Archive for March, 2014

FAQ – Matt Vs Clear – What’s The Difference?

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Here at Label Planet we supply labels with matt and with gloss finishes, and sometimes we get customers who aren’t sure of the difference between the two. So here’s a short guide to what matt and gloss mean and the difference between them.

What does “finish” mean?

When we refer to the “finish” of a material, we are referring to the qualities/properties of its surface, such as its appearance and texture. For example, a material could have a shiny appearance or a dull appearance, and a smooth surface or a rough surface.

What is a “gloss” finish?

A gloss finish refers to a material that has a bright and shiny surface. This is because a gloss finish is very efficient at reflecting light. Common examples of items with a gloss finish include high quality brochures and magazines.

What is a “matt” finish?

A matt finish refers to a material that has a dull and non-shiny finish. This is because matt finishes diffuse light (when light is reflected off a matt surface, it spreads out over a wide area). Common examples of items with a matt finish include normal paper and newspapers.

Summary

So what’s the difference? Gloss and matt labels will look different – gloss labels will have a shiny finish while matt labels will have a dull finish. Gloss labels are suitable for matching a surface that has a gloss finish itself or as a decorative touch to an item. Matt labels are ideal if you need a label that won’t stand out or draw attention away from the object, or that will match a surface that has a matt finish.

For more definitions to common labelling terms, why not visit our Label Glossary.

Ordering From Ireland

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Yes, we do deliver to Southern Ireland.

Orders for Southern Ireland must be placed by phone as we need to calculate the additional shipping cost. At the moment, we are unable to feature this as part of our website checkout, as the shipping cost depends on which specific items are being ordered.

So, if you do need to have your goods shipped to Southern Ireland, please give us a call. You should also note that if you are VAT registered and you provide us with your VAT number we can also remove VAT from the cost of your order.

For more information about delivery to Southern Ireland, please visit our Delivery Information page.

New Label Planet Brochure For 2014

Friday, March 21st, 2014

We’ve updated our Label Planet brochure to give it a bit of an update and a revamp.

This means our brochure is now up to date with all of the different sizes and materials of A4 sheets of labels that we supply (and it’s got a fancy new cover!).

All of our customers receive a copy of our brochure with their order, so they have a handy printed guide to all of our products. This makes it easy to check the details of what you’ve ordered, to look up the code when you want to reorder, or to take a look at the other options that we have available.

The brochure is also available to download from our website or you can simply click here.

When The Heat Is On: Printing Silver Metallic Labels

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Our silver matt metallic polyester labels are a practical AND decorative labelling solution that can be used for all sorts of labelling tasks.

Whether you need a long life durable tracking label, a decorative seal, or an eye catching product label, these labels are a popular choice. They offer the durability and strength of our standard polyester labels, but add a touch of subtle colour in the form of a matt metallic silver.

However, the special material and finish of these labels does mean they need a little extra care and attention when printing.

These labels are made with a metallised polyester – you can see this for yourself by peeling back the edge of a label to see the silver finish on the reverse side. This means that when these labels go through the fuser unit of a laser printer they reflect heat, which can cause problems with the toner bonding to the labels and with the labels curling. As these labels don’t need as much heat as other polyester labels do, the “Labels” setting of some laser printers may prove to be too hot – which is why you should try printing SMP using the standard “Paper” setting instead.

You can also avoid issues with curl by; removing the sheets from the printer once they have printed and lying them on a flat surface, avoid printing high quantities all in one go, or inserting blank sheets of paper between your sheets of labels (the blank sheets will absorb some of the heat, which will reduce the temperature that the label sheets are exposed to).

Transparent Labels: The Labels You Can See Right Through

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Here at the Label Planet office, we’re currently surrounded by fog and the less than clear view from our windows has got us thinking about transparent labels – the labels that you CAN see through.

WHAT ARE TRANSPARENT LABELS?

Transparent labels are, well, labels that are transparent. They are made using materials that you can see through – our labels are made of transparent polyester and transparent adhesives.

There are a range of labels that are described as “transparent” but there is variation in exactly how transparent these labels are – some will actually be “frosted” or “transluscent”. So what’s the difference?

A material is transparent because it transmits light (allows light to pass through itself) without scattering the light in all different directions in the process. The transparency of a material is determined by how much scattering of light occurs as light travels through the material – frosted and transluscent materials will scatter light a little bit, which prevents the materials from being totally see through.

Our labels are all made of transparent materials, so they are not frosted or transluscent. However, they are also not “glass clear” – glass clear refers to 100% transparency. When our labels are applied to a surface, tiny air bubbles may form in the adhesive or tiny particles of dust may be trapped between the label and the surface, which prevents a truly 100% transparent appearance.

Our transparent range includes:
Gloss Clear Polyester labels (GCP)
Gloss Transparent Polyester labels (GTP)
Removable Gloss Transparent Polyester labels (GTR)
Matt Transparent Polyester labels (MTP)

WHICH TRANSPARENT LABELS SHOULD I CHOOSE?
We have a range of five different transparent options to choose from, so how do you know which one is right for you?

– Laser or Inkjet
Four of our transparent labels are suitable for use with laser printers only, so if you have an inkjet printer, you’ll need to choose our Gloss Clear Polyester labels.

– Matt or Gloss
Do you want a shiny, glossy finish or do you need a flat, matt finish that will blend in? GTP, GTR, and GCP are all transparent labels with a gloss finish. If you want a matt finish, you’ll need to choose our Matt Transparent Polyester labels.

– Permanent or Removable
Are your labels supposed to be permanent or removable, and is it important that they don’t leave any residue behind?
Our GTP, GCP, and MTP all have standard permanent adhesives – you CAN remove these labels if you really try, but they will leave adhesive residue behind.
Our GTR labels are gloss transparent polyester labels with a removable adhesive – these labels are designed to be removed from a surface (although they may leave some trace of residue behind, depending on how long they remain on a surface for).

WHAT CAN I USE TRANSPARENT LABELS FOR?
Generally, transparent labels are used for decorative purposes and/or because you can see through them to whatever is behind or beyond the label itself. This means that they are a popular choice for window stickers, but they can also be used on decorative surfaces so that the label doesn’t block out or cover up the pattern or colour that has been selected; for example, this could be a pattern on product packaging, or decorative envelopes that have been chosen to suit a special occasion (such as wedding or christening invitations). Transparent labels help to avoid issues with colour matching and don’t distract the eye from transparent objects (such as glass vases or see-through containers). They are an easy way to add information in a subtle way – a transparent label will blend in with its background, rather than standing out from the crowd as white or coloured labels will do.

Tips For Printing Window Stickers With TSC

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Our Transparent Static Cling labels were designed with windows in mind and they’re a great way to produce your own window stickers – whether you want them for a business, charitable organisation, school, or for your own personal use at home.

We have thirteen sizes available to order from stock (min order 25 sheets) and our full range of sizes available to be made to order (min order 500 sheets); so we’ve got sizes and shapes to suit all purposes.

These labels are made of a gloss transparent polyester and use static cling (rather than an adhesive) to adhere to a surface. This means they tend to need just a little extra care when printing.

– Laser Printers Only
These labels are designed for use with laser printers only, and should be placed in the media bypass tray rather than the standard paper tray.

– Heat Matters
While these labels are designed for laser printers (which use heat in the printing process), they are very susceptible to heat and have a tendency to curl as they exit the printer. There are two easy ways to avoid this problem:

a) Set your printer to the “Light Paper” setting – this setting uses less heat than other settings do.

b) Print one sheet at a time (so heat doesn’t build up) OR place sheets of blank paper between your sheets of TSC labels (these sheets of paper will absorb some of the heat generated during the printing process, which will mean the TSC isn’t exposed to as much heat).

– They Do It With Mirrors
Remember that these labels are for use on windows – you need to decide which side of the window the label will be stuck onto AND the side from which the label will be viewed/read. If you intend to stick a label to the inside of a window that needs to be read from the outside (or vice versa), you will need to use mirrored text and images so that the print appears the right way around once it has been stuck in place. If you want a label that will be stuck to the outside of a window AND read from the outside or that will be stuck to the inside AND read from the inside then you can design your label as normal.

For tips and advice on printing mirrored text and images, please read our printing guide – “Printing Mirrored Text and Images”

Special Materials & Adhesives From Label Planet

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Often, our special materials and adhesives need a little extra care when printing to get the best print results.

We’ve included a Material Specification Sheet for each of our special materials and adhesives on our website, so that you can get all of the information you need to get everything set up just right to print your labels.

So what’s included in the specification sheet?
– Printer Compatibility:
So you know which printers a material is compatible with.

– General description:
About the material, including its general characteristics, printer compatibility, and any particular suitability it has for specific tasks.

– Face material properties:
Details about the face material used, including its weight (grammage) and thickness (calliper).

– Adhesive:
Details about the adhesive used, including information about its initial tack and adhesion level, any particular characteristics of the adhesive that are particularly useful, and the recommended application temperature and storage range.

– Backing:
Details about the material used to make the backing sheet, including its weight (grammage) and thickness (calliper).

Our specification sheets are listed on the product pages of our special materials and adhesives. You can find a complete list of these product pages by vising our Complete List of Label Materials page. The specification sheets are listed near the top of each product page (usually on the right) or under the “Further Information” drop box.

Flipping Text – Change The Text Direction In A Word Template

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

While the majority of our labels already have an orientation that suits most printing requirements, sometimes our customers want to be able to use the opposite orientation – to create a different shape or look for their label, or simply because it allows them to be more efficient with the content of their labels.

So here’s a few quick tips on how to change from landscape to portrait or from portrait to landscape.

There are two ways to change the orientation of your Word template: changing the orientation of the template or changing the text direction for your template.

Now it might seem like simply changing the orientation of the template would be the easiest option, but unfortunately it isn’t all that simple. While it is easy enough to alter the page layout from portrait to landscape (or vice versa!), Word will only change the orientation of the page and not the content on that page – so your template grid remains exactly as it was, and ends up dropping off the bottom of the page. So if you try this option, you will – essentially – find yourself setting up an entirely new template.

Which is, of course, fine if you are confident setting up a template, but if you want a simpler trick, then you’ll want to use the “Text Direction” tool.

Images are easy enough to deal with – you simply rotate them 90° and you’re done. With text, you have to follow a few extra steps to get there.

WINDOWS 2003 AND EARLIER

– Change Text Direction In A Table
Select the cell or cells you want to change the text direction of. Then click on “Format” at the top of the page, and select “Text Direction” from the list of options. Select the text orientation you need and select okay.

– Change Text Direction Using A Text Box
Insert a text box and resize/move it to the area you want it to be. To change the direction of the text, you can either:
a) left click inside the text box, then click on “Format” at the top of the page, and select “Text Direction” from the list of options. Select the text orientation you need and select okay.
b) left click inside the text box, then right click, and select “Borders and Alignment” from the options that appear. Select the text orientation you need and select okay.

WINDOWS 2007 AND LATER

– Change Text Direction In A Table
Select the cell or cells you want to change the text direction of. Then you can either:
a) click on the “Layout” tab at the top of the page (under “Table Tools”) and look for the “Text Direction” button in the “Alignment” section. Click this button to alter the text direction until it is the orientation that you require.
b) right click and select “Text Direction” from the options box that appears. Please note that this option doesn’t always work if you are trying to change the text direction in the entire table, so this option is probably best for changing individual or groups of cells.

– Change Text Direction Using A Text Box
Insert a text box (it’s usually easiest to choose Simple Text Box), and resize it/move it to the area you want it to be. To change the direction of the text, you can either:
a) left click once to select the text box, then click on the “Format” tab at the top of the page. In the “Text” section, click on “Text Direction” and the select the option you want from the list that drops down.
b) left click once to select the text box, then right click and select “Format” (or “Format Shape”). Select “Text Box” and choose the text direction you want from the drop down box named “Text direction”.

It should be noted that changing the text direction is the much quicker option but it does have one significant drawback – you will need to tilt your head to view your text/label design right way up, so if you intend to spend time working on your template (or if you simply want to avoid getting a crick in your neck!) you may want to consider putting the time in to set up a new template in the orientation you require.

All of our templates can be found on our website here.