Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Label Planet TEMPLATE TUESDAY: Printing A Label Template – Top Tips For Loading Your Labels To Align Your Design Perfectly

https://www.labelplanet.co.uk/label-templates.php







Yes, we do have “top tips” for loading your sheet labels into your printer!

Even if you’ve created a perfect label template, chosen the perfect printer, and carefully selected the perfect set of print settings, you can undo all of your hard work in an instant, simply by not taking a bit of care when you load your A4 labels into your printer.

The fact is that as soon as you press print you are entrusting a set of precise digital instructions to a machine that has to physically manoeuvre your sheet labels through multiple sets of rollers while recreating your label template.

Printers are designed to process sheets as efficiently as possible but there is always a risk that sheets can become misaligned or rotate as they are fed through each set of rollers – especially in older printers or in printers that are regularly used for high volume printing tasks.

While there is very little you can do to improve how smoothly your printer processes sheets (other than periodically cleaning the rollers with an acetone – e.g. a non-oily nail varnish remover – and/or a label remover if you regularly print adhesive labels), you can at least give yourself a head start and reduce the risk of alignment issues simply by making sure that you load your blank labels carefully and correctly into your printer.

Label Planet’s Top Tips For Loading Self Adhesive Labels

1. Fan your labels before loading them into your printer
Gently fan or flip through your blank labels to separate the individual sheets and remove any traces of static that could cause your sheets to jam in your printer.

2. Use the media bypass tray and align the guides carefully along the edges of your sheet labels
If your printer has a media bypass tray you should ALWAYS use it to print self adhesive labels; A4 labels are constructed from AT LEAST three layers (a face material, an adhesive layer, and a backing sheet) making them much thicker than standard sheets of paper, which is what the main paper tray is designed to handle.

The media bypass tray is a secondary tray that is designed specifically to process thicker print media and – because of its position just above or below the paper tray – it bypasses at least one set of rollers, creating a straighter path through the printer and significantly reducing the chances of your sticky labels rotating as they are pulled through the printer.

Before putting your blank labels into your printer, knock them against an even surface to make sure that all of the sheets are lined up neatly so that you know they will at least all start in a completely straight position before you press print. Make sure that the guides in the printer tray are gently resting against the edges of your sheet labels; these guides help to ensure that your sheet labels feed into the printer in a straight path when the pick up roller pulls them into the printer.

3. Load your printer labels so that they feed into your printer narrow edge leading
Your printer labels must always be fed into the printer in a portrait orientation so that the narrowest edge (i.e. the edge that measures 210mm wide) enters the printer first. At Label Planet, our label sizes are made with layouts that have been selected specifically to reduce the chances of your sticky labels separating from their backing sheet during the printing process – as long as they are fed narrow edge leading.

It is also especially important to feed paper labels in this way because they have a grain that runs from the top to the bottom of each sheet (when held portrait); if you try to feed paper labels into a printer against the grain (i.e. with the widest edge leading), it is more than likely that the sheets will jam.

4. Try manually feeding individual sheets or batches of sheets for bulk print jobs
If you need to print a high volume of self adhesive labels in one go, you might be tempted to simply load all of your sheet labels into your printer at once. Printing self adhesive labels is a much more intensive process than printing standard sheets of labels, which can lead to printers overheating (especially laser printers, which use heat to bond toner onto a surface) and struggling to feed each sheet smoothly and accurately (resulting in sheets rotating, misfeeding, and even jamming completely).

To help avoid these problems, we recommend manually feeding your blank labels into your printer – either as individual sheets or in smaller batches – to allow your printer time to process your sheets more efficiently.

Next Week On Template Tuesday: Printing A Label Template – The First Rule Of Printing Labels: ALWAYS DO A TEST PRINT FIRST

Friday, 17 November 2017

Stikins ® Name Labels: Stikins ® – Name Tags For Nursing Homes, Care Homes & Residential Care Facilities

https://www.stikins.co.uk/



While most Stikins ® name labels are bought (by parents) for use as school uniform labels, clothing labels, general purpose school labels, and name stickers for just about everything else, we have also found that a number of our customers have given us really positive feedback about using our self adhesive name tags on the belongings of relatives or friends who are living in a nursing home, care home, or residential care facility.

Stikins ® name labels are a really simple solution to the problem of labelling multiple items quickly and securely; our multipurpose sticky name labels can be stuck onto the wash-care labels of clothing and fabric items or directly onto personal items, including books and photo albums, glasses cases and pill boxes, and food and drink containers.

Nursing homes and care homes rely heavily on the use of shared spaces and facilities (including kitchens and laundries), which makes it all too easy for items to be misplaced or mixed up. Adding stick on name labels to clothing and personal belongings is a really easy way to make it straightforward for residents, visitors, and members of staff to return items to their rightful owners.

Each name label measures 30mm wide by 15mm high, which makes them a discrete addition to any item but also provides plenty of room to add a name (with the option to add a room number as well). They simply peel off their backing sheet and then stick on and stay on – whether you use them as name labels for clothing, shoes, bedding, boxes, containers, or individual personal belongings.

Our name labels use a unique and powerful adhesive to remain firmly stuck in place, which means there’s absolutely no ironing and no sewing required. The adhesive also means that you can use one pack of our stick on labels for clothing, fabric items, and personal possessions so there’s no need to buy different types of name labels (e.g. sew-in name labels, iron-on name tapes, clip on name tags, or name stamps) for different items – these stick on name labels can be used to label pretty much everything and anything.

Orders can be placed anytime online (simply visit www.stikins.co.uk) or you can call our Customer Service Team Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm to order by phone. We print name labels every day, Monday to Friday, which means that most orders will be despatched same day (up to 3pm; orders placed after 3pm or over the weekend will be despatched next working day). Our prices are inclusive of VAT and standard delivery (Royal Mail’s first class service) with the option to upgrade to a guaranteed next day delivery service if you need to receive your name labels quickly (for example, if a friend or relative is transferred to a care home or nursing home at short notice).

While individuals can place their own name label orders (or order on behalf of a friend or relative), we are also happy to deal with nursing homes and care homes directly. If you need to order a large number of name label packs, you can simply email us the list of names (and room numbers) you would like printed and we offer a 10% discount to all nursing and care homes who order name labels on behalf of their residents.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Label Planet: Make A Big Splash With Splashproof Labels From Label Planet

https://www.labelplanet.co.uk/








Today, we’re taking a closer look at our SPLASHPROOF LABELS (Semi-Gloss Labels & Gloss Laser Labels) to find out why they're the perfect choice when you need self adhesive labels that can put up with a splish (or a splash) of water.

What are SPLASHPROOF labels?

Splashproof labels are paper labels with a special coating that provides light protection against a small splash of water. This means that if these white labels are lightly splashed with water, they can be wiped clean and dry without the labels being damaged.

They are NOT waterproof labels; where waterproof labels can be exposed to and/or submerged in water without being damaged, splashproof labels are still – essentially – paper labels that will be damaged by exposure to/submersion in water. 

How does the coating protect splashproof labels from water damage?

A self-adhesive label has two main layers (the face material and the adhesive) that are carried on a backing sheet; many adhesive labels have additional layers (such as a coating) to add particular characteristics to blank labels. For example, coatings are used to create specific finishes (e.g. gloss labels, matt labels, semi-gloss labels, satin labels, silk labels etc) or to add a protective layer over the face material and adhesive. This is how the coating on splashproof labels works; it sits on top of the paper labels so that water (or dust or dirt etc) lands on the coating and NOT on the paper face material. The water can then be wiped away without damaging the paper labels.

The reason that splashproof labels are NOT waterproof labels is that this coating is a very thin layer and does not provide a full seal all the way around the paper label beneath; if a splashproof label is exposed to or submerged in a lot of water, the water will break through the protective coating to the paper face material underneath.

So why would I use splashproof labels instead of waterproof labels?

Generally speaking, the deciding factor between the two is usually budget; waterproof labels are made with synthetic plastics (polyester, polyolefin, polyethylene etc), which makes them more expensive than paper labels.

Most of our customers who choose splashproof labels are printing product labels and either don’t have the budget for waterproof labels or want a budget-friendly alternative that won’t eat into their profit margin. If you know that your products MIGHT be exposed to a light splash of water every now and then, splashproof labels might offer enough basic protection so that you don't need to pay extra for a completely waterproof label solution.

We are more than happy to send out samples of our splashproof labels so you can test them for yourself. 

Why do you only supply splashproof laser labels?

Both our splashproof gloss labels and semi-gloss labels are LASER LABELS (i.e. they must be printed using a laser printer). They are made with materials that are well-suited to the laser printing process (a dry printing process that uses heat and pressure to bond a dry powder called toner onto surfaces), which produces waterproof print. This means both the splashproof labels AND the print that is added to them will survive a splash of water.

While it is possible to make waterproof or splashproof inkjet LABELS, inkjet INKS are NOT waterproof; they are water-based and will run or smudge under even the lightest splash of water.

What sorts of label applications are suitable for splashproof labels?

Splashproof labels are excellent product labels – especially on products that are to be used and/or stored in places where they might get splashed (e.g. kitchens and bathrooms) or on containers that will contain liquids (e.g. food labels, drink labels, bottle labels, jar labels, and cosmetics labels).

In addition to creating a protective layer, the coatings on these paper labels produce an attractive and decorative surface, with the choice of a bright “full gloss” finish (for a dazzling, eye-catching labels) or a more demure “semi-gloss” finish (for a subtle touch of shine).

What splashproof labels are available from Label Planet?

We have TWO types of splashproof labels:
  • GW: gloss paper labels for laser printers; these white labels have a permanent adhesive and are made with paper that has a gloss coating, which gives them a bright and shiny finish.
  • SG: semi-gloss labels for laser printers; these white paper labels have a permanent adhesive and a semi-gloss finish (this falls between the bright shine of a gloss finish and the dull surface of a matt finish).
Visit the range pages for GW and SG to find out more about our superb splashproof labels, to find out what label sizes are available, or to place an order for your very own splashproof labels today!

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Label Planet TEMPLATE TUESDAY: Printing A Label Template – Choosing The Right Print Settings To Print Your Labels

https://www.labelplanet.co.uk/label-templates.php







Last week’s Template Tuesday talked about choosing the “right” printer to print a label template onto blank labels; this week, we’ll talk you through choosing the “right” print settings to print your label template accurately and efficiently.

Modern desktop printers offer a HUGE range of print settings so your printer can adapt to a wide range of printing tasks – and produce the best possible print quality and accuracy for the specific document and print media that you want to print. While some “smart printers” make basic assumptions about what you want to print (and select the right print settings for you), generally speaking it is up to you to choose the right settings.

If you don’t, your printer will simply use the default settings installed in its software (the printer driver) or – worse – will use the settings selected for its last print job; in either case, it's likely that those settings won't print your label template accurately and to a high enough quality. Self adhesive labels are VERY different to other print media and require a much more specific printing process (created by choosing the right set of print settings) to print successfully.

So, before you print your label template, you should first click on “Printer Properties”//“Printing Preferences” and make sure that:

1. The PAGE SIZE is set to A4.

Occasionally, printers revert to default settings stored in the print driver and – in some cases – this will be the American page size “Letter”. It is also possible that your printer is using a page size from a previous print job.

2. There are NO SCALING options selected.

This includes any percentage less than 100% and any settings that refer to scaling or otherwise manipulating the page size or document size (e.g. “Fit To Sheet” and “Fit To Page”).

3. The printer isn’t using DEFAULT SETTINGS.

Some desktop printers have a general option that instructs the printer to ignore any specific print settings you select in favour of those stored in the printer driver (usually called “Ignore Printer Settings”, “Use Default Settings”, or “Use Driver Settings”).

4. The MEDIA TYPE & MEDIA WEIGHT settings are appropriate for self adhesive labels.

These settings adjust how your printer works to suit specific print media; for example, when printing laser labels, you can adjust the print settings so the printer processes each sheet more slowly AND applies more heat to ensure that the toner bonds perfectly with your blank labels.

Some printers group these two items together; where possible, set the media type to a specific “Labels” setting and match the media weight to the printer labels you are using. If your printer doesn’t offer a specific “Labels” settings, select the closest alternative (consult your printer manual and/or the manufacturer’s support pages online to see what is recommended).

Most printers list media weight settings as a general description followed by a specific range of weights, such as “Light (60-64 gsm)” or “Heavy (105-120 gsm)”. Generally, you should use a “Heavy” print setting for printer labels but check your printer’s manual for further advice. Our website includes Material Specification Sheets, which list the weights of all of our blank labels to help you pick the right media weight setting.

NB: our Security Labels (SVP and TEV) and Silver Polyester Labels (SMP) should be printed using “Paper” print settings. 

5. The PRINT QUALITY setting is appropriate for the level of detail (resolution) needed to print your label template.

If you are printing a basic text-based label template (e.g. address labels and shipping labels, ingredients on food labels, instructions for use on products labels etc), then you can use the default print quality setting. If your label template contains images (especially photographs) or high resolution artwork, then you should change the print quality setting so that your printer will print more slowly and at a higher printer resolution.

6. The MEDIA SOURCE is set to the media bypass tray.

Always load printer labels into the media bypass tray (if your printer has one). While some “smart” printers automatically detect when you are printing a label template (and automatically process your sheet labels from the bypass tray), others may not, so it’s always best to tell your printer specifically to use the bypass tray.

7. The FEED DIRECTION is set to Narrow Edge Leading.

Most desktop printers only offer narrow edge feed but if your printer offers both you MUST make set it up to use narrow edge feed. The feed direction refers to the orientation of your sheet labels as they are fed into your printer; during narrow edge leading, the narrowest edge enters the printer first (for A4 labels this is the 210mm wide edge). There are THREE reasons to do this:
  • Paper labels have a grain going from the top to the bottom of a portrait sheet; if you feed your paper labels wide edge leading, the feed direction will go against (perpendicular to) the grain, which can cause your paper labels to jam in your printer.
  • Many label sizes (including all Label Planet's label sizes) have a layout that is designed to prevent printer labels separating from their backing sheet as they are pulled through/around the rollers – as long as they are fed narrow edge leading.
  • If you load printer labels into the bypass tray narrow edge leading but your print settings are set to wide edge leading, your printer will detect the mismatch and refuse to print your blank labels at all!
If you have ANY doubts about how to set up your printer to print self adhesive labels, consult the printer manual and/or support section of the manufacturer’s website; many manufacturer supply recommended guidelines for specific print tasks (such as printing onto A4 labels).

Next Week On Template Tuesday: Printing A Label Template – Top Tips For Loading Your Labels To Align Your Design Perfectly

Friday, 10 November 2017

Stikins ® Name Labels: Can You Tell Me How To Get To…Join The Stikins ® School Fundraising Scheme?!

https://www.stikins.co.uk/


Today is the 48th anniversary of the first broadcast of Sesame Street; the show was developed specifically to use the power of television to prepare young children for school and for life in general. Today, Sesame Street is shown in more than 140 countries (with around 20 international versions), is the longest running American children’s show (last month saw the debut of its 48th season), and it backs around 50 charitable initiatives worldwide to help children follow the Sesame Street motto – to be smarter, stronger, and kinder.

SCHOOL FUNDRAISING WITH STIKINS ® NAME LABELS

We have our own (much smaller) initiative, which offers school fundraising via sales of our school name labels – Stikins ®.

The scheme is completely free to join and we provide fundraising partners with free leaflets, posters, and samples to help them promote the scheme to parents.

To join, you simply need to give us a call or fill in our online form; you'll be assigned a unique school fundraising number and ANY order we receive for stick on name labels that quotes your fundraising number will count towards your commission total. We keep track of your commission and send you a cheque in October/November.

Our school and PTA fundraising scheme offers a basic 15% commission rate, which can be doubled to 30% by adding a fundraising link on the school or PTA website. This makes it really easy for parents to order school labels – whether they need school uniform labels, stick on labels for lunch bottles and P.E. equipment, or general purpose name stickers and name tags for those “essentials” that their children refuse to leave at home. The link can even automatically add your school fundraising number to any order placed by following that link – so even if a parent forgets, their name label order will still count towards your fundraising total.

Our fundraising scheme is also a really easy way to encourage parents to use name labels and name tags on all of the school uniform, equipment, and personal items that their children bring to school each day – which can significantly reduce the amount of lost property that you have to deal with each year.

JOIN THE STIKINS ® FUNDRAISING SCHEME AND REQUEST FREE FUNDRAISING RESOURCES

Visit our website (www.stikins.co.uk) and click on the “Fundraising” button on the left hand side. Our school fundraising pages include a school fundraising guide, a request form, FAQs, a guide to adding a link to your website, downloads and useful links, and our school fundraising portal (where you can login and keep track of how much commission you've earned so far).

FUN FACTS ABOUT SESAME STREET

To celebrate our thirteenth year of running a school fundraising scheme, we’ve put together our favourite thirteen fascinating facts about Sesame Street!

Fact One (that’s ONE fascinating fact)
All of the main characters have four fingers – except for the Cookie Monster who has five. Most Sesame Street characters are also left handed.

Fact Two (that’s TWO fascinating facts)
A number of characters have undergone quite drastic changes over years; Oscar the Grouch was originally orange, Mr Snuffleupagus was deemed too scary (with his bright yellow eyes and eyelashes plus immobile eyelids), Cookie Monster had big pointy teeth, Telly Monster had antennae coming out of his head (and his eyes spun whenever he watched television), and Count von Count had some seriously sinister powers including the ability to hypnotise and stun people.

Fact Three (that’s THREE fascinating facts)
Sesame Street takes its name from the famous Arabian Nights quote – “Open, Sesame!”; various alternatives were considered, including “123 Avenue B” – which had to be dropped because it was a real address in New York City. While the true location of Sesame Street is shrouded in mystery, anyone can visit “Sesame Place” – a Sesame Street theme park based just outside of Philadelphia.

Fact Four (that’s FOUR fascinating facts)
“Sing A Song” was originally chosen as the theme song before being replaced with “Can You Tell Me How To Get To Sesame Street”; there have been at least 10 versions of this song used during the opening and closing credits, although the most successful song from the show has to be Ernie’s “Rubber Duckie” song, which was released as a single in 1970 and reached number 16 in the American music charts.

Fact Five (that’s FIVE fascinating facts)
While many different celebrities have appeared on Sesame Street over the years, the first was James Earl Jones; he dropped by the street to perform a dramatic recitation of the alphabet.

Fact Six (that’s SIX fascinating facts)
“Cookie Monster” is just a nickname that stuck (his original name is Sidney or Sid), the Television Monster’s nickname “Telly” comes from British slang, while Mr Snuffleupagus is actually named Aloysius – although he is usually referred to simply as “Snuffy”.

Fact Seven (that’s SEVEN fascinating facts)
Big Bird is 8 feet and 2 inches tall (that’s 249 cm) and has variously been identified as a lark, part homing pigeon, a golden condor, and part emu – although he is generally assumed to be a canary (or “bigus canarius” to use his own words).

Fact Eight (that’s EIGHT fascinating facts)
Bert and Ernie were the first muppet characters to appear in the Sesame Street pilots (proving to be extremely popular with test audiences). The Cookie Monster, however, predates Sesame Street by three years, having featured in a television advert (albeit one that didn’t air) as “The Wheel-Steeler”, in an IBM training film (where he ate the Coffee Break Machine), as well as in a potato chip advert (as “Arnold”). While international versions of Sesame Street feature characters from the original version, they also have their own unique characters, including a giant polar bear named Basil (Canada), a giant pink turtle named Pong Pagong (Philippines), a hedgehog named Kippi Kippod (Israel), and a camel named No’Man (Kuwait).

Fact Nine (that’s NINE fascinating facts)
While Sesame Street has successfully addressed a variety of tricky topics, they famously struggled with the topic of divorce; a 1992 episode featuring the divorce of Mr Snuffleupagus’ parents upset children so much during testing that the episode was never aired.

Fact Ten (that’s TEN fascinating facts)
Bert wears vertical stripes (to reflect his more “uptight” personality), while Ernie wears horizontal stripes (to reflect his more relaxed personality); Bert has an identical twin brother named Bart and, between them, Bert and Ernie have just one eyebrow.

Fact Eleven (that’s ELEVEN fascinating facts)
Count von Count’s love of counting comes from vampire lore, which suggests that vampires have “arithmomania” (a strong need to count the objects around them) and advises throwing small seeds, rice or wheat, or even handfuls of sand to escape from a vampire – the idea being that the vampire will stop to count each individual item, giving you time to get away! Interestingly, it has never been officially confirmed whether the Count himself is a vampire or not.

Fact Twelve (that’s TWELVE fascinating facts)
Among the muppets featured on Sesame Street, there are “human muppets” (like Bert and Ernie), “animal muppets” (like Big Bird and the Three Bears), “monster muppets” (like Cookie Monster, Elmo, and Grover), and other unique groups including the grouches (like Oscar the Grouch), fairies (like Abby Cadabby), and snuffleupaguses/snuffleupagi (like Mr Snuffleupagus).

Fact Thirteen (that’s THIRTEEN fascinating facts)
Elmo was the first non-human to testify before Congress (in defence of funding for school music programs); during his appearance, Elmo was referred to as “Mr Monster”, wore an elegant Armani suit (from Barney’s), and attempted to eat his microphone. Elmo is related to the Furchester-Fuzz family who run The Furchester Hotel in the UK (assisted by the Cookie Monster who is occasionally visited by his British cousin, the Biscuit Monster).

Remember, you can find out more, sign up, or request fundraising leaflets by visiting the school fundraising & PTA fundraising section of our website OR by contacting our Customer Service Team.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Label Planet: Picking The Perfect Printer Can Help Perfect Your Print & Produce Perfectly Printed Self Adhesive Labels

https://www.labelplanet.co.uk/







DID YOU KNOW? The printer you use can heavily influence the print quality and accuracy of alignment created when printing self adhesive labels.

PRINTERS, PRINTER LABELS, & PRINT QUALITY
Print quality on self adhesive labels is determined by three key factors:

1. Label & Printer Compatibility
Some A4 labels are suitable for ONE printing method; they are called INKJET LABELS and LASER LABELS and are made with materials that are extremely well-suited to a particular printing method.

For example, laser printing uses heat and pressure to bond toner onto a surface and so laser labels are made with materials that cope well with high temperatures (e.g. paper with high moisture content). Inkjet printing relies on inks drying quickly in the correct position and so inkjet labels are made with slightly absorbent materials (e.g. porous papers) to reducing the risk of smudging.

2. Printer Resolution
Printer resolution is expressed as “dots per inch” – the number of “dots” of ink or toner that a printer can produce within an inch. More dots allow more detail to be added, which means that a higher printer resolution produces better print quality – up to a point.

A DPI of 300 x 300 is “Normal/Good Resolution” (for general documents), a DPI of 600 x 600 is “High Resolution" (for documents with some images or design features), and a DPI of 1200 x 1200 is “Photo Resolution" (for reproducing digital photographs).

Some printers offer higher printer resolutions but there is little benefit as the human eye struggles to discern the difference in quality after this point. 

Your printer's manual will list its maximum printer resolution; many printers will give you a choice of printer resolutions when printing so you can choose a less intensive resolution for everyday printing tasks and a higher resolution when you need more detail.

3. Print Settings
Most desktop printers offer specific print settings that adjust how your printer works in order to produce the best possible print quality on different print media, including self adhesive labels – which are thicker and made with a variety of different materials or coatings. These settings tend to fall into the following three categories:
  • Type: this refers broadly to the print medium that you are using (e.g. Plain Paper, Recycled Paper, Gloss Paper, Photo Paper, Card, Labels, Envelopes etc).
  • Weight: this refers to the weight of the print medium, which is expressed as grammage – the mass per unit area (g/m²). Options are usually a general description followed by a range of weights (e.g “Light (60-64 gsm)” or “Heavy (105-120 gsm)”).
  • Quality: this refers to the printer resolution (i.e. the level of detail) that is used to print your label template. This setting will usually allow you to choose a printer resolution AND the speed at which your printer runs (higher printer resolutions require a slower print speed).
While “dedicated” desktop printers should be able to print most media types and weights, “all-in-one” printers and application printers (e.g. "photo printers") are limited in the print media they can process; this is because they are not designed for the specific task of printing self adhesive labels, which means they are not built with the features and specifications that would allow them to do so. Your printer's manual will list all of the types and weights that it can print successfully.

Some printers will also have advanced features to further refine the print quality on your laser labels or inkjet labels. You can consult the printer manual and/or support section of the manufacturer’s website to see what options are available and if there are any recommended guidelines you need to follow.  

PRINTERS, PRINTER LABELS, & PRINT ACCURACY
Some printers have features that improve how accurately your label template is aligned with your sheet labels when you press print:
  • Media Bypass Tray: usually located just above or below the standard paper tray, this tray is designed specifically for handling thicker materials and offers a straighter path through the printer (“bypassing” at least one set of rollers) - this reduces the risk of your sheet labels rotating as they are fed through the printer.
  • Narrow Edge Feed: some printers allow you to feed sheet labels into your printer narrow edge leading (the 210mm edge goes in first) or wide edge leading (the 297mm edge goes in first). You should ALWAYS use narrow edge feed to print self adhesive labels because they have layouts designed to reduce the chances of labels separating from their backing sheet. Paper labels also have a grain that runs the length of each sheet; they must be fed narrow edge leading to ensure that they travel through the printer in a direction that is parallel with the grain to ensure they feed smoothly and with less chance of rotation.
  • Starting Print Position: all printers have a slightly difference starting print position, which can determine whether or not your label template aligns with your sheet labels. Some printers allow you to adjust this starting print position (usually through the menu panel that is physically part of the printer) but it is often much simpler to adjust the page margins of your label template.
  • Printable Area: most desktop printers cannot print the full area of an A4 sheet; if your labels fall into the "unprintable area" of your particular printer, you will have to adjust your label template (so your design doesn't use this area) OR source a printer that offers “Edge-To-Edge” or “Borderless” printing (allowing your printer to print the full surface area of A4 labels).
BUY PRINTER LABELS FROM LABEL PLANET
We specialise in A4 sheets of laser labels and inkjet labels, which are designed specifically for use with laser printers and inkjet printers. Our self-adhesive labels use label sizes, layouts, materials, and adhesives that suit the laser printing or inkjet printing process so our customers can print sticky labels at home or at work using their own standard desktop printers!

You can find a full list of our laser labels and inkjet labels (along with their printer compatibility) on our List Of All Materials page. 

While we don’t recommend specific printer models because customers need to choose one that suits their overall printing needs, we do recommend two brands: OKI and HP. Both supply dedicated printers that are extremely capable of processing self-adhesive labels and produce high quality and accurate print. Look through printer specifications to make sure that your printer offers a high printer resolution, is capable of processing labels, has a media bypass tray, and has a duty cycle higher than your expected requirements (this is the number of sheets a printer can print to a consistent standard within a given time frame – usually a month). 

You should also read your printer’s manual to check a) that it has the necessary specification to process labels successfully and b) whether the manufacturer has provided specific guidelines and recommendations for printing self adhesive labels using a particular model – which you should then, obviously, follow.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Label Planet TEMPLATE TUESDAY: Printing A Label Template – Choosing The Right Printer To Print Your Labels

https://www.labelplanet.co.uk/label-templates.php







People are often surprised at how much of a difference choosing the right printer can make when it comes to printing a label template accurately and effectively.

After all, you follow the same basic process when printing a sheet of paper as you do sheet labels. The problem is that self-adhesive labels are a very different print medium; A4 labels are thicker (with at least three layers – a face material, an adhesive, and a backing sheet) and are made with very different materials (even basic paper labels have special coatings to improve their surface properties), which means they need to be processed differently to allow toner or ink to be applied successfully (and accurately) to their surface.

When we refer to using the “right” printer, we mean a printer that has been designed with the task of printing blank labels in mind and has key features and specifications that allow you to print labels accurately and to the same standard as a basic sheet of paper.

LABEL PLANET’S CHECKLIST FOR PICKING THE PERFECT PRINTER TO PRINT YOUR LABEL TEMPLATE PERFECTLY 

1. THE PRINTING METHOD
Some self-adhesive labels are made with materials that are suitable for ONE particular type of printing method; i.e. laser labels must be printed with a laser printer and inkjet labels must be printed with an inkjet printer. Laser labels printed with an inkjet printer won’t dry properly, while inkjet labels printed with a laser printer will have print that cracks and flakes away.

CHOOSE A LASER PRINTER TO PRINT LASER LABELS & AN INKJET PRINTER TO PRINT INKJET LABELS.

2. THE TYPE OF PRINTER
Most desktop printers fall into one of three categories; dedicated printers, multifunction (“all-in-one”) printers, and dedicated application printers (e.g. "photo printers"). “Dedicated” machines perform ONE specific task to an extremely high standard (e.g. printing or printing photographs), while “multifunction” machines can perform multiple tasks to a reasonable standard (e.g. printing AND scanning AND copying AND faxing etc). Printing a label template onto sheet labels accurately and effectively requires specifications and features that are not always provided in “all-in-one” and “photo” printer models because they simply aren’t designed for printing self adhesive labels.

CHOOSE A DEDICATED PRINTER (OR CONSULT THE PRINTER MANUAL TO SEE IF AN ALL-IN-ONE/PHOTO PRINTER CAN PRINT LABELS).

We recommend two brands based on our experiences printing our own address labels, shipping labels, and product labels. OKI and HP supply dedicated printers that are extremely efficient at handling thicker print media – including self adhesive labels – and produce high quality and accurate print on a wide range of printer labels. They also tend to have good duty cycles, which refers to the number of sheets that can be printed in a given timeframe (generally a month) to a consistently high standard without damaging the printer.  

3. THE PRINT MEDIA
“Print media” refers to the different items that can be put into a printer to be printed; the "media type" refers to the specific item you are printing (e.g. plain paper, photo paper, sheet labels, envelopes, films or transparencies etc), while "media weight" refers to its weight – this is the mass per unit area or grammage (g/m² or gsm). Your printer's manual will list all of the media types and weights that your printer can process (you should never try to to print a media type or weight that is NOT included in the specification as you may damage your printer).

CHOOSE A PRINTER THAT CAN HANDLE SHEET LABELS (OR AT LEAST THICKER MEDIA IN GENERAL). 
 
4. THE BYPASS TRAY
All printers have at least one tray for loading print media; in most printers this is a PAPER TRAY designed specifically for handling plain paper (80-90gsm). A secondary tray is usually a MEDIA BYPASS TRAY designed specifically for processing thicker print media (such as self adhesive labels). This tray handles different “media” and allows sheets to “bypass” at least one set of rollers in your printer, which provides a straighter path through the printer and reduces the chances of sheets rotating as they are processed by the rollers (improving the accuracy of your printed label template).

CHOOSE A PRINTER WITH A MEDIA BYPASS TRAY.
 
5. THE RESOLUTION
Printer resolution refers to the number of “dots” of ink or toner that a printer can print within an inch (dots per inch or “dpi”); more dots mean more detail can be added (up to a point), which results in a higher resolution. As a general rule, 300 dpi produces “normal resolution” (good enough for text-based address labels or shipping labels), 600 dpi produces “high resolution” (good for product labels with some basic design-work and/or images), and 1200 dpi produces “photo resolution” (good enough to accurately reproduce digital photographs).

CHOOSE A PRINTER WITH 1200 x 1200 DPI TO PRINT A LABEL TEMPLATE THAT CONTAINS PHOTOS OR DETAILED ARTWORK. 
 
6. THE EXTRA FEATURES
Some dedicated printer models have additional features designed specifically to improve the print quality and alignment accuracy on printer labels. A common example is “Edge-To-Edge Printing” or “Borderless Printing”; most standard desktop printers cannot print all the way to the edge of an A4 sheet but those with edge-to-edge or borderless printing can print the full surface of an A4 sheet. Some label sizes use the full area of an A4 sheet – meaning that, if you can’t print a full A4 sheet, you have to restrict your design to the so-called “printable area” of your particular printer.

CHOOSE A PRINTER WITH SPECIAL FEATURES DESIGNED FOR SELF ADHESIVE LABELS.
 
The best thing you can do to print a label template successfully is to look through your printer’s manual to see if your printer model can be used to print self adhesive labels (and has specific features that can be used to improve the print quality and accuracy) and if the manufacturer has provided recommendations to follow when printing a label template onto sheet labels.

Next Week On Template Tuesday: Printing A Label Template – Choosing The Right Print Settings To Print Your Labels