How the label was born

Never again without: history of a revolution

It is impossible to imagine a world without it. The label represents the identity of a product. The process of marking goods is a need connected to their trade. And since trade is what makes the world go around, it is easy to say that the label rightfully occupies a privileged position. It fulfils a function, and its role is fundamental.

Here are the key moments of a history that also involves Pilot.

United States, 1935: in a volcanic Los Angeles, driven by the desire to seek a new world and to forget the Great Depression of 1929, Stan Avery invented the adhesive label at the age of 22. He applied a layer of water-sensitive glue to paper discs and then cut and adapted them to different shapes.

Only two years later in 1937, the first prototype was created, which would be apt to call a revolution. The pressure-sensitive synthetic label is born: the sticker. Just remove a corner of the protective paper and apply the label to the product to transform it from an anonymous good to one with a well-defined identity. The best ideas are always the simplest. Then World War II stops everything. When the countries stop fighting, the industry resumes inventing and the world starts again with a new energy.

Archer Contact was born in France in 1949 and obtained the rights to produce self-adhesive labels for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the British Empire, from the Los Angeles-based company. At the helm is André Strauss, a farsighted Frenchman whose vision can be summarised as follows: “we do not supply labels, but a complete branding system.” It is in this context that Archer Italia was born, the company that gave origin to the investment in our country.

It was here in 1967 that Giancarlo Vimercati started working as a 31 year old. Subsequent events led to the need for the Pilot France Group to invest in Italy which led to the founding of the Italian branch of Pilot. The year was 1968. Today, 50 years after his entry into this world, he is still at the helm. From a company man to a man-company. Labels were a silent invention. One of those tools used daily whose presence we do not even perceive, not even their irreplaceable usefulness.