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World Label Awards Rules and Regulations

These regulations were put in place when the World Label Awards Competition (WLA) when the competition was inaugurated. The original rules typify the spirit of the competition.

  1. The judges will comprise the Chairman of the WLA plus a nominated judge from each of the participating Associations. The costs of the judges to be met by the respective associations by agreement.
  2. One winner will be chosen from each class providing the judges deem the technical quality to be sufficient to meet world standards
  3. The WLA competition will be held independently of any Association and the date and venue (normally on a rotating basis) for the judging will be selected by agreement between the Association representatives. (Normally the day before a Labelexpo show).
  4. All entries for the WLA Competition must be through an Association recognised by WLA. No entries can be accepted direct from a printer or supplier.
  5. All entries for the WLA competition must have been produced in the previous calendar year (1 Jan – 31 Dec) and must have been commercial jobs. Promotional (of the label converter) work will not be accepted and the name of the printer on the entry will subject it to disqualification.
  6. Winners or nominated entries are acceptable from the individual Association competitions i.e. the entry must have been entered and been nominated for an award or be a winner in the local Association Competition before being entered in the WLA Competition.
  7. These rules and regulations may be modified by agreement with the WLA committee made up from a representative from each of the constituent Associations. The Chairman of the WLA has the casting vote in any unresolved decision.
  8. Each Association shall be responsible for the cost of production and shipping of the respective winners and Honourable Mention plaques achieved by the entries from each Association.

Entry requirements and limitations


The following will serve to make the entry conditions unambiguous and clear for all entrants in the WLA competition.

All entries must be produced at least 90% on a reel fed label press up to 20” (50 cms).

The class entered must constitute at least 90% of that described in the title of that class e.g. flexo line must be at least 90% flexo the other 10% can be hot/cold foil or an additional process. Lamination, lacquering or embossing does not constitute an additional process.

Any other mix of processes will be classed as multi-process and entered in that class this includes hot/cold foil or other than the main process.

The labels will be judged in the first instance on technical merit and end use or application and fitness for purpose equally.

Innovation means using a narrow web press for unusual applications not normally associated with a label press.

Ideally samples for judging should be at least 12 consecutive labels still on the roll if possible, this enables the judges to assess continuity. This number of labels is needed if the sample is a winner or an Honourable Mention for marketing and scanning purposes. Fewer that 12 samples will risk disqualification.

An entry can only be submitted in one class

An entry must not include the converters/printers name on the sample.

Background technical information is essential to aid the judges in their task.

A coupon label shall constitute a coupon or promotional label used for promotional purposes.

Each Association to notify the Chairman of which WLA classes the respective Association will enter (no detail is required). This is to ensure a more efficient judging process by eliminating lost time

Background to the World Label Awards

The World Label Awards (WLA) began in 1989 between FINAT ( Europe) and TLMI ( USA). Two years later JFLP ( Japan) joined the competition which at that time covered the label industry worldwide.

During subsequent years there have been several modifications to the categories in an attempt to encompass the entry criteria of the national participating associations. It is fair to say that there is normally a high degree of compatibility between the entry requirements for the national competitions and the WLA.

As there are more Countries joining the WLA it is important that more formality is introduced to the structure of the World Label Awards. The “rules” of the competition are attached.


Each Association holds its own national competition and has its own award ceremony for samples printed within the previous calendar year (e.g. national judging in 2009 would include all samples printed between 1 January 2008 and 31 December 2008).

Each Association selects entries for the WLA from their nominated or winning entries.