Friday, 30 October 2015

Label Planet: A Happy Halloween (Weekend) From Label Planet!

Yes, it’s here once more: Halloween Eve!

Okay, so we’re a day early, but we’d like to wish all of our customers a Happy Halloween for the weekend.

We wish you well with all of your spooky endeavours; whether you’re off trick or treating in your creepiest costume or staying in with your favourite cushion for a frightfest of fearsome films – complete with a huge bowl of popcorn (for you) and a huge bowl of sweets (for trick or treaters) – we hope you have a fabulously frightful night!

Stikins ® & Trons ®: A Happy Halloween Weekend to all of our Stikins ® & Trons ® Customers!

Yes, it’s the end of October & that can mean only one thing: Halloween!

We’d like to wish all of our customers a Happy Halloween: we hope you have a wonderfully weird weekend full of creepy costumes, tremendously terrifying trick or treating, and a stomach churning stack of sweets at the end of it all.

And remember, whether you’re off trick or treating or settling down with a bowl of spooky snacks for a frightfest of fearsome films, you could always use some of your Stikins ® to make sure no one tries to sneak off with your Halloween stash of goodies!

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Label Planet: Psst. Have You Got Your Labels For A Certain Holiday That Must Not Be Named Yet?!

While we don’t wish to invite an angry chorus of “but it’s only October” down on our heads, the weeks are slowly creeping by and the wintertime rush will soon be upon us. As companies get busier and busier, being prepared for the winter holidays is a must and labels are an easy thing to forget about and leave too late.

In fact, we’ve been receiving orders throughout September and October from customers who are busily preparing their seasonal products, promotions, and special events to make sure that they are thoroughly prepared for December – we even had some seasonal orders as far back as early summer!

So, if you’re looking to get organised this year and make sure that you are absolutely ready, we highly recommend buying your labels now (especially if you’re buying large quantities and/or purchasing labels for use on your Christmas stock), so you don’t end up panic ordering at the last minute and then worrying about whether you’ll have enough time to get them printed and applied to all of the bits and pieces you absolutely have to get despatched in time for the holidays.

Remember, we’ve got all sorts of labels to suit all sorts of applications including:
  • REMOVABLE LABELS: this time of year is the time for giving, which means that the majority of purchases are gifts. We’ve all had the nightmare of buying the perfect gift, only to find that the price label plastered across the top of it is firmly stuck in place and any attempt to remove it only results in a horrific sticky mess being smeared everywhere. Our removable labels are a perfect way to label gift items with a label that removes cleanly and easily from all kinds of surfaces. We’ve even got a Super Removable adhesive that is designed especially for those extra delicate items made of paper or glass, which won’t leave any trace of adhesive residue behind when a label is removed.
  • KRAFT LABELS: our Kraft labels have a ribbed finish, which gives them a lovely subtle touch of pattern and texture. These labels are brilliant product and packaging labels, particularly if you want a natural, homemade appearance for your goods OR if you’re feeling particularly crafty and you’re making your own holiday cards, envelopes, tags, decorations, or gifts.
  • GOLD & SILVER LABELS: for a touch of luxury seasonal colouring or a bit of extra sparkle just for fun, our metallic gold and silver labels are ideal for the holidays. Whether you’re sending special cards and invites, all important gifts, or simply want to add a touch of holiday spirit to your company letters and parcels, these labels have a delightful semi-gloss textured finish that is the perfect finishing touch.
  • COLOURED & FLUORESCENT LABELS: if you’re thinking colour and creativity, our coloured labels are an excellent way to add a burst of colour to your items. Choose from six pastel shades (for a more subtle addition) or five fluorescent colours (if you’re feeling daring) to bring a bit of decoration to your cards, presents, or parcels this year.
  • GLOSS LABELS: choose one of our gloss label products to add a bit of shine to your items, whether you prefer a full on gloss finish or the subtle compromise of a semi-gloss finish. These labels are extremely popular for use as product labels to bring a professional, decorative finish to all those items you’re sending out for the holiday season.
  • TRANSPARENT LABELS: whether you need to label transparent items (such as glassware), you’ve invested in special design work for your packaging and don’t want to plaster a boring label over the top, you want an unobtrusive label that won’t distract from your product or packaging, or you’re having problems with colour-matching, transparent labels are the perfect label for you! These labels are a brilliant way to add text without imposing a block of coloured background over your products and/or packaging. They’re also a great way to add text if you’ve left some important details off packaging or promotional leaflets that you’ve already had printed.
  • WATERPROOF LABELS: if you supply products that are designed for use in locations where they might get wet or you’re in need of some labels for an outdoor event, take a look through our range of Waterproof Labels. These labels are made using polyester or polyethylene along with a waterproof adhesive, which makes them tough, durable labels that are perfectly efficient, even in outdoor conditions. Our MWP and MWPE labels are made with a Marine Adhesive, which makes them a perfect choice if you’re looking for labels for an outdoor event or display.
  • FREEZER LABELS: whether you’re getting stuck in making homemade treats for the holidays or your business is a supplier of all kinds of food and drink delights, our Freezer Labels are a quick and easy way to add a seasonal message or design to your goods that won’t fall off in the freezer.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Label Planet: FAQ – I Want Labels Delivering To A Non-UK Address, Can You Help?

At Label Planet, we supply A4 sheets of labels to customers in the UK and Ireland, and are not set up to deal with customers worldwide. Our sister company, Madebuy, sells genuine Label Planet products via Amazon and Ebay, which means that some of our products are available to worldwide customers via those market platforms. However, we are more than happy to supply customers who nominate a UK address for delivery and make their own arrangements to have those items forwarded out of the country.

If you do want to order from Label Planet, here’s a brief guide to our Delivery Information & Delivery Destinations:

Standard Despatch (not a guaranteed next day service)
Orders of less than 500 sheets placed by 4pm are despatched same working day via Royal Mail’s First Class service or next working day carrier service.

Orders of 500+ sheets placed before 3pm are despatched within five working days, with standard white paper products being despatched much sooner (often same day where items are in stock at our warehouse). Delivery is via next working day carrier service.

Express Despatch
Small orders can be upgraded to a guaranteed next day delivery service (by 1pm) when ordering online or over the phone.

If you’re working to a deadline, ordering late, or need a guaranteed delivery time, get in touch with us to discuss alternative shipping options.

Standard Despatch (not a guaranteed next day service)
Orders of less than 500 sheets placed by 4pm are despatched same working day via Royal Mail’s First Class service or 2-3 working day carrier service.

Orders of 500+ sheets placed before 3pm are despatched within five working days, with standard white paper products being despatched much sooner (often same day where items are in stock at our warehouse). Delivery is via 2-3 working day carrier service.

Express Despatch
Small orders can be upgraded to a guaranteed next day delivery (by 1pm) when ordering online or over the phone (please note that some "extended postcode" areas may not be covered by the next day service).

If you’re working to a deadline, ordering late, or need a guaranteed delivery time, get in touch with us to discuss alternative shipping options.

Orders must be placed by phone so we can arrange for your items to be despatched via the correct delivery service.

Orders of less than 500 sheets placed by 4pm are despatched same working day via Royal Mail’s International Signed For service or 2-3 working day carrier service.

Orders of 500+ sheets placed before 3pm are despatched within five working days, with standard white paper products being despatched much sooner (often same day where items are in stock at our warehouse). Delivery is via 2-3 working day carrier service.

If you’re working to a deadline, ordering late, or need a guaranteed delivery time, get in touch with us to discuss alternative shipping options.

Stikins ® & Trons ®: Stikins ® - They’re Not Just For School Term Time (Or Even Just For Kids!)

While the majority of our Stikins ® name labels are bought by parents for use on clothing and equipment that their children need for school, these products can be used pretty much anywhere, at any time, and by anyone!

They’re brilliantly simple and quick to apply, which makes them a perfect way to help prevent the problem of items getting mixed up or going missing – in all sorts of situations that involve leaving things in shared spaces or facilities.

Stikins ® are ideal for use in nursing and residential care homes; these facilities rely on the use of shared laundry facilities and communal areas that their residents are encouraged to use and share. While staff will do their utmost to ensure that clothing and belongings remain with their rightful owners, sometimes things go missing or get mixed up – which can result in staff having to spend precious time tracking items down and can cause distress to residents who may already be unwell or distressed, and who have often brought items of particular emotional significance or sentimental value with them from home.

Adding a name label to clothing and bedding means that it is easy to ensure items are returned to their owner, which is highly beneficial for residents and staff alike. Personal items can also be labelled to help prevent any distress over such important items being lost or misplaced.

Siblings often share likes and dislikes, which means that family homes are often full of clothes and toys that are similar or even identical in appearance – and that can lead to all sorts of arguments and tantrums.

Name labels are a quick and easy way to ensure that everyone knows which item belongs to which child and they can be used on pretty much anything, from clothes and shoes to books and toys.

Stikins ® are also a brilliant assistant to have on hand for when your children are out and about, whether it’s a simple day trip, a weeklong event at a residential site, or even a summer away at a camp.

It doesn’t matter if you’re preparing for a family holiday or if your children are taking part in a trip with their school or a local activity group; any trip away will involve packing a bag with all sorts of extra bits and pieces – in the knowledge that it’s very possible that not all of it will make it back home.

Our name labels are a highly versatile multipurpose label, so you can use them to label pretty much anything. Whether it’s a packed lunch for a school trip, camping equipment and supplies, or even a spare set of clothes for “just in case” situations, our name labels can help prevent mix ups and make it easier for items to be found and returned.

You can also use name labels as a way to make sure your child always has emergency information with them; for example, you can include a phone number so they always know how to call home or you could include medical/allergy information to alert others if an emergency arises and your child requires assistance.

For most of us, going to work means sharing communal spaces with colleagues, which can lead to mix ups and items being lost.

Some businesses and organisations require employees to wear a uniform or to use identical equipment, which is often stored in shared areas. Stikins ® make it easy to label items to avoid mix ups and to help make sure that everything is returned to the right place. They can be used to add an individual’s name to personal items or to label equipment with the name of the particular branch or department of a larger organisation that owns a particular item.

Of course, Stikins ® also come in handy when it comes to the communal kitchen; whether you find that your lunch keeps going missing or someone keeps pinching your favourite mug, Stikins ® are a quick way to add your name to your stuff to make sure that you can eat your lunch or have a quick tea break in peace.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Stikins ® & Trons ®: The Devil’s In The (Personalised) Details AKA Have You Checked Your Order Details?

Name labels are by their very nature a product that requires personalisation, which means that they require a bit more care and attention when ordering than other, non-personalised, items.

While most of us are familiar with the process of ordering items online, it is all too easy to make a mistake – whether you accidentally hit the wrong key, fall victim to an unfortunate autocorrect, make a spelling mistake, forget to select a capital letter, or even forget what name you want to order.

We do not make any corrections to the text that you supply to us

– the text you enter when you place your order is the text that will be printed onto your labels.

This is why we encourage our customers to take care when entering their order details AND provide them with various opportunities to double check the details of their order to ensure that the labels they receive are exactly what they want.
  • Each time you add an item to your basket, you will be directed to the basket page, which displays the details of the items you have added so far including the pack(s) you have selected and the text you have entered.
  • When you complete your order, you will be directed to a “THANK YOU” page, which lists the full details of your order including your delivery information, the pack(s) you have selected, and the text you have entered.
  • You will receive a confirmation email to let you know that your order has been received by us, which also lists the full details of your order including your delivery information, the pack(s) you have selected, and the text you have entered.
We know that the majority of our customers are busy parents, many of whom will be ordering their name labels in a rush because they have a laundry list of tasks to get through; while we understand that there are other things to be done, we would strongly recommend that you take just a quick minute to check that ALL of your details are correct.

To buy your very own name labels, simply click on “Buy Stikins ®” or “Buy Trons ®” to get started.

Label Planet: Prepare For A Truly Spooktacular Halloween With Labels From Label Planet!

Halloween is on the way, which means that if you’ve got exciting plans for creepy celebrations we might just have the labels for you! Whether you’re wanting to send out invitations to a monster bash or create spectacularly spooky decorations, we’ve got some fabulous label products to help you get things started with a bloodcurdling bang!

FREAKY FLUORESCENTS: these brilliantly bright labels are a stunningly simple way to add a burst of colour to your Halloween inspired projects. Featuring a Revolting Red, a Gruesome Green, a Yowling Yellow, a Malevolent Magenta, and a perfectly seasonal Outlandish Orange, this range of labels will really add a wicked burst of colour to your event.

CREEPY KRAFT: we’ve got a wonderful Kraft Label, made with ribbed Kraft paper for a subtle touch of putrid patterning and terrifying texture for all your homemade finishing touches!

HOWLING HIGH TACK: these paper labels have a supernaturally strong adhesive, which makes them perfect for sticking onto bursting bags of Halloween treats or for adding a label to your Halloween decorations or those all-important trick or treat buckets.

TAUNTING TRANSPARENTS: these transparent labels will add a touch of magic by “disappearing” into thin air, leaving behind “floating” text and images on your items. They’re also a brilliant way to make some fabulously frightening window stickers (but make sure you choose our Removable Transparent Labels, so you don’t end up with a frightful mess once the celebrations are over!).

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Label Planet: FAQ – How Permanent Are Your “Permanent” Labels & How Removable Are Your Removable Labels?

Some customers are concerned about whether our permanent labels will be permanent enough or whether our removable labels will be removable enough. Here’s a short guide to the different adhesives we have available and how they will behave in typical label applications.

Permanent adhesives are designed to create a strong adhesive bond that will hold a label firmly in place and will prove difficult to remove. They are not, however, “impossible” to remove; if someone is absolutely determined to remove a permanent label, they will be able to do so. Removable adhesives, on the other hand, are designed to provide a light adhesive bond that is strong enough to hold a label in place while it is needed but that will allow the label to be removed quickly and cleanly with little to no adhesive residue being left behind.

The strength and success of the adhesive bond will depend on four factors: the length of time the label is stuck onto an item, the temperature during application, the surface onto which the label is applied, and the strength of the adhesive used.

TIME: adhesives used to make self-adhesive labels will “set” over time, meaning they have both an “initial tack” (i.e. the strength of the initial bond when a label is applied) and an “ultimate tack” (i.e. the strength once the adhesive has fully strengthened and set). If you apply a label and then immediately pull up one of the corners to test the adhesion without allowing the adhesive to set, the label is likely to come away quite easily.

TEMPERATURE: a higher temperature will quicken the process of adhesion, while lower temperatures can slow down or even prevent an adhesive from working altogether. All adhesives have a recommended application temperature (or range), but as a general rule it is best to avoid applying labels (and storing them) in extremes of hot and cold temperatures. You can find the recommended application temperatures for our products on the Specification Sheet for each product.

SURFACE TYPE: some surfaces are more conducive to a successful bond than others; the texture, shape, and material type of a surface will influence how well a label remains in place.

Surfaces have varying degrees of smoothness, from flat surfaces that have no peaks and troughs to rough, uneven surfaces that have extreme peaks and troughs. The best adhesive bond usually occurs where there is a regular pattern of shallow troughs as this provides the adhesive with the largest surface area over which to bond. If there are no troughs or very shallow troughs an adhesive may not have a large enough surface area to bond with. Alternatively, if there are too many troughs or if the troughs are too deep, an adhesive will not be able to reach the full surface area available and a weaker bond will form.

Stronger bonds also occur on flat surfaces in comparison with curved surfaces. If you apply a label to a curved surface, the adhesive bond has to be strong enough to overcome the “memory” of the face material of the label, which will try to return to its original flat state. To avoid this issue, you should opt for a larger label, a more flexible label material, a stronger adhesive, OR use a long thin label that can be wrapped all the way around an object (e.g. a cylinder) so that the ends overlap.

Finally, different materials will interact with adhesives in different ways – particularly if a material has had any special treatments or coatings that can cause the adhesive bond to fail if the treatment or coating changes or disintegrates over time.

ADHESIVE STRENGTH: most adhesives fall into the categories of permanent or removable; they will be designed with one of these types of adhesion in mind, with most adhesives being developed with a range of additional beneficial properties that will allow them to perform effectively in a range of label applications or in a more specific kind of environment. Adhesive strength ranges from high tack labels that offer extremely strong initial tack and ultimate tack, through to low tack labels that offer a gentle initial tack that will barely strengthen at all before reaching a low ultimate tack.

Here at Label Planet, we offer a range of adhesives as follows:

MEGA TACK ADHESIVE: our strongest adhesive; this product offers strong initial and ultimate tack. It is most commonly used for labelling unusual surfaces (such as fabric samples or building materials) that other adhesives struggle to adhere to OR for adding a simple paper label that is very difficult to remove. It is only available to order over the phone, with a minimum order quantity of 500 sheets.

HIGH TACK ADHESIVE: this adhesive offers strong initial and ultimate tack on a wide range of materials and surfaces. This adhesive is popular with customers who have tried standard permanent adhesives but have found that they don’t work well with the material or surface they are trying to label. They are also effective for use as labels that should be difficult to remove, in applications where it is vital that the information printed on the label remains with the item, even if it is moved around a lot or left in storage for long periods of time.

MARINE ADHESIVE: our MWP and MWPE products are made with a waterproof permanent adhesive that has been tested according to the BS5609 standard for marine adhesion. This adhesive has been tested extensively in marine conditions, including immersion in sea water for three months, and is ideal for use in label applications that will involve exposure to or immersion in water or storage/use in outdoor conditions.

STANDARD PERMANENT ADHESIVE: the majority of our label products are made with a standard permanent adhesive, which provides a good level of initial and ultimate tack on a range of materials and surfaces. These adhesives will hold labels firmly in place on most surfaces and will usually fragment and/or leave behind adhesive residue if an attempt is made to remove them.

REMOVABLE ADHESIVE: we have both paper (REM) and polyester (GTR) labels made with a removable adhesive; both of these product ranges are designed for use as “Temporary Labels”. They will remain in place while needed before removing easily and cleanly (i.e. there is no adhesive residue left behind and the surface of the item is left undamaged) when the label is out of date or no longer needed.

SUPER REMOVABLE ADHESIVE: we also have a super removable adhesive, which provides a very light initial and ultimate tack. This adhesive is designed specifically for use on more delicate items, such as those made of paper or glass.

This year, we have also introduced two security products, which use special adhesives to provide visual evidence of tampering. Our Void Labels use a special adhesive that divides when a label is removed, creating the message “VOID” on both the label and the item that it was applied to. Our Tamper Evident Vinyl Labels are made with a fragile cast vinyl and a very strong permanent adhesive so that if an attempt is made to remove one of these labels it will disintegrate into tiny pieces making it impossible to remove it in its entirety.

For a complete list of our label products along with the type of adhesive used for each product, please visit our Complete List Of Label Materials page.

Stikins ® & Trons ®: School Fundraising With Stikins ® - Earn Up To 30% Commission With Name Labels From Label Planet

Our commission scheme was set up in 2004 and is designed to be as simple, profitable, and useful as possible for schools, PTAs, nurseries, activity groups, and parents alike.

Many schools, nurseries, and activity groups struggle to cope with the problem of Lost Property and are often forced to waste their resources on collecting and attempting to return these items. Parents, too, are often annoyed and frustrated at the costs that they encounter when they are forced to replace items that are often brand new (and quite expensive).

Name labels are a simple way to help make sure that a child can keep hold of their belongings in the hustle and bustle of shared environments, such as schools and sports facilities. We supply two name label products; Stikins ® name labels (a multipurpose stick on name label that can be used on clothing and personal items) and Trons ® name transfers (an iron on transfer that can be used on fabric items), which can help prevent items from being mixed up or misplaced.

With many schools and parents now identifying name labels as an important (if not essential) bit of school kit, our commission scheme allows schools and groups to raise money each and every time a parent makes a purchase of these increasingly important items.

We allocate a unique School Code to your school, PTA, nursery, or group and every order placed where that number is quoted will count towards your commission total. We keep track of the orders placed and commission earned, with commission being paid out once a year in October.

Our commission scheme offers one step registration for year round fundraising that doesn’t require any initial or ongoing costs to participate. All you need to do is make sure that parents know about the commission scheme AND the all-important school code that will earn commission for your school or group – we take care of the rest. Parents can order anytime from our website (or contact our customer service team to order by phone) and we despatch all orders directly to customers within three working days of their order (Autumn-Spring; during the Summer months we offer same day despatch as standard).

Our basic rate of commission is 15% but we also provide the opportunity to boost this to 30%, simply by adding a link from the school/PTA or group website to our website.

Of course, as with any fundraising effort, the old adage “you get back what you put in” is a good thing to bear in mind. We know that schools, PTAs, and activity groups have limited time and resources, which is why we’ve come up with a few handy extras to help you boost your commission totals with the minimum amount of effort.

This year, we’ve put together a Fundraising Guide & Commission Booster Plan to provide a few tips and ideas for simple ways to boost the commission you earn. We also supply a number of free resources and materials to ensure that the fundraising message (and school code) makes it back to parents, including:
  • Leaflets to distribute to parents
  • Notice Board Poster
  • Example “Letters To Parents”
  • PTA PowerPoint Presentation
You can find all of these items (along with a copy of our Fundraising Guide & Commission Booster Plan) on our “Really Useful Downloads” page and you can request your free parents leaflets on our website here (alternatively, just give us a call).

For schools and groups who want to boost their commission to 30%, we’ve put together a page that explains how to go about adding a link and a Commission Claim Form, which you can use to let us know that you’ve got your link in place and you want your 30%!

To start fundraising, simply fill in our one-stop Registration Form, and we’ll get you set up in no time!

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Label Planet: Template Tips - Printing Labels From A Database Using Mail Merge

If you want to create labels for an existing database of contacts or product details but don’t want to enter the information for each one manually, then the easiest way to do this is to use Word’s “Mail Merge” tool.

This tool will allow you to merge the data in your database with a label template; you can choose one of the built-in Avery templates, set up a new template, or open an existing template (for example, if you've downloaded a template from our website).

If you’re not certain of the process, the best thing to do is to use the Step By Step Mail Merge Wizard, which will guide you through each step. Alternatively, if you already know how to go about completing a mail merge, you can do the steps yourself.

Here’s a quick guide on how to complete a Mail Merge using the Step By Step Wizard.
Select “Mailings”, click on “Start Mail Merge”, and select “Step By Step Mail Merge Wizard”.

Select “Labels” as your Document Type.

- To use a compatible Avery template:
Click on “Label Options”, select “Avery A4/A5” as the Label vendor, and choose the relevant code from the list.
- To create your own template:
Click on “Label Options”, and then select “New Label”. Fill in the required fields with the relevant measurements to create a template to match your labels.
- To use an existing template:
Select “Start from existing document” and click “Open” to locate the existing template you want to use.

Select “Use an existing list”, then click “Browse” to locate your database file.

If you are using an excel spreadsheet, the “Select Table” box may show multiple options – these are the tabs in your spreadsheet so you will need to select the one that you want to use.

If you only want to create labels for a specific set of entries within your database, you can use the Mail Merge Recipients box to filter your data and select only the entries that you want to print.

This step is where you enter the text you want to print on your labels; you can choose to create labels using only the text in your database (for example, if you’re printing plain address labels you will only need to use the address details from your database) or to add additional text along with field placeholders, which will be filled in with the relevant data from your database when you complete your merge.

There are a number of ways to design your labels:
ADDRESS BLOCK: this is the best tool to use if you’re printing address labels. If you find that not all of your fields are displaying correctly in the preview pane, click on “Match Fields” and match the fields in your database with the default elements contained in the Address Block.

GREETING LINE: if you’re writing a message to the recipient of each labelled item, you can use this tool to personalise each label with the recipient’s name.

MORE ITEMS: use the “More Items” option to select the fields from your database that you want to print onto your labels.
For example, if you are printing product labels using a database of product details, you can select the fields containing the information you want to include on the labels and insert them into your template.

FIELD PLACEHOLDERS: alternatively, you can simply type in the text you want and insert field placeholders where needed. To insert a field placeholder, click on “Insert Merge Fields” and select the field that you want to enter.

You should design your labels in the top left cell and then use “Update all labels” to copy your design into the rest of the cells.

[If you have opted to use an existing template, you will not have the “Update all labels” option. You will need to copy and paste your text into each cell yourself. You will also need to enter a “Next Record” rule at the start of each cell (except for the top left cell) so that when you complete the merge, each cell will be printed with the information from the next entry in your database.

To insert a “Next Record” rule, click in the second cell, click on the “Rules” button, and select “Next Record” from the list. You don’t have to repeat this for each cell; you can simply copy and paste the "Next Record" rule placeholder into the remaining cells.]

Check that your design and layout work properly and that the correct bit of information is added onto each of the labels in the correct position.

Select “Print” to choose your printer and set your print settings (remember, if your printer has a specific “Labels” or “Heavy Paper” setting, you should use this to improve the print quality you get when printing onto labels).

We strongly recommend doing a test print of the first page ONLY before you print the whole lot. Many people use Mail Merge because they have a database of hundreds, if not thousands, of entries and it can turn out to be a very costly mistake if you print them all without doing a quick test print first.

Stikins ® & Trons ®: FAQ – What Should I Put On My Name Labels?

We often get queries from customers who would like some advice on what information they should include on their name labels.

Ultimately, the text people choose to include is down to a matter of personal preference, but we do have a few bits of advice to give you an idea of what works (and what doesn’t).

The majority of our customers simply include their child’s name. Most include the first name on the top line and the surname on the bottom line, which we find tends to give the best font size. Some prefer to enter the full name on one line, but we would advise that you only go for this option if you are entering a relatively short name, as the font size will decrease significantly if you try to fit a long name onto a single line.

Alternative choices include entering a surname only (to share labels), entering initials (to increase the font size), entering nicknames, or entering two or more names (to share labels).

Contact Information
Many of our customers will also opt to add a piece of contact information, to make it easier for items to be returned to them if lost. Most choose to enter the name on the top line and then the contact information on the bottom line, with some entering “Surname Family” or simply the surname on the top line, so that labels can be shared amongst family members.

The most popular choice for contact information is a phone number, which will fit neatly and legibly onto our name labels. Other choices include adding an address (usually in short form or just a postcode), while some opt to add an email address. We would advise against using an email (unless it is extremely short) as emails tend to take up a lot of characters, which results in the labels being printed in a very small font.

A Message
Some parents like to include a message on their name labels, with the most popular choices being “This Belongs To”, "Property Of", and “Please Return To” (where the message is entered on the top line and the name is entered on the bottom line).

Medical & Allergy Information
Our name labels (and particularly our Stikins ®) are also a popular way to label items with medical and allergy information. Name labels are a quick and easy way to add this important information to a variety of items including food and drink containers and medical supplies. Of course, not only do these labels ensure that your child’s food and medicine remain safe, they can also act as medical alerts in the event of an emergency and ensure that the people who step in to help are aware of your child’s pre-existing medical condition.

If you have any queries about what to include on your labels, or if you are worried that the text you want won’t fit on your labels properly, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to give you advice.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Label Planet: FAQ – Why Don’t You Do Heavier/Thicker Materials?

Some customers come to us looking for a specific weight or thickness of material while others simply want something heavier or thicker than standard materials.

Our products do cover a range of weights (122gsm to 260gsm) and thicknesses (129 microns to 228 microns); however, we do not offer bespoke labels made with materials of a specific weight or thickness NOR are our label ranges available with different material options (in other words, each is made with a material of one specific weight and thickness).

While we strive to always use materials of excellent quality, we are restricted in the weight and thickness that we can use due to the practicalities of printing labels. We specialise in supplying customers with sheets of labels that they can print themselves with THEIR OWN standard printers at home or at work.

This means that we are restricted to label products that are compatible with the recommended maximum weights and thicknesses applied to standard printers by their manufacturers. All manufacturers will supply recommended guidelines for the materials that their printers can safely accommodate; for standard printers this tends to be lower than printing presses used in the printing industry. Some standard printers are limited to paper only, which means they may not be able to accept materials of more than 80-90gsm. Others will be made with both a paper tray (suitable for paper products of 80-90gsm) and a media bypass tray, which is designed specifically for heavier and thicker materials – albeit with a limit as to the materials they can accept. You can check the recommended maximum weights and thicknesses of your printer in the manual provided by the manufacturer.

Labels are, by their very nature, a layered product, being made up of a number of layers including (as a bare minimum) a face material, adhesive layer, and a backing sheet. This means that the weight and thickness of the face material is limited by those of the adhesive and backing sheet layers.

If you absolutely have to have a heavier or thicker material, you will need to ensure that you have access to a printer capable of processing such a material and then source a product from a label manufacturer or supplier who is able to offer that material or produce a bespoke product for you. Alternatively, you may want to use a printing company who would be able to source a heavier or thicker material AND would have a printing press capable of printing onto that material.

You can view the weights and thicknesses of our materials on our Material Specification sheets, which are listed on our website here.

Stikins ® & Trons ®: Schools - Defeat Your Lost Property Mountain With Name Labels

Schools have been back in business for around a month and it’s likely that the Lost Property box / cupboard / room / skip has already seen the arrival of some new additions – few, if any, of which will ever find their way back home.

We regularly receive comments from members of school staff who are frustrated over the amount of time and effort they have to waste on the problem of Lost Property – with many telling us that (despite their best efforts) most of the items they take in never make it home and they end up having to find creative ways to empty the Lost Property “box” before it overflows again the next year, or even the next term.

Schools have the benefit of being populated by a limited number of people, which should make it easier to trace the owner of any item that has been lost – after all, you know that the item has to belong to someone who attends the school and the school has a record of its pupils. However, as members of staff will know only too well, most items in the Lost Property box will be similar, if not identical, to those owned by other pupils at the school.

Name labels are an extremely effective and easy solution to the problem of lost property – for parents, pupils, and staff alike.

Adding a name labels means it is instantaneously clear to whom an item belongs, which means that it is less likely that an item will go missing in the first place. BUT, if something should go astray, it is also extremely easy to return it to the right person – without any need to organise yet another Lost Property event.

Our name labels are designed to make the process of labelling items as quick and efficient as possible. Our Stikins ® name labels simply stick on and stay on – they take moments to apply and can be used to label all sorts of items including school uniform, equipment, and personal belongings. Our Trons ® name transfers create a truly permanent name label on any fabric item, which makes them perfect for labelling school uniform, including any clothing required for P.E. or Performing Arts lessons.

We also operate a School Commission Scheme, which means that – as well as reducing the time and resources spent dealing with Lost Property – schools can actually earn money for their ongoing fundraising efforts every time a parent orders name labels to apply to their children’s belongings. We allocate schools with a unique code and each order placed where that code is quoted will earn up to 30% commission for the school.

You can find out more about our School Commission Scheme by visiting our website and clicking on the “Schools Information” button.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Label Planet: Template Tips - Working With Images In Word

One of the most common problems that tends to trip people up when they’re creating templates in Word is the use of images.

Word is a “Word Processor” and as such is designed specifically for composing, editing, formatting, and printing written material – in other words, it's designed for handling TEXT.

While Word does offer tools for adding and editing images, they are quite limited, which means that if you do add images to your Word template, they can cause a few problems.

Over the years we’ve spent quite a lot of time working with Word templates and we’ve got TWO TOP TIPS for any customers who want to include images in their templates:

When using a label template, you already know the dimensions you need to keep to. We advise that you ensure your image is the correct size BEFORE you paste it into your Word document. Word will often try to be helpful and rearrange your document to fit any oversized content that you add – which will obviously ruin your chances of getting the perfect alignment. Ensuring that your image is the right size (or at least an approximation of the right size) before you add it to your template can reduce problems with the document automatically adjusting itself.

The most common reason why images cause so much trouble in Word templates is the default layout settings. As Word is a word processor, it prioritises TEXT over everything else; when you paste an image it uses a default layout setting called “In Line With Text” – in other words the positioning of your image is defined by and limited to the font size and layout settings used by your text. In fact, even if you haven’t got ANY text in your template, the font that happens to be selected will still be used to determine the positioning of your images – just in case you should go ahead and include text.

We advise changing this default setting; we find that “Tight” gives you the most freedom over where you can position your images. If you are adding both text and images, you may want to use the “Behind Text” or “In Front Of Text” settings to get the correct balance, or use one of the other settings to ensure that your text and images will sit in a specific position relative to one another. If you find that your image sits half in front of and half behind your template, you should test the different Text Wrapping options to see if this removes the issue; alternatively, you may want to try using the “Arrange” options (“Bring to Front”, “Send to Back”, etc) to ensure that your template grid is set to the very “Back” of your layout, while your image is set to sit at the very “Front”.

You can find these layout settings in the following ways:
- Left Click on the image, then click on the Pink “Format” tab at the top of the page beneath “Picture Tools”. You can then use the tools in the “Arrange” section of the ribbon to improve the positioning of your image, with the options discussed above being listed under the “Wrap Text” button.

- Right Click on the image, then use the “Arrange” and “Text Wrapping” tools to change the layout settings. Alternatively, you can select “Size and Position” to view all of the layout and positioning settings applied to your image and make any necessary adjustments.

To find all of our templates (including both Word & PDF files), please visit our Label Templates section.

Stikins ® & Trons ®: Despatch Information For Autumn/Winter 2015

Autumn is most definitely upon us (although some might argue Winter is too!), which means it’s time for another production update.

Name labels are a seasonal product and Winter is the slowest time of the year for us. For October, November, and December 2015, we’ll be running production on Tuesdays and Fridays, with all orders (regardless of when they are placed) being made and despatched within three working days.

Our standard delivery service is via Royal Mail’s first class service; around 93% of this arrives the next working day, with the rest taking a day or two extra.

If you are in a hurry and need to make sure your labels arrive in time for a trip or a deadline, please give us a call to upgrade your order to a guaranteed next working day delivery option (shipping cost: £5.75).

Remember, you can check on our current production level throughout the year by visiting our Despatch & Delivery Information page.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Stikins ® & Trons ®: FAQ - How Do I Apply My Stikins ® & Trons ®?

While we’ve designed our name labels to be as simple and straightforward as possible to use, it’s always nice to have a set of instructions to make sure that everything goes just as planned.

Both of our name labels can be applied quickly and easily by following a short set of instructions that go something like this:

1. Ensure the item is completely dry.
2. Carefully peel the label from the backing paper, trying to avoid touching the adhesive.
3. Apply the label onto the wash-care label of the item.
4. Using your thumb, smooth the label down for a few seconds to ensure that the adhesive fully bonds with the material.
Do not wash the item for at least 24 hours. This will allow the adhesive to continue to strengthen. After washing, do not be tempted to peel the label from the wet item in order to check the adhesion.

1. Ensure that the item is completely dry.
2. Carefully peel the label from the backing paper, trying to avoid touching the adhesive.
3. Using your thumb, smooth the label down for a few seconds to ensure that the adhesive fully bonds with the material.
Do not place in a dishwasher for at least 24 hours. This will allow the adhesive to continue to strengthen.

1. Use a hard flat surface (not an ironing board). Turn the clothes inside out. Set the iron to the maximum heat setting.
2. Cut or tear the silicon sheet. Each piece must be bigger than the labels. Each piece can only be used once.
3. Put the garment over the edge of the surface. Put a label text up on the very edge of the surface.
4. Put a piece of silicon paper on top of the label. The silicon must be shiny side down. The silicon should only be used once.
5. Iron the silicon paper with the tip of the iron. Press down and move the iron from side to side. Iron for 25 seconds, do not use steam.
6. Remove the silicon paper while still hot. Allow it to cool and check the label is bonded. If the label is not bonded then repeat step 5.

To ensure that you get the very best results we also advise that you do the following:
  • Ensure that the clothes you are labelling have been washed at least once before you apply your labels.
  • Ensure that you apply your STIKINS ® to the wash care label and that you don’t apply your TRONS ® to the wash care label.
  • Ensure that you apply your Stikins ® to the side or beneath the tongue of shoes and avoid applying them directly beneath the heel where the text will be worn away.
You can also find copies of our Instructions For Use on our website here.

Label Planet: Be Inspired By Nature - Autumn Labels To Match The Autumn Leaves

With Autumn in full swing, nature is full of colour as parks and gardens across the country burst into shades of red, orange, yellow, and gold. With such a colourful season upon us, now is the perfect time to get inspired by nature, particularly if you’re after a crafty project to keep you occupied as the nights draw in or you’re looking to give your products or promotional materials a special seasonal feel.

We’ve got a whole heap of labels for you can choose from but here’s our top picks to perfect your autumnal theme:
  • Pastel Red & Yellow: the red labels have a touch of orange to them, which makes them a perfect match for the autumn spectrum of red and orange, while the yellow labels are a lovely way to add a note of brightness. These labels are an easy way to add a light touch of colour to all kinds of items.
  • Metallic Gold: for a touch of shimmering autumn colour, our gold paper labels are a wonderfully decorative addition that brings a touch of gloss and shine that’s perfectly suited to this season (and the next!).
  • Crafty Kraft: our brown Kraft labels have a ribbed finish, which gives these labels a lovely touch of pattern and texture. Ideal for all kinds of projects, from home based arts and crafts to businesses who want to give their products a natural, homemade feel, these labels are an easy way to add a creative finishing touch.
  • Fluorescent Red, Orange & Yellow: of course, if you’re after something with a bit more colour to add a burst of brightness to the darker days and nights, you might want to give our Fluorescent Labels a try; these labels are a great way to create an explosion of colour, with red, orange, and yellow options available to suit the autumn season.
[Please note: our Pastel Coloured Labels and Kraft Labels are compatible with both inkjet and laser printers, while our Metallic Gold and Fluorescent Labels are compatible with laser printers only. All of our coloured label products can also be handwritten.]