The Template Tuesday Guide To…The Different Types Of Label Templates

February 19th, 2019

This week, we present the Template Tuesday guide to different types of label templates; including different file formats, orientations, and bleed templates.

types of label templates made by label planet

Why Are There Different Types Of Label Templates?

There are different types of label templates because they need to be used with different software, to print different types of labels, and to create different designs.

Label templates can be standalone or built-in; standalone templates are individual files that must be opened using software / applications, while built-in templates are part of software / applications.

Standalone label templates often come in various file formats (a file format is the technical standard used to encode information for storage in a computer file); this is because software / applications can usually only read (open) and edit (change) certain file formats – so templates need to be available in formats that work with available software.

Label templates may show a single label layout (which is replicated during printing) or a multiple label layout. The latter can only be used when printing sheet labels, while the former can be used for sheet labels or roll labels.

Different designs are easier to create and print accurately in different types of label templates. A common example is portrait and landscape templates. If you want to create a design that relies on your sheet labels being in a portrait orientation (or landscape), it makes sense to use a portrait (or landscape) label template – so you don’t have to turn your head to get an idea of what your design actually looks like! Another common example is bleed templates; these templates use blank areas around and between labels to allow coloured backgrounds and borders to be oversized – so they bleed over the edges of the labels – to avoid a printing issue known as “white edging”. White edging occurs when a design doesn’t line up perfectly with a label, leaving areas around the edges of the labels unprinted.

So What Are The Different Types Of Label Templates – And When Should Each One Be Used?

Built-In Label Templates

These templates are part of (built into) your software / application. A common example is the Avery templates built-in to Microsoft Word. These templates can be a great option if they are compatible with the labels you want to print (i.e. they show the same label size and layout). They will be completely compatible with your software (because they are part of your software!), which means they’re really easy to use and often give you more control and design options – compared to importing a standalone file. However, they may also be subject to restrictions – especially in terms of available label sizes. In other words, if there isn’t a built-in template compatible with your labels, you cannot use a built-in template. You also have to rely on the accuracy of the built-in template in terms of the measurements used – some built-in templates may not allow you to change the measurements, which means if there is even the smallest discrepancy between the measurements of the template and those of your labels, you won’t get the correct alignment when you print your template.

Standalone Label Templates

These individual files must be opened using software / applications. Your standalone template must have a file format that is compatible with your software. For example, two common file formats are .docx and .pdf. The .docx format is the default file format for Microsoft Word; it can also be read and edited by other word processing software, including Pages and Word for Mac. You can open and edit .docx templates using any of these software / applications. The .pdf format is used for PDF files and can be read and edited by a range of graphics software, including InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator.

Standalone templates tend to be available for more label sizes, compared to built-in templates. We’ve created standalone label templates (in Word and PDF file formats) for all of our label sizes – that’s over 100 label sizes!

The measurements of standalone templates can usually be edited (great for making slight adjustments to get the perfect alignment), although they can run into compatibility issues with some software.

Some features and tools of your software may not be available when using standalone templates (that are available for built-in templates). This is because your software will recognise built-in templates as templates and allow you to use related tools freely. It may not recognise standalone templates as templates, and so may block certain tools related to designing templates.

Some software will put standalone files through a compatibility process; this usually happens when your template uses a format that is not the default file format of your software. Your software may convert your template to allow it to read and edit the file correctly. Unfortunately, the conversion process can involve changes being made, which is especially problematic if the measurements of your template get altered.

Single Label Templates

These label templates show the outline of a single label; they can be used to print roll labels and sheet labels, where the design is replicated onto all of your labels during the printing process. Single label templates are more likely to be built-in templates rather than standalone files, although both are available. These templates can be much quicker and simpler to use (as you only need to add a design to one label), however, they may not offer the greatest level of control over the accuracy of positioning they offer during the printing process. Label design software often uses this kind of template – and will offer greater control over the positioning of your replicated designs. However, if you are using any other type of software, you may find that you have little or no control over this positioning. You may also want to avoid this type of template if you want to create labels with different designs or that share a design but have small variations.

Sheet Label Templates

These label templates show the layout of a sheet of labels; they are commonly used for built-in and standalone templates. Some software may provide tools that allow you to automatically replicate a single design across the entire sheet – otherwise, you will usually need to replicate your design manually using copy and paste. Sheet templates give you the flexibility to create different designs on every label OR to create labels that share a design but have slight variations. They are also more likely to give you more control over the measurements of your template, allowing you to make small adjustments to get the best possible alignment when you print your labels.

Portrait & Landscape Label Templates

These templates may refer to the orientation of your labels (single label template) or sheet of labels (sheet label templates). Most label templates use a portrait orientation; for most users, this is fine because labels are generally created with the portrait orientation in mind – meaning that most people will want to print their labels using the portrait orientation. If, however, you’d prefer a landscape orientation, it is much simpler to use a landscape template than to try to use a portrait orientation and continually tilt your head.

Bleed Label Templates

Finally, bleed label templates are intended to help when designing label designs with full colour backgrounds and/or borders. They are only available for label sizes and layouts with gaps ALL THE WAY AROUND each label. Bleed templates use these blank areas to create “bleed areas”; you can then oversize your design to extend beyond the edges of each label – into the bleed area. This means that when you print your labels, you won’t end up with any “white edging” – a printing defect whereby any slight misalignment between a design and a label results in the part of the edges of that label being left unprinted.

Bleed templates tend to be used when printing irregular label shapes – such as round labels and oval labels – where it can be tricky to get a design to line up perfectly with each label. They are a great way to speed up the process of adding full colour designs to labels – and avoiding the problems of white edging.

At Label Planet, we supply bleed templates for all of our label layouts that feature blank areas around each label.

Next Week On Template Tuesday: The Template Tuesday Guide To…The Measurements You Need To Make Sure Your Label Templates Measure Up!

Template Tuesday Definitions – What Are Label Templates?

February 12th, 2019

This Template Tuesday we are going back to basics by taking a look at the question “What Is A Label Template?”. Read on for our definition of label templates (and the many forms they take).

what are label templates

What Is A Template?

To truly go back to basics, first we need to define a “template”.

A template is a document used in electronic or paper based media, which has a pre-determined page layout and style. The document can be edited to produce a finished document based on that page layout and style. A template will indicate where the user should add specific page elements to complete their finished document and may contain standard or sample text and/or images if required.

For example, a template used to create a letter could contain indicators for where to add the recipient’s address, a greeting line, a date, and a signature. It may also include a pre-determined header and/or footer, which could contain a company’s logo and contact information.

Templates are designed to save time and allow multiple new documents to be created, which share an existing design, pattern, or style.

What Is A Label Template?

A label template, therefore, is a document, which has a pre-determined layout based on the labels that the template is to be used to print. In other words, a label template indicates where a user should add their design(s) to ensure that those designs print in the correct position when the template is used to print their labels.

Label templates can be used to print a range of label formats – including labels supplied on rolls and on sheets. Therefore, a label template can either represent the layout of a sheet of labels OR an individual label (and its position relative to the other labels on a roll or sheet).

Label templates are excellent time savers; with a template, a user simply starts adding their design, without having to spend time setting up a template that reflects the measurements and layout of the labels they need to print. They are also a useful way to create additional sets of labels that need to share an existing design but contain slightly different information or design elements. Label templates can also be combined with mail merge tools to allow a template to be combined with a data source (such as a list of addresses or product details) to create a set of labels that share a common design but contain individual sets of information.

So How Many Different Types Of Label Templates Are There?

Essentially, there are two main types of label templates; standalone and built-in. A standalone template is an individual file, which needs to be opened using an application or software. Built-in templates are already part of (i.e. built in to) an application or software.

Label templates can also come in different file formats; a file format refers to the technical standard used to encode information for storage in a computer file. Common file formats used for label templates include .docx (the file format used by Microsoft Word and other word processing software) and .pdf (a file format used by graphics packages).

There are further subdivisions of label templates, including options for portrait or landscape orientations and bleed templates – which are used to print full colour backgrounds and/or borders.

At Label Planet, we supply standalone templates in both Word and PDF formats for all of the label sizes that we supply. We also supply options for portrait, landscape, and bleed templates where possible. You can download any of these templates by visiting our Label Template Home page; select your label shape and then your label size to visit the template information page for your labels. Our download links can be found in the middle of the page and are purple in colour.

Where possible, we also list compatible Avery codes on our product pages, range pages, and template information pages. A compatible code means that Avery supply labels of the same label size and layout as we do; this means that you can print Label Planet labels with a built in Avery template (or even Avery labels with a Label Planet template).

Next Week On Template Tuesday: The Template Tuesday Guide To…The Different Types Of Label Templates 

Template Tuesday FAQs – What Software Do You Need To Print Your Own Adhesive Labels?

February 5th, 2019

This week’s Template Tuesday talks through all of the different software and application options you can use to print your own self adhesive labels.

software for printing adhesive labels

Can I Use Any Software To Print Self Adhesive Labels?

There are plenty of applications / software that you could probably use to print your own self adhesive labels. All you really need is the ability to position a design in the correct place.

However, for practicality, it’s best to use software suitable for design-based tasks. This could be general design tasks or the specific task of designing labels. The two key things you need are design tools (to add designs) and layout tools (to accurately position your designs).

This doesn’t mean that you need to go out and purchase label design software; there are plenty of suitable alternatives – you may even have suitable software already installed on your computer.

So What Software Can I Use To Print Self Adhesive Labels?

We would recommend THREE kinds of software for designing and printing your own label templates.

LABEL DESIGN SOFTWARE: obviously, software developed for the purpose of designing and printing labels is ideal. However, not everyone has label design software – or the time / resources to buy (and learn how to use) a label design package. There are cheaper – and free – alternatives, such as Avery’s Design & Print software, although there may be restrictions that you have to work around. For example, you can only use Design & Print if you are printing a label size / layout that Avery supply.

Examples include Avery Design & Print.

DESIGN SOFTWARE: general design software is an ideal alternative – especially for image-heavy designs. This software tends to contain more complex design tools and offers great control, precision, and flexibility when positioning your designs. Design software can be more expensive (although cheaper / free options are available) and may require more time to familiarise yourself with the tools available.

Examples include InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop.

PAGE LAYOUT SOFTWARE / WORD PROCESSING SOFTWARE: another alternative is page layout software or word processing software with page layout tools. These tools allow you to arrange items within a particular layout (such as an A4 sheet). This software usually contains some design tools, which should allow you to add and position your design(s). Many people are familiar with these types of software (and have access to them). The main drawback is that this type of software may have more basic design tools and limited control, precision, and flexibility when positioning your designs.

Examples include Publisher, Word / Word For Mac, and Pages.

So What Software Should I Choose To Print Self Adhesive Labels?

When choosing software to design and print your own self adhesive labels, we recommend following this quick checklist:

What Software Do You Have Available?

If you already have software that you are familiar with, that can do a decent job of design based tasks, there may be little point in looking any further.

What Design Tools & Page Layout Tools Are Available?

Check what tools are available to you – and how much control, precision, and flexibility they offer. If you only have access to basic tools, you may need to simplify your design to make it achievable. Software intended for design / page layout tasks is likely to offer more advanced tools that allow you to create more complex designs.

Are There Label Templates Available For That Software?

Some software may have been developed with the specific task of designing and printing labels in mind. This won’t necessarily be exclusive to label design software as many applications contain label design tools. A common example is Microsoft Word, which contains a variety of tools for designing and printing labels. Software intended for designing and printing labels may also contain built-in label templates. Alternatively, if you can find standalone label templates intended for use with a particular application / software, it is probably a good bet that that software is a good choice for the task in hand. At Label Planet, we supply label templates for all of our label sizes, suitable for use with Word (and other word processors) and graphics packages.

How Familiar Are You With The Software?

Never underestimate how important it is to be familiar and confident with software when it comes to completing a specific task. If you’ve never used a particular application / software to design and print labels before, you may be surprised at how long it can take to familiarise yourself with the tools you need to use to create your label design. Choosing more advanced software simply because it offers more advanced tools won’t do you any good if you have to spend hours learning how to use it – especially if you have simpler software that can do a good enough job and that you are confident using.

Do You Have A Budget For Additional Software?

Of course, if you do have a budget available for sourcing new software (and the time to learn how to use it) – and you expect to use it on a regular basis – then it may well be worth investing in more advanced software. Check the specifications of any software you are considering to ensure that it is appropriate for the task of designing and printing your own labels. Many companies also offer free trial versions so you can give their software a go before you buy.

Next Week On Template Tuesday: Template Tuesday FAQs – What Is A Label Template? 

The Template Tuesday Guide To…The Benefits And Drawbacks Of Different Label Shapes And Sizes

January 29th, 2019

Self adhesive labels come in a range of different shapes and sizes – but did you know there are benefits and drawbacks of using particular shapes and sizes? In this Template Tuesday post, we’ll explain what the benefits and drawbacks of different label shapes and sizes are – and give you a few top tips to get the most out of each one.

label sizes and shapes

Template Tuesday’s Guide To Rectangular Labels & Square Labels

First, we’ll take a look at rectangles and squares.

THE BENEFITS

Rectangular labels and square labels have TWO key benefits over other label shapes:

  1. They are much simpler to design and print accurately.
  2. They tend to be standard label sizes.

Rectangles and squares are pretty basic shapes, which means that your design doesn’t have to take into account any unusual shaping. In fact, the most shaping that you might find on rectangular labels and square labels is at the corners; some labels will have radius or curved corners (rather than a pointed corner). Whether you use rounded or square cut corners is usually a case of personal preference; some believe that the rounded corner offers a more decorative and pleasing appearance. Rounded corners also have the practical benefit of being easier to remove from their backing sheets (and some square cut layouts can be problematic – see below). Rectangles and squares offer you plenty of space to add designs, which means that they’re great for more practical purposes (such as displaying product information, address information, and instructions for use) as well as decorative purposes.

Standard label sizes have a number of practical benefits because they are manufactured in huge volumes on a regular basis. This means that these label sizes are more likely to be stocked (so they’re easier and quicker to get hold of), are more likely to be available in a wider range of material and adhesive options, and may also be cheaper products to buy compared to other label shapes.

THE DRAWBACKS

The main drawback is the layouts used for rectangular and square labels; they are often designed to have as little waste material as possible. There may be no (or very narrow) gaps around or between the labels. This can cause two kinds of printing problems.

Most standard printers cannot print all the way to the edges of an A4 sheet, which creates an “unprintable area”. If your labels sit within this area, your design must not use this space.

Some printers offer “Edge-to-edge” or “Borderless” printing, which prints the full area of an A4 sheet. If you do not have this option, you need to ensure your design doesn’t use the unprintable area. A quick way to determine this area is to print an A4 document with a colour background that fills the page. Any area that remains unprinted is the unprintable area. 

The other problem is coloured backgrounds and borders. It is quite difficult to align EVERY design perfectly onto EVERY label using standard printers. When a design doesn’t quite align perfectly, strips around the edge (or edges) of a label go unprinted. This is called white edging because most labels are white in colour, which creates unprinted white areas.

The easiest way to overcome this issue is to oversize designs so they bleed over the edges. When (some of) the edges of your labels are touching, however, tyou end up bleeding your design over the edge of one label onto another.

You can only use this technique with a single colour background or border (or a pattern that is easy to match). This way, you bleed over onto an adjoining label BUT the colour is the same so you cannot see the overlap.

TOP TIPS

  • As rectangles and squares give you so much space to fill, it’s a good idea to think carefully about the layout and alignment of your design so that your labels don’t end up lopsided or content-heavy in certain areas. Space out the elements of your design to create a clean and uncluttered finish.
  • If you wish to add a full coloured background and/or border, you need to use a single colour to avoid problems with white edging and overlapping designs.
  • Take special care with label layouts where the blank labels sit very close to or at the edges of your A4 sheets.

Template Tuesday’s Guide To Round Labels & Oval Labels

Next, we’re looking at round labels and oval labels.

THE BENEFITS

Perhaps the key benefit of round labels and oval labels is that they are a more decorative option. Circles and ovals are especially popular for use as decorative stickers, badges, and tags. They also have a practical benefit in that they have to have gaps all the way around each label; this means that there is (usually) plenty of “bleed area”, which makes it easier to add full colour background and borders to your designs – without the problems of white edging occurring.

THE DRAWBACKS

Unfortunately, the main benefit is also the main drawback as the curved shaping of round labels and oval labels makes them more difficult to design and print accurately. Most printers are limited in the accuracy of positioning they can produce, making it difficult to align every design perfectly – the problem with round labels and oval labels is that their shaping can make any very slight misalignment all the more obvious. This is especially problematic if you want to add a border (which is a popular choice for round labels and oval labels).

Label templates can also prove to be a little trickier to work with – especially Word templates. While PDF templates show the outline of circular labels and oval labels, Word templates are not sophisticated enough to do the same. Instead, a grid made up of squares or rectangles is used to indicate the relative position of each label. Each round or oval label will fit inside each square or rectangular cell of the table, so that its outermost points touch the four sides of the cell. This compromise does mean that you may need to do a few test prints onto paper and make adjustments on a trial and error basis to get the best possible alignment.

An additional drawback is that round and oval label sizes are not as commonplace as rectangles and squares, which means that there may be limited options in terms of the stock, material options, and support available. In particular, you may struggle to find label templates and printing advice – although at Label Planet, we supply label templates for ALL of our label sizes and you’ll find plenty of tips for working with round and oval shapes on our website.

TOP TIPS

  • We recommend using a centralised design to create a balanced appearance for your sticky labels.
  • Avoid borders if you can BUT if you wish to include one, we recommend making it as thick as you can (without impacting your overall design) so that it is easy to overlap all the way around the edge of each label.
  • Designs containing coloured backgrounds (and borders) should be slightly oversized, so that they overlap each label making it impossible for white edging to appear.
  • While you should ALWAYS test print ANY label template, we particularly recommend test printing round label and oval label templates to ensure that the alignment of EVERY label on your sheet is acceptable.

Template Tuesday’s Guide To Large Label Sizes Versus Small Label Sizes

THE BENEFITS

Technically speaking, there aren’t really strong benefits or drawbacks for different label sizes because you should obviously choose a size that will a) fit onto whatever item you need to label and b) give you enough room for the design and/or text you want to add. Larger labels will obviously give you more space to work with but if a smaller size works better for your application then you simply need to use a smaller size. Try measuring the surface area available on your items to determine the largest size you could possibly use, check one sizes are available to you, and then select one that will neatly contain your design AND look good on your labelled items.

One thing to think about is the option of using multiple smaller labels rather than one larger label. While many people are tempted to simply include EVERYTHING on one label, this can be a cluttered and unpleasing way to label items. You end up plastering a larger label over your items and your design may end up cramming in a lot of your information. Why not consider using a number of smaller labels to break up your information and create a cleaner, more pleasing set of labels. For example, if you are creating product labels for jars of food, instead of trying to find a huge, long label you can wrap around each jar, why not use a “front” label and a “back” labels (or even a “lid” label) to space things out.

THE DRAWBACKS

There are two key drawbacks to mention:

  1. Large labels can be slightly trickier to apply; we’ve all the experience of a label starting to roll up or crease as we apply it – which is a much more common issue with larger labels compared to smaller ones.
  2. Smaller labels can be slightly harder to align accurately. There are more labels on a sheet, which means that any slight misalignment in each row and/or column of labels will be replicated down/across the sheet, which has an accumulative effect on the alignment of your sheet of printed labels. This simply means that you will need to take more time and care preparing label templates for smaller sizes – and you may need to use a bit of trial and error (and test prints!) to get the best possible alignment for EVERY label on your sheet.

TOP TIPS

Take some time to consider how much information you need to include on your labels to determine if you can get away with using one label or if multiple labels would be better. We recommend making a quick sketch of your design on paper so you can estimate how much room you need and try out a few alternatives before committing to spending time designing and printing a label template. Take care with smaller label sizes and always, always, always do a test print first to check for any potential issues or problems before printing onto your labels directly.

Next Week On Template Tuesday: Template Tuesday FAQs – What Software Do You Need To Print Your Own Adhesive Labels?

How To – Find Everything You Need To Design & Print Self Adhesive Labels On The Label Planet Website

January 22nd, 2019

Here at Label Planet, we aim to supply our customers with self adhesive labels AND all the useful extras they might need to design and print those sticky labels. Our website includes label templates, help & advice for beginners and experts, and plenty of troubleshooting tips to help you get out of trouble if you need it!

label templates and essential extras from label planet

Find & Download Label Templates From The Label Planet Website

We’ve created our own label templates for ALL of the label sizes that we supply. These include Word templates and PDF templates. Each label size has its own individual template information page, which contains download links for the relevant label templates, along with detailed measurement information and top tips for printing that particular shape and size.

There are TWO ways to find a label template for each label size on our website.

  1. Use the Label Templates home page.
    At the top of our website, you will see a text link called “Label Templates”, which will take you to the Label Templates home page. Select your label shape from the six options available. Then select your label size from the table, which is sorted by number of labels per sheet.
  1. Use the product page.
    If you have ordered self adhesive labels from us, visit the product page of the item(s) you ordered and click on the purple “Label Templates And Printing Information” link below the product image.

Download links for our label templates can be found in the middle of each template information page. They are grouped into Word templates and PDF templates, with options for portrait/landscape orientations, text box and mirrored text box templates, and bleed templates. To download a template, simply click on the purple link. Word templates automatically save to your Downloads folder (if you are prompted to Open or Save your template, please select Save). PDF templates open in a new browser tab. Save a copy of the template to your device using the Download icon.

A Guide To The Help Available On The Label Planet Website

We have grouped all of our help pages into one Help Section; again, you will find a text link to this section at the top of our website. These pages include a range of useful resources to help you design and print your own self adhesive labels…

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to the FAQs we receive from our customers. This section includes questions (and answers) about designing and printing labels, along with despatch information, choosing self adhesive labels, types of adhesive labels, and payments and refunds.

Free Sample Request Service

Our sample request service allows you to try our adhesive labels before you buy. You can test our products to ensure that they will do the job you need them to do. It’s also a great way to have a trial run at printing your label templates.

Label Material Specification Sheets

These provide more detailed information about the materials used to make our products. You’ll find detailed information about the weights / thicknesses of our materials, which can be useful if you’re trying to determine if your printer can handle heavier / thicker media like sticky labels.

Label Templates

You can also visit our Label Templates home page via our Help Section.

Top Tips (Dos & Don’ts)

These top tips help to prevent the most common problems that people encounter when printing their own self adhesive labels.

Guide To Designing & Printing Labels

Our step-by-step guide to designing and printing your own adhesive labels provides a short and simple guide to the steps involved – along with a few top tips.

Guide To Designing & Printing Round Labels / Oval Labels

This guide focuses on round labels and oval labels, which tend to be slightly trickier to design and print accurately due to their curved shaping.

Guide To Printing Mirrored Text & Images

If you need to print window stickers onto transparent labels, this guide explains how to set up a template so that your adhesive labels will read correctly when viewed from the opposite side. For example, you may need to stick stickers onto the inside of a window that will be viewed from the outside.

Troubleshooting Guide

This guide aims to provide you with the top troubleshooting tips that you might need to tackle a troublesome template. Our troubleshooting tips include advice for problems that occur BEFORE and AFTER you start printing.

Avery Codes (with compatible Label Planet label sizes)

Look up an Avery code to see if Label Planet supply self adhesive labels in that label size.

Label Planet Codes (with compatible Avery label sizes)

Look up a Label Planet code to see if it is compatible with an Avery labels template code.

Glossary Of Label Terms

The labelling industry is full of terms that you may never have heard of before. We’ve created a short glossary of labelling terms and written a definition for each.

Get Started Designing & Printing Your Own Label Templates Today

Our Help section and label templates are completely free resources for anyone to use.

Why not bookmark the pages that you find useful? Or send a link to friends or colleagues who have asked for advice. Remember, you can also get in touch with our Customer Service Team for one to one advice. We’ve spent years working with labels and label templates, which means that we’ve got plenty of tips and tricks to make it even easier to design and print your own labels – all you have to do is ask!

Next Week On Template Tuesday: The Template Tuesday Guide To…The Benefits And Drawbacks Of Different Label Shapes And Sizes

Getting Started – The FOUR Things You Need To Design & Print Your Own Self Adhesive Labels

January 15th, 2019

This week’s Template Tuesday is all about the FOUR things you need to design and print your own self adhesive labels; suitably sticky labels, suitable software, a suitable label template, and a suitable printer.

things you need to print label templates

The Four Things You Need

Obviously, if you want to design and print your own sticky labels you will need…

  • Some suitable sticky labels – to print on!
  • Some suitable software – to design your labels!
  • A suitable label template – to indicate where you need to position your designs so they print onto your labels!
  • A suitable printer – to print your labels!

You may have noticed that we’ve used the word “suitable” quite a lot. You need to use the right labels, software, template, and printer to successfully design and print your own sticky labels. But what makes labels, software, templates, and printers “suitable”? Read on to find out!

Sticky Labels

Most people have access to a standard desktop printer. You therefore need to source sticky labels on A4 sheets. You also need to choose printer labels that are suitable for your particular type of printer – laser or inkjet.

At Label Planet, we list printer compatibility on our range pages, product pages, information pages, and product packaging.

Laser labels are designed for LASER printers. Laser printers use heat and pressure to bond a dry powder called “toner” onto surfaces. This means laser labels need to have a smooth, even surface to ensure a successful bond. Paper laser labels also contain more moisture; this helps to prevent the paper being damaged by the heat produced within a laser printer. In fact, most laser labels also have great heat resistance for this very reason.

Inkjet labels are designed for INKJET printers. Inkjet printers disperse inks onto surfaces, where they are slightly absorbed into the surface before drying in place. To ensure that the inks dry efficiently, and in the correct position, inkjet labels will therefore have a slightly absorbent surface.

Please note: some self adhesive labels are made with materials that suit BOTH printing process.

Suitable Software

Next, you need to source suitable software – software that is suitable for DESIGN-based tasks, such as designing sticky labels. Many applications and software can be used for this purpose. All you really need are design tools and layout tools (so you can position each design in line with a blank label).

The most suitable software is label design software. Unfortunately, this tends to be pretty specialised (and expensive) software that you are unlikely to already have on your computer / device.

General design software can be a useful option. A lot of design software includes design tools for specific kinds of documents and media – including self adhesive labels. It also provides plenty of design tools and layout tools that offer great control and accuracy for positioning your designs. However, design software can be more expensive (free options are available) and tends to be more complicated to use. If you’ve never used a design package before, it may prove to be too time consuming to learn how to go about adding your designs.

In our experience, most people use Microsoft Word (or similar word processors). Word processors are designed to insert, edit, and arrange text. However, they may also include a limited set of design tools and, as in Microsoft Word, LABEL design tools. While Word certainly doesn’t offer complex design tools nor the greatest level of precision and control, it can create relatively high quality label designs AND most people have enough experience with Word to print a set of labels quickly and easily enough.

We recommend taking a look at your existing software to see if you already have something suitable. Choose software that provides good design tools and ease of use. If you don’t have suitable software available, you will need to source something appropriate.

Label Templates

A label template provides the layout of your self adhesive labels. For A4 labels, they show the position of each blank label on an A4 sheet. Your label template should be compatible with your sticky labels – i.e. it should show the same label size and layout.

Label templates can be built-in or standalone. Built-in label templates are part of your software. For example, Word contains various sets of label templates (including Avery templates), which can be accessed by clicking on the Mailings tab and selecting Labels. Standalone label templates are individual files, which you need to open using your software. At Label Planet we supply standalone Word and PDF label templates for all of our label sizes.

You also need to make sure that your template is compatible with your software. The file must be in a file format that your software can open and edit (make changes to). For example, we supply Word templates and PDF templates. Our Word templates are compatible with any word processing software that can edit the .docx file format – this includes Microsoft Word, Word For Mac, and Pages. Our PDF templates are compatible with any design software that can edit the .pdf file format – this includes InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop.

Please note: PDF readers will OPEN a PDF template but won’t allow you to make any changes (e.g. to add your design). To EDIT a PDF template, you will need to use a graphics package.

Suitable Printers

As we’ve mentioned, you need to print laser labels with laser printers and inkjet labels with inkjet printers – but what else makes a printer “suitable” for printing self adhesive labels?

Perhaps the most important factor is whether your printer was designed for printing self adhesive labels. Sheet labels are very different to sheets of paper. They require careful handling and a more specific printing process to get high quality print results. Printers designed for printing A4 labels have additional specifications and settings to perform this function.

Check the specification section of your printer’s manual. If adhesive labels are listed as one of the types of print media that your printer can handle then you should be good to go!

Ideally, you need a printer with a media bypass tray. This is a secondary tray located just above or below the main paper tray. It processes thicker media (like sticky labels) and offers a straighter path through the printer (by bypassing at least one set of rollers – reducing the risk of sheets rotating as they pass through).

Other things to look out for are special print settings, such as “edge-to-edge” or “borderless” printing, which allows you to print the full area of an A4 sheet (ideal if your A4 labels sit at the edges of each sheet).

Dedicated printers are better than “all-in-one” models; the latter do various tasks to a reasonable standard, while the former do one specific task to a much higher standard. As self adhesive labels require a more specialised print process AND a higher level of accuracy, you may struggle to use an “all-in-one” machines – some of which cannot process thicker media at all.

Next Week On Template Tuesday: How To – Find Everything You Need To Design & Print Your Own Self Adhesive Labels On The LP Website 

Happy New Year & Welcome Back To Template Tuesdays On Label Planet’s Label Templates Blog

January 8th, 2019

Welcome To The First Template Tuesday of 2019!

label templates and template tuesdays

Yes, the Label Planet office is open once again and we’re all set for another year of Template Tuesdays; our (hopefully) informative and useful posts all about designing and printing label templates. We’ll get started with our first “proper” label templates post next week but for now we’d like to say:

  1. We hope you all had a marvellous time celebrating Christmas and the arrival of a brand new year. Perhaps you even made a New Year’s Resolution to have a go at printing (more) sticky labels this year???
  2. If you’re a newcomer to Template Tuesdays, don’t worry – you can get caught up with our Label Templates Round Up Posts! Find our 2017 Round Up HERE & our 2018 Round Up HERE.
  3. If you’ve got an idea that you think would make a good Template Tuesday topic OR you’ve got a question or query that you’d like us to answer, you can send your suggestions for future Template Tuesday posts to info@labelplanet.co.uk.

Next Week On Template Tuesday: Getting Started – The FOUR Things You Need To Design & Print Your Own Self Adhesive

Label Planet Presents Our Template Tuesday Round Up For 2018!

December 18th, 2018

With just one week to go until Christmas Day, we thought we’d use our last Template Tuesday of 2018 to have a seasonal round up of all the topics we’ve covered over the last 12 months – and to wish you all a Happy Christmas, of course!

christmas label templates

The Template Tuesday Round Up – 2018 Edition

Here are the blog posts featured on the Template Tuesday Blog in 2018!

January 2018

February 2018

March 2018

April 2018

May 2018

June 2018

 

July 2018

August 2018

September 2018

October 2018

November 2018

December 2018

 

 

 

A Happy Christmas From Label Planet

And that is that for 2018’s Template Tuesday blog posts. Here at the Label Planet office, we will be closing for our Christmas break at 5pm on Friday (21st December) and will re-open at 9am on Wednesday 2nd January 2019.

Template Tuesday will return in the New Year with even more tricks and tips to make designing and printing your own sticky labels as easy as possible. If you have any suggestions or questions that you’d like to see featured in our blog – or if you’re having template troubles and you need some help – remember you can always send us an email and we’ll do our best to suggest a suitable solution!

We hope your next Template Tuesday is a very merry one – and features absolutely no label templates whatsoever!

Have a Happy Christmas & A Wonderful New Year.

We Hope To See You Soon – In 2019!

Top Tips For Creating Christmas Labels, Address Labels, and Gift Tags

December 11th, 2018

There are many different ways to use sticky labels at Christmas. Here’s our Template Tuesday top tips for creating chaos-free Christmas labels.christmas label templates

Keep It Simple, Stupid

The KISS principle should ALWAYS be followed when creating label designs. Don’t go overboard with your designs and make it harder for yourself. Make sure your design is suitable for the capabilities of your software AND for your own design experience.

Just because you CAN add text and images and borders and backgrounds onto your Christmas labels – doesn’t mean you should. The old saying “less is more” can help save you time, keep your stress levels down, and help you create a beautifully professional set of Christmas labels that are the perfect finishing touch for your items, rather than a bit of a muddled mess.

Use A Mail Merge For Address Labels

Mail merges make printing Christmas address labels quicker, easier, and a lot more accurate than typing/pasting addresses one by one. While the mail merge process can seem quite daunting, it only involves six simple steps. If you use the Mail Merge Wizard, Word will guide you through each step.

We regularly feature mail merge advice on both our A4 Labels and Label Templates blogs (especially around Christmas); simply enter “Mail Merge” in the search box and you’ll find plenty of hints and tips to guide you through the process – and get you out of trouble if things start to go wrong.

Centralise Your Designs

Christmas labels tend to be more decorative and more complicated than other designs. To keep control of your design and make it easier to print your template accurately, we recommend using a centralised design. This means that all of your elements expand out from the centre of each label. Centralising designs is especially useful for different label shapes – especially round labels / circular labels and oval labels.

Beware & Take Care With Coloured Background & Borders

Many customers want to add decorative features such as coloured background and/or borders to their Christmas labels. While you CAN do this, you may find white edging appearing when you print your template. White edging (perhaps more accurately “blank edging”) describes a printing problem whereby your designs don’t quite fully align with your sticky labels – leaving some of your edges unprinted.

You can avoid this issue by oversizing background and borders. This works best if there are gaps all the way around your labels; the oversized background and border will overlap each label – falling into the blank (or “bleed”) area around the labels. You can usually accomplish this with standard label templates but we do also supply bleed templates (where possible), which indicate the bleed area available for you to use to oversize your background and/or border.

If your labels butt up (touch) against other labels on your sheet, you can only use this method if your background or border uses a consistent colour. Alternatively, you will need to select a different design that does not require the use of a coloured background and/or border – or, more specifically, that does not require printing at the very edges of your labels.

Next Week On Template Tuesday – Label Planet Presents Our Template Tuesday Round Up For 2018

Take The Chaos Out Of Your Christmas Card List With Word’s Mail Merge Tool

December 4th, 2018

As it is the first Template Tuesday of December, we thought we’d kick things off with a revisit to an old favourite for this time of year; using a mail merge to create Christmas address labels.

Christmas labels using Word Mail Merge

Christmas Address Labels – Getting Started

Before you start, there are three steps to follow:

  • If there is a compatible built-in Avery template, use it. A number of standard label sizes (especially address labels) are compatible as those supplied by Avery – this simply means they use the same label size and layout, so you can print non-Avery labels with an Avery template.
    If there isn’t a compatible Avery template code, you will need to have a copy of a suitable Word label template saved to your device OR the measurements and layout details of your sheet labels. You can find compatible Avery codes (where applicable), Word label templates, and measurement/layout details in our Label Templates section; select your label shape and then label size.
  • Have your list of addresses ready to go; ideally, they should be saved in an Excel Spreadsheet, Outlook Contact List, Office Address List, Word Data File, Access Database, or Text File.
  • When using Word’s Mail Merge tool, we recommend using the Step By Step Wizard, as this will guide you through the process in six easy steps. To do this, click on the Mailings tab at the top of the page, select Start Mail Merge, and then Step By Step Mail Merge Wizard.

Christmas Address Labels – Step One: Select Document Type

The first step is selecting the type of document you want to create; to create Christmas address labels, you need to select “Labels” from the list of options.

Christmas Address Labels – Step Two: Select Starting Document

The second step is selecting the specific document you want to use to create your Christmas address labels. In other words, this is where you select the specific template you want to use. You have THREE options; use a built-in Avery template (best option), create a label template, or use a saved label template.

  • Built in Avery template: select “Change Document Layout” and click on “Label Options”. Set Printer Information to “Page Printers” and Label Vendor to “Avery A4/A5”. Find your Avery code in the list and click OK.
  • Create a template: follow the steps above but instead of choosing an Avery code, you need to click on “New Label”. Enter the measurements and layout details of your sheet labels in the fields provided and click OK.
  • Use a saved template: select “Start From Existing Document” and click on “Open”. Browse to your saved template and open it.

Christmas Address Labels – Step Three: Select Recipients

The third step is selecting your list of addresses. You can opt to enter your addresses manually at this point but its generally quicker and more accurate to use a saved list. Click on “Use an existing list” and browse to your saved list and open it.

If your data source has multiple sections (for example, a spreadsheet with multiple sheets), you will need to indicate which section contains your addresses. You also need to indicate if your list includes column headers (e.g. Name, Postcode etc).

Word then lists the addresses it has found in your data source. You can sort and filter your addresses at this point to exclude any you don’t want to use. Once you confirm you are happy with your list of addresses, Word will add a Next Record rule placeholder (<<NextRecord>>) in all of the blank labels in your template – apart from the top left label.

If you have used a saved label template, you will need to enter these rules yourself. Click inside the second label, then click on the Rules tool in the Mailings tab at the top of the page. Select Next Record from the list to add the rule. You can repeat this process for each blank label in your template (but NOT the top left label) OR use copy and paste. 

Christmas Address Labels – Step Four: Arrange Your Labels

The fourth step is adding your design AND placeholders to your Christmas address labels.

Add your design to the first label and use the “Update all labels” button in the Wizard Panel to copy it into the rest of your blank labels. You can also use this button to replicate any changes you make to the first label across the rest of the template.

This option is not available if you are using a saved template; you will need to use copy and paste to fill in the rest of your template. You must leave the Next Record rule in place – and it must come BEFORE any placeholders in your design (otherwise the label will repeat the address information from the previous label).

Placeholders indicate where information from your address list should go. These placeholders look the same as the Next Record rule BUT instead of “Next Record” they will use the column headers from your list or the title of a preformatted option available from the Wizard Panel (e.g. Address Block, Greeting Line).

To add individual placeholders, click on More Items in the Panel and select your column. Alternatively, click on one of the preformatted options.

For example, the Address Block is a great way to add addresses. If your addresses don’t show up correctly in the preview box, use the Match Fields option to match the elements in the Address Block with the correct columns from your list. Scroll through a few addresses to make sure they will be picked up correctly when you complete the merge.

REMEMBER: the information represented by each placeholder will probably take up more space than the placeholder itself. Make sure your design includes space for the your information in its entirety.

Christmas Address Labels – Step Five: Preview Your Labels

The fifth step allows you to preview your completed Christmas address labels. Use this step to scroll through (at least) a few records to ensure that your design works properly – so that all of your addresses will fit neatly onto each address label. In particular, if you know one address in your list is particularly long, scroll to this record to check how this label turns out.

If you find any problems you can either go back a step to adjust your design OR use the “Edit Recipient List” to manually edit troublesome addresses and make them fit.

Christmas Address Labels – Step Six: Complete The Merge

The sixth step completes your merge and allows you to print your completed Christmas address labels.

We recommend test printing one sheet so you can check the alignment is correct. Click on “Print” and select the “From” option. Set the From/To values to reflect the number of blank labels on your sheet. For example, to print a sheet with 14 labels per sheet, enter 1 and 14.

You also need to review your print settings. Select a “Labels” or “Heavy Paper” setting, set the Page Size to A4, and ensure no scaling options are applied (e.g. less than 100% or “Fit to…” options). Use the media bypass tray of your printer (if it has one).

If your address labels are misaligned, adjust your design/template and do another test print to confirm the problem is fixed:

  • If all of your address labels misalign in the SAME direction by the SAME amount, adjust the page margins. Increase or decrease the top page margin to move your designs down or up. Increase or decrease the left page margin to move your designs right or left.
  • If the misalignment gets gradually worse down/across/out from the centre of your sheet, you probably have a scaling issue with your print settings. This can be corrected by checking the print settings as described above. You should also ensure you don’t have options like “Ignore Printer Settings” or “Use Default/Driver Settings” selected. You can run your device’s main software update tool to ensure you have the latest print driver installed. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, there may be a problem with your template; you will need to check that the template is using the correct measurements and layout.

Next Week On Template Tuesday – Top Tips For Creating Christmas Labels, Address Labels, and Gift Tags