US 3494818 A
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D. V. MARCHESE FLEXIBLE METAL-COATED PRINTED LABEL OR ROLLED TAPE Filed 00t. 155. 1965 H e r E ML W J/ w wm n M M W05 P 4mm W E W F. W 005 h TED mf E .K m mm 5 3% m s r M 5 Hum waww WWW mm N Wu Z EM 4M PF 4 mm 5 mm m 6. fl
Feb. 10, 19 70 INVENTOR Dam/.0 V. MAACHESE BY @w% a 2 7W ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,494,818 FLEXIBLE METAL-COATED PRINTED LABEL OR ROLLED TAPE Donald V. Marchese, Baltimore County, Md., assignor to The Black and Decker Manufacturing Company, Towson, Md., a corporation of Maryland Filed Oct. 15, 1965, Ser. No. 496,474 Int. Cl. B44f 1/00; B32b 7/06 US. Cl. 161-3 9 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Flexible labels, especially of the type in which the label can be supplied to the user as a part of a rolled tape or flexible sheet of labels, are provided in which the label image, which may be printed, is of improved clarity and appearance. The labels are in the form of flexible, planiform laminates comprising a base lamina and at least two transparent laminae, one transparent lamina being secured to the base lamina and the second transparent lamina being secured to the first. The image is disposed between the transparent laminae and is therefore spaced forwardly from the base lamina, the base lamina presenting a contrasting, preferably metallic, background appearance against which the image is viewed.
This invention relates to labels and more particularly to labels adapted to be adhesively secured to a surface as a permanent fixture. While not limited thereto, the invention has special advantages in the provision of a printed label which can be provided in rolled tape form or in the form of large flexible sheets, for example, and is capable of use in place of conventional metal nameplates and the like.
It has heretofore been proposed to use in place of the usual manufacturers nameplate, for example, a flexible printed label supplied in rolled tape and like forms and provided with a pressure sensitive adhesive backing by which the label, once severed from the tape, can be secured. Such labels are economical, require little storage space, and are more easily applied than are metal nameplates and the like. However, though such advantages have made the rolled tape, adhesively secured label highly desirable, difficulties in achieving printed images having a clarity and appearance comparable to that afforded by conventional metal nameplates, for example, have prevented the rolled tape, adhesively secured label from achieving as wide a commercial acceptance as is justified by its advantages.
It is accordingly a general object of the invention to provide a flexible non-metallic printed label characterized by improved clarity and appearance of the printed image.
Another object is to devise a label of the type described in which the printed image affords not only improved clarity and sharpness but also a distinct impression of depth.
Stated in general terms, labels according to the invention are laminated assemblies of thin, flexible films, one of the films being opaque and constituting a base lamina carryinga coating of pressure sensitive adhesive on one of its major surfaces. To the other major surface of the base lamina there is secured a first thin flexible transparent film which carries the printed image of the label, this image being at the major surface of the first transparent film which is spaced from the base lamina. At least a second thin flexible transparent film completely overlies the first transparent film, being secured to the major surface thereof carrying the printed image. The printed image is thus spaced physically in front of the opaque base lamina and, in eflEect, suspended within an environment which is opice tically transparent yet mechanically adequate for support and protection of the printed image. Both of the transparent laminae have planar major surfaces, that is, surfaces which are completely flat when the label is flat, and the image is thus carried by a truly flat surface and can, therefore, .be printed with true sharpness and clarity. The base lamina, on the other hand, being physically spaced from the printed image, can have a surface configuration which will afford the best contrasting background to accentuate the clarity of the image and provide an impression of depth. Advantageously, the base lamina is of a synthetic resin composition which is metallic in appearance and the major surface thereof to which the first transparent film is secured is embossed to provide the appearance of scratch brushed metal. In modified embodiments of the invention, the impression of depth is heightened by employing two thin transparent imagebearing laminae with the image nearest the base lamina being offset to provide a shadow effect.
To illustrate the manner in which the foregoing objects are achieved in accordance with the invention, particularly advantageous embodiments thereof will be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings, which form a part of this specification, and wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective diagrammatic illustration, with thicknesses of laminae increased for clarity, of a label in accordance with one embodiment of the invention; and
FIG. 2 is a similar diagrammatic illustration of a label in accordance with another embodiment.
Referring now to the drawings in detail, and first to FIG. 1, the embodiment of the invention here illustrated provides a label, indicated generally at 1, which is repeated in succession along a continuous tape 2 of such flexibility as to be capable of being rolled. Label 1 comprises a base lamina 3 provided on one of its major surfaces, which can be considered as the bottom surface, with a continuous coating of any suitable pressure sensitive adhesive, an underlying strip of release paper 4 being provided for temporary protection of the pressure sensitive adhesive.
Overlying the base lamina 3 is a thin flexible transparent film 5 which is secured to lamina 3 by an interlayer of a suitable transparent adhesive. On its major surface spaced from the base lamina and which can be considered as its top surface, film 5 bears a conventionally printed image 6. The label is completed by a second thin flexible transparent film 7 which is secured directly to the printed surface of film 5 by an interlayer of a suitable transparent adhesive. I
Base lamina 3 is a thin, opaque film of a suitable synthetic resin composition, advantageously a polyester resin incorporating a suitable colorant to provide the appearance of ordinary metallic chrome or of aluminum. The surface '8 of lamina 3, to which film 5 is adhered, is embossed to provide a multitude of tiny parallel scratch-like impressions 9 extending lengthwise of the label so that, as viewed when reading the label, the base lamina 3 has the appearance of a scratch brushed metal surface. Typically, base lamina 3 can be of a thickness in the range of from about 0.0005 inch to about 0.005 inch.
Save for the presence of image 6, the laminae 5 and 7 can be identical transparent polyester resin films of a thickness in the range of from about 0.0005 inch to about 0.002 inch. All major surfaces of laminae 5 and 7 are planar in the sense that, when the completed label is fiat, the major surfaces of laminae 5 and 7 will lie in flat parallel planes. In this regard, it must be recognized that the transparent adhesive interlayers between the respective laminae will each have a significant thickness not substantially exceeding 0.00075 inch as a maximum, and that the adhesive interlayer between laminae 3 and 5 conforms to the embossed surface 8 of the base lamina.
In this embodiment, the printed image 6 is in the nature of a typical manufacturers name plate design and text, including a solid border 6a, lettering 6b constituting the text, and a solid, opaque, colored area 60 enclosing an open area 6d and an emblem 62. All portions of the image are sharply defined, being printed directly on a fiat uninterrupted surface. The image is viewed against the contrasting background afforded by the scratch brushed metallic appearance of embossed surface 8. Since the image 6 is spaced toward the viewer from surface 8 by a distance equal to the thickness of one adhesive interlayer plus the thickness of lamina 5, there is a distinct impression of depth, which is heightened by the fact that the background surface 8 can be viewed through the opening 6a.
All of the polyester films 3, and 7 are advantageously of the highly oriented type known to the trade as Mylar polyester film, supplied by E. I. du Pont de Nernours & Co., Wilmington, Del. Typically, the polyester resin compositions employed can be the condensation products of terephthalic acid and a glycol such as ethylene glycol, of isophthalic acid and a glycol, or of mixtures of terephthalic acid and isophthalic acid and a glycol.
FIG. 2 illustrates a label constructed in accordance with another embodiment of the invention wherein two printed images, one laterally offset from the other, are employed to increase the impression of depth. Here, the base lamina 3 and release paper 4 remain as those elements are respectively described with reference to the embodiment of FIG. 1. In the present embodiment, however, three thin flexible transparent films, again advantageously of highly oriented polyester resin, are carried by the base lamina. Film 10, adhesively secured directly to the embossed face 8 of base lamina 3, carries a printed image 11 on its major face opposite the base lamina. Overlying film is a second identical film 12 carrying a second printed image 13, image 13 being on the surface of film 12 which is spaced from film 10. Finally, the outermost thin transparent film 14 extends completely over and is adhered to film 12. Images 11 and 13 are laterally offset one from the other but are otherwise identical. Accordingly, the image 11 constitutes a shadow image and the two images combine to provide an impression of relief.
In other embodiments of the invention, the base lamina and the thin transparent laminae can all be secured together, without adhesive interlayers, by direct face-toface bonds established by heat and pressure, using the heat sealing techniques which are conventional for thermoplastic materials. In such embodiments, heat sealing is carried out so as to provide a uniform, continuous bond over the entire major surface involved.
In the embodiment of FIG. 1, for example, the image 6 is printed on the appropriate surface of film 5 and is thus enclosed between films 5 and 7. Alternatively, using reverse printing techniques, the image can be printed on the lower surface of film 7, that is, the surface which is secured to film 5.
Instead of employing as the base lamina 3 a layer of nonmetallic material which has the appearance of metal (e.g., a synthetic resin composition suitably dyed or pigmented), the base lamina can be of synthetic resin or the like bearing a coating of metal such as aluminum, for example, on surface 8. Thus, for example, with lamina 3 being a highly oriented polyester film, the surface 8 can be metalized by vapor disposition of the metal under high vacuum conditions, employing well known vacuum deposition techniques, and this procedure is practical whether the surface 8 is smooth or embossed.
While particularly advantageous embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described for illustrative purposes, it will be understood that various changes and modifications can be made therein without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.
What is claimed is: I
1. A printed label adapted to be supplied as part of a rolled tape or flexible sheet and characterized by improved depth, clarity and appearance of the printed im age, the label having particular utility as a nameplate and being in the form of a flexible, planiform laminate comprising a base lamina in the form of a thin, flexible film of synthetic material bearing on one of its major surfaces a layer of pressure sensitive adhesive by which the label can be secured,
said base lamina being opaque when viewed from the side thereof opposite said one major surface;
a first thin, transparent, flexible lamina of synthetic material overlying and bonded to the other major surface of said base lamina; and
a second thin, transparent, flexible lamina of synthetic material overlying and bonded to said first transparent lamina,
the label including a printed image carried by one of said thin, transparent laminae and disposed between said first and second thin, transparent laminae,
said image extending for less than the full extent of the label, and said image and a portion of said other major surface of said base lamina therefore both being visible when the label is viewed from the side thereof opposite said one major surface, said image being spaced from said base lamina by at least the thickness of said first thin, transparent lamina, and said other major surface of said base lamina presenting a contrasting metallic appearance against which said image is viewed. 2. A label according to claim 1, wherein said other major surface of said base lamina is an embossed surface having the appearance of scratch brushed metal.
3. A label according to claim 1 wherein said first and second transparent laminae are polyester films having a thickness of 00005-0002 inch.
4. A label according to claim 3 wherein said first and second transparent layers are bonded by films of a transparent adhesive each having a significant thickness not significantly exceeding 0.00075 inch.
5. A label according to claim 1 wherein said first and second transparent laminae are polyester films having a thickness of 0.0005-0.002 inch and said base lamina is a polyester film having a thickness of 0.0005-0.005 inch,
the major surfaces of said first and second transparent films being planar, and said other major surface of said base lamina being embossed. 6. A label according to claim 1 wherein said printed image includes an uninterrupted opaque portion surrounding and spaced from a smaller image portion, said other major surface of said base lamina being visible through the space between said smaller image portion and said uninterrupted portion.
7. A label according to claim 1, and further comprising a third thin, flexible, transparent lamina of synthetic material overlying and bonded to said second transparent lamina,
there being a second printed image carried by one of said second and third transparent laminae and disposed therebetween so as to be visible through said third transparent lamina,
said printed images being laterally offset from each other in such fashion that the one of said images disposed between said first and second transparent laminae constitutes a shadow image for the one of said images disposed between said second and third transparent laminae.
8. A label according to claim 5 wherein said other major surface of said base lamina has a coating of metal thereon.
9. A printed label adapted to be supplied as part of a rolled tape or flexible sheet and characterized by irnproved clarity and appearance, with the printed image affording an impression of depth, the label being in the form of a flexible, planiform laminate comprising a base lamina in the form of a thin, flexible film of synthetic material,
said base lamina being adapted to have one of its major surfaces secured to the object to which the label is to be applied and being opaque when viewed from the side thereof opposite said one major surface; and at least three thin, transparent, flexible films of synthetic material,
one of said transparent films overlying the other major surface of said base lamina and being secured thereto,
the others of said transparent films overlying each other and said one transparent film and being secured respectively together and to said :base lamina,
the label including two similar printed images each disposed between a different pair of said transparent films,
said images being oflset laterally from each other and the one of said images which is nearer said base lamina appearing as a shadow image for the other of said images,
said images extending for less than the full extent of the label, and said images and a portion of said other major surface of said base lamina therefore both being visible when the label is viewed from the side thereof opposite said one major surface of said base lamina,
said images being spaced from said base lamina by at least the thickness of the respective ones of said transparent films lying between said images and said base lamina, and said other major surface of said base lamina presenting a contrasting appearance against which said im age is viewed.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,143,141 1/1939 Cooley 161-3 2,648,924 8/1953 Brewster 40-2 3,309,804 3/1967 Gill 40-2 3,049,459 8/1962 Smith et al. 161-3 3,322,605 5/1967 Frech 161-6 JACOB H. STEINBERG, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.