type of pressure sensitive paper. With die cut labels, the paper is already cut into stock shapes using pre-made dies. 

If they fit your business needs, die cut paper labels are great. But, if you need more flexibility and plan on cutting your own labels, go with uncut pressure sensitive sheets. 


Where to buy

A variety of pressure sensitive paper sheets are available through Randolph Next Day Paper.

Randolph Next Day Paper carries the highest quality pressure-sensitive products from Wasau Coated and Technicote at affordable prices too.  

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