Template Tuesday Presents...our top tips to help you create your own Christmas labels with as little chaos as possible!
Christmas Labels – Pick Labels That Are Practical & Pretty
Choosing the right label size and material will get you off to a cracker of a start!
- Matt white paper labels are cheapest and most readily available. If you need to save money, time, or just want to keep things simple, paper labels are the way to go!
- For a little more luxury, try premium quality paper labels (perfect for high resolution artwork) or photo gloss paper labels (for a touch of seasonal shimmer).
- Coloured labels are a super way to create decorative Christmas labels without resorting to more complicated designs. Gold labels and silver labels give a great festive finish, while brown Kraft labels create a natural, home-made finish. Add a bright burst of colour with fluorescent labels or a subtle bloom of colour with pastel labels.
- If you’re labelling decorative surfaces, transparent labels are a perfect way to side-step colour-matching issues and avoid covering up existing designs.
- Shaped labels (e.g. round labels and oval labels) have a more decorative appearance BUT are trickier to print than rectangle labels and square labels.
- Pick a size that is “just right”; too big and your Christmas labels will take up too much room BUT too small and you’ll end up with messy, cluttered Christmas labels that are difficult to read.
- Type up your text and/or sketch out your design to get a rough idea of how much room you need. Grab a ruler and measure how much space is available on the item(s) you need to label. Put the two together to find a suitable size!
- Standard label sizes will be more readily available so you may need to be flexible with your sizing to avoid the costs and lead-times involved in having bespoke labels made to order.
Christmas Labels – Avoid Troublesome Templates & Disastrous Designs
Choosing the right template and keeping your design simple is a must for the chaos-free creation of Christmas labels.
- Standalone templates need to be opened with compatible software. Label Planet supplies Word templates for use with word processing software like Word, Word For Mac, and Pages, and PDF templates for graphics software like Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop.
- Word templates cannot show any shaping such as radius (curved) corners or the outline of round labels / oval labels.
- Use software that is familiar to you and don’t waste time struggling with software and templates that you don’t know how to use!
- Use a mail merge to create Christmas address labels.
- Keep your design simple; this creates clutter-free Christmas labels in a fraction of the time!
- Avoid borders, which emphasise any misalignment when you print. Alternatively, make your border as big as possible so it safely overlaps the edges of your labels.
- Oversize coloured backgrounds to avoid “white edging” – where slightly misaligned designs leave blank areas at the edges of your labels. This technique works best if there are gaps all the way around your labels. If your labels touch along one or more edges, you need to make sure the colour matches along each edge to hide the overlap.
- Centralise your design to make it easier to get a great alignment when you print. For alternative alignments (e.g. left aligned address labels), take care with where your design starts and finishes at the edges of your labels.
- To create identical (or similar) labels, add your design to the top left label and use copy and paste to complete your template more quickly and accurately compared to creating your design from scratch in each individual label.
Christmas Labels – Prepare For Printing Carefully
Most template problems occur at the point of printing. Follow these simple steps to get the best possible print on your Christmas labels.
- Fan your sheets to remove static build up and load them neatly into the media bypass tray (if your printer has one). This tray is usually located just above or below the main paper tray and is designed for thicker print media (like labels) and offers a straighter path through the printer (improving print alignment).
- Go into Printer Properties / Printing Preferences: select an A4 page size, a suitable media type/weight (e.g. Labels/Heavy Paper), turn off scaling options (e.g. less than 100% and “Fit to…” options), and set your printer to use manual rather than default print settings (e.g. turn off “Ignore Printer Settings” and “Use Default/Driver Settings”).
- Do a test print! Set up your printer exactly as you would to print onto labels BUT load a sheet of paper instead. Hold your test print against your labels and (carefully) hold both up to a light source to check the alignment.
- If your labels are all misaligned in the SAME direction by the SAME amount, alter the page margins of your template. Or, if your designs are too high or low, increase or decrease the top page margin. If they are too far left or right, increase or decrease the left page margin.
- If the alignment gets progressively worse down/across/out from the centre, you either have a scaling problem (check your print settings as above) OR there may be an issue with your template (double check its measurements).
Next Week On Template Tuesday: Christmas Tips – How To Get Crafty This Christmas & Create Your Own Festive Stickers & Gift Tags