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History of the label – Weber Etiketten Bulgaria

History of the label – Weber Etiketten Bulgaria

Label – history and general information

The labels started being used three thousand years ago and the most ancient ones are the pieces of papyrus on the amphorae. The contemporary label is created by the American Stanton Avery, who made the first sticker in 1930. Today there are even electronic labels.

The label of a product is as important as the content.


The more beautiful and spectacular it is, better the product is sold. The original paper sticker is said to be the clothing of the product. It is part of the vision and strategy for making each item a good advertising product. People have used labels to indicate the content of a vessel for millennia. The labels initially were made of paper and painted manually. Today established artists and software experts work on the labels. There are not only paper labels, but also foil and plastic and even electronic ones.


The earliest, still preserved specimens date back to 3000 years. These are pieces of papyrus that people glued on amphorae to identify the content. In ancient times the peoples living in the Middle East, North Africa and the Apennines, who knew how to make glass and were manufacturing beautiful painted bottles, began to draw labels. They painted skillfully images of flowers, fruits and mythological scenes on the fragile vessels. Till XV century, however, the labels were rare and of poor quality. When the paper ceased to be a luxury, people started to use more labels indicating the content of goods and cargo.



The invention of the printing press in the XV century by Gutenberg accelerated the quality and distribution of the plates and stickers. It is believed that the first printed labels appeared in the XVI century, being mainly inscriptions on tubes and packages of drugs. Labels appeared on wine bottles right in the middle of the XVIII century. They were drawn manually or printed with small hand press. The quality and design of the labels were improved with the development of the printing industry. Initially they were black and white till the middle of the XIX century when colorful labels, painted by famous European artists, appeared.


The art of beautiful and colorful paper stickers came to America in 1880 and almost immediately was commercialized. Spectacular images were placed on wooden fruit crates, metal cans, cigarette packs and bottles. In the beginning the stickers were attached to the goods with clay.

Gradually the labels began to be considered one of the most important elements in product advertising. That is why more and more artistic signs began to appear on the labels to lure buyers.

The manufacturers indicated the awards, the medals awarded to their products, put badges and painted trademarks. Such spectacular elements attracted customers' attention and enhanced the trade of the goods on the market.

In 1930 the entrepreneur Stanton Avery created the first self-adhesive label and thus started a successful business. The label was made ​​of paper with self-adhesive coating and silicone lining on its back.

The invention of inkjet printers in the 80s forever changed the appearance of the labels. People began to print labels by themselves. In 1984 Hewlett Pacard introduced the first laser printer, however the price of $3600 is too high for that time. In the 90s prices dropped and almost everyone could buy such a machine. Moreover, at that time quite sophisticated software programs for creating and printing own labels appeared.

The wine labels are the most classy ones

Some labels are incredible works of art. In the XIX century manufacturers and retailers of champagne hired artists to paint beautiful paintings on the paper labels, identifying the origin and the year of harvest. 

The preserved specimens evidence the talent of the painters, who did their best to turn the labels in impressive miniatures. The form of the paper pictures glued on the bottles changed over the years from rectangular, square to round. There were also more complicated ones – with contours of vine leaves and crowns. The artists painted various ornaments on the labels: gently curved vines, grapes, lions, angels, seductive Bacchantes, elves, mermaids, knights, kings and emperors. They often reproduced mythological or important historical events.

Mouton Rothschild, one of the most famous French wine brands, is named after a castle, in which the wine was produced. Baron Philippe de Rothschild was the owner both of the wonderful antique mansion and of vast vineyards and winery. In 1945 the nobleman decided to celebrate the WWII end by decorating the bottles with distinctive "victorious" label. Since then he has established a tradition a different famous painter to design the paper labels for selected wine collections and clients. Today the Baroness Philippine de Rothschild continues the tradition, established by her father. Mouton Rothschild labels have been painted by artists such as Georges Braque, Joan Miró, Marc Chagall, Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, Wassily Kandinsky and Picasso.

Ranking the most ridiculous labels

Which magazine ranked the funniest and most meaningless warning labels. Number one is a warning on a stroller: "Remove child before folding." 

Another masterpiece adorns the package of peanuts: "May contain nuts."

One of the most stunningly dumb labels is on a package of sleeping pills. The pharmaceutical company warns that the pills may cause drowsiness. 

Sticker on Panasonic electric flashlights says: "Source of light, intended for use in dark."

If you buy Puma sneakers, you will find out that the average amount of items in the box is 2. "Are there any lucky one who has taken 3 sports shoes?" the magazine asks.

Label on a child scooter has a brilliant text: "Use the door only for entrance or exit." 

The warning on a Superman suit is not less crazy saying that the garment is not intended to fly. 

Warning on a modern drill says that the drill should not be stopped by hand.

For the wisest remains the label on Penta mineral water: "Light for drinking. To be used for bio hydration, the optimal cell hydration will help you defeat the negative effects of the living conditions and help your brain to be active every day. "

Are the labels on fake products real?

First skillful imitations of famous brands of foods and beverages appeared more than 100 years ago, says Izvestiya newspaper.  We may read in the preserved issues of Peterburgskiy listok newspaper dated 1909 that imitations of Dutch cocoa appeared. The label, however, illustrated a pot instead of an eagle, while everything else was the same. Moreover, on the “original” box of American lobsters it was written with tiny letters to be manufactured in Riga. On a box of sardines of the Italian company Cano the company trademark was accurately copied. At the bottom, however, it was written to be manufactured in the Crimea.

Today the counterfeiters of labels are even more skillful. The famous brands of alcohol, cigarettes and chocolates are the ones most often imitated. Statistics indicate that the losses resulted from such counterfeits for the European economy amounts to 5 billion euros per year. America is also robbed financially of several billions per year.

The electronic labels are the most recent update

Labels are usually made ​​of paper, plastic, foil, and textile. Soon, however, they will be replaced by electronic ones. Most electronic labels have chips, which contain the most important information about the food content, expiry date and price. To read the chips, however, on the supermarket stands, shopping cars, household appliances some special devices shall be installed. 

RFID technology (radio-frequency identification) is also popular. German METRO Group presented similar smart labels at the CeBIT exhibition in Hanover. Each label is equipped with a radio chip that provides quick information to both the consumer, and the seller. If the garment has such a label, for example, there is no need to try on few to find the right size. The electronic mirror in the store will help you to choose.

Siemens has recently introduced the first labels made of liquid crystals, manufactured according to the so-called technology of printed electronics. It allows printing thin LCD displays indicating the product information on paper in a low-cost and easy way.

Last summer the U.S. began to tattoo fruits with a laser. The carved label contains information on the origin and quality of the product and serves as a certificate of product safety. The new laser technology allows lasering the name, identification number and country of origin. It carves thin grooves on the top layer of the fruit skin without destroying it, and therefore does not reduce its durability.

Curiosities in the history of labels

*The largest collection of beer labels belongs to Jan Solberg from Oslo. He has collected 350,000 paper labels of famous brands.

*The largest collection of clothing tags belongs to the Italian Angela Beteli from Modena. She has collected 2,180 paper tags of various garments. Her collection includes tags of French, German and Italian designers. * *The oldest one she picked 40 years ago. 

The largest collection of fruit stickers belongs to Antoine Seko from Bourbon-Lancy, France. He has collected 20,500.

*The oldest matchbox label dates from 1829. It was produced by the chemist Samuel Jones, who was popular at that time. The label said “Lucifer matches. Instantly ignite by quick friction".

*The red grouse is the symbol of the popular whiskey Famous Grouse. It is the game bird, which inspired the Scottish wine merchant Matthew Gloag to create the magnificent drink. He made whiskey, which color reminded the beautiful red feathers of the red grouse. His daughter Philippa drew the sketch of the first label.


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