Archive for June, 2017

Designing A Label Template – Build From The Background Forward

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Last week, we recommended taking the time to plan your label design to make sure that all of your elements fit neatly and efficiently onto your labels. This week our top tip is – when creating a layered design you should always work from the background forwards.

By “layered design” we mean any label design that includes a number of different elements that sit on top of or overlap each other – for example, a patterned background with a text box sitting in front of the background and an image that sits in front of the background and the text box.

The reason that we recommend starting with the background is that it is quicker and easier to build up your design in this way – especially if you are using software that wasn’t specifically created for design work (such as Word) and may have limited capabilities when it comes to creating a design with multiple layers or overlapping elements.

If you haven’t settled on the final content or design of your labels, remember you can always edit the elements that you have already added to your template to see which version works best for the final design that you’re trying to create. It’s usually easier to edit an existing element (such as a background layer) after you’ve added other elements in front of it rather than trying to add a background to other elements that need to be at the front of your label design.

We’ll take a closer look at some of the tools offered by Word to help you layer and overlap multiple elements in a later post.

Next week on Template Tuesday: Designing A Label Template – Copy & Paste 101

Designing A Label Template – Always Start With A Plan

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Here at Label Planet, we always recommend taking a few moments to plan your label design before you actually start work on your template. While you might think that this is an entirely unnecessary step (and in some cases it is), sometimes taking a moment to plan ahead can help save you plenty of time (and stress) when it comes to getting your labels just right.

Obviously if you are creating a set of VERY simple address labels or logo labels (that contain JUST an address or JUST a logo) then designing your labels simply involves adding your one element to your labels – job done.

However, if you’re creating something a bit more complicated, it’s always worth taking the time to plan ahead – especially if your labels contain vital information or need to have a strong visual impact.

By “plan”, we don’t mean a detailed diagram measured down to the nth degree – simply having a list of what you want to include on your labels might be enough to help you keep your label design under control.

We recommend trying these simple tips for a trouble free template design:

  • If your label design includes text – TYPE IT UP. This will allow you to see exactly how much room you need to make sure that all of your text fits onto your label AND at a font size that is legible to the human eye.
  • Make a quick sketch showing where each element will sit in your finished label design; this doesn’t need to be detailed or measured – just sketch a set of outlines showing where each bit goes to make sure that you’ve definitely got enough room to fit everything in.

As with everything, sometimes less is more and if you’re trying to fit a lot of elements onto a single label it can soon become cluttered, messy, and possibly even completely illegible.

Making a plan or outline of what you want to include in your design will allow you to make sure your design will do the job you need it to – whether that’s clearly displaying your company brand or product information, outlining important health and safety warnings or instructions for use, or simply creating a strong visual message with a professional, high quality finish.

If you find that you’ve simply got too much text or too much going on in your label design, you can scribble a few bits out or quickly sketch out an alternative – without wasting your time and getting frustrated trying to force your template into shape.

In fact, we actually recommend planning your design while you’re in the process of choosing your labels – this way you can make sure that the labels you purchase are the right size for your requirements, so you don’t end up squeezing everything onto labels that are too small, buying extra labels so that you can split your design across multiple labels, or having massive labels plastered across your items that contain a design that would look far more effective and clean cut on a smaller label size.

You can find full measurements for all of our label sizes by visiting our Template Home Page and selecting the relevant label shape and size.

Next week on Template Tuesday: Designing A Label Template – Build From The Background Forward

Troubleshooting Tips For Choosing The Right Label Template

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

Over the last five weeks, we’ve been looking at defining what label templates are, how to find the right template for you, and how to open a template so that you can get busy designing your own labels.

This week, we’re looking at a few troubleshooting hints and tips for finding the right label template based on some of the most frequently asked questions we get from our own customers.

Where Do I Get A Template To Print The Labels I’ve Bought From You?
All of our label sizes have their own template information page, which contains free Word templates and PDF templates for you to download and use. To get to the template information page for your labels you need to:

  • Go to our TEMPLATE HOME PAGE; select your label shape and label size
  • OR go to the product page for your labels and click on “Label Templates And Printing Information For this Label”

The template download links are listed in the middle of the template page and are purple in colour; we offer a range of different template formats to suit a variety of label designs, including options for Portrait or Landscape templates, Text Box and Mirrored Word templates, and Bleed templates. Simply click on the link for the template you want to download!

Alternatively, if your labels have a compatible Avery code (these are listed on the product page, product packaging, and template information pages for each product), you can use an Avery template that is built in to your software.

What Software Should I Use To Design My Labels?
It’s up to you. Most people use whatever software they already have installed on their computer but you may want to source new software that is designed for designing and printing labels if you don’t have anything suitable already on your computer.

We don’t recommend any particular software because it’s up to you to decide what you are comfortable with (particularly if you would need to purchase and learn how to use your new software).

Should I Download A Word Template Or A PDF Template?
You should download a template that is compatible with the software that you intend to use to design and print your labels (i.e. that is in a file format that your software can edit). Our Word templates use the .docx file format and can be edited by a variety of word processing software including Word, Pages, LibreOffice etc. Our PDF templates can be used with any graphics package that is capable of editing the .pdf file format (e.g. InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop etc).

When I Download A Template, I Am Asked If I Want To Open Or Save The File – What Should I Do?
We recommend choosing save – you can then use your software to open the saved file so that it can check that it can read and edit the file correctly (and convert the file if necessary) before you start adding your design.

How Do I Open A Word Template On My Mac?
Word templates can be used in Pages, the word processor included with Apple devices. You simply download and save the Word template you need onto your device. You then open Pages, click on File and then Open and browse to the folder where your template is saved (when downloading files from the internet, they are usually saved to the Downloads folder).

Why Can’t I See The Outlines Of My Word Template?
If you open a Word template and you cannot see the outline of the labels, Table Gridlines are turned off. To turn them on, you should left click somewhere in the middle of the page to bring up the Table Tools “Layout” tab at the top of the page. Click on this tab and then click on the “View Gridlines” button on the left hand side of the ribbon at the top of the page.
Please note, Word also contains a tool called Page Gridlines (which adds a grid to your page to help you accurately line up different elements), which is listed under the “View” tab at the top of the page.

Why Don’t Your Word Templates Show Circles/Ovals For Round Labels/Oval Labels?
Word templates are basically a table that represents the layout of a sheet of labels; each cell in the table represents either a label or a blank gap between two labels. This means that Word templates can only represent square or rectangular areas and so – to create Word templates for round labels or ovals labels – a compromise is used. Each label will be represented by a square or rectangular cell in the table whereby the outermost points of the label touches the four sides of the cell.

Why Can’t I Make Changes To My Template?
There are two main reasons why you might not be able to make changes to your template:

  • You have downloaded a template from the internet and your software has temporarily put it into a locked protective state for security reasons. Usually there will be a message on your screen to warn you that the file might not be safe (such as the yellow “PROTECTED VIEW” banner that appears at the top of Word documents) and a button for you to press to acknowledge that you want to open and use the file (e.g. “Enable Editing”).
  • You may have opened a template in software that can READ the file but not EDIT it – in other words, your software can display what the file looks like but cannot make any changes to it. For example, the free PDF viewer Adobe Reader can display PDF files but you cannot make changes to those files.

Why Has My Word Template Split Onto 2 Pages?
There are a few reasons why a Word template might split across two pages:

  • You have accidentally added content above the template. Move your cursor to the top of the page and left click once – if this creates a flashing text cursor, you can use the “Delete” key on your keyboard to move your template back up into place.
  • If you have added content to your template, Word may have “helpfully” resized your template to allow your content to fit; double check the size of each label (and gap) in your template to make sure they are still correct.
    [Left click once inside a label (or gap), select the Table Tools “Layout” tab at the top of the page, and look for the width and height boxes to see the size of that label (or gap).]
  • Your software has automatically adjusted the template to suit its own rules and requirements, which may differ from those of Word. For example, Apple’s Pages has a minimum table row height of 3.2mm, which means that any template that uses a smaller row height will automatically be resized to suit the default minimum. You will need to delete the rows that represent the gaps between your labels and increase the height of the labels to accommodate for the gaps.

Why Can’t I Find My Avery Code On Your Website/In My Software?
There are a couple of reasons why you might not be able to find an Avery template on our website or in your software:

  • We may not supply that particular size; while we supply a lot of label sizes that are the same as those supplied by Avery, we do not match Avery’s list of products.
  • We may not supply that particular size – because it is an American size. America uses a different page size to the UK, which is known as “Letter” (or American Letter), and labels designed for use in the US are supplied on Letter sheets and in measurements of inches – in contrast to UK labels, which are supplied on A4 sheets and in measurements of cm/mm.
  • The Avery template code may be for a product that Avery has discontinued or that wasn’t considered “popular” enough for inclusion in the set of built in Avery templates supplied with your software.

You can find complete lists of all of the Avery template codes that are compatible with our label sizes in our LIST OF AVERY CODES (with compatible Label Planet sizes) and our LIST OF LABEL PLANET CODES (with compatible Avery sizes).

Can You Send Me A Template?
If you are struggling to find, download, or open a template, you can always get in touch with us to let us know and we will email you a copy of the template you need as an attachment.

Next week on Template Tuesday: Designing A Label Template – Always Start With A Plan

Label Templates – Avery Templates 101

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

This week we’re taking a closer look at Avery templates and how they can be used to print labels – whether you’ve bought Avery labels or Avery “compatible” labels.

What are Avery templates?
Basically, an “Avery template” is a template that has been designed for the purposes of printing onto a particular label product manufactured by Avery.

So why do other label companies (like Label Planet) mention Avery templates – when they don’t sell Avery labels?
You may have noticed that we – like other label manufacturers and suppliers – list Avery template codes on our website. This is because, while we DON’T sell Avery labels, we supply some label sizes and layouts that are exactly the same as those supplied by Avery (they are “compatible” with Avery labels/templates).

This means that you can use an Avery template to print onto our labels (or you could use one of our templates to print onto Avery labels) – providing that the two are compatible (i.e. use the same label size and layout).

We list compatible Avery template codes on the product page, product packaging, and template information page for all of our label sizes. We have also compiled two pages that you can use to cross-reference between our label sizes and Avery sizes; use the “Search By Avery Code” page to look up an Avery code to see if we offer a compatible size and use the “Label Sizes With Compatible Avery Codes” page to look up a Label Planet code to see if there is a compatible Avery template code.

So do all label companies supply labels that are the same size as Avery labels?
Most companies will sell at least some label products that are the same as Avery labels. Over time, the brand “Avery” has become synonymous with labels, which means that the sizes produced by Avery tend to be extremely popular. Generally speaking, however, these sizes are “standard” label sizes (i.e. they fit well onto an A4 sheet – without leaving waste around the labels – and are useful in a range of label applications), which means that they are provided by most label manufacturers and suppliers, although many customers will still think of them as “Avery” sizes.

You may find that these label manufacturers and suppliers actually offer a much bigger range of label sizes, materials, and adhesives than Avery (usually along with more competitive pricing). You will note that some of our label sizes do not have any compatible Avery codes listed – this is because Avery simply doesn’t manufacture labels in those sizes.

Unlike other label manufacturers and suppliers, however, Avery’s brand dominance has led to the inclusion of built in “Avery templates” in a lot of mainstream software. Some customers may prefer to use a built in template, while others may HAVE to use built in templates that are supplied with the software that they need to use to create company documentation or packaging. In these cases, you either have to buy labels from Avery OR source a label manufacturer or supplier that offers compatible label sizes.

Why do some of your label sizes have more than one compatible Avery code?
Each product manufactured by Avery has its own unique code – and that same code is also used to refer to the template that can be used to print those labels.

So, where a particular label size is available in more than one material, there will be multiple template codes that can all be used to be print onto any of those Avery products – as well as onto any label supplied by other label companies that use the same label size and layout.

For example, Avery makes a label size that features 18 labels per sheet, each measuring 100mm wide by 30mm high; this label size is available as paper labels for inkjet printers (Avery product/template code J8172) AND as paper labels for laser printers (Avery product/template code L7172). You can therefore use Avery template J8172 OR Avery template L7172 to print onto either of these Avery products AND you can also use either of these templates to print onto Label Planet’s LP18/100, which are compatible with the label size and layout used by Avery.

Label Planet product codes are made up of two parts – the label size and the label material. We have named our label templates using the label size only, so you can use the one template to print onto any products that are made in that label size. For example, you can use our template LP24/40R to print LP24/40R, LP24/40R REM, LP24/40R C, and LP24/40R FC.  

Why can’t I find a particular Avery code in my software?
The contents of the set of built in Avery templates available to you will be dependent on the software you are using AND the version of that software you are using (software manufacturers may update the list of available built in templates each time they release a new version). The Avery code you want to use might not have been deemed popular enough for inclusion OR it may belong to a product that Avery has discontinued (but other label manufacturers and suppliers still supply).

The other reason you might not be able to find a specific Avery code is that it could be a code for an American Avery label size; American Avery label sizes are measured in inches and are produced on label sheets in the American Letter paper size (8.5 inches wide by 11 inches high or 215.9mm by 279.4mm), while UK Avery label sizes are measured in cm/mm and are produced on label sheets in the A4 paper size (210mm wide by 297mm high or 8.27 inches by 11.7 inches).

Some software will contain built in templates for both UK/A4 Avery Sizes and American/Letter Avery Sizes, so you will need to select ONE of these options before you start looking for your Avery code.

Likewise, if you have downloaded Avery’s own design software from the Avery website you need to make sure you have downloaded the UK version and not the US version. If you are using American software that only contains built in templates for American Avery sizes, you will have to find an American company that can supply labels into the UK as these label sizes will not be manufactured or supplied in the UK.

Next week on Template Tuesday: Troubleshooting Tips For Choosing The Right Label Template