Archive for September, 2014

Avoid A Sticky Situation: Choosing The Right Adhesive

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Labels are available with all kinds of adhesive to suit all kinds of label applications. So how do you know which one is right for you?
Here are Label Planet’s top tips for choosing the right adhesive for the job.

– Permanent or Removable?
Generally speaking, self adhesive labels fall into one of these two categories: permanent or removable.

A permanent adhesive is designed to create a strong bond between a label and a surface, which will allow the label to remain securely in place and make it difficult to remove the label – at least, without causing damage to the label itself and/or to the surface the label is applied to.

A removable adhesive is designed to create a bond between a label and a surface that will ensure the label remains in place but that it is also easy to remove from the surface without causing any damage or leaving behind any adhesive residue.

– What are you sticking the label onto?
In particular, you need to consider the material and surface qualities of the item you are labelling. This can influence whether you choose a permanent or removable adhesive, as well as the strength of that particular type of adhesive.

For example, if you are applying a label onto a flat surface made from a common material (such as paper or cardboard) you simply need to decide if you want the label to be permanent or temporary and you can choose the appropriate adhesive type. However, if you have a unusual surface or material, you may need to consider things more carefully. For example:

– A permanent adhesive is likely to act like a removable adhesive if it is applied to fabric items. So if you want a label to use as a name badge at a party or function, you would be best choosing the standard permanent adhesive, rather than the standard removable adhesive (which would most likely fall off).

– Delicate items should always be labelled with a removable adhesive to ensure no damage is done when the label is removed. We have two types of removable adhesives – a standard removable adhesive and a super removable adhesive, which was specifically designed for use on glass. The super removable adhesive leaves absolutely no adhesive residue behind when it is removed and so is ideal for delicate items made of glass or paper.

– When a permanent label is required that absolutely must stay attached to the item it is applied to, you should look for a strong permanent adhesive, rather than a standard permanent adhesive. Our high tack adhesive is designed to create a bond that is extremely difficult to break, meaning that the label is very difficult to remove.

– If you are applying a label to an unusual surface, then you may need to choose a stronger adhesive than you would for a standard surface. For example, if the item you need to label is made of metal, wood, plastic, or fabric, you may wish to consider one of our stronger adhesives (such as our high tack adhesive or our marine quality adhesive).

– Where will the label be stored after it has been applied?
If a label (and the item it is applied to) need to be stored in an unusual environment, then you will need to pick an adhesive that will work in those conditions. We have a few special adhesives available that are suitable for the following conditions:

– Freezer Labels: unsurprisingly, these labels have a freezer adhesive that is designed to work on a range of surfaces in deep freeze conditions. These labels are ideal for food packaging or for medical and research samples.

– MWP/MWPE Labels: these labels have our marine adhesive, which has been tested for three months in marine conditions. These labels are ideal for outdoor use or for indoor applications where the label must be able to survive contact with liquids.

You can take a look at all of the adhesive options on our website:
List of Permanent Adhesives
List of Removable Adhesives
List of Special Adhesives

The Devil’s In The (Material Specification Sheet) Details

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

While sometimes all a customer really needs to know about their labels is basic information (such as the size and shape, the type of material or adhesive, or what printer to use), sometimes they need a little bit more information to make sure that a label is really right for the job.

With this in mind, we’ve included a Material Specification Sheet on the majority of our product range pages, so that customers can check out the details relating to the materials and adhesives used on our different ranges of labels.

Each specification sheet includes the following information:
– Printer compatibility
– A description of the properties of the face material used to make the labels
– Properties of the face material (grammage and caliper)
– A description of the properties of the adhesive used to make the labels
– Properties of the adhesive (application temperature and storage range)
– A description of the properties of the backing material used to make the labels
– Properties of the backing material (grammage and caliper)
– Additional information (e.g. environmental specifications, manufacturing standards etc)

What Size Of Label Do I Need?

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Now this is one FAQ that is very, very frequent.

While many customers know that they want a label, they do sometimes struggle with choosing the best size.

While we can’t really decide this for you, we do have a few tips to keep in mind.

– What are the dimensions of the item you are labelling?

There are two elements to this; you must make sure that any label you buy will fit the dimensions of the item being labelled while also considering how much space on the item you want to leave clear.

This is most important for products or branded items. For example, customers who are selling products in bottles often have decorative containers for their products and don’t wish to completely cover up the bottle with a label. On the other hand, they also need to bear in mind that the label will curve around the bottle, which will limit the size of label they can use and how they position the information on the label.

So, the first thing you need to do is grab a ruler and get measuring. This should give you a rough idea of the area you have to work within.

– How much information do you need to put on the label?

If you absolutely need to put a lot of information onto a label or if you want to make sure that your text or image really stands out, then you need to make sure that the label is big enough for the job – which means putting some thought into the design elements of your label, such as the font size you want to use or the size and shape of any images you want to include.

Alternatively, if you need a neat and discrete label with only a small bit of text or a small image, then a small label will suit your purposes best.

You may also want to consider the possibility of splitting your information across two or more labels. For example, we have many customers who needs labels for home made products, including food and drink or cosmestics. These customers often need to include a variety of information such as their company name and logo, as well as product details including the ingredients used. In this case, it may be easier and neater to choose one smaller label to display the company name, product name, and company logo (perhaps on the front of the container), and a larger label that can be printed with the more detailed information such as contact information, ingredients, instructions for use, or any health and safety guidelines.

– What sizes are available?

This is one that often catches people out. We supply labels on A4 sheets, which means that the sizes we offer are determined by the dimensions that are created when an A4 sheet is divided into a certain number of labels, while leaving as little waste around and between the labels as possible.

The standard sizes offered by all suppliers of A4 sheets are determined by this same principle and this is the reason that many specific sizes need to be made as bespoke products – manufacturers don’t like to create products in bulk where a large percentage of the material will end up as waste.

It should also be noted that some sizes are standard sizes across manufacturers and suppliers, which means that these sizes tend to be the ones that are available in stock, at better prices, and in a wider range of material and adhesive options.

This means that it’s a good idea to begin with a rough estimate of the sort of size you need, so that you can (hopefully) find a standard size that falls within that range.

You can search through all of the sizes we have available by visiting either our “Search By Height” or “Search By Width” search pages.

Save Teacher Time & Standardise With Labels

Monday, September 15th, 2014

For the new school year, we have added over 80 templates to the Labels for Schools section of our website.

These templates are totally free for teachers and members of staff to download and edit to create labels for just about every use you could think of.

We’ve got labels for:
– Feedback and Marking (General Purpose)
– Feedback and Marking (Merit and Reward)
– Administration (Books, Files)
– Lesson Planning
– Pastoral Care (Behaviour, Rewards, Files)
– Target Setting and Assessment

All of our templates and labels are A4 in size, meaning they can be printed in school on standard laser and inkjet printers.

These templates can be used as they are or adapted to suit a particular subject, lesson, or purpose.

To get started, simply visit our Labels For Schools section and click on Example of Labels to Download.

What Do I Need To Know About Printing Waterproof Labels?

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

There are a huge number of label applications that require waterproof labels, whether you need to label something that is to be used or stored outdoors or whether you’re labelling items that are to be used indoors but in environments such as the bathroom or kitchen, where they are likely to come into contact with liquids.

While it is quite simple to produce your own waterproof labels for your home or business, there is one key factor that you need to know before you get started:

EVERYTHING MUST BE WATERPROOF!

When creating a waterproof label, EVERY element in that label must be waterproof, including the material the label is made of, the adhesive used on the label, and the print that is added to the label (if any).

Generally speaking, if you purchase a label that is made from a waterproof material the adhesive should also be waterproof, but it is always worth double checking that this is the case. Suppliers should be able to confirm if both the material and the adhesive are waterproof. On our website, we have grouped our waterproof labels together for easy reference and each type has a Material Specification sheet on its range page to confirm that the labels are made with waterproof materials. Our waterproof labels are made of either polyester or polyethylene.

[It is worth noting that while, in general, paper labels are NEVER waterproof, some are made with coatings that allow them to be wiped if they get a little bit damp or wet. For example, our Gloss Paper labels and Gloss White Photo Quality labels can both be wiped clean and dry with no damage to the label, and are therefore categorised on our website as “Splashproof” labels.]

There are some adhesives that are designed specifically to withstand wet conditions – such as the marine adhesive used on our Matt White Polyester and Matt White Polyethylene labels. This adhesive has been tested in marine conditions for three months and is ideal for applications where a label must be able to survive extensive exposure to liquids.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you must use a printing method and printing materials that create a waterproof print.

The inks used in inkjet printers are water based, which means that they will smudge or run if they come into contact with water or other liquids. In other words, you CANNOT use an inkjet printer and standard inkjet inks to create waterproof labels.

Laser printers, however, use heat and pressure to bond toner into place, which creates waterproof print.

Need To Add A Bit Of Colour: Take A Look At The Label Planet Range

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Here at Label Planet, we have a whole host of colourful labels for customers to choose from – whether they need just one to add a dash of colour or whether they’re on a colour coding mission and need to request as many different colours as possible.

You can take a look at all of the options (and their relevant specifications) on the very aptly named “Coloured Labels for Laser & Inkjet Printers” page on our website.

But for a bit more information, read on!

We have three ranges of coloured labels to choose from: Pastel Colours, Fluorescent Colours, and Metallic Colours (with an honourable mention of our range of White Paper Labels, if you do need an extra option!).

PASTEL COLOURS:
We have six pastel colours to choose from: Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Cream & Pink.
All of these labels are paper labels, with the option of a standard permanent adhesive or a removable adhesive. They can be printed with either an inkjet or a laser printer (or you can write on them or simply leave them blank).
[Please note that the removable coloured labels are made to order and have a minimum order quantity of 500 sheets.]

FLUORESCENT COLOURS:
We have five fluorescent colours to choose from: Red, Green, Yellow, Orange & Magenta.
All of these labels are paper labels with a standard permanent adhesive. They can only be printed with a laser printer (although, like our pastel coloured labels, you can also write on them or leave them blank).

METALLIC COLOURS:
We have two metallic colours to choose from: Gold & Silver.
These labels are paper labels with a textured, semi-gloss finish and a standard permanent adhesive. They can only be printed with a laser printers (and can be written on or left blank).

SIZES:
When ordering coloured labels (particularly if you are ordering more than one colour), please take care to check the sizes available in a particular colour and the minimum order quantity for that particular combination of size and colour. While we have a large range of coloured labels in stock, certain labels are made to order (meaning they have a higher minimum order quantity), and others are only available in specific sizes.

Word Versus Circular Labels

Friday, September 5th, 2014

One of the most common queries we get about our templates is “why do your templates for circular labels show a grid of squares and not a grid of circles?”

Simply put, this is because Word just isn’t capable of producing a grid of circles.

As a Word Processor, Word is geared towards all things text, rather than all things graphic. So, while Word is capable of some basic design and editing functions, it simply cannot create a label template for circular labels.

This is why both our templates and those already built into Word (such as the Avery templates) feature a grid of squares rather than circles.

In either case, you need to imagine the circular labels sitting within each of the squares in the grid, with the outermost points of each circle touching the four sides of the square around it.

Aha! (we hear you say) But what about creating a template with circular shapes rather than a grid of squares?

Well! (we do reply) While this is technically possible, it can become a bit of a nightmare to work with.

Getting the perfect circular shape can be difficult to begin with (and is especially troublesome if you’re working with ovals) and getting each circle to sit in the exact right position on the A4 page is very, very tricky indeed.

If you do manage to get the right size and layout for a particular sheet of labels, yet more problems arise when you try to fit your design “inside” the circle.

For starters, the circular shape is an object in itself and cannot be “filled” in the same way that a grid (actually a table) can. While you can enter text and/or images into the cells of a table, you cannot fill a shape/object with text and/or images.

Instead you would need to layer your text and/or images over the top of the circular shape that represents the label you are printing.

Which is where the difficulties really begin. Where a table tends to stay in one place on the A4 page, Word does not cope overly well with layering objects over one another, whether they are shapes (like the circles that would represent the labels), images, or text. Anyone who has spent any time working with Word and images will know only too well the frustrations of trying to get images to sit next to one another, let alone layering them over one another. Again, we would point out that while this CAN be done, it does take a bit of time to get all of the settings correct and to get everything in the right place. It would also be difficult to place text accurately – whether you insert text as normal or use Word Art or a text box.

So, with the circular shapes, text, and images all liable to jump about the page, it is highly likely that you’d soon find that your template no longer resemble the layout on your sheet of labels.

This is why we (and others) have settled on the compromise of a grid of squares. The grid itself stays in place and can be filled with whatever elements you require (although getting the absolute perfect positioning and alignment can still take some time along with a dose of trial and error).

Labels For Schools – Labels, Templates, Advice & More…

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

With schools opening for the new school year, we’d like to remind schools about a brand new section on our website designed specifically for teachers and members of staff in schools.

Our “Labels For Schools”section, which can be found on our website here, offers a range of advice, tips, and free template downloadsf.

We have information on how to buy the labels you need, information about our commission scheme for schools, templates for all kinds of labels that can be used in a school environment and helpful advice on how to design and print your very own labels.

Labels can be used in schools for:
– General Feedback and Marking
– Merit and Reward Schemes
– Administration (Books & Files)
– Lesson Planning
– Pastoral Care
– Target Setting and Assessment