Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Label Planet TEMPLATE TUESDAY: Designing A Label Template – When & How To Use A Bleed Template


This week, we’re taking a look at Bleed Templates – which are definitely not as gruesome as they sound!

As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, if you’re creating a label design that uses a full colour background you can sometimes end up with white edging around the edges of your labels where your printer hasn’t quite managed to line up your template perfectly with your labels. While you COULD try to fix this by manually adjusting your template, it’s more than likely that this is actually a near-impossible task, which makes it much quicker and easier to produce your labels by oversizing your design slightly to prevent any white edges from appearing at all.

This means that the outer edges of your design will sit outside the edges of your labels – in other words, your design “bleeds over” into the non-label areas of your label sheets. While you CAN achieve this effect using a standard template (and simply oversizing your design as needed), you can also use a purposely designed “Bleed Template”, which will have a “bleed area” included around each label in the template.

There are a few different ways that this bleed area can be created but to keep things simple, we’ll take a look at the ways WE have created bleed areas in our bleed templates.

In our PDF templates, each label is represented by a solid black outline and the bleed area around each label is outlined by a dotted grey line (meaning that the “bleed area” is the area between the solid black line outlining the label and the dotted grey line outlining the extent of the bleed area).

In our Word templates, we have merged the bleed area with the area that represents each label on a sheet; in some cases, where the gap between each column of labels is larger than the gap between each row of labels, there will still be a blank column representing the gap between the labels (and their respective bleed areas), but most of our bleed templates will not show any gaps between the labels. Generally speaking, therefore, the areas that are outlined in these templates show the labels themselves COMBINED with their respective bleed areas.

You should use a bleed template if you want to create a label design with a coloured background (e.g. with a coloured background, full size image, or a border) AND the label size you are using has gaps between and around each label.

It is possible to use bleed with labels that don’t have gaps between and around each label BUT only if your design is consistent around its edges; you can simply oversize your design in a standard template to avoid white edging BUT if your design changes colour and the edges do not match then you may end up with inconsistencies in your printed labels. For example, if you oversize a photo of a landscape (where the background shifts from blue sky at the top to green fields at the bottom), you may end up with the bottom edge of the landscape printing onto the top of the label below it (so you have a green edge where it should be blue). 

This also means that you can’t create specific bleed templates for these label sizes and layouts; you would end up placing bleed areas within areas that represent actual labels on your sheet, which would obviously cause problems when you try to add your design to these overlapping areas.

For each of our label sizes where it is possible to create a bleed template, we have tried to include as much bleed area as is physically possible on that particular label size and layout. This is determined by taking the size of the gaps between the rows and/or columns of labels and halving this measurement. As shown above in our LP15/51R Word Bleed Template, the gaps between the rows and columns is 2mm, which allows for a bleed area of 1mm all the way around each label. Where the gaps between the rows and columns differ in size, we take the smaller measurement; for example, in our LP24/45R label size, the gap between the rows of labels is 3mm and the gap between the columns is 4mm – in order to create a CONSISTENT bleed area all the way around each label, we take the smaller measurement (3mm) to determine that the bleed area available for this label size is 1.5mm.

When using a bleed template, you simply need to add your label design to the template so that the outermost points of your design fall into the bleed area provided. While you DON’T have to fill the bleed area, you DO need to make sure that your design doesn’t extend beyond the limits of the bleed area (otherwise it may end up creeping onto another label) AND that any important elements within your design don’t fall into the bleed area (otherwise they will be cut off).

In other words, if your design contains important elements at the very edges of your labels you will need to extend your design so that these elements remain within the labels themselves, while the extended area falls into the bleed area and can be safely discarded. 

When using Word Bleed Templates, you will need to take additional care because they only show the combination of each label and its bleed area (i.e. they do not show where a label finishes and the bleed area starts); this means that you will need to CENTRE your design (so that its edges fall into the bleed area) and – as always – we strongly recommend doing a test print of your template onto paper so that you can double check if your design will be printed correctly (and make amendments if necessary).

Next Week On Template Tuesday: Designing A Label Template – Top Tips For…Rectangular Labels

Friday, 22 September 2017

Stikins ® Name Labels: Autumn Starts Here & We’ve Got Name Labels For All Your (Winter) Gear!


Tonight, (at 21:02 to be precise) the Autumn Equinox will take place, traditionally signalling the transition from summer to autumn.

“Equinox” comes from the Latin word “aequinoctium”, which is made up of “aequus” (meaning equal) and “nox” (from “noctis” meaning night) – there are TWO equinoxes each year, which mark the moments at which the sun is directly above the equator making night and day (roughly) equal in length.

The two equinoxes occur each year in March and September and they are known by a variety of names including: the vernal equinox and autumnal equinox (the Latin words for spring and autumn), the March equinox and September equinox (indicating the months during which the equinoxes take place), the northward equinox and southward equinox (indicating the direction of the sun's movement across the equatorial line – in March this is south to north and in September it is north to south), and the First Point Of Aries and the First Point Of Libra (derived from the constellations that the sun appears to be in front of at the moment of the equinox – confusingly, due to the very gradual change in the orientation of Earth’s axis of rotation (the line from the north pole to the south pole) these constellations are actually currently Pisces and Virgo).

The autumn equinox has traditionally been used as a symbol of the change from summer to autumn (in the northern hemisphere; in the southern hemisphere it marks the passage from winter to spring) and is often used as a traditional time for harvest festivals around the world.

Given that today marks a change in season, we thought we’d take a look at how the four seasons fair amongst our customers as names with a seasonal flavour. AUTUMN is actually the second most popular season amongst Stikins ® customers with SUMMER being the most popular and WINTER taking third place – sadly, none of our customers (so far) have requested name labels printed with SPRING.

With the shift into autumn, children across the country will be settling into the first term of the school year and gathering an ever impressive array of paraphernalia to carry around with them – including winter warmers, once the weather takes a(nother) cooler turn. Our Stikins ® name labels can be used to label all kinds of clothing and personal items, including hats and gloves, coats and scarves, and suitable shoes for the autumn and winter months.

While the back to school rush might well be firmly over, we’ll be continuing our daily production runs so you can rest assured that your order will be made and despatched same day (up to 3pm) or next day. You can also request a special next day delivery service by phone (shipping cost: £5.75) if you need to receive your name labels before an upcoming event, such as a residential trip or holiday.

You can order name labels from Label Planet online (at www.stikins.co.uk) or by phone (visit our Contact Page for more information).

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Label Planet: Label Planet’s Top Autumn Labels For Autumnal Applications


On Friday, the Autumn Equinox takes place, which traditionally marks the change from summer to autumn, so we thought we’d take a look at a few of our product ranges that are well suited to all sorts of autumnal applications.

Coloured Labels & Kraft Labels
With the nights drawing in and the weather turning (even more) wintery, it’s the perfect time to add a bit of colour to your label applications; we’ve got seven pastel shades to add a subtle touch of colour (including our superbly autumnal crimson-red labels, orange-red labels, yellow labels, and brown Kraft labels) and five fluorescents if you’re looking for a burst of colour to brighten up the autumn months. Our pastel coloured labels can be printed with all kinds of desktop printers (inkjet or laser) or handwritten for that truly personal finishing touch, while our fluorescent labels can be printed with laser printers or handwritten.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for something to finish of your homemade arts and crafts projects, you should definitely take a look at our range of brown Kraft labels; these wonderfully decorative labels have a ribbed finish, which gives them a subtle touch of pattern and texture, while their natural brown colouring is perfect for any craft project (as well as the autumn season). These labels can also be printed with laser printers or inkjet printers and are also perfect for handwritten (or hand drawn) designs.

Find these labels here: Coloured Labels (Pastels + Kraft) // Fluorescent Labels // Kraft Labels

Freezer Labels & Wash Off Labels
In addition to taking on some crafty projects to avoid the gloom of the winter months, you may also be turning your attention to the creation of seasonally savoury and sweet dishes for the colder days ahead. With this in mind, you may find yourself in need of some self-adhesive labels that you can use to label up your ingredient containers and all of your bottles, jars, boxes, and bowls that you need to use to hold all of your delicious delights!

We have two products that are particularly useful for food and drink applications – namely our Freezer Labels (ideal for all those foods that you need to store away for a later date) and our Wash Off Labels (perfect for labelling all of the containers you need for ingredients and the finished product).

Our freezer labels are made with a special adhesive developed specifically for deep freeze conditions; standard adhesives often fail to sustain – or even create – an adhesive bond at cold temperatures, while deep freeze adhesives can be used to label all kinds of items that are already frozen or that will be frozen at a later date. Our freezer labels will work at temperatures of between -40°C to +60°C and are supplied as matt white paper labels (with that all-important deep freeze adhesive) that can be handwritten or printed with a laser printer.

Please note that we do NOT recommend printing our freezer labels with an inkjet printer as inkjet inks are generally water-based, which means your print will run or smudge if it comes into contact with condensation or other sources of water. 

Our wash off labels, meanwhile, are also made with a specially developed adhesive designed to create a strong permanent adhesive bond that will break down when exposed to water; this means that you can safely and securely label containers before washing them (to cleanly remove the label without damaging your containers) so that you can reuse and relabel your containers again and again (and again!). Our wash off labels can be handwritten or printed with any desktop printer (laser or inkjet) and are matt white paper labels with that special wash off adhesive.

Find these labels here: Freezer Labels // Wash Off Labels

Splashproof Labels & Waterproof Labels
Finally, if you’re looking for some heavy duty labels that can withstand a bit of exposure to the great British weather during the autumn months, you might want to try our Waterproof Labels. All of these labels are made with synthetic materials (polyester, polyethylene, or polyolefin) and are therefore completely waterproof; this makes these labels ideal for any indoor or outdoor application where they might be exposed to (or indeed immersed in) water – a useful property if you’re looking for labels that can be used during the autumn months. Three of our waterproof labels (MWP, MWPE, and MWPO) are made with a special marine adhesive that meets the BS5609 part 2 standard for marine immersion, which makes these labels perfect for outside applications (and all of the environmental challenges that go along with being outside during a British autumn).

All of our waterproof labels MUST be printed using a LASER printer to produce fully waterproof labels (i.e. so that the labels AND the print you add onto them are both waterproof); laser printers use a dry printing process to bond a dry powder (toner) to the medium being printed, which produces waterproof print – inkjet printers, however, tend to use inks that are water-based, which means your print will run or smudge if it gets wet (or even if it is simply handled a lot).

You can print both our MWPE and MWPO labels with a laser printer or an inkjet printer but only a laser printer will produce waterproof print. To create waterproof print with an inkjet printer you would either need to find a way to add a protective layer over the top of your print (for example, by sticking a transparent label over the top) or you would need to source specialist inks and a printer that can produce waterproof inkjet print. 

As a cheaper alternative, we offer “splashproof” labels; these labels are made with paper – meaning that they are NOT waterproof – but have a gloss or semi-gloss coating that offers limited protection against water, which allows them to be wiped clean and dry if they are accidentally splashed with a bit of water. So, if you don’t need a fully waterproof solution, our GW and SG labels offer budget friendly alternatives that will do the job you need them to just as well as our more durable synthetic labels.

Like our waterproof labels, you will need to print these labels using a laser printer (and not an inkjet printer). 

Find these labels here: Splashproof & Waterproof Labels

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Label Planet TEMPLATE TUESDAY: Designing A Label Template – How To Create Window Stickers Using A Mirrored Template In Word


This week on Template Tuesday, we’re taking a look at Mirrored Templates; these are templates that contain a label design in reverse (i.e. that is “mirrored”) so that it can be printed onto transparent labels that will be stuck onto one side of a glass object (e.g. a window) and viewed from the other side.

Some printers actually offer a “mirrored” or “reversed” print setting, which will take a standard (non-mirrored) template, reverse it, and print this reversed version onto your labels. If, however, you don’t have this option available to you, you will need to create a mirrored template.

While graphics packages (such as Indesign, Photoshop, Illustrator etc) will allow you to easily manipulate your design to create a mirrored template, it isn’t always as straightforward when it comes to finding the right tools in Word.

Basically, what you need to do is to flip or reverse the items in your label design to create a mirrored or reversed version.

NB: remember, you only need to do this for items that include some element that needs to be viewed in a specific direction; e.g. text, arrows, or images containing text. 

There are TWO ways to mirror an item in Word (depending on the type of item you need to mirror):


This is the quickest method; you simply left click once on your item to bring up the relevant “Format” tab at the top of the page (i.e. Picture Tools for images and Drawing Tools for shapes, text boxes, and WordArt), then click on the “Rotate” tool in the “Arrange” section and select “Flip Horizontal”.

The only problem with this method is that it doesn’t work for items like text boxes and WordArt; if you use this tool on these items, it will simply flip the text box that contains your text or the background to your WordArt and not the text itself.


This method involves a few more steps BUT can be used on images, shapes, text boxes, and WordArt. First you left click once on your item to bring up the relevant “Format” tab at the top of the page, and follow these steps depending on the item you are reversing:

Click “Picture Effects”, then “3-D Rotation”, and select “3-D Rotation Options” – change the value of “X Rotation” to 180.


Click “Shape Effects”, then “3-D Rotation”, and select “3-D Rotation Options” – change the value of “X Rotation” to 180.

WORDART & TEXT BOXES (to mirror the text AND its background):
Click “Shape Effects”, then “3-D Rotation”, and select “3-D Rotation Options” – change the value of “X Rotation” to 180.

NB: if you haven’t added a background to your text box, you may find that following these steps adds a pale grey background to your text. To change this back (or to add a background), you will need to click on the “Drawing Tools Format” tab at the top of the page, click on the “Shape Fill” option in the “Shape Styles” section of the ribbon, and select the colour you want to use for the background of your text box (if you don’t want ANY background colour, then choose “No Fill”).

Click “Text Effects”, then “3-D Rotation”, and select “3-D Rotation Options” – change the value of “X Rotation” to 180.

After reversing a text box or WordArt, the text will automatically be reversed back to its “normal” direction when you left click on it once (allowing you to read the text properly while you make changes) before returning to its reversed form when you click outside of the item.

We supply mirrored Word templates for all of the label sizes that are available in our transparent label materials; these can be found on the template information page for these sizes under the “Word Templates” column (called “Mirror Portrait” and “Mirror Landscape”). These templates contain a mirrored text box in each label. You can, of course, delete these text boxes if you want to create a mirrored design that doesn’t use a text box (for example, if you just want to print a mirrored image) or you can use one of our standard templates and apply the methods described above to create your own mirrored design.

Next Week On Template Tuesday: Designing A Label Template – When & How To Use A Bleed Template

Friday, 15 September 2017

Stikins ® Name Labels: Enigmatic Names To Celebrate The Queen Of Crime


Today is the anniversary of the birth date of Dame Agatha Christie, who is often described as the “Queen Of Crime” and is currently the best-selling novelist of all time with sales of her novels estimated at around 2 billion worldwide. She wrote 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections, along with the world’s longest-running play (the Mousetrap), and 6 romance novels (under the pen name Mary Westmacott). Her work has been translated into over 103 languages and her novel “And Then There Were None” is the world’s best-selling mystery novel AND one of the best-selling books of all time.

To celebrate this particular anniversary, we thought we’d take a closer look at some of the names she used for some of her best known characters:

HERCULE POIROT: the Belgian detective who featured in 33 novels, a play, and more than 50 short stories; his name is the French version of HERCULES (which is derived from the Ancient Greek name Herakles for the hero of Greek Mythology).

Regular characters in the Hercule Poirot set of stories include:
  • ARIADNE OLIVER: a mystery novelist and friend of Hercule Poirot; ARIADNE means most holy and is another name taken from Greek Mythology – Ariadne is the daughter of King Minos and helped Theseus to escape the Minotaur in the labyrinth on the island of Crete.
  • Chief Inspector JAMES “Jimmy” JAPP: a detective with Scotland Yard who assists Hercule Poirot in a number of Christie’s novels (as well as the play “Black Coffee”); the name JAMES derives from JACOB, which features in the Old Testament of the Bible and means holder of the heel or supplanter.
  • Captain ARTHUR HASTINGS: Hercule Poirot’s closest friend features in 8 Poirot stories and is the narrator for many others; his name is possibly derived from the Celtic “artos” (meaning bear) and “viros” (man) or “rigos” (king) – the name is famously associated with the legendary King Arthur.
  • FELICITY LEMON: Hercule Poirot’s secretary (who was also secretary to another Christie detective, Parker Pyne); her name comes from the word “felicity” (meaning happiness), which itself derives from the Latin word “felicitas” (meaning good luck).
  • Colonel JOHNNIE RACE: a good friend of Hercule Poirot, Colonel Race features in four of Christie’s novels; his name is a diminutive of JOHN, which is the English form of IOHANNES (itself the Latin form of the Greek IOANNES, which comes from the Hebrew name YOCHANAN meaning “Yahweh is gracious”).
JANE MARPLE: the amateur consulting detective who featured in 12 novels and 20 short stories; JANE comes from JEHANNE, the French feminine form of IOHANNES.

Regular characters in the Miss Marple set of stories include:
  • RAYMOND WEST: a famous author and Miss Marple’s nephew who appears in several Miss Marple novels; his name comes from the Germanic name RAGINMUND, which is made up of “ragin” (advice) and “mund” (protector).
  • Sir HENRY CLITHERING: a retired Scotland Yard commissioner who supports Miss Marple’s investigative efforts (and is godfather to Dermot Craddock); the name HENRY comes from the Germanic name HEIMRICH, which is made up of “heim” (home) and “ric” (power, ruler).
  • DERMOT CRADDOCK: godson of Sir Henry Clithering and a Detective Inspector with Scotland Yard, this character appears in 3 Miss Marple novels; DERMOT is an Anglicised version of the Irish name DIARMAID, which means without envy.
  • Colonel ARTHUR BANTRY & DOLLY BANTRY: the inhabitants of Gossington Hall in St Mary Mead, ARTHUR and DOLLY Bantry are Miss Marple’s closest friends within the village; DOLLY is a diminutive of DOROTHY, which is an English form of DOROTHEA (a feminine form of the Ancient Greek name DOROTHEOS from “doron” (gift) and “theos” (god)).
  • Reverend LEONARD CLEMENT & GRISELDA CLEMENT: the vicar of St Mary Mead and his wife; LEONARD comes from the Germanic elements “levon” (lion) and “hard” (brave, hardy), while GRISELDA comes from the Germanic elements “gris” (grey) and “hild” (battle).
HARLEY QUIN: a mysterious detective who features in 14 short stories by Christie (and was one of her favourite characters); the name HARLEY comes from a surname based on a place name, which was derived from the Old English “hara” (hare) and “leah” (woodland, clearing).

(James) PARKER PYNE: another detective who appears in 14 short stories; his name comes from the surname (PARKER), which means “keeper of the park”.

THOMAS BERESFORD (Tommy) / PRUDENCE BERESFORD (Tuppence): the married detectives who feature in 4 of Christie’s detective novels and a collection of short stories; the name THOMAS is a Greek form of an Aramaic name meaning “twin”, while PRUDENCE comes from PRUDENTIA, the feminine form of PRUDENTIUS, a Latin name meaning “prudence, good judgement”.

Agatha Christie often created characters who went by (rather British) nicknames; in addition to Tommy & Tuppence, Christie’s stories featured:

Lady Eileen Brent – BUNDLE // Diana Harmon – BUNCH // Dora Bunner – BUNNY
Caroline Lemarch – CARLA // Charles Evans – CHUBBY
Dorothea Preston-Grey & Margaret Ravenscroft – DOLLY & MOLLY
Hermione Lytton Gore – EGG // Fenella Guteman – ELLIE // Genevieve Driver – JENNY
Juliet Bellever – JOLLY // Wilhelmina Lawson – MINNIE // Magdala Buckley – NICK
Pamela Stirling – POPPY // Marguerite Vandermeyer – RITA // Vera Daventry – SOCKS

To avoid having to turn detective yourself to solve the mystery of the missing school uniform / P.E. kit / insert miscellaneous school item here, why not use Stikins ® name labels to get all of your children’s belongings safely and securely labelled so they are easy to identify (and to return to their rightful owner). Stikins ® are extremely quick and easy to apply; these adhesive labels simply peel off their backing sheet and then stick on and stay on. They can be used to label items of clothing and fabric items (where they should be applied onto the wash-care label) along with a wide range of personal items that need to be kept safe (including lunch boxes and water bottles, shoes and bags, books and stationery kits, and mobile devices).

You can order Stikins ® name labels online, by phone, or by post (using the Order Form provided on the back of our Parent Leaflets), so don’t fall prey to the mysterious school uniform thief and make sure all of your children’s belongings make it safely to school and back again, all year long.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Label Planet: FAQ – What’s The Difference Between A “Standard” Adhesive & A “Special” Adhesive?


All of our products are self-adhesive labels that are made with “pressure sensitive adhesives”; this simply means that the adhesives on our labels are tacky (sticky) under normal conditions and therefore only require the pressure of a finger or hand to create a successful adhesive bond.

Pressure sensitive adhesives can be broadly divided into “permanent adhesives” (designed to hold a label firmly in place and making it as difficult as possible to remove the label) and “removable adhesives” (designed to hold a label in place while it is needed before removing cleanly and easily from a surface without doing any damage or leaving behind any adhesive residue in the process). You may have noticed that we have a variety of labels that we describe as having either a “standard permanent adhesive” or a “standard removable adhesive” – you may also have noticed that we have other products that we describe as having “special” adhesives and you may have wondered what the difference is between these categories.

Essentially, a “standard” adhesive is a general purpose adhesive that has been designed to create a good adhesive bond between two surfaces under “normal” conditions. “Special” adhesives, meanwhile, are designed to create an adhesive bond that is suitable for a particular label application (and the specific set of environmental conditions or requirements that the application entails) – usually because a standard adhesive wouldn’t be able to produce and/or sustain a successful adhesive bond under those conditions.

At Label Planet, we have a variety of “special” adhesives, each of which has been manufactured to produce specific characteristics that make that adhesive well-suited to a particular label application or set of environmental conditions.

This adhesive has been specially developed to create an extremely strong adhesive bond between a wide range of materials; the adhesive has extremely strong initial and ultimate tack, which means that it instantly creates an extremely strong adhesive bond at the moment a label is applied, which will then go on to strengthen and set into a stronger bond. Super tack adhesives are designed for label applications where a standard permanent adhesive simply cannot create and/or sustain a bond between two materials (usually because the materials are unusual in texture and/or the surface is curved or shaped in some manner) OR where there is an important need to make sure that the label is extremely difficult to remove (for example, because the label carries vital identifying information, health and safety warnings, and/or instructions for use).

Our Super Tack Labels (product code: ST) are paper labels with a super tack adhesive and can be printed using an inkjet printer or a laser printer OR they can be handwritten. These labels are made with our strongest permanent adhesive to date and are suitable for label applications that involve unusual materials and/or surfaces, that involve cold temperatures, or that require labels that will remain firmly in place over a long period of time and prove to be extremely difficult to remove. 

Similar to a super tack adhesive, a high tack adhesive offers a stronger adhesive bond than that which is created by standard permanent adhesives (although it is not as strong as a super tack adhesive). High tack adhesives have strong initial and ultimate tack and are capable of creating strong adhesive bonds between a wide range of materials and surface types.

Our High Tack Labels (product code: HT) are paper labels with a high tack adhesive and can be printed using an inkjet printer or a laser printer OR they can be handwritten. These labels are well-suited to label applications where a standard adhesive isn’t capable of creating and sustaining an adhesive bond OR where there is a need to make absolutely sure that the labels will remain firmly in place for an extended period of time. 

The term “marine adhesive” is applied to adhesives that have been designed to create and sustain an adhesive bond in marine environments. Our marine adhesive conforms to the BS5609 part 2 standard for marine immersions to qualify for this certification, the adhesive undergoes a number of rigorous tests to ensure that it will work in tough marine conditions, including submersion in salt water for three months. This adhesive was developed specifically for labelling chemical drums that are shipped overseas (where the drums MUST remain clearly labelled even if they fall overboard).

We supply THREE product ranges with a marine adhesive; our Matt White Polyester Labels (product code: MWP) are made with matt white polyester and a marine adhesive, our Polyethylene Labels (product code: MWPE) are made with matt white polyethylene and a marine adhesive, and our Polyolefin Labels (product code: MWPO) are made with matt white polyolefin and a marine adhesive. All of these labels can be printed with a laser printer OR can be handwritten; our MWPE and MWPO labels can also be printed with an inkjet printer although this will not create waterproof print as inkjet inks tend to be water-based and so will run or smudge if the print gets wet. These waterproof labels are ideal for a wide range of applications that need tough and durable labels – especially any indoor or outdoor applications that may involve exposure to or immersion in water. 

This adhesive is used to make security labels in the form of tamper evident labels that leave behind the word “VOID” when a label is removed from an item. There are a variety of void adhesives, which provide visual evidence of tampering in this way – some will leave behind the word “VOID” (or another message) on the labelled item only, on the label itself only, or the adhesive layer will split to leave the message on both the labelled item and the label itself (this is how our VOID labels works).

Our VOID Labels (product code: SVP) are silver polyester labels with a VOID adhesive and can be printed using a laser printer (or handwritten). These labels are ideal for use as security labels on high value items, security seals on packaging or document folders, or as warranty labels on high or added value goods. They improve the security of these items by acting as a visual deterrent against tampering and by providing visual evidence that an item has, in fact, been tampered with or not. 

As the name suggests, this adhesive was designed to produce a permanent adhesive bond even when the labelled item is exposed to deep freeze conditions. Standard adhesives will usually struggle to produce and/or sustain an adhesive bond in extremely low temperatures, which makes a deep freeze adhesive an ideal alternative for any label application that involves exposure to or storage in colder temperatures.

Our Freezer Labels (product code: DF) are paper labels with a deep freeze adhesive and can be printed using a laser printer OR they can be handwritten (we do not recommend printing these labels with an inkjet printer as inkjet inks tend to be water-based, which means that your print will run or smudge when it comes into contact with condensation). These labels are ideal for any label application that involves deep freeze conditions, including food and drink labels or identification labels on research and/or medical samples. The labels can be applied onto items that are already frozen or that will be frozen at a later date and will maintain a good adhesive bond at temperatures between -40°C to +60°C. 

This adhesive provides a brilliant solution to the problem of labelling items safely and securely (as with a permanent adhesive) before removing the labels without damaging the items (as with a removable adhesive) so that they can be reused (and relabelled). Water wash off adhesives create a strong adhesive bond that breaks down when exposed to water; this means that a label will remain firmly in place while needed BUT will remove cleanly and easily when the labelled item is washed.

Our Water Wash Off Labels (product code: WW) are paper labels with a water wash off adhesive and can be printed using an inkjet printer or a laser printer OR they can be handwritten. These labels are ideal for use on reusable containers and particularly those used in the food and drink industry (either to hold ingredients or as product containers, such as jars and bottles) – the contents of a container can be safely and clearly identified before the label is washed away when the container is cleaned before being reused. 

Also known as a “glass removable” adhesive, this removable adhesive was developed specifically for use on delicate surfaces – such as glass and paper – which are likely to be damaged when a label is removed. The adhesive makes use of modern manufacturing methods and materials to create a light adhesive bond that will gently hold a label in place while it is needed before allowing that label to be removed without doing any damage in the process.

Our Super Removable Labels (product code: GREM) are paper labels with a super removable adhesive and can be printed using an inkjet printer or a laser printer OR they can be handwritten. These labels are ideal for temporarily labelling delicate items (especially those made of glass or paper) and are brilliant product labels that can be used to display pricing information on (gift) items such as vases and books. 

You can view a full list of all of the different adhesives that are used to make our self-adhesive labels on our All Adhesives page; this page gives a brief description of each adhesive, along with information about the product range that it is used to make, and a link to the range page for that particular product, so you can find out more about or place an order for those particular labels.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Label Planet TEMPLATE TUESDAY: Designing A Label Template – Labels & Mail Merges 101


If you are printing your own labels using Microsoft Word and you need to add different information to each label then you definitely need to know about Mail Merges.

A mail merge basically takes a single document (e.g. a letter or a label template) and a data source (e.g. a spreadsheet of addresses or a database of product information) and merges the two together to create multiple documents (or labels) that share the same basic design but are uniquely personalised with the information from each of the records within the data source. In other words, for example, you end up with 50 letters that are personalised with each recipient’s name and address OR you end up with a set of 100 labels that share the same basic design but are personalised with a different product number.

There are a few different ways to complete a mail merge but this post will focus on the Mail Merge tool that is built into Word – and specifically how to use the “Step By Step Mail Merge Wizard” to design a set of labels that share a common design but are allocated unique information from a data source.

To begin the Mail Merge Wizard, you simply open Word, create a blank starting document, click on the “Mailings” tab at the top of the page, and then click on “Start Mail Merge” and select “Step By Step Mail Merge Wizard” from the drop down menu.

The Wizard then guides you through the SIX steps involved in completing a mail merge, which go something like this:

Step 1: Select document type
As the mail merge tool can be used to create a variety of documents, first you need to let Word know what sort of document you are creating: to do this, simply click on “Labels” in the Mail Merge Wizard panel on the right hand side.

Step 2: Select starting document
You now have the choice of using a template that you have downloaded from somewhere else or made yourself (using the “Start from existing document” option) or using a built-in template that is compatible with your labels (using “Change document layout” and “Label options”).

For example, our label size LP21/63 is compatible with Avery code L7160, so you would click on “Change document layout” and then “Label options”, make sure that the Label vendor is set to “Avery A4/A5”, and choose L7160 from the list – as shown below.

While you can use a standalone template OR a built-in template, you need to bear in mind that the Mail Merge tool will work more efficiently with a built-in template because Word is updating a template that is basically a part of itself (allowing the Mail Merge steps to be completed automatically) - if you use a standalone template, however, you will need to perform some of the steps yourself.

Step 3: Select recipients
Next you select the data source that you want to use for your mail merge; you can create your list at this point but it’s generally easier (and quicker) if you’ve already got your data source set up and saved somewhere before starting your mail merge.  Click on “Browse” to navigate to the folder where your data source is saved.

First you will be shown a pop up box titled “Select Table”, which allows you to do TWO key things:
  1. If your data source contains multiple tables (or sheets, if you are using a spreadsheet), then you need to indicate which table or sheet holds the information that you want to add to your labels.
  2. You can also let Word know if your data source has column headers for your data (for example, if the top row in your spreadsheet indicates the contents of each column – e.g. “Name”, “Address Line 1”, “Product Code”, “Price” etc).
Next, you will be shown another pop up box titled “Mail Merge Recipients”; this shows you a list of the records that will be used to populate your labels – you can sort and filter your data at this point to exclude any records that you don’t want to use.

Once you have confirmed that you are happy with your list (by clicking “OK”), the wizard will then automatically add the rule “Next Record” to each label in your template (apart from the first, top left,
label) – as shown below.

STANDALONE TEMPLATE: if you are using a standalone template, you will need to add the “Next Record” rule yourself. You left click once inside the second label in your template and then click on the “Rules” button in the “Mailings” tab at the top of the page and select “Next Record” from the drop down menu. You can then repeat this for the remaining labels OR you can copy the rule you have already added and paste it into the rest of the labels.

Step 4: Arrange your labels
This is the stage where you add your label design; as always, the best way to do this is to add your design to the top left label before copying this into the rest of your labels – the Mail Merge even provides a useful button (“Update all labels”) that does this for you automatically.

When you want to add a piece of information from your data source, you need to add a placeholder to your design – this takes the form of the column header you provided in your data source enclosed by two outward facing arrow heads (known as “guillemets” or “double angle quotation marks”) – like this: «column_header». You can either use preformatted options (e.g. the "Address block" and "Greeting line" options shown in the Mail Merge Wizard panel) or you can manually add a piece of information by clicking on the "More items" option.

In our example, we have added a company logo to the top right corner of the label, added a placeholder in a large bold font for the product code, and added text and placeholders for the rest of the information that is to be added to our labels (Label Size, Labels Per Sheet, Avery Code, Sheets Per Pack, Labels Per Pack, and Price). The text that does NOT have guillemets will remain as part of the design, while the placeholders enclosed by the guillemets will be replaced by the information from the data source that they represent.

REMEMBER: the information that replaces your placeholders may take up MORE space or LESS space once you complete the merge. You can check this in the next step (Preview your labels) and you can go back and forth as many times as you need to make sure your design and your information merge together in a way that fits neatly onto each label. 

If you do need to make any changes, remember you only need to make them to the top left label before using the “Update all labels” to add your updates to the rest of the labels.

STANDALONE TEMPLATE: if you are using a standalone template, the “Update all labels” button is not available and you will need to add your design to the rest of your labels using the usual “copy and paste” method.

Please note that you MUST ensure that the “Next Record” rule sits at the start of each label, otherwise your labels will not be updated with the correct set of information from your data source.

Step 5: Preview your labels
At this point, the wizard will create a mock-up of what your finished label template will look like – so you can check for any errors or problems in your design (and correct them) before you complete your merge.

We recommend scrolling through a few of your "recipients" (i.e. the records in your data source) to make sure that your information fits neatly into your label design – ideally, if you know that a particular record contains information that is longer than the other records you should make a point of checking how that record fits into your label design (you can use the “Find a recipient” option in the wizard panel to do this).

For example, some people who use the Mail Merge tool to print address labels will assume that they can go ahead and print their labels because the preview of the first few addresses in their data source looks fine – unfortunately, when they go on to print the full set of labels, they discover that some records have more address lines and this pushes their design (and their addresses) off the edge(s) of their labels.

If you do find that you have one or two records that contain information that doesn’t quite fit into your design, remember you have the option of going back to the previous step and changing your label design slightly OR you can use the “Edit recipient list” in the Mail Merge Wizard panel to edit the information for those records (if you can) so you don’t have to change your whole design for the sake of a few records.

Step 6: Complete the merge
Finally, you can complete the merge and print your finished labels.


As always, here at Label Planet, we recommend using a little caution and doing a test print before you print your full set of labels onto your label sheets. Click on “Print”, select the bottom option, and enter “1” into the “From” field and enter the number of labels per sheet in the “To” field (in our example, we’re printing LP21/63, which has 21 labels per sheet – so we would enter 1 in the “From” field and 21 in the “To” field). This will print one sheet only and will allow you to double check that your template will print onto your labels with the correct alignment before you print your full set of labels.

Remember, after you select the records you want to print, you will be directed to the Printer Properties box; you should take a moment to go through the settings to make sure your printer is correctly set up for printing onto A4 label sheets as follows:
  • Select a specific “Labels” or “Heavy Paper” print option
  • Make sure the page size is set to A4
  • Make sure your printer is set up to print to the media bypass tray
  • Make sure no scaling options are selected (e.g. “Fit to page” / “Fit to sheet” / any percentage less than 100%)
  • Make sure no options such as “Ignore Printer Settings” or “Use Default/Driver Settings” are selected
Once you are happy with your test print you can load your labels into your printer (making sure that you use the media bypass tray if your printer has one) and print your full set of labels.

Next Week On Template Tuesday: Designing A Label Template – How To Create Window Stickers Using A Mirrored Template In Word