Thursday, 30 October 2014

Label Planet: When Is A Transparent Label Not A Transparent Label?

We have a number of different transparent labels and we often get questions from customers about these products so we thought we'd put together a quick rundown of the most common Frequently Asked Questions about transparent labels (and the answers!!!).

- How transparent are your transparent labels?
Our transparent adhesive labels (i.e. not our Static Cling labels) are all made with a transparent face material and a transparent adhesive; they are not "frosted" or "transluscent", nor are they "glass clear". This means that they look almost completely clear BUT they may have a very slight frosted look, particularly when applied to glass. This is because the adhesive may trap some air bubbles or small particles of dust during the application of the label, which prevents the label from having a completely transparent appearance.

- What are transparent labels made of?
All of our transparent labels are made of polyester, which means that they are long lasting, durable labels that are also waterproof.

- Are your transparent labels coloured?
No. Some transparent labels are available with a slight colour to them; these are called "transluscent" labels and are not a product that we offer.

- Why are there so many different options?
We have five transparent label options to help customers find the label that is just right for their particular needs; for example, a customer may have specific requirements such as they only have an inkjet printer and need a compatible label, they may prefer a matt to a gloss finish (or vice versa), or they may require a temporary label that they can easily remove when they need to.

- What's the difference between matt and gloss?
Our matt transparent labels have a dull, non shiny finish, while our gloss transparent labels have a bright, shiny finish.

Having both finishes means that you can choose to match your label to the surface it is applied to (or you can use the opposite finish to help your label stand out). The gloss finish is ideal for adding a professional, decorative touch to items or surfaces (particularly retail products), while the matt finish is great way to add extra print to an item or surface without distracting from the item or surface itself (such as decorative envelopes that have been chosen for special occasions like weddings and anniversary celebrations).

- What is Static Cling?
Our static cling labels are made from polyester - just like the rest of our transparent labels - but instead of using an adhesive to adhere to a surface they use static cling. These labels are supplied on a special anti-static release liner, which means the labels generate static cling when they are removed from the liner and this allows them to adhere to a surface. These labels are therefore completely removable, repositionable, and reusable. They are ideal for use as window stickers, although they can be applied to a wide variety of surfaces. They are used in all sorts of places including schools, museums and galleries, offices, shop windows, vehicles, and around the home.

- What is the difference between "transparent" labels and "clear" labels?
Absolutely nothing! We include both terms because we've found that some customers will only search for "transparent" or "clear" labels and by including both terms we can make sure that more people find the labels that they're looking for.

Stikins & Trons: FAQ Special - It's All In The Text

We thought it was time for a round up of the most common FAQs that we receive about the print options you have for your name labels.

Do I have to have just a name and a surname?
Nope. You can include whatever information you want on your name labels. Our customers have requested all sorts of information including telephone numbers, addresses, email addresses, messages (such as "If Lost, Please Return To" or "Property Of"), room numbers, and even medical or allergy warnings.

Customers can include as much or as little information as they want. You can choose exactly how you want your name(s) printing; whether you prefer a full name, a surname only, initials, nicknames, or pretty much anything else you can think of!

How many characters can I request?
Our name labels are quite small (15mm high by either 30mm - Stikins - or 35mm - Trons - wide), which means that there is a limit to how much text you can include. If you do request too many characters, our system will put up a warning message when you try to add your order to the basket to advise you to reduce the number of characters you have added.

We find that, if you do want to include a lot of characters, it is best to use one line for each bit of information. For example, enter a name on the top line and contact information (such as a telephone number) on the bottom line. If you request fewer characters than the limit our system can accept but more than will fit comfortably on two lines, our system will automatically split the text over three lines to produce a better and clearer print.

Can I include pictures?
Unfortunately not. Our system can only print standard characters and text, which means you cannot include images in your order.

[Of course, if you have a creative side, you can always create your own pictures using standard characters!]

What colours do you offer?
We keep things simple; all of our name label products are printed with black text on a white label. We've found that this combination creates the clearest text, which means that whatever you have printed onto your labels is always easy to read (so it's easier for items to be returned or reclaimed).

What font size do you use?
The font size varies according to the amount of characters you request.

Our system automatically alters the font size to ensure that the text you have requested is printed in the largest font size that will allow all of the characters to fit neatly onto your labels.

If you request one line of text, the system will add up the characters on that line and adjust the font size accordingly.

If you request two lines of text, the system will add up the characters on each line and then adjust the font size according to whichever line has the larger number of characters and print BOTH lines in that font size.

Can I include special characters?
Yes and no.

Our system is able to print any character in the general ASCII range (up to 168), which allows you to request any letter in upper or lower case, any number, and most standard European characters.
If you need to request any special characters that fall outside the general ASCII range (i.e. that are part of the extended ASCII range), we advise that you get in touch with us so that we can let you know if we can print the particular characters that you require. Alternatively, you can add a note to your order in the checkout.

Our Stikins name labels are limited to the general ASCII range but we are able to print an extended range of characters on our Trons name transfers.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Label Planet: FAQ - How Do I Do A Mail Merge Without An Avery Code?

Mail merge is a brilliant way to merge the data from a database with your label design and it's generally a quick and easy tool to use.

The easiest way to complete a mail merge is to follow the Step by Step Wizard and use one of the Avery templates that are built in to Word. So what do you do if your labels don't have a compatible Avery code?

Here are our simple guides to TWO methods you can use to complete a mail merge without an Avery template.

1. Create Your Own Template
When you reach Step 2 of the Step By Step Wizard (Select Starting Document/Change Document Layout) click on "Label options" then choose "New Label".

Next, fill in the fields in the "Label Details" box that appears. You will need to measure the height and width of the labels, the top and left margins (from the top of the sheet to the top of the first label and from the left edge of the sheet to the left edge of the first label), the horizontal and vertical pitches (the horizontal pitch is the distance from the left edge of the first label in a row to the left edge of the second label in that row and the vertical pitch is the distance from the top of the first label in a column to the top of the second label in that column), and note the number of labels in each row and column.

When you click okay, you will be able to see a grid that represents your label template. You can then follow the rest of the steps in the Step By Step Wizard as usual.

2. Use A Label Planet Template Or An Existing Template You Have Created
If you don't feel confident setting up your own template, then you can use an existing template that someone else has set up for you or you can visit our website to download one of our free templates (NB: if you want to use a Label Planet template you will need to save it to your computer first).

When you reach Step 2, you should select "Start From Existing Document" and then select "Open" and navigate to the folder where your template is saved. Select the template and click "Open".

In Step 3, you should select your database as usual.

Step 4 is a little bit different than usual; as you are working with a template that hasn't automatically been generated by Word, it is unlikely to recognise your table or grid as being a table or grid that works with the mail merge system. This means that you need to add a "Next Record" rule to EACH CELL that represents a label on your sheet of labels - apart from the top left cell, which should be left blank.

To insert a rule, you should left click within a cell, select "Rules" from the top of the page and select "Next Record" from the drop down list. Unfortunately, you can only add a rule to one cell at a time so you may want to copy the first rule that you have inserted and then paste it into the other cells (this is most effective if your template doesn't have blank rows and columns to account for the gaps between labels - you can select entire rows or columns and paste into them in one go).

Now you can add the text that you want to use; usually this is done by using the "Address block" item. Click in the top left cell and then click "Address Block" - you will need to use the "Match Fields" button to match the columns in your database with the options in the Address Block and make sure your information is printed in the correct order.

Next you will need to copy this address block and paste it into the other cells; again this goes faster if you can copy and paste into entire rows and/or columns. Please note that the address block needs to go AFTER the next record rule.

Now you can continue with the Step By Step Wizard as usual.

For more tips and advice, please take a look through our Help pages.

Label Planet: Copy & Paste - A Great Shortcut For Template Design

One of the shortcuts that we repeat over and over again is the good old copy and paste - so we thought we'd take the time to explain how it works and why it's so useful when designing templates.

Today, "copy and paste" has become a phrase in its own right and tends to be referred to as a single process (albeit one with two steps); however, it actually refers to two functions that are linked to a temporary storage location usually known as the "Clipboard".

COPY: The copy function tells the program you are using to make a copy of whatever is currently selected. Therefore the copy part of "copy and paste" actually requires two steps in itself; first you have to select or highlight the area/content that you want to make a copy of and then tell the program to make a copy. The copy is then stored in the "Clipboard"; most systems will have one clipboard location, which means that if the copy function is used again the original content will be replaced by the new content. It also means that if you copy content in one program, it is possible to paste that content while in another program (providing the content is in a format that the new program can process).

PASTE: The paste function tells the program you are using to take the content that is stored in the clipboard and add it to the file or document you are currently working on. This may be over or next to the original content (if you are copying and pasting within a single file/document) or in a position that you specify.

Because it saves time - a lot of time.

Copy and paste means that you only have to set up a design (or particular elements of a design) once, instead of having to repeat the process for every label in your template. If you’re creating a simple text only template with few labels per sheet this may not seem like a great timesaver BUT, if you have a lot of design elements and/or many labels per sheet, copy and paste can become a bit of a life saver.

Copy and paste has a secondary benefit for label design; in addition to quickly creating copies of all of the individual objects in your design, it can also copy the format and style settings that have been applied to those objects. Copy and paste is commonly used to copy elements from one place to another without any consideration for how the copied content will look - usually because the copied content will be edited later on. However, when you are designing a template it is important that both the design elements remain the same (so that each label is printed with the same design) and that these elements remain in the exact same relative position and alignment when you paste (so that the design is always printed with the correct alignment).

Different software will offer these functions in different ways (and sometimes under different names). Generally speaking though, "copy" and "paste" do tend to be fairly standardised and are most often located in or associated with "Edit" tabs or settings.

Step 1: Selecting or Highlighting
First, you need to select or highlight the area or objects you want to copy. If you are selecting an area, you usually need to move your cursor to the top left of this area, hold down the (left) button on your mouse and drag your cursor right and down until the area you require is selected.

[NB: in some graphics software packages, the mouse is used for a variety of purposes and functions, which means that you may need to select a specific mode or setting that will allow you to use the mouse as a tool for selecting an area].

If you are selecting specific objects, then you simply need to click on the items you are selecting; selecting multiple objects at once usually requires an additional setting or action; for example, in Word you can select your first object by (left) clicking on it once and then holding down the "Ctrl" key on your keyboard as you (left) click on the other objects you want to select.

You also have additional options if you are copying parts of a table; most software will allow you to select entire rows, columns, or the entire table itself, so that you can paste into all of the cells in that table at once. For example, in Word you can select a whole table by clicking in the top left cell and then holding down the button as you drag your cursor to the bottom right cell (which highlights the whole table as you go) OR you can hover over the table until a cross icon appears in the top left corner - your cursor will turn into the same cross shape when you hover over this icon and if you (left) click once the entire table will be selected.

To select a single cell to copy you can either (left) click in the top left corner of the cell and drag your cursor down and right to highlight the content (although this can be tricky with smaller cells or cells with a lot of content) OR you can move your cursor to the left side of the cell until the cursor turns into a solid black arrow pointing diagonally up and right - at which point you should (left) click once and this will select the entire cell.

Step 2. Copying
With most software, there are a few different ways to perform the copy function.

BUTTON/ICONS: most programs will have a "copy" icon or button available or "copy" will be listed in a list or box of available functions.

[For example, Word has a number of tabs along the top of the page; you can select the Home tab, which will then display the Home toolbar that allows you to perform a number of basic functions. The left hand section of this toolbar is the "clipboard" section and contains the "copy" icon - which looks like two pages with the front page sitting slightly down and right of the one behind it. Clicking on this icon will save the selected content to the clipboard.

RIGHT CLICK: if you right click on the area or content that you have selected or highlighted this will usually bring up a list of functions to choose from – including the option to copy the selected area or content.

KEYBOARD SHORTCUT: quite often you can use a standard keyboard shortcut to perform the copy (and paste) function. These can vary slightly depending on the system you are using but as a general rule you can use “Ctrl” + “C” (Windows) or “Command” + “C” (Mac) to copy the area or content that you selected or highlighted in step one.

Step 3. Pasting
The paste function can usually be performed in the same way(s) as the copy function, and the paste option will usually be displayed next to the copy function if you opt to use the button/icon or right click options. The most common keyboard shortcuts for pasting are “Ctrl” + “V” (Windows) or “Command” + “V” (Mac).

Unfortunately, not always.

If a program doesn't allow you to paste into specific multiple locations at once then you may need to paste your design into each label, one at a time. This isn't much of a problem if you only have a few labels per sheet, but can get a bit time consuming if you have a lot. Unfortunately, there isn't really much you can do about this (unless you discover a super secret shortcut that we haven't found yet).

In Word, you do have the shortcut of selecting entire rows or columns to paste into at once, but you do need to take care with this. If your Word template includes blank rows and columns to account for the gaps between labels on a sheet you SHOULD NOT select the whole template and attempt to paste your design in one go. Your design will also be pasted into the blank rows and columns, which usually causes the table to resize itself around the new content - which will completely ruin the alignment of your template.

Most software will give you multiple paste options, mostly relating to format and style options.

For example, Word usually offers these three options:
1. Keep Source Formatting: any formatting or style options applied to the original content is kept and is applied to the new content.
2. Match Destination Formatting: this paste function discards most of the original formatting and style options in favour of matching the format and style of the destination (where the content is copied to); the exception would be anything related to emphasis, such as text where a portion of the text has been formatted with the bold and/or italic functions.
3. Keep Text Only: all formatting and style options applied to the original content are abandoned and only the text is retained (any non-text elements such as images or tables are also abandoned); the new content takes on the format and style settings used in the destination.

When pasting a copy of your design, you should ensure that you use a paste function that keeps the source formatting - this ensures that ALL of your labels will be printed with a design that has the same layout, formatting, and style options (creating a better alignment), and means that you don't have to waste time selecting the correct format and style options for each label on the sheet.

The copy and paste functions are two of three functions that relate to the clipboard. The third - cut - is similar to the copy function BUT where the copy function adds a copy of your selected area/content to the clipboard without doing anything to the original, the cut function saves a copy to the clipboard AND deletes the original area/content.

Stikins & Trons: Schools - Keep Track Of Your Commission

While we're getting cheques printed and ready for despatch to our lovely commission partners, we thought we'd take the opportunity to remind you about our Commission Tracking service.

You can keep track of how much commission you have earned so far by visiting our website and logging in to our School Affiliate Commission page.

To see your commission earnings all you have to do is:
1. Visit
2. Click on the purple "Schools" button
3. Select "School Login"
4.  Enter your school ID and password

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Stikins & Trons: The Countdown To Commission Cheques Has Begun!

It's that time of year again when we get out our calculators and start working out exactly how much commission our school partners have earned this year!*

We'll be adding up all of the orders that have been placed with each school's unique reference code and then totting up the total commission earned.

Commission will be awarded at either 15% of the order value (our basic rate of commission) or 25% of the order value (for schools who have added a link on their website). Orders placed between 1st October 2013 and 30th September 2014 will count towards the total for this year's commission.

Keep checking our blog and we'll issue an update when the commission cheques are on the way!

*Although by "get out our calculators" we do actually mean "generate a report on our commission system"!

Label Planet: Designing Labels - Tips & Tricks From Label Planet

While it might seem like an excellent idea at the time, there are a few bumps and hurdles that you might just stumble over if you want to design your labels yourself. Do-it-yourself labels have all kinds of benefits - you can design your own labels, change the design as and when you want, and print as many labels as you need at the time you need them - but you do have to set aside the time to get everything just right, including the design.

With this in mind, we've put together a few dos and don'ts for designing labels - based on our own run-ins with template design!

If you want to include a border in your design you will need to spend extra time making sure that your design is perfectly aligned to your labels. Including a border around the outside of a label will make any misalignment all the more obvious and achieving a border that is perfectly level all the way around can be quite difficult to do.

If you absolutely HAVE to have a border, we've found that using a chunky border tends to give you a bit more wiggle room and using a pale colour is an easier option than using black or a deep, vibrant colour.

You should also check the printable area of your printer; the majority of printers cannot print to the very edge of an A4 sheet (the area that they can print is known as the “printable area”). If you are printing labels that DON'T have a selvedge (a blank strip around one or more edges of the sheet) or that have a very narrow selvedge, you will need to make sure that your printer is capable of edge-to-edge printing – if any area of your border falls outside the printable area you will NOT be able to include a border.

Coloured backgrounds are a great way to add a decorative touch to your labels and give you the choice of exactly which colour(s) you want on each and every label.

However, you will need to ensure that your printer is capable of laying down blocks of colour without issue (most modern printers have no problem with this, but some might struggle to get a sharp, consistent print) and that all of your labels sit within the printable area of the sheet. If part of one or more of your labels sits outside the printable area you will end up with a white strip around the outside of your coloured background.

If your design includes a lot of different elements (e.g. multiple objects, including images, text boxes, shapes etc), you will need to take care with how you position these elements together within the dimensions of your label.

Most labels are relatively small in size, which means that if you include a lot of elements in your design your labels may end up looking cluttered and messy.

You may also run into issues with positioning depending on the software you are using; while sophisticated graphics packages can provide an extremely high level of fine control over positioning, other packages may have more limited control. A common issue with Word templates is that when you try to place objects next to one another, they often "jump" to a different position (depending on the settings and formats you are using). If your label includes a lot of objects sat right next to one another you may need to spend some time figuring out the best settings and formats to use to manipulate all of the objects within your design into the correct position.

Even trickier is layering objects over the top of one another. While graphics packages will have no problem layering objects within a template, other software is likely to struggle with layers - particularly if you are using different kinds of objects (e.g. if you are combining text and images).

While you should be able to layer objects within most software packages, there will be limits as to how many layers you can create and the ease with which you can alter the positioning of objects between and within those layers.

One possible workaround is to create your design first (using multiple elements) before saving or setting it as a single image/object. For example, you could create your design in a simple graphics program, save the design as a single image, and then copy and paste this image into your template. In Word, you can use the “group” function to instruct Word to treat multiple objects as if they were one object.

You do need to bear in mind that this does mean you won't be able to edit the individual image or an object, unless you go back and edit your single image or ungroup your objects so you can then edit one or more objects as needed.

You do need to be strict with the amount of content you include on your labels. It is quite tempting to keep adding content, but this often results in a messy, unprofessional label that is both difficult to read and visually unappealing.

Having fewer elements within your design helps to create a clean, professional design and has the added bonus of giving you fewer objects to position, which can save you quite a bit of time when setting up your design.

One of the most important rules for designing labels! We always advise customers to do a test print first so that if there are any errors or issues with the alignment they can be corrected before you start printing onto your actual sheets of labels. Once you are relatively happy with the look of your design, print your template onto blank white paper and hold this up against a sheet of your labels to double check for any discrepancies in alignment.

For more tips and advice you can take a look through our Help Pages.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Stikins & Trons: Stand Up & Deliver - AKA How Long Will It Take To Deliver My Name Labels?

We like to make sure that we despatch all of our name label orders as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Currently we are printing and packing labels every day (Mon-Fri), which means that any order placed before 3pm will be printed and despatched the same working day. Orders placed after 3pm (or at the weekend) will be despatched on the next working day.

Standard delivery is by Royal Mail's first class service; 93% of this is delivered the next day but, because it isn't a guaranteed service, some orders may take a day or two extra.

For customers who need their orders fulfilling quickly, we can offer a next working day delivery option - to request this shipping option, customers will need to contact us directly.

Label Planet: Introducing Label Create - The Newest Member of the Label Planet Family!

The Label Planet universe is expanding once again!

We're delighted to introduce the newest member of the Label Planet family: Label Create.

Label Create are a brand new printing company who offer a fabulous printing service along with a wealth of experience in the world of labels.

Label Create will print your design onto any label available from the Label Planet range of labels - so you've got plenty of choice!

With over 100 sizes available across a range of 30 materials, colours, and adhesives, Label Create can find you the perfect label and finish it off with the perfect print. They also offer competitive prices and superbly efficient despatch times, with the majority of customers receiving their labels within two working days of placing an order.

To get started you can give them a call to discuss your requirements (01270 323 324), send them an email query (, or visit their website ( to fill out their "Get A Quote" form.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Stikins & Trons: Name Labels & The School Trip - Making Sure Everything Finds The Way Home

Schools will be running trips throughout the school year, which means sending your child (or children) off for the day (or longer) armed to the teeth with all the things they (might maybe possibly) need for that trip.

Parents across the country will be familiar with the experience of receiving from school a list of "Required Items" that each child must have with them... along with a "Recommended Items" the list of things your child feels are absolutely essential....and, of course, your own list of things you want to make sure your child has with them.

Adding all of that up usually results in a child weighed down with a bulky bag but, more importantly, it can also lead to headaches when it comes to the end of the trip and at least one thing from at least one of those lists is missing. Name labels are an excellent way to help prevent things from going missing entirely or simply getting mixed up when children stay together in close quarters.

You can label all kinds of things (including clothing, personal items, equipment, and various other "essentials") quickly and easily with a simple name label - and once they're applied, the job is done!
Label Planet offers two kinds of name label products (so you can make sure you have a label for pretty much anything and everything!):

STIKINS: the name label that sticks on and stays on!
These multipurpose labels can be used to label clothing and personal items - they simply peel off the backing sheet and stick into place. They can be applied to the wash care label of garments, into shoes and onto bags, onto water bottles and lunch boxes, and on all kinds of personal items and equipment.

TRONS: the name transfer that irons on and stays on!
These iron on name transfers create a completely permanent name label on all kinds of fabric items. The label bonds and fuses into the fabric completely, which makes it perfect for labelling all kinds of clothing (including socks, scarves, gloves etc) and other fabric items.

Label Planet: Is It A Bird? Is It A Plane? No! It's Super-Removable Adhesive-Man!

We have two kinds of removable adhesive and this post is all about our Super Removable Adhesive.
Also known as GREM and Glass Removable, this is a special adhesive made from acrylic that is designed to provide a light adhesion during the time it is applied to a surface and excellent removability once it is no longer needed.

In particular, this adhesive is designed to leave no adhesive residue behind, which means that it can be used as a temporary label that will do absolutely no damage to the item it is used to label when the label is removed. It is the perfect adhesive for temporary labels that are applied to items that are made of delicate materials such as glass or paper.

The adhesive was specially designed for use on paper materials, such as cards and book covers. Paper products, like any other kind of product, need to be labelled with product and pricing information - however, paper products are much more likely to be damaged when a label is removed (particularly if a permanent adhesive is used).

Using a removable adhesive means these items remain undamaged by any product or pricing labels that are applied to them before they are sold - which is particularly useful as these items are often gifts (particularly cards) and most of us have been through the experience of purchasing a book only to find that the cover is instantly ruined when you attempt to peel off the price label and inevitably end up with either fragments of label or a sticky mess of adhesive residue stuck across your brand new purchase.

Super removable adhesives are also ideal for use on glass items, which are particularly notorious for showing up marks or traces left behind when a label is removed.

Our Super Removable range is extremely popular for use in book shops, card shops, stationery suppliers, and also in auction houses, where they are used to apply lot numbers to delicate items during storage and auctions - once a lot is sold, the label is easy to remove (with absolutely no damage to the item) before the new owner takes their brand new (or should that be antique!) possession home.

You can take a look at more detailed product information, the sizes available, and purchase your very own Super Removable Labels from our Super Removable Labels range page.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Stikins & Trons: Trons - New Instructions For Use

We'd like to thank all of our Trons name transfer customers who have taken the time to give us some excellent feedback about our brand new product.

We weren't sure how our customers would react to such a different product but we've had an absolutely fabulous response.

We combined the feedback we've received from customers with our own ongoing research to create an updated set of Instructions For Use that make the application process even easier to follow.

Trons Instructions For Use:
TRONS™ are name transfers and can be used to identify any garment, including socks. TRONS™ are extremely thin and transfer a name permanently to all fabrics by bonding and fusing.

Please follow these simple instructions for perfect results:
Step 1…Place the garment on a hard, flat surface (e.g. kitchen worktop). Remove a transfer from the backing sheet and position it on the garment face up.
Step 2…Cover the transfer with the re-usable Trons™ silicon paper sheet provided. Cut the sheet into 4 and use each piece up to 5 times, shiny side down.
Step 3…Using a hot dry iron, heated to the maximum temperature for the garment, press hard for 20 to 30 seconds. Move the iron in small circles.
Step 4…Carefully peel off the silicon paper sheet while still hot. Once cool check that the label cannot be removed, repeat step 3 if necessary.

lron directly onto fabric not onto labels. Do not use steam. Do not use an ironing board. Practise on some scrap cloth first. Once applied avoid ironing Trons directly.

We send a copy of these instructions out with every single set and they can also be found on our website here.

Label Planet: Printing Your Own Labels - Some Tips & Tricks

Over the years we've built up a set of must have hints and tips for printing your own labels based on our experiences in the world of label printing.

While many of us rarely check our printer's manual, it is always worth taking a quick glance at the specifications section - particularly if you want to work with labels that aren't made with basic matt white paper. Certain printer models may be unable to accept materials that are too thick or that are made of a certain kind of material.

Most printers will have settings that allow you to considerably improve the print quality you can achieve when working with different materials. For example, most printers will have a "Heavy Paper" setting that is designed specifically for processing thicker materials, while some will have a specific "Labels" settings.

You should also double check your printer's settings to make sure that the printer is set to print to A4 page size. Some printers may reset to a default that is not A4 (usually to "American Letter" size) or they may store the settings used previously (which may not be A4).

If your printer includes a media bypass tray then you should use it when printing labels. The media bypass tray is an additional tray, usually located just above or below the standard paper tray. Where the paper tray is designed specifically for processing sheets of paper, the media bypass tray is set up to process thicker materials and usually provides a more direct path through the printer, which improves the accuracy of the position of the print by reducing rotation as the sheet is fed through the printer.

Labels should be kept in their original packaging in a cool, dry place. If labels are exposed to sunlight and other environmental factors or to low/high temperatures, the face material may deteriorate and the adhesive may be affected. This means that when you come to actually use the rest of your labels, you may find that they are discoloured or that they fail to adhere correctly.

When labels are put through a printer they may be manipulated around rollers and exposed to heat and/or pressure. While this is a normal part of the printing process, you will find that if you send the labels through a second time (to add a second layer of design or additional text) the print quality is reduced and the labels may tend to curl up more.

Paper labels in particular require a certain amount of moisture content to create good quality print; during the printing process some of this moisture is lost, which means that the print quality is reduced if the labels are put through the printer a second time.

Some labels are compatible with only one printing process (such as inkjet printing or laser printing). If you try to print labels with an incompatible printing process you will find that the print simply doesn't stay in place. This is because the materials used to make these labels will have properties that work best with one particular printing process. For example, inkjet printing replies on the ink adhering to the surface of the face material correctly, with some of the ink being absorbed into the label surface - if the material doesn't allow this, the ink (and therefore the print) will not stay in place and is likely to smudge or rub away.

If you want to create print that is waterproof you will have to use a laser printer rather than an inkjet printer. Laser printing is a dry process that bonds toner into place using heat and pressure - this creates a waterproof print. Inkjet inks, however, are water-based, which means that they will smudge or run if they are exposed to water (or other liquids).

When designing labels, you need to put some thought into the shape of label you want to use, the shapes of any images you want to use, and the arrangement of the elements in your design. Standard desktop printers, sheets of labels, and software programs will all have certain limitations that you will need to work with - or else find a workaround for.

For example, standard desktop printers tend to be unable to print right to the edge of an A4 sheet, so if you have a design and/or a sheet of labels that requires a border or coloured background that goes to the edge of the labels you may run into difficulty using a standard printer.

If you are working with specific shapes, you will need to take a great deal of care (and time) to get everything to line up precisely. For example, if you are printing round labels with a round logo in the centre you will need to take care to line each one up perfectly - using the same shape for the label and the logo makes any misalignment all the more obvious. If you are using non-design software you will also have to accept the limitations of that software when designing templates; for example, Microsoft Word is primarily a Word Processor, which means its strengths lie in text and not design - this means that it has limits on how accurate you can be when positioning elements of your design and circular/oval templates have to be set up using squares/rectangles.

This also applies if you want to use a border; you need to take the time to get the alignment exactly right if you want to add a border to your labels. This can be quite tricky and time consuming to get it right on every single label - and will rely on the accuracy of positioning provided both by the software you are using to design your template and the hardware (printer) you use to print your labels.

A quick tip for template adjustments is to consider exactly how you need to adjust your template. For example, if your design has the correct layout but is simply sitting too high/low/left/right when you print it, instead of trying to shift all of the elements into the correct position individually, you can increase or decrease the page margins to manipulate the entire design into the correct position (and with a greater degree of control). Alternatively, if you find that an entire row or column is out of alignment, you might consider manipulating the height and width of that row or column (or the blank rows or columns next to them that account for the gaps between the labels) to manually shift the entire row or column in one go.

We always advise that - once you have set up your template - you should do a test print first to check the alignment; print your template onto blank paper and hold this up against your labels. This way you can make any necessary adjustments before you print onto your actual sheets of labels.

If you're creating labels that require variable information then you should consider using a mail merge to create your labels. Variable information is an element of your design (text or image) that differs from label to label, such as an address or personalised greeting or message.

Using a mail merge means that your design and your table of data will be combined automatically, instead of requiring that you sit and enter each piece of variable information by hand.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Stikins & Trons: Good News! We've Got Reviews (To Help You Make Up Your Mind)

We know that reading reviews from other customers is an important part of deciding which product to buy - especially with something like name labels where there's simply so much choice.

We're currently working on updating our review system, which means that soon we'll have all of our reviews on our website so you can take a look at how our name labels have fared with existing customers.

All of our customers can leave us a review and we've had hundreds of them so far. We really value our reviews because they let us know exactly what our customers think about our products, as well as providing us with information about the things that our customers love about our products and service - and the things that they'd like us to improve.

Reviews are a great way for us to find out what we can work on and improve to make our products and service even better for our customers.

We will be adding all of our existing reviews - along with a "Write A Review" option - to our website shortly, but for the moment you can take a look through our reviews by visiting our Reviews Profile page.

Label Planet: Not Sure If A Label Is Right For You? Request A Sample & Get Testing!

We offer a free sample request service so that all of our customers can try out our labels before they commit to a purchase.

Whether you're completely new to the label game or you're an old hand who wants to try out something new, you can request a sample via our website.

Simply follow these steps:

1. Visit our Samples Request page.
2. Fill in the form:

- Contact Name/Address: so we know where to send the sample!

- Tel No./Email: so we can contact you if necessary. We respond to all sample requests with an email to let you know that your sample request has been received, along with details of the samples that we will be sending.

- Printer Type: some of our labels are compatible with either inkjet printers or laser printers only (i.e. not both). If you let us know what kind of printer you have we can let you know if the samples you have requested are compatible with your printer and/or suggest which labels would work best for you.

- What Are You Sticking The Labels Onto?: if we know what you need your labels for, we can offer advice on which labels would work best.

- Samples Required: so we know which labels you want to try! Please try to be as specific as possible and include the relevant product codes (Beginning with "LP") if you know them.

- Business or Personal Use: so we can ensure you find the best labels for your needs.

- Additional Information: if you have any extra information about the application you need the labels for or have any questions about our labels or printing, you can enter this here and we'll include a response in our email back to you.

We always try to offer the exact sample that has been requested but, unfortunately, we can only send out samples of our stocked items. If you request a sample of a non-stocked item, we will send you the material type in a close size and the exact size in a paper label so that you can see the size for yourself and test the material to make sure it works fo

Thursday, 2 October 2014

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

October has arrived, which means that soon we'll be adding up the commission that schools have earned through our Commission Scheme and getting those cheques in the post.

For schools who haven't yet signed up with us: it's so very simple to do!

1. Register Your School - to request your unique school code

2. Request Parent Leaflets - to distribute to parents and promote the scheme

3. [Optional] Add A Link To Your Website - to make it easy for parents to order their labels with your code

4. Wait For Your Cheque!

We do the rest for you. All schools will earn 15% commission on ANY orders of Stikins or Trons that are placed with their unique school code (including those placed by phone or post). Schools who add a link from their school or PTA website to our website will receive 25% commission.

Label Planet: A Guide To The Brand New Label Planet Homepage

We've revamped our home page to make it even easier for customers to find the labels that they're looking for. So, here's a quick guide to the brand new Label Planet homepage!

Top links:
These text links lead to our Delivery Information page, About Us page, Blog, Templates page, Sample Request page, and Contact Us page.

Search Bar:
If you have a Label Planet product code from a previous search or order, you can navigate to the correct page even faster by entering the code into this search bar.

Text Links:
Use these links to see all of our labels that are suitable for Laser Printers, for Inkjet Printers, or for use as Address/Shipping labels.

Social Media Icons:
We're also on social media! You can use these links to find out what's going on at Label Planet from our social media sites or to get in touch and leave us feedback!

Side Links:
The four light purple boxes provide quick links to our despatch and delivery information, site and ordering information, and all of our help and advice pages.

Alphabetical List Of Labels:
Click on the big red button to view all of our ranges of labels listed in alphabetical order.

Five Images:
Quick links to our label sizes that are rounded cornered rectangles, square cut cornered rectangles, circles, address labels, or coloured labels.

Find Labels By Categories:
These links can be used to narrow down your search for a particular type of label based on certain requirements such as:
- The number of labels per sheet, compatible Avery codes, label height or width, label shape, or supplier codes.
- The type of label required: e.g. coloured, fluorescent, metallic, laser gloss, inkjet gloss, freezer, removable, super removable, waterproof removable, laser transparent, inkjet transparent, waterproof matt white, or waterproof gloss white.
- The type of material required: e.g. white paper, removable adhesives, gloss materials, coloured paper, special adhesives, materials for inkjet printing, transparent materials, permanent adhesives, or waterproof materials.

Labels On A4 Sheets for Schools:
A section of our website devoted to labels for use in schools, including how to buy from Label Planet, a teachers' forum, information about our commission scheme, useful sites for teachers, ideas for how labels can be used in the school environment, and free templates for teachers to download and adapt for their own purposes.

Buy Name Labels:
A link to the website where we sell our name label products; Stikins, the name label that simply sticks on and stays on, and Trons, the easy to use iron-on name transfer that creates a permanent name label on any fabric item.

Download A4 Labels Brochure:
If you want a copy of the sizes and materials we have available, you can download and print a copy of our brochure for future reference.

Activity Window:
A fun new addition to the website, the activity window means you can take a look at the pages and products that are proving popular on our website - and perhaps get inspired along the way!