Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Stikins & Trons: Trons Tips - Getting The Best Results From Your Name Transfers


We've had a great response to the introduction of our Trons name transfers along with some fantastic feedback from our customers.

With the help of our customers we're working on ways to improve our product and the instructions for use, so here's a few tips from us (and fellow customers) to help get you started:

- DON'T USE STEAM: if any moisture is present during the application process, it is likely to settle on the fabric item and prevent your name transfers from bonding correctly.

- USE A HARD, FLAT SURFACE: the surface needs to be hard and flat so that the transfer and fabric item are as flat as possible during the application and so that you can apply pressure evenly across the item to bond the transfer in place successfully. Ironing boards tend to be quite springy and soft, which means they're of no use for applying your name transfers.

- CUT THE SILICON SHEET INTO EIGHT: this allows you to use a section of the silicon sheet at a time and means you have fresh pieces to use.

- USE HEAT AND PRESSURE: make sure that you set your ironing to the maximum heat setting suitable for the material type you are ironing your transfers onto. You also need to use pressure steadily to ensure a good bond, although making small rotational gestures with the iron will also help the bond develop.

- CHECK THE NAME TRANSFERS: these name transfers should melt a little into the fabric item as they bond. If you can lift a corner of the transfer up, then it has not fully bonded.

- WASH BRAND NEW CLOTHING BEFORE APPLYING YOUR NAME TRANSFERS: brand new clothing often has traces of excess dye and chemicals that have been used to preserve the items during storage and distribution, which can interfere with the application process. Some brands will also use special coatings to create "crease-proof" or "non-iron" clothing that can also interfere with this process.

For more answers to FAQ about our Trons and our Stikins, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Label Planet: Avoid A Sticky Situation - Choosing The Right Adhesive


Labels are available with all kinds of adhesive to suit all kinds of label applications. So how do you know which one is right for you?

Here are Label Planet's top tips for choosing the right adhesive for the job.

- Permanent or Removable?
Generally speaking, self adhesive labels fall into one of these two categories: permanent or removable.

A permanent adhesive is designed to create a strong bond between a label and a surface, which will allow the label to remain securely in place and make it difficult to remove the label - at least, without causing damage to the label itself and/or to the surface the label is applied to.

A removable adhesive is designed to create a bond between a label and a surface that will ensure the label remains in place but that it is also easy to remove from the surface without causing any damage or leaving behind any adhesive residue.

- What are you sticking the label onto?
In particular, you need to consider the material and surface qualities of the item you are labelling. This can influence whether you choose a permanent or removable adhesive, as well as the strength of that particular type of adhesive.

For example, if you are applying a label onto a flat surface made from a common material (such as paper or cardboard) you simply need to decide if you want the label to be permanent or temporary and you can choose the appropriate adhesive type. However, if you have a unusual surface or material, you may need to consider things more carefully. For example:

- A permanent adhesive is likely to act like a removable adhesive if it is applied to fabric items. So if you want a label to use as a name badge at a party or function, you would be best choosing the standard permanent adhesive, rather than the standard removable adhesive (which would most likely fall off).

- Delicate items should always be labelled with a removable adhesive to ensure no damage is done when the label is removed. We have two types of removable adhesives - a standard removable adhesive and a super removable adhesive, which was specifically designed for use on glass. The super removable adhesive leaves absolutely no adhesive residue behind when it is removed and so is ideal for delicate items made of glass or paper.

- When a permanent label is required that absolutely must stay attached to the item it is applied to, you should look for a strong permanent adhesive, rather than a standard permanent adhesive. Our high tack adhesive is designed to create a bond that is extremely difficult to break, meaning that the label is very difficult to remove.

- If you are applying a label to an unusual surface, then you may need to choose a stronger adhesive than you would for a standard surface. For example, if the item you need to label is made of metal, wood, plastic, or fabric, you may wish to consider one of our stronger adhesives (such as our high tack adhesive or our marine quality adhesive).

- Where will the label be stored after it has been applied?
If a label (and the item it is applied to) need to be stored in an unusual environment, then you will need to pick an adhesive that will work in those conditions. We have a few special adhesives available that are suitable for the following conditions:

- Freezer Labels: unsurprisingly, these labels have a freezer adhesive that is designed to work on a range of surfaces in deep freeze conditions. These labels are ideal for food packaging or for medical and research samples.

- MWP/MWPE Labels: these labels have our marine adhesive, which has been tested for three months in marine conditions. These labels are ideal for outdoor use or for indoor applications where the label must be able to survive contact with liquids.

You can take a look at all of the adhesive options on our website:
List of Permanent Adhesives
List of Removable Adhesives
List of Special Adhesives

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Stikins & Trons: FAQ - What Font Size Do You Use?


Both of our name label products are available in one fixed size - Stikins are 30mm wide by 15mm high and Trons are 35mm wide by 15mm high.

This means that we often get asked about the font size that is used when the labels are printed. Obviously, some of our customers need labels printing with very short names, while other customers have children with longer names or wish to include extra information - and they want to know what happens to the font size when there are more characters to print.

Here's how it works:
For each set of labels, our system adds up the number of characters that have been requested and automatically adjusts the font size to the maximum size possible that will allow all of the characters to fit on the label.

Where a set has been ordered with the text on one line only, the system will centralise the text and select a font size that allows all of the text to fit on the label.

If a set includes two lines of text, the system will determine which of the two lines has the most characters in it, adjust the font size to allow all of the characters in that line to fit on the label, and print BOTH lines at that particular font size. Should either of the two lines contain a particularly long set of characters, then the system will automatically break the text over three lines - again, the font size will be determined by the line that has the most characters within it.

We do have a few tips to help parents get the best possible font size for their labels:

- If your child has a short first name and a short surname consider placing the entire name on one line to get the biggest font size possible.

- If your child has a long first name and/or a long surname (particularly double-barrelled names) you should avoid the one line option as the system will reduce the print to a very small font size to fit all of the characters onto the one line.

- We are able to include additional information (such as contact information, medical or allergen information etc) on your labels and we find that this works best if you use one line for your child's name and one line for the additional information.

- If you have any doubts about the text that you want to request, please get in touch! You can send us an email or give us a call and we can discuss your requirements with you to make sure that you get the labels you want just as you want them!

Label Planet: The Devil's In The (Material Specification Sheet) Details


While sometimes all a customer really needs to know about their labels is basic information (such as the size and shape, the type of material or adhesive, or what printer to use), sometimes they need a little bit more information to make sure that a label is really right for the job.

With this in mind, we've included a Material Specification Sheet on the majority of our product range pages, so that customers can check out the details relating to the materials and adhesives used on our different ranges of labels.

Each specification sheet includes the following information:
- Printer compatibility
- A description of the properties of the face material used to make the labels
- Properties of the face material (grammage and caliper)
- A description of the properties of the adhesive used to make the labels
- Properties of the adhesive (application temperature and storage range)
- A description of the properties of the backing material used to make the labels
- Properties of the backing material (grammage and caliper)
- Additional information (e.g. environmental specifications, manufacturing standards etc)

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Stikins & Trons: Need An Extra Set Of Instructions or An Extra Order Form? They're All On Our Website!


Each order we send out includes a letter (with your order details), a Parent Leaflet (with information about our products and how they can be ordered - or rather re-ordered!), and Instructions For Use (printed on the back of our sheets of Trons and on the wallet that our Stikins are sent in).

While we've done our best to make sure that these bits of information are easy to keep hold of, we know that things do have the habit of just wandering off - and sometimes it's handy to have an extra copy to hand.

With this in mind, we've added copies of our Parent Leaflets and our Instructions For Use to our website, so that you can download an extra copy whenever you need one.

Download our Parent Leaflet here.
Download our Instructions For Use - Stikins Edition - here.
Download our Instructions For Use - Trons Edition - here.

Label Planet: What Size Of Label Do I Need?


Now this is one FAQ that is very, very frequent.

While many customers know that they want a label, they do sometimes struggle with choosing the best size.

While we can't really decide this for you, we do have a few tips to keep in mind.

- What are the dimensions of the item you are labelling?
There are two elements to this; you must make sure that any label you buy will fit the dimensions of the item being labelled while also considering how much space on the item you want to leave clear.

This is most important for products or branded items. For example, customers who are selling products in bottles often have decorative containers for their products and don't wish to completely cover up the bottle with a label. On the other hand, they also need to bear in mind that the label will curve around the bottle, which will limit the size of label they can use and how they position the information on the label.

So, the first thing you need to do is grab a ruler and get measuring. This should give you a rough idea of the area you have to work within.

- How much information do you need to put on the label?
If you absolutely need to put a lot of information onto a label or if you want to make sure that your text or image really stands out, then you need to make sure that the label is big enough for the job - which means putting some thought into the design elements of your label, such as the font size you want to use or the size and shape of any images you want to include.

Alternatively, if you need a neat and discrete label with only a small bit of text or a small image, then a small label will suit your purposes best.

You may also want to consider the possibility of splitting your information across two or more labels. For example, we have many customers who needs labels for home made products, including food and drink or cosmestics. These customers often need to include a variety of information such as their company name and logo, as well as product details including the ingredients used. In this case, it may be easier and neater to choose one smaller label to display the company name, product name, and company logo (perhaps on the front of the container), and a larger label that can be printed with the more detailed information such as contact information, ingredients, instructions for use, or any health and safety guidelines.

- What sizes are available?
This is one that often catches people out. We supply labels on A4 sheets, which means that the sizes we offer are determined by the dimensions that are created when an A4 sheet is divided into a certain number of labels, while leaving as little waste around and between the labels as possible.

The standard sizes offered by all suppliers of A4 sheets are determined by this same principle and this is the reason that many specific sizes need to be made as bespoke products - manufacturers don't like to create products in bulk where a large percentage of the material will end up as waste.

It should also be noted that some sizes are standard sizes across manufacturers and suppliers, which means that these sizes tend to be the ones that are available in stock, at better prices, and in a wider range of material and adhesive options.

This means that it's a good idea to begin with a rough estimate of the sort of size you need, so that you can (hopefully) find a standard size that falls within that range.

You can search through all of the sizes we have available by visiting either our "Search By Height" or "Search By Width" search pages.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Label Planet: Save Teacher Time & Standardise With Labels


For the new school year, we have added over 80 templates to the Labels for Schools section of our website.

These templates are totally free for teachers and members of staff to download and edit to create labels for just about every use you could think of.

We've got labels for:
- Feedback and Marking (General Purpose)
- Feedback and Marking (Merit and Reward)
- Administration (Books, Files)
- Lesson Planning
- Pastoral Care (Behaviour, Rewards, Files)
- Target Setting and Assessment

All of our templates and labels are A4 in size, meaning they can be printed in school on standard laser and inkjet printers.

These templates can be used as they are or adapted to suit a particular subject, lesson, or purpose.

To get started, simply visit our Labels For Schools section and click on Example of Labels to Download.

Stikins & Trons: Choices, Choices, Stikins or Trons?


Now that we have two name label products to offer, some of our customers find themselves wondering which is the name label for them.

So here's a few things to remember:

BOTH will work on most clothes and fabric items; Stikins must be stuck on the washcare label and don't play well with socks, while Trons bond and fuse into any fabric item to create a fully permanent name label (which means they're fantastic for socks!).

ONLY STIKINS will work on non-fabric items, such as shoes and bags, stationery and books, and lunch boxes and water bottles.

STIKINS simply stick on and stay on, while TRONS require one (careful!) iron-on application to fuse into the material of a fabric item.

STIKINS can be removed if you want to recycle clothing (with a bit of elbow grease of course!) but TRONS are a permanent name label that essentially becomes a part of the item being labelled.

The product you choose really depends on two key questions: what do you need to label and what type of label do you prefer? We have some customers who won't go near an iron on label, while others swear by them.

Here at Label Planet we simply want to try and offer something to suit everyone, so really it's up to you to choose (although, we are always here to help if you need some advice).

[Of course, you can always have the best of both worlds, with our combination packs.]

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Stikins & Trons: Name Labels For Residential Homes & Care Homes


The process of moving into a residential or care home can be a difficult one, fraught with all kinds of worries and concerns for both the individuals moving into care and for their family and friends.

Many residential and care homes provide facilities to help residents with day to day needs such as laundry services and, while staff will do their utmost to keep everything organised, this means that items must be put through shared machines, which can lead to mix ups or items going missing entirely.

Losing personal items can be distressing for both residents and relatives and can take up valuable time for members of staff. A simple solution is to add name labels to a resident's clothing and possessions to ensure that they can always be returned to the right person.

Stikins are easy to use stick on name labels that can be applied by residents, relatives, or members of staff in a few simple steps. These labels can be applied to the wash-care label of any garment and can also be applied to other personal items, including shoes, bags, books, or personal possessions that may hold emotional value.

Trons are an iron on name transfer that provides a completely permanent name label solution for fabric items. These labels require a single iron on application and can be applied onto the wash-care label or directly onto the fabric of any garment or fabric item. Trons are an ideal way to label clothing, towels, linens, and personal blankets.

Stikins and Trons can be ordered from the name labels website, by phone, or by post.

We also supply name labels and name transfers directly to residential and care homes, with a 10% discount for homes that order from us on behalf of their residents.

Label Planet: What Do I Need To Know About Printing Waterproof Labels?


There are a huge number of label applications that require waterproof labels, whether you need to label something that is to be used or stored outdoors or whether you're labelling items that are to be used indoors but in environments such as the bathroom or kitchen, where they are likely to come into contact with liquids.

While it is quite simple to produce your own waterproof labels for your home or business, there is one key factor that you need to know before you get started:


When creating a waterproof label, EVERY element in that label must be waterproof, including the material the label is made of, the adhesive used on the label, and the print that is added to the label (if any).

Generally speaking, if you purchase a label that is made from a waterproof material the adhesive should also be waterproof, but it is always worth double checking that this is the case. Suppliers should be able to confirm if both the material and the adhesive are waterproof. On our website, we have grouped our waterproof labels together for easy reference and each type has a Material Specification sheet on its range page to confirm that the labels are made with waterproof materials. Our waterproof labels are made of either polyester or polyethylene.

[It is worth noting that while, in general, paper labels are NEVER waterproof, some are made with coatings that allow them to be wiped if they get a little bit damp or wet. For example, our Gloss Paper labels and Gloss White Photo Quality labels can both be wiped clean and dry with no damage to the label, and are therefore categorised on our website as "Splashproof" labels.]

There are some adhesives that are designed specifically to withstand wet conditions - such as the marine adhesive used on our Matt White Polyester and Matt White Polyethylene labels. This adhesive has been tested in marine conditions for three months and is ideal for applications where a label must be able to survive extensive exposure to liquids.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you must use a printing method and printing materials that create a waterproof print.

The inks used in inkjet printers are water based, which means that they will smudge or run if they come into contact with water or other liquids. In other words, you CANNOT use an inkjet printer and standard inkjet inks to create waterproof labels.

Laser printers, however, use heat and pressure to bond toner into place, which creates waterproof print.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Stikins & Trons: Learning About Left & Right? Name Labels Can Show You The Right Direction


For some children, learning the difference between left and right can be a little bit tricky at first.

Perhaps you've tried a few word tricks or word association games. Maybe you've tried the old trick of making an "L" shape with the left hand.

Sometimes, along with these tips and tricks, it can be helpful to have an extra visual reminder of which is which.

And this is where Stikins & Trons come in.

Name labels can be used to provide a visual clue to a child to allow them to distinguish between their left and right. This trick works especially well with shoes and socks.

Here's a few things to try:

1. Stick a Stikins name label into one shoe or apply a Trons name transfer onto one sock and explain to your child that that name label represents one of the two directions - just make sure you've both agreed on which direction the name label represents!

2. Request two sets of name labels - one printed with "left" and one with "right" and then apply these to the correct shoes and/or socks.

3. If your child has learned to recognise their own name, you could request the first half of your child's name on one set and the second half on a second set so that - when they are applied to your child's shoes or socks - they must put the correct shoe/sock on the correct foot to spell out their name correctly.

NB: You should only apply Stikins to shoes (as they don't play well with socks) and you need to avoid sticking them underneath the heel (as this will cause the print to be worn away).

Label Planet: Need To Add A Bit Of Colour - Take A Look At The Label Planet Range


Here at Label Planet, we have a whole host of colourful labels for customers to choose from - whether they need just one to add a dash of colour or whether they're on a colour coding mission and need to request as many different colours as possible.

You can take a look at all of the options (and their relevant specifications) on the very aptly named "Coloured Labels for Laser & Inkjet Printers" page on our website.

But for a bit more information, read on!

We have three ranges of coloured labels to choose from: Pastel Colours, Fluorescent Colours, and Metallic Colours (with an honourable mention of our range of White Paper Labels, if you do need an extra option!).

We have six pastel colours to choose from: Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Cream & Pink.
All of these labels are paper labels, with the option of a standard permanent adhesive or a removable adhesive. They can be printed with either an inkjet or a laser printer (or you can write on them or simply leave them blank).
[Please note that the removable coloured labels are made to order and have a minimum order quantity of 500 sheets.]

We have five fluorescent colours to choose from: Red, Green, Yellow, Orange & Magenta.
All of these labels are paper labels with a standard permanent adhesive. They can only be printed with a laser printer (although, like our pastel coloured labels, you can also write on them or leave them blank).

We have two metallic colours to choose from: Gold & Silver.
These labels are paper labels with a textured, semi-gloss finish and a standard permanent adhesive. They can only be printed with a laser printers (and can be written on or left blank).

When ordering coloured labels (particularly if you are ordering more than one colour), please take care to check the sizes available in a particular colour and the minimum order quantity for that particular combination of size and colour. While we have a large range of coloured labels in stock, certain labels are made to order (meaning they have a higher minimum order quantity), and others are only available in specific sizes.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Label Planet: Word Versus Circular Labels


One of the most common queries we get about our templates is "why do your templates for circular labels show a grid of squares and not a grid of circles?"

Simply put, this is because Word just isn't capable of producing a grid of circles.

As a Word Processor, Word is geared towards all things text, rather than all things graphic. So, while Word is capable of some basic design and editing functions, it simply cannot create a label template for circular labels.

This is why both our templates and those already built into Word (such as the Avery templates) feature a grid of squares rather than circles.

In either case, you need to imagine the circular labels sitting within each of the squares in the grid, with the outermost points of each circle touching the four sides of the square around it.

Aha! (we hear you say) But what about creating a template with circular shapes rather than a grid of squares?

Well! (we do reply) While this is technically possible, it can become a bit of a nightmare to work with.

Getting the perfect circular shape can be difficult to begin with (and is especially troublesome if you're working with ovals) and getting each circle to sit in the exact right position on the A4 page is very, very tricky indeed.

If you do manage to get the right size and layout for a particular sheet of labels, yet more problems arise when you try to fit your design "inside" the circle.

For starters, the circular shape is an object in itself and cannot be "filled" in the same way that a grid (actually a table) can. While you can enter text and/or images into the cells of a table, you cannot fill a shape/object with text and/or images.

Instead you would need to layer your text and/or images over the top of the circular shape that represents the label you are printing.

Which is where the difficulties really begin. Where a table tends to stay in one place on the A4 page, Word does not cope overly well with layering objects over one another, whether they are shapes (like the circles that would represent the labels), images, or text. Anyone who has spent any time working with Word and images will know only too well the frustrations of trying to get images to sit next to one another, let alone layering them over one another. Again, we would point out that while this CAN be done, it does take a bit of time to get all of the settings correct and to get everything in the right place. It would also be difficult to place text accurately - whether you insert text as normal or use Word Art or a text box.

So, with the circular shapes, text, and images all liable to jump about the page, it is highly likely that you'd soon find that your template no longer resemble the layout on your sheet of labels.
This is why we (and others) have settled on the compromise of a grid of squares. The grid itself stays in place and can be filled with whatever elements you require (although getting the absolute perfect positioning and alignment can still take some time along with a dose of trial and error).

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Stikins & Trons: Schools - Are You Signed Up To Earn Commission?


Here at Label Planet we run a commission scheme for schools to allow them to earn commission whenever a parent or guardian purchases name labels or name transfers using a code unique to the school.

Schools can earn up to 25% on each sale of Stikins, Trons, or combination packs, which they can then use to fund their ongoing fundraising projects.

It's really simple to set up:

All you need to do is tell us that you want to register, request free leaflets and hand them out to parents and guardians, and then sit back and wait for your commission payment (which we send out once a year in October).

We handle everything else.

When you register we generate a unique code for your school and anytime this code is used commission will be generated.

If you want to find out more take a read through our Fundraising Information page or, if you're ready to sign up, simply fill in our Registration Form and we'll get your code set up.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Stikins & Trons: Last Minute Name Labels For Schools?


While the Back To School rush is beginning to calm down, we know there might be one or two parents and guardians out there who just haven't got around to ordering name labels for the new school year just yet.

If you're one of them, don't panic!

We're continuing our Back To School despatch promise, and we'll get any orders placed before 3pm (Monday-Friday) printed and despatched the very same day.

In addition, if you want to add a next working day shipping option to your order, we are happy to take your order by phone and get this arranged for you.

All orders are sent via Royal Mail's first class service as standard, with 93% arriving the next day and the rest taking a day or two exra (as it isn't a guaranteed service).

To get started, simply visit our website and we'll get you sorted!

Label Planet: Labels For Schools - Labels, Templates, Advice & More...


With schools opening for the new school year, we'd like to remind schools about a brand new section on our website designed specifically for teachers and members of staff in schools.

Our "Labels For Schools"section, which can be found on our website here, offers a range of advice, tips, and free template downloadsf.

We have information on how to buy the labels you need, information about our commission scheme for schools, templates for all kinds of labels that can be used in a school environment and helpful advice on how to design and print your very own labels.

Labels can be used in schools for:
- General Feedback and Marking
- Merit and Reward Schemes
- Administration (Books & Files)
- Lesson Planning
- Pastoral Care
- Target Setting and Assessment