A History Shaped by Values

Avery Dennison began with an innovation that launched an industry. In 1935, a struggling clerk named Stan Avery conceived a smarter way for stores to price their products. Combining used machine parts with a saber saw—and financing it all with a hundred-dollar loan—he created and patented the first self-adhesive, die-cut labeling machine. With Stan Avery’s invention, the pressure-sensitive label industry was born.

Shaping Our Industry Through Innovation—Spotlight on 
Emulsion Adhesives

1980s: First with Emulsion Adhesives. In response to the recognition that moving away from solvent-based adhesives could enable manufacturers to reduce their emissions of volatile organic compounds—and in response to European regulations levied as a result—we intensely pursued the development of water-based emulsion polymer adhesives. The main hurdle: solving the foaming that occurred when the less-viscous emulsion adhesives were applied to paper. We quickly learned that emulsion adhesives had advantages in addition to their lower environmental impact. They enabled faster conversion for our customers, and worked with a wider range of facestocks.

Our commitment to developing emulsion adhesives paid off—we were the first label-maker to offer them on a large scale.

Inventing an Industry


  • First die-cutting method, in-line machinery and rotary die for self-adhesive labels

  • First synthetic-based pressure-sensitive adhesive and quick release coating for self-adhesive products

  • First systematic approach to label identification and pricing

  • First manual dispenser for self-adhesive labels



  • First non-removable pressure-sensitive adhesive

  • Commercialized Crack-N Peel® labels with a breakaway liner for easy removal

  • First method to successfully anchor ink to new film and foil surfaces



  • Avery Dennison pressure-sensitive materials used in the production of the first U.S. peel-and-stick postage stamp for the U.S. Postal Service

  • Ultraviolet and electron beam radiation curing and new heat transfer system for drying adhesive and silicone-coated materials

  • First repositionable, refastenable diaper closure tapes



  • Fasson introduces Ultraliner® material, a rugged plastic liner which allows pressure-sensitive products to run at higher printing and application speeds

  • First ultra-high adhesion products utilizing new radiation-cured technology

  • First print-your-own label and software compatible templates

  • “No-label” look pressure-sensitive label material



  • Functional labels with resealability and valve functionality

  • First content-insensitive RFID label

  • Recyclable beverage label

  • First pressure-sensitive postage stamp for vending through automated teller machines

  • First environmentally friendly, solvent-free plant in China



  • New heat transfer label technology for garments

  • Fasson Luminescent film developed and commercialized in Korea

  • Avery Graphics creates Easy Apply film, an overlaminate that makes the wrap look like paint, for vehicle graphics

  • Customizable Avery Signature binders introduced

  • Clean Edge Business Cards with non-perforated edges created

Stan Avery, The Gentle Giant