Template Tuesday Presents: the TEN things you need to print your own labels.
NUMBER ONE: LABELS (!)
Whether your project is underway or you’re creating a few samples on a trial basis, you’ll need labels (or a sample) that you can print.
You can request a sample of our labels by contacting our Customer Service Team or filling in our online Sample Request Form.
You must make sure that your labels are compatible with the printer you intend to use – i.e. you need A4 sheets of laser labels if you have a laser printer and A4 sheets of inkjet labels if you have an inkjet printer.
We identify the printer compatibility of our self-adhesive labels on the relevant range and product pages and on the product packaging.
NUMBER TWO: PAPER
You should always test print your completed template onto blank paper BEFORE you print onto your labels proper, so you can correct any issues with your template or printer without wasting any of your label sheets.
NUMBER THREE: COMPUTER / LAPTOP / TABLET
You’ll need a computer/laptop/tablet that is connected to a …
NUMBER FOUR: PRINTER
All of our self-adhesive labels are supplied on A4 sheets so you can print your own labels using a standard desktop printer, whether that’s an inkjet printer, laser printer, or even a photocopier.
We’ll visit the topic of printers in more detail later on but for now we recommend using a printer with a media bypass tray and checking the printer’s manual to make sure it is suitable for printing labels and to see if the manufacturer has provided any specific guidelines for printing labels to ensure you get the best possible print alignment and quality.
NUMBER FIVE: SOFTWARE
You can use a wide range of software to design labels, from specialised label design packages to general design packages, or even non-design software that contains tools that can be used to design labels. Most people use whatever software is already installed on their device but you may want to invest in a package that is better suited to the task of designing labels.
We don’t recommend any particular software for designing labels; it is up to you to decide what software you are comfortable with and if you want to make the choice of sourcing (and learning to use) a more specialised design package.
If you are using non-design software, you need to be aware of its limitations – design tools included in non-design software tend to be less sophisticated than those contained in design software so you should tailor your label design to the tools available in your software and don’t expect it to perform beyond its capabilities.
Common examples of software used to design labels include: Microsoft Word (a word processor that contains some tools suitable for designing labels), and and Adobe InDesign (a graphics package that can be used to design labels).
NUMBER SIX: TEMPLATE
A template is simply a file that contains a representation of the labels you wish to print, so that you can “fill in” the template with your design and it will then be printed onto your labels in the correct position and layout. When printing labels you can use either a “built-in” or a “standalone” template; a built-in template is a template that is available as part of your software (such as the built-in templates that are available in Word) and a standalone template is a template that is available as an individual file that you open (and edit) using your software (such as the Word templates that you can download from our website).
If you want to use a standalone template you must make sure that it is compatible with your software – i.e. that your software can open and edit that file – see next week’s post for more information about the different types of templates available.
NUMBER SEVEN: IDEAS
It always helps to have an idea of what you want to include on your labels. If you’re creating simple text-only labels, then you basically need to make sure your text fits and choose a suitable font BUT if you’re creating something more complicated (e.g. product labels) you’ll need to know what content you want to include on your labels (e.g. logo, company details, product details etc) and how it will all fit together.
If you are creating labels with a more complicated design, we recommend getting your content together (e.g. typing out your text and selecting your images) and/or creating a basic sketch of what you want so that you can see how well (or not) your design will fit onto your labels.
NUMBER EIGHT: TIME
While you CAN set up a template and print your own labels in a matter of minutes, we always recommend setting aside plenty of time to design and print your labels – just in case something goes wrong. Whether you’re an expert or a beginner, it’s always possible that your template or your printer simply won’t play ball and you’ll end up needing a bit of time to sort things out – which, if you’ve left your labels to the last minute, can become a bit of a stressful nightmare!
NUMBER NINE: PATIENCE
Taking on the challenge of DIY labels means that you are totally responsible for setting up your template, your software, and your printer. It is extremely easy for one small setting to cause big problems BUT it’s also really easy to correct these issues – as long as you have a bit of patience and check things over carefully at each step of the process when designing and printing (and correcting) your own label template.
NUMBER TEN: THE LABEL PLANET HELP PAGES!
We’ve been working with labels and label templates for years and years (and years) and we’ve accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience along the way – we’ve used this information to create our help pages so our customers have all the help and advice they might need to hand in one useful (and completely free) resource.
The Label Planet help section includes step-by-step guides, FAQs, hints and tips, a handy troubleshooting guide (just in case), and our template section, which includes Word templates and PDF templates for all of the label sizes we supply.
Next week on Template Tuesday: The Different Types Of Templates (& How To Choose The Right One For You)