Years ago, most labels had square corners. Now most labels have rounded corners. Why the change?
In the past, the custom engraved rotary tooling to make a label shape with rounded corners was mostly a manual milling process and was very expensive. It was much more economical to simply insert a general purpose straight cutting blade in a horizontal slot on a general purpose rotary die. That would get the label cut to the correct length. A simple rotary blade, much like a pizza cutter, would then cut the label to the correct width. This is generally known as a butt-cut label.
There are many issues with butt-cut labels. Since each labels is right up against the next, there are often issues with colors that bleed off the edge of the label as they would bleed into the next label. This limits the graphic design options of the label. Another issue is when labels are applied by a label applicator machine. A gap is typically required between the labels so that the machine know where one label stops and the next label begins.
But the main reason that labels have rounded corners are dog ears. Dog ears is a term used when a labels corner doesn’t stay adhered to the product and stick up a little. Rounded corner rectangle labels (aka: RCR’s) are far less susceptible to having the corner get caught on something and lift the label off the product a little. Other benefits of RCR’s are they are suitable for machine application since a gap, typically 1/8”, can be put between each label. This also allows for graphic bleeds between labels.
With modern CNC equipment, RCR’s are no longer cost prohibitive and should be used for all label rotary cutting dies.
And, butt-cut labels are ugly.