The sticky note, what was once has accidental discovery, has become an all-important business productivity tool. Sticky notes for helpful reminders, organizing documents, and brainstorming. Without them, the world would be a little less organized.
But here’s something you might not know: Sticky notes must undergo a complex manufacturing process. In fact, most sticky notes start as giant reams of paper. Then, the signature temporary glue is applied, the giant reams are cut into squares, they’re stacked and pressed, and then the access paper is cut away.
Today, automated machines and printing presses make the process faster than ever. A full-time production facility, for instance, can produce thousands of sticky note pads each day, including custom Post-it notes with specialized messages.
From Paper to Notepad: The Post-it Note Production Process
Both standard Canary yellow and personalized Post-it Notes all go through a similar manufacturing lifecycle. In fact, it’s a six-step process, that’s facilitated by specialized printing and cutting machines.
First, all Post-it Notes start their lives as giant spools of colored or white paper. The paper is fed into large printing and processing presses, which use conveyer belts that send the paper through the system. The machines are very similar to the printing presses that are used in the newspaper business.
Once the paper has been fed into the press, it will undergo a series of steps. In general, there are six steps in the process, including:
1. Custom Sticky Note Printing
Personalized Post-it Notes must first have their unique messages printed. Most commonly, custom sticky notes include a company logo, letterhead, border or image that is printed across the ream of paper. Eventually, each square of the custom Post-it Note pad will be cut out with the same personalized message.
2. Sticky Note Glue Is Applied
After the message has been printed, the signature Post-it Note glue must be applied to the paper. The spool is fed through a machine that applies strips to the back of the paper.
3. Single Sheets Are Cut Out
Once the glue is applied, the spool of paper is cut into large individual sheets. These sheets are then loosely stacked together, and will eventually be cut into finished sticky note pads. A machine is used to align each paper properly.
4. Pressing Sheets Into a Pad
At this point, the notes must be pressed. They’re fed into a machine that applies strong downward force. In fact, a similar machine is used to produce plywood. By pressing the individual sheet, a tight bond is created with the glue and all sheets of paper sit uniformly on top of each other.
5. Cutting Notes Down to Size
Next, the stack of pressed sheets must be cut into squares or other shapes. First, the excess paper is removed. Then, the remaining sheets are cut into individual pads. The most common Post-it Note size is a 3-inch by 3-inch square, but today, sticky notes are available in more than 30 sizes.
6. Custom Post-it Note Shapes
Finally, if the personalized Post-it Note has a unique shape – like a circle, a heart, or even a tooth (which is popular for dentist’s offices) – each individual pad is sent through a die-cutting machine. The machine punches the pads through to give a clean-cut border.
Post-it Notes have numerous uses, and they’re must-have productivity tools. For marketing, custom Post-it Notes are another item your business can’t do without. Next time you jot down a note or reminder, now you know that Post-it Note when through an interesting process to make it to your desk drawer.