Our guide to the measurements you need to create label templates.
Whether you’ve decided to make your own label templates or you need to double check that existing label templates have the correct layout for your self adhesive labels, there are quite a lot of measurements that you need to know about to make sure that your label template matches your A4 labels perfectly.
Measurements You Need To Know To Make Sure Your Label Templates Measure Up
Unit Of Measurement
First of all, you need to know what unit of measurement you need to use. It’s best to use the same unit of measurement to measure your A4 labels and your label templates (so there’s no chance of errors happening as you convert between the two). UK sheet labels are manufactured using a page size of A4 (see below) and measurements tend to be given in millimetres.
If you have sheet labels or label templates that use inches, you should check if they were intended for use in the US. Here the page size is American Letter and measurements are usually given in inches.
You should always, always make sure that your label templates are set up with the correct page size. Even if you set up the rest of your label templates correctly, your alignment will be ruined as soon as you try to print. This is because your printer will scale your label templates to the wrong page size, stretching or shrinking your designs and printing them in the wrong place.
Sheet labels for the UK market are manufactured using the A4 page size. Standard label sizes are determined by the number of blank labels that will fit onto a sheet with as little waste material in between and/or around the labels as possible. Sheet labels for the US market, however, are manufactured using the American Letter page size.
Therefore, if you have a label template using a UK label size and a US page size (or a US label size and a UK page size), your printed labels will never have the correct alignment.
Number Of Blank Labels Per Column & Number Of Blank Labels Per Row
This isn’t a measurement of your self adhesive labels themselves BUT it is a quick way to make sure that the basic structure of your label templates are correct.
Label Width & Label Height
You need to know the exact width and height of your self adhesive labels; for most label sizes and shapes this will simply be the width at the widest point of each label and the height at the tallest point of each label.
Rectangular labels and square labels are measured from the left hand edge to the right hand edge to produce the width and from the top edge to the bottom edge to produce the height. For round labels the width and height are the diameter of each circular label, while for oval labels the width is the measurement between the widest points of each oval label and the height is the measurement between the tallest points of each oval label.
Rectangular labels and square labels may also have an additional measurement, which indicates how rounded the corners are on a particular shape. This is called the corner radius; generally speaking, you won’t need to know this measurement unless you are using label design software or graphics software. Usually label templates will default to corners without a radius, which means that your added design will simply “bleed” over the radius corners and the full area of your blank labels will be printed anyway.
Horizontal Pitch & Vertical Pitch
Pitch means the measurement from the leading edge of one label to the leading edge of the label next to or directly below the first label. In other words, this measurement accounts for the width or height of your blank labels PLUS any gaps between the rows and columns of your A4 labels.
The horizontal pitch, therefore, is width of each label plus the width of the gaps between the columns – it is the measurement from the left edge of the first label (in column 1) to the left edge of the label next to it (in column 2). If there is no gap between the columns, the horizontal pitch will be the same as the width.
The vertical pitch is the height of each label plus the height of the gaps between the rows – it is the measurement from the top edge of the first label (in row 1) to the top edge of the label below it (in row 2). If there is no gap between the columns, the vertical pitch will be the same as the height.
Stepped Columns & Rows
Pitch measurements assume that your blank labels are aligned into equal rows and columns. If your A4 labels contain different label sizes, you won’t have consistent horizontal and vertical pitches. Likewise, non-standard label shapes (including circles and ovals) may be arranged into an interlocking layout to allow more blank labels to fit onto a single sheet – again, you won’t have consistent horizontal and vertical pitches, although a “stepped” layout may have been used.
In stepped layouts, the blank labels may be arranged into equal columns (or rows) but the starting point of alternating columns (or rows) is moved (or “stepped”) to a different point to allow the columns to “interlock” – meaning more blank labels can be included on the one sheet.
For example, in our LP4/100R label size the four labels sit in two columns but the second column has been moved upwards to allow the circles to interlock. The second column is “stepped up” by 56.4mm (the top edge of the leading label in column 2 is 56.4mm higher than the top edge of the leading label in column 1) and “stepped across” by 92mm (the left edge of the leading label in column 2 is 92mm across from the left edge of the leading label in column 1).
Page Margins (Top, Bottom, Left, Right)
The page margins account for any blank areas around the edges of your sheets; they measure the distance from each edge of your sheets to the leading edge of the row or column of labels closest to that edge. Essentially, these margins are used in label templates to determine where the content of a sheet begins (i.e. where your label designs start in your label template).
There are four margins; top, bottom, left, and right – usually the top and bottom margins will be equal and the left and right margins will be equal (as sheet labels tend to be positioned centrally on an A4 sheet). A4 labels with an off centre (off set) layout will have unequal margins and you will need to make sure this is accounted for both in your label template AND when you load your A4 labels into your printer.
If there is NO blank area (also known as a selvedge) along an edge then you need to set that particular margin to 0mm.
If you encounter an alignment issue whereby all of your labels are misaligned in the SAME direction by the SAME amount, you can quickly correct this by increasing or decreasing the top and/or left page margins as needed.
Find Measurements For Label Planet’s Self Adhesive Labels
If you’ve bought self adhesive labels from Label Planet and want to know the measurements of your label size, you can – of course – whip out your trusty ruler and start measuring. Alternatively, you can visit the template information page for your label size as we have included detailed measurements for all of our A4 labels on our website. Visit the product page of your self adhesive labels and click on the “Label Templates And Printing Information” link below the product image OR head on over to our Label Templates Home Page and select your label shape and label size.
If you have any questions or queries about label sizes and measurements for label templates, you can also get in touch with our Customer Service Team for further advice.