Archive for June, 2013

Offers and Discount Codes

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

We are planning to start doing some special offers and discount codes for our customers who follow us online. The plan is to only announce them on our blogs, and on facebook and twitter. We think that the feedback will then be more immediate and we can make future offers better. We will be contacting all our customers by email to let them know we will be starting this in July, so that they have the chance to be following us by then.

New Window Cling Labels – On The Way!

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

It sticks to windows, it is crystal clear, it is fully removable, it is repositional… it is Transparent Window Cling! Now on its way to us in 14 sizes. This new material is ideal for making car window stickers on your laser printer, so you can promote your business, an event, a charity, football team, or political party, or just have some fun with a humorous sticker. The same material can be used by shops, car dealerships, and individuals to put adverts or messages in windows.

This is our first public announcement of this material which should be on sale on our site within a month.

Choosing A Printer – A Few Tips

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

We often get customers asking for our advice on printers as well as labels. While we aren’t printer experts (labels are our specialist subject after all), we do have a few key tips that we like to share with our customers.

1. Recommended Brands
Some customers have an outline of what their printer requirements are, but want to know if we recommend any particular brands. We generally recommend OKI printers and HP printers, as both of these are capable of producing high quality print on labels – which is obviously a key criteria for us! In fact, we have our very own OKI printer here in the office, which we use on a daily basis for a number of our printing needs – including our product labels, school information packs, mailers, letters, and our gold and silver packing labels.

2. Laser Or Inkjet
We get some customers who aren’t sure whether they need to be looking at laser or inkjet printers. The answer to this question depends on what they need the printer for. Desktop inkjet printers have tended to have an edge in the past, particularly if there was a need for colour print. Indeed, many people still consider laser printers as being expensive and only suitable for basic black and white, day to day printing. However, in recent years, laser printers have become far more cost effective to run, and are capable of producing great quality print results.

There are a few key differences, however, that can influence whether we suggest an inkjet or a laser printer.
– WATERPROOF PRINT: if a customer is printing labels that need to be waterproof they will need to use a laser printer. The inks used in inkjet printers are water based and are liable to smudge when wet; the toner used in laser printers, however, is bonded to the sheet via heat, and so produces a waterproof finish.
– MATERIAL CHOICE: when it comes to the range of materials we have available, there are far more options for laser printers as opposed to inkjet printers. So, if a customer wants a particular material or to have their choice of materials, they may be better off choosing a laser printer.
– PRINTING IMAGES: while laser printers can produce excellent print results, sometimes inkjet printers are the better choice for printing high resolution images. For example, we have a photo quality gloss material for use with inkjet printers that produces a fantastic result when printing photographs.

3. Extra Tips
We also have two general tips that we like to pass on to our customers who are looking at buying a printer. Firstly, it is always worth looking at the “duty cycle” of a printer. This is usually given as a monthly duty cycle and is an estimate of how many pages the printer SHOULD be able to (i.e. that it has been designed to) handle printing over a period of a month. We recommend that customers choose a printer with a higher duty cycle where possible. Secondly, while customers may be looking closely at the price of printers themselves, it is also worth researching the consumables that go with the machine. Many companies will offset the price of a printer with the price of the consumables (ink cartridges, toner cartridges, image drums etc) that will be needed to maintain the machine – with some locking customers in to their own particular brand of consumables, which may be quite costly to replace.

We have more tips and advice available on our website here.

Opaque “Blockout” Labels

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

We often get enquiries from customers who need a label that can cover up existing print. Some need to update their packaging, files, or paperwork with new contact details or relevant information; others may need to cover up an error on items that they cannot afford to, are unable to, or don’t wish to replace; and some may simply be recycling packaging.

Whatever the reason, these customers need a label that will completely eradicate any trace of existing print, and we have just the label for the job.

Our opaque labels are plain white paper labels with an opaque or “blockout” backing. It is the backing that creates the blockout effect, effectively preventing anything from showing through the paper. Our opaque labels are available in a wide range of sizes, but customers should note that they are made to order with a 500 sheet minimum quantity. These labels are suitable for use with laser and inkjet printers, and can also be written on.

Our most popular size of opaque labels is actually the full A4 sheet, as this allows the customer to cut the sheets to the size (or sizes) that match the area (or areas) they need to cover up. We often find that this is the best solution as customers often require very specific sizes that would otherwise need to be set up as a bespoke, and therefore more expensive, order.

Customers can view the sizes available and purchase their labels from our Opaque Labels Product Page, or request a sample on our Samples Request Page.

Going In Circles – Tips For Printing Circular Labels

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

One of the trickiest template tasks is getting a circular image onto a circular label. While the end product looks fantastic, it can be quite a game of trial and error to get it just right. So here’s a couple of tips for Microsoft Word that will hopefully stop your circular labels from driving you round the bend!

The first thing to remember is that Word cannot create a grid of circles, so you have to work with a grid of squares instead. You need to check the template you are using to see if the strips between the labels are accounted for in the grid or not. For example, some of our smaller circles have very small gaps between them and Word cannot create blank columns or rows of that size. This means that the cells you see include both the space where the labels are AND the blank spaces around them, so simply centralising your image in each cell won’t necessarily mean your image ends up in the middle of each label.

If you have an image that includes a coloured background, you may find that you end up with a white border around the edge of the labels if they aren’t 100% centralised. While you can improve the position of the labels through trial and error, it just may not be possible to prevent a white outline appearing at some point around the edge of the label. There are a couple of ways to work around this:
a) Colour matching: if you can re-create the exact colour of the background, you can flood the entire grid with this colour so there cannot be any white left around the edge of the labels.
b) Enlarge the image: you can increase the size of your logo by a couple of mm, which will mean that the background colour overlaps the edges of the labels slightly, preventing any white from showing. Remember, you may need to shift your image left a little bit as well to account for the larger space it will fill.

While positioning a circular image within a circular label is tricky, trying to centralise a circular image with a circular border within a circular label is extremely difficult to achieve in Word. In fact, it’s so difficult that our first bit of advice to customers is “can you do without the border?”! Otherwise, you will need to arm yourself with plenty of time, patience, and blank sheets of paper – and be prepared to admit that, while you may be able to centralise SOME of the images perfectly, getting all of the circles perfectly aligned may just not be possible.

Sometimes you may find that your circles are all aligned in relation to one another – but not the labels themselves. In this case, some people will try moving the entire grid to get their images into the right position. An easier, and more accurate, way of doing this is to measure how much you need to move the grid by and then alter the margins by that measurement. This way you can shift the entire grid by the precise measurement that you need to.

The term “WYSIWYG” means “What You See Is What You Get”; in other words, what you see on your screen is what you will get when you press “print”. Unfortunately, in some cases you’re more likely to end up with What You See Is Not Always What You Get. To avoid problems with layout, we always advise that you print onto blank paper first to check roughly how your labels will print, before using up your labels themselves. You also need to bear in mind that even templates that have been set up using exact measurements taken from individual sheets of labels and entered directly into Word may not always generate the perfect print alignment. All printers vary by a few mm, and some will even vary depending on what setting you use. This means that it is always best to set up a rough template first, print it onto blank paper, and then work out what amendments need to be made and plan on the best way to achieve the result you need. This could be amending the margins, the space between the cells, the dimensions of the cells, the size of your image, or even the size of the overall grid itself – even if you’ve matched the sizes specifically. It’s also worth remembering that no matter how accurate you want to be, there are limitations as to how specific Word can be with measurements and adjustments.

If you want to create text that goes in a circle within your label, you’ll need to use WordArt to achieve this effect.

So, if you’re ready to take on the challenge of circular labels, visit our website to see the sizes available or download your template and get printing. Good luck!

What’s In A Code? – a guide to the codes used by Label Planet

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

When is a label not a “label”? When it’s a sticker, a sticky thing, a tag, adhesive paper, or any of the other words our customers commonly use. Even sizes of labels are referred to in different ways. Some people use the phrase “X up” – referring to the number of rows on the sheet. Some use the number of labels per sheet. Some use exact measurements – in mm, cm, or inches as they prefer. And that’s before we consider the various materials available. We also get queries using manufacturer’s codes, Avery codes, software codes, and even codes that neither us nor our customers are quite sure where they’ve come from or what they mean.

To help ease confusion we have our own codes for all of our labels, based on this easy to follow system.

All of our codes have two main parts to them, with further extensions as required. The first two parts are always “LPXX/XX” and apply to ALL of our products. The values are determined as follows:

LP: all of our codes start with “LP”, which simply stands for “Label Planet”, and lets us know that a product code is definitely one of ours!

XX/XX: the second part is two numbers separated by a forward slash. The first number refers to the number of labels per sheet, while the second number refers to the approximate width or diameter of the labels. Thus a rectangular label measuring 99.1mm wide and 42.3mm high, with 12 labels on a sheet, will be given the code LP12/99.

For our standard paper labels, the two part code gives enough information to identify the sizes available. For the rest we have extended codes to indicate the shape, material, or colour of the labels.

our circular, square and oval labels have a shape extension added to their codes. For circles this is “R”, for squares “SQ”, and for ovals “OV”. So a circle with a diameter of 25mm, with 70 labels on a sheet, has a code of LP70/25R; a square measuring 51mm x 51mm, with 15 labels on a sheet, is LP15/51SQ; and an oval measuring 90mm at it’s widest point and 62mm at it’s highest point, with eight labels on a page, is LP8/90OV. Some of our square cut rectangular labels have the extension code “S”, which indicates that these labels have a selvege (or blank strip) along the top, bottom, or sides of the sheet to help avoid issues with printers being unable to print to the edge of the page.

Materials: each material has its own extension code based on the name used to describe the material. Thus gloss white paper becomes “GW”, matt silver polyester becomes “SMP”, laser gold paper becomes “LG”, and matt white polyethylene becomes “MWPE” (not to be mixed up with matt white polyester, which is “MWP”).

Colours: where a label is available in a variety of colours, the general extension code of “C” indicates that there is a choice of colour. When a specific colour is chosen, the appropriate code will replace this “C”. For example, our range page for coloured round labels features a product with the code LP35/37RC. This tells the customer that there are 35 labels on each sheet, each label measures 37mm in diameter, the labels are circular in shape, and the labels are available in a variety of colours. On the individual product page, the customer can select from six colours, which are coded as follows: blue (“B”), red (“R”), yellow (“Y”), green (“G”), cream (“CR”), and pink (“PK”). For our fluorescent colours the general code “FC” indicates that different options are available, with the individual codes being FL (fluorescent yellow/lemon), FG (fluorescent green), FR (fluorescent red), FO (fluorescent orange), and FM (fluorescent magenta).

The one main exception to this coding formula is our CD/DVD labels. These codes begin with “LP”, followed by “CD”, followed by the diameter of the labels. For the two CD labels measuring 118mm, the code ends with either an “N” (indicating that the labels are compatible with the “Neato” range of CD labels and labelling software) or a “P” (indicating that the labels are compatible with the “Pressit” range of CD labels and labelling software).

Hopefully this post makes it easier for our customers to understand how we label our labels, making it easier for them to search our site and place their orders!

We All Want Ice Cream (Labels!!!)

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Here in the Label Planet office, signs of summer are most definitely creeping in. The air conditioning is a necessity, cold drinks are starting to outnumber hot drinks, people are cycling to work, brave souls are venturing outside for their lunch, the tennis courts next door are springing into life (it’s just like our very own Wimbledon!), and one of us is sporting a particularly angry sunburn.

And it’s not just us who have noticed! Our freezer labels are seeing their traditional surge in popularity as producers of all things ice cream (and other delicious deserts) are placing orders to label their ever increasing stock for the summer months ahead.

We stock five sizes of freezer labels for same day despatch (on orders under 500 sheets), with a wider range of sizes available at a minimum order of 500 sheets. These paper labels come with a special freezer adhesive that is designed to be applied to items that are already frozen or will be frozen later, with a storage range of -40°C to +60°C. These labels also comply with the German BgVV for indirect food contact and short term contact with dry and moist food, making them ideal for use in the food industry. Ice cream producers can label their products with information ranging from the product brand, ingredients, allergen warnings, nutritional information, serving guides, and best before dates to make sure suppliers and end consumers alike get the most out of their ice cream. We advise that customers use a laser printer as this will give a waterproof print that will not be affected by condensation, meaning that vital information about the product will remain legible throughout storage and use.

You can read our earlier post about freezer labels and printer compatibility here. To view more information about our freezer labels please visit our freezer labels range page, or request a sample by filling in our online sample request form.