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Identification Labels

Types of identification labels

Labels can be made of paper, vinyl, anodized aluminum, plastic, or annealed (soft) aluminum.

Paper is best for casual use, and it's particularly useful when you're going to be writing on at least part of the label yourself (rather than having all content pre-printed). 60 lb. paper is the usual standard, although thinner doesn't always mean worse, as thin labels can be more difficult to remove. Word processing programs like Microsoft Word and OpenOffice as well as graphic design programs like Adobe Indesign and Quark have templates that make designing your own labels a quick process, for users with that expertise. Using preprinted labels that you can print your own content onto combines the best of both worlds: customization and a professional look.

Vinyl is similar to the stickers we know from childhood – it's relatively flexible and very thin, which (like paper) makes it hard to remove. Vinyl labels are often though not always shiny, and relatively difficult to write on – but in cases where defacement might be a concern, that can be a feature and not a weakness! Vinyl labels also stick well to most clothing and irregular shapes.

When metals are exposed to oxygen, their surfaces react by gradually developing a layer of oxidized metal that only becomes visible by very small degrees – think of the green surface of old copper. In the case of aluminum, that oxidization process can be sped up using electricity – or anodization – so that the material actually becomes more durable and less prone to corrosion.

Anodized aluminum takes printing and color much better than plain aluminum, and it's one of the more common identification label materials, particularly for barcodes. How long these labels stay attached to their surface depends on the quality of the adhesive, and whether that adhesive is given the appropriate curing time on that surface. This process was first used on an industrial scale in the 1920s, to treat seaplane parts made from Duralumin, an aluminum alloy – so when you buy anything made from anodized aluminum, just think of it as a distant cousin of the famed Boeing 314 Clipper.
Anodized Aluminum Labels
Your anodized aluminum asset tag’s great-great-great-great-great grandfather.
Annealed (heat-treated) aluminum, on the other hand, is thin and flexible like vinyl but malleable, and perfect for irregular surfaces. Although it can be metallic-looking, like anodized aluminum, annealed aluminum alloys take on pigment better than the untreated metal. It's typically used for shapes like cylinders for which a flat, anodized label wouldn't be appropriate.
 
ID labels for Corporate Use
Identification labels
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2D asset tags
 
2D asset tags
 
Aluminum tags
 
Aluminum tags that
won’t come off
 
Track your assets
 
Track your assets
 
Easy barcode labeling
 
Easy barcode labeling