Like the cookie cutter analogy above, different shapes and sizes of labels are cut out of a large, continuous sheet of label material called laminate.
To produce a roll of labels from the laminate, it must go through a process called converting.
Converting happens when a large roll of paper or film laminate is fed through a machine press that cuts individual labels from the material on the lining with a tool called a die.
Dies are specially made pieces of metal tooling used to cut out shapes of the laminate. As the laminate makes its way through the press, pressure is applied to the die so it cuts into the material.
This cutting process is called the die strike.
At this stage, consistent pressure and alignment are key. Cuts must be precise so they go through the laminate but not the liner underneath.
Once the die strike occurs, the excess material surrounding the shape is removed, leaving behind the finished label. From here the large roll of material is fashioned down into smaller, individual rolls of labels for end users.