Archive for July, 2015

FAQ – Will Your Labels Work With My Printer – AKA – Will My Printer Work With Your Labels?

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

For some of our customers it comes as quite a surprise that – sometimes – it isn’t quite as simple as 1. Buy some labels, 2. Put labels in printer, 3. Press print. For some it’s also a surprise that their printer isn’t just a “printer” that can, well, print anything.

While you might think that a printer is a printer is a printer, there is enough variation in these products to catch some people out if they don’t check a few all-important things first.

1. Do You Have An Inkjet Printer Or A Laser Printer?
This may matter more than you think. Inkjet and laser printers use two very different printing methods and these differences have two key consequences when printing labels.

  • Labels are often made specifically for one kind of printing method; in order to get the best possible print results, the materials will be designed with that particular printing method in mind. For example, inkjet printers disperse ink onto the surface being printed, where the inks then dry in place – labels designed for inkjet printers often have a porous surface, which allows some of the ink to be absorbed and so improves the quality and resolution of the final printed image. Likewise, laser printers use heat and pressure to fuse toner onto the surface being printed and so materials for laser labels will often contain moisture (to combat the heat applied during printing) and will usually have a smooth, consistant surface that allows the toner to bond evenly across the label surface.
    Most importantly, you will find that you CANNOT print laser labels with an inkjet printer or inkjet labels with a laser printer – you must make sure that you purchase labels that are suitable for and compatible with the printing method used by your printer.
  • Inkjet printers generally use water based inks, which means that print produced by these printers is NOT WATERPROOF; if labels printed with an inkjet printer come into contact with water, the print will run and/or smudge. Laser print, however, will remain firmly in place even after being submerged in water.

2. Do You Have A Media Bypass Tray?
A media bypass tray is a second tray that is usually located just above or below the standard paper tray. Where the paper tray is usually set up specifically for sheets of paper, the media bypass tray is set up to accept thicker materials – including label products, which tend to be thicker simply because they are made up of a number of layers (face material, adhesive, backing sheet etc). The media bypass tray will also often provide a more direct route through the printer, with the sheet being handled by fewer sets of rollers as it is pulled through the machine – this tends to improve the accuracy of the positioning of the print, a feature that becomes much more important when printing onto labels.

3. Do You Have A Speciality Printer, A General Use Printer, Or An All-In-One Printer?
These days, you have the choice of a variety of “types” of printer, which will be designed either for a specific use, general use, or many different uses. This can have an impact on how efficiently you can print labels and, indeed, if you can print labels at all. Speciality printers (e.g. photo printers) are designed to do one specific task extremely well and, if that task is NOT printing labels, you may find that these printers will struggle to adapt to different tasks. At the other end of the scale, all-in-one printers are designed to do a lot of different tasks (e.g. print, scan, copy) BUT not necessarily to a high standard; while all-in-one printers may seem like the better option financially, you may find that they simply cannot cope with tasks that require a higher level of accuracy and print quality, such as that required when printing labels.

Our labels are designed specifically for standard desktop inkjet and laser printers, which should offer an ideal combination of print settings, hardware features, accuracy of print position, and print resolution when printing labels. While they may not be able to produce the accuracy and print resolution of printing presses used by companies in the printing industry, a standard general purpose printer should be capable of most label printing tasks.

4. Does Your Printer Have Any Guidelines Or Restrictions About The Materials And Dimensions It Can Process?
All printers will have a section in their manual that outlines the manufacturer’s recommendations for the types and sizes of materials a particular model of printer has been designed to work with. Some printers may be limited in the materials they can successfully process and most will have recommended maximum weights and thicknesses of materials that they will be able to print.

If in doubt, there are two things you should do:

  • Check the specification sheet of the labels you are looking at purchasing for the weight/thickness of the labels and compare this to the guidelines provided in your printer’s manual.
  • Request a sample of the labels you are interested in so you can try printing a sheet or two before committing to a full purchase.

Choosing Labels For Pipes, Tubes, Bottles, Jars, & Cylinders Of All Kinds

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

When choosing labels to apply to cylindrical objects (such as pipes and tubes or bottles and jars), you need to take the shape of these objects into account.

The key issue is one of memory; all materials have a degree of “memory”, which is a property that causes the material to try to return to its original dimensions after being distorted – for example, by winding the material around a cylindrical object. This property exists in all kinds of materials, although it is stronger in some materials compared to others. In terms of materials used to make labels, memory is commonly seen in polyester, polyethylene, silicone, and vinyl, as well as paper.

When you apply a label to a cylindrical object, the memory of the material will try to restore the label to its original flat state and – if the memory of the material is the strongest force acting on the label – this will cause the label to peel up from the surface it has been applied to and may even cause the label to fall away entirely.

So, what sort of label do you need to use if you want to label a cylindrical object?

Essentially, what you need to do is use a label that will ensure that the opposing forces will be stronger than the memory of the label. Here are a few suggestions to help you find the perfect label for a cylinder:

Size & Shape
There are a few sizes and shapes that can help to overcome (or avoid) issues of memory.

  • Big Labels: a big label means that the adhesive has a larger surface area over which to act. If an adhesive is able to form a strong bond over a large surface area, this can provide a stronger force than the memory of the material.
  • Long Labels: a long label means that you will be able to wrap your label around the object being labelled and – most importantly – OVERLAP THE EDGES of the label. This will prevent one edge of the label from peeling up AND provides the other edge with an area that is smooth and easy to adhere to.
  • Small Labels: given that our first suggestion is “big labels”, this one might be a bit of a surprise BUT sometimes smaller labels can provide a means of avoiding the issue of memory. For example, depending on the shape of the item you are labelling, there may be an area of the item that has a less severe curvature or (especially in the case of bottles and jars) that is completely flat. Using a small label (or a series of small labels) that will fit into these areas will allow you to avoid the issue of memory altogether, simply by being a bit creative with the shape and positioning of your label(s).

Material & Adhesive
Where possible, choose a label that is made of a flexible, pliable material and a strong, permanent adhesive. A flexible material will wrap around the cylindrical object much more efficiently than other materials, and the memory of the material is likely to be weaker. A strong adhesive will also provide a strong opposing force to any level of memory that a material has.

For example, our Matt White Polyethylene Labels were designed with curved storage barrels in mind; the polyethylene material is soft and pliable AND the labels use a Marine Standard Adhesive that is manufactured specifically for use in outdoor and/or marine conditions where a strong, permanent bond is required to keep a label in place, even in more extreme outdoor conditions.

FAQ – Do you recommend a particular piece of software for designing labels?

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

The short answer is no.

We’ve found that our customers need labels for a variety of applications, have completely different styles, attitudes, and approaches to designing their templates, have different computer hardware (and software) available to use, and have different levels of experience and technical knowhow when it comes to setting up and designing a template.

Therefore, we don’t have one particular bit of software that we recommend to our customers – we believe that customers should source and/or use software that is suitable for their requirements and that they are comfortable using, based on their existing knowledge of computer software or any training they are willing to undertake, and if they are willing to spend money on purchasing specific software or not.

Most of our customers will simply use whatever software they have to hand. For many of them, this means using Word (or a similar piece of software) and either taking advantage of the built in Avery templates (where they have a compatible label size), setting up their own template, or using one of our templates (available to download here).

When using Word, you need to remember that this is Word Processing Software and, as such, is designed to work specifically with text rather than design elements. The templates you can create with Word will be limited in the design tools available to use and the accuracy of positioning you can achieve. However, Word is a familiar program that many people have access to and is perfectly capable of creating professional and decorative templates for most label applications.

PDF templates will offer more control and accuracy over the design of the template – because they need to be edited with graphics packages. These pieces of software are intended specifically for design work and so will offer a wide range of sophisticated tools for designing templates and will usually offer a far greater level of fine control over the accuracy of positioning within the template.

Examples of graphics packages that you can use to design templates include InDesign and Photoshop. These packages are PAID FOR software packages, so it is up to the individual customer to decide if their requirements justify the cost that they would need to spend to purchase these packages (and potentially the cost – both financially and in terms of time – of learning to use the package). Of course, you may already have one of these pieces of software, in which case you are ready to go!

The third option is specific labelling software, which – as the name suggests – is software created specifically for the purpose of designing and printing labels. There are many, many, many different pieces of labelling software out there, so it would be up to customers to find one that is suited to their requirements. There are both free and paid for packages available, so you would need to investigate the benefits and limitations of each one to determine which one (if any) is suited to your particular needs.

We are always happy to help our customers with their template problems but please note that if you have an issue with specific labelling software or design software you may wish to consult with the company who designed the software first. They will be familiar with how their own software works and may even already have the answer to your problem to hand. We can do our best to help with speciality software BUT due to the vast variety of software available we cannot provide in depth information or solutions for all available software.

Remember: Use Our Free Sample Service To Make Sure That Our Labels Are Perfect For You

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

Here at Label Planet, we operate a free sample service for all of our customers.

If you aren’t quite sure that a label will do the job you have in mind, you want to see the colour or finish of a label for yourself, or you simply want to have a test run to make sure your template and/or printer will work properly, you can request a sample of the labels you are interested in and give them a go before you buy.

Requesting a sample means you can test out a label in the exact conditions of the label application you are sourcing a product for or simply try out a few options to see which one looks the best. We know that committing to a purchase and then finding out that the product you’ve bought is no good at all is endlessly frustrating, time consuming, and – possibly – quite expensive, so we prefer to give our customers a chance to sample our labels to ensure that, when they buy, they know they’re getting labels that will work perfectly for them.

How To Order A Sample
You can order samples in two ways: give us a call or fill in our online Sample Request Form.

REMEMBER: if you request your labels online try to be AS SPECIFIC AS POSSIBLE with your request. That way, we can offer the best possible help and advice on choosing the right label for the job and we can make sure that the samples you receive are ones that will actually come in useful.

So, let us know:

POSTAL ADDRESS: please provide your FULL ADDRESS – house number, street name, AND postcode, along with a company name (if applicable).

PRINTER TYPE: let us know if you have access to a laser printer, inkjet printer, or both. Some of our products are suitable for ONE TYPE of printer only and cannot be used on any other kind of printer – by letting us know the kind of printer you will be using, we can ensure that all the samples you receive will work with that printer.

WHAT ARE YOU STICKING THE LABELS ONTO: if you let us know what you are applying the labels to, we can offer advice on the best label(s) for the job. Please be as specific as you can – for example, tell us a bit about the item you are applying labels to, including the material the item is made of, whether the item is flat or curved etc.

SAMPLE REQUIRED: let us know the SPECIFIC LABEL PRODUCTS you want a sample of – where possible let us know the size(s) you are interested in and the product range(s) you are interested in (e.g. MTP, MWPE, LG, SG etc).

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: let us know any other requirements you have for your sample to help us make sure that the sample you receive is suitable for the label application you have in mind. For example, you might need labels that are waterproof, that have a gloss finish, that can be frozen, that are suitable for writing on etc. If we know the specific requirements you have for a label, we will be able to send samples of labels that meet those requirements.

FAQ – Which Payment Methods Do You Accept?

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

We accept a number of different payment methods to help our customers order and pay for their labels in a way that is most convenient to them.

ORDERING ONLINE:
Customers can order labels online at www.labelplanet.co.uk.

Online payment options include credit/debit cards or Paypal.

ORDERING BY PHONE:
Customers can also order labels over the phone.

Payment can be made over the phone with a credit/debit card.
(sorry, we do not accept American Express)

ORDERING BY PROFORMA INVOICE:
For customers who don’t have a Paypal account or a credit/debit card to make payment OR who need to submit orders via a Finance Department, we are able to issue Proforma Invoices that will allow you to make payment via Bank Transfer or cheque. Simply give us a call to let us know what you want to order and we will email/fax a Proforma Invoice to you (or your Finance Department). Once payment is made, your order will be processed and despatched as usual.

Please note, we do not store credit/debit card details. We supply our products on a Payment With Order basis and do not operate Credit Accounts.

Troubles With A Template, Problems With A Purchase, Or Even If You Just Haven’t A Clue – Get In Touch For A Helping Hand

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Here at Label Planet, we aim to provide high quality products AND high quality customer service, so our customers have the best possible experience, from choosing and purchasing their labels right through to designing, printing, and applying their labels.

You can contact our customer service team Monday – Friday, 9am to 5pm, by phone or by email. During our closing times, we encourage customers to email the details of their query or problem, so we can address their issue when the office is next open.

Remember, we’re here to deal with ALL customer issues, including:

CHOOSING YOUR LABELS
Whether you’ve got a specific label in mind and want to know if we can provide it or if you’re right at the beginning and you don’t know which labels to choose, we can help!

We can help you make sure you pick the right label for the job; whether it’s helping you source the label you want, helping you request a sample for you to try out first, or simply talking you through the options available.

ORDERING YOUR LABELS
Customers can order labels through our website or over the phone.

Please get in touch if you have any problems ordering online, if you need to request a proforma invoice, or if you need more information about stock availability, despatch and delivery estimates, or want to upgrade an urgent order to a special delivery option.

DESIGNING & PRINTING YOUR LABELS
We try to support our customers throughout the process of buying labels and, for us, that includes actually using your labels – from designing and printing a template to ensuring your labels do the job they’re meant to.

While we don’t offer a printing service ourselves, we are more than happy to talk to customers who experience problems when they try to print their labels – whether they’re first timers or old hands. Over the years, we’ve helped customers with all kinds of problems and we’ve picked up a trick or two along the way, so if you find that you’re struggling with a template GET IN TOUCH – we might just know the very thing that can solve the issue.

RESOLVING PROBLEMS WITH ORDERS
Of course, we’re also here to deal with any problems that arise with your order.

Whether you want to check when your labels are due to arrive, you’ve ordered the wrong thing or changed your mind, or you need to amend some of the details of your order, we’re here to deal with any and all issues that customers might have with their orders.

So, if something goes wrong and you don’t know what to do – don’t just abandon the task altogether.

Get in touch and we’ll do our best to help find a solution that’s perfect for you.

Totally Frangible and Utterly Destructible: Meet Label Planet’s Tamper Evident Vinyl Labels

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

You might be wondering just what exactly does “Frangible” mean? Or what makes something “Destructible”? Or what is a “Tamper Evident Label”? And what makes them so secure anyway? Well never fear, because this post is here to give you all the answers!

FRANGIBLE
“Frangible” is a term used to refer to materials that are easily damaged or destroyed; they tend to have very little internal strength and structural integrity, which means that if they are subjected to even the smallest amount of tear stress they will fragment into tiny pieces.

DESTRUCTIBLE
Unsurprisingly, “destructible” is simply a word used to refer to something that is easy to destroy!

TAMPER EVIDENT
“Tamper Evident” is a term used in the labelling industry to describe label products that are designed to produce evidence of any attempt to tamper with a label (and therefore the item that a label was applied to). This “evidence” takes many different forms – but is usually a visual indicator – and is produced in a variety of ways using a variety of materials.

TAMPER EVIDENT SECURITY LABELS
“Security Label” is a general term used to describe any label product that is intended to improve the security of the item to which it is applied. These labels might act as a visual deterrent, track the location of an object, prevent counterfeiting, or provide evidence that a label (and therefore an item) has been tampered with. In labelling, the term “Security Labels” is usually used to refer specifically to “Tamper Evident Labels”; in other words, any label that is designed to provide evidence (usually visual) of any attempt to tamper with the label.

These labels, therefore, improve the security of an item that they are applied to by acting as a visual deterrent to anyone who might want to damage or steal an item, and by providing visual evidence that someone has tampered with the label (and therefore the item).

 LABEL PLANET’S TAMPER EVIDENT VINYL LABELS (TEV)
So, that’s what our Tamper Evident Vinyl Labels are all about. These security labels are made from a special cast vinyl that is extremely frangible and have a strong, permanent adhesive. Once one of these labels has been applied to an item, any attempt to remove the label will result in the vinyl disintegrating into pieces; this means that it is difficult to pull off any more than tiny pieces of the label and the remaining fragments stay firmly in place as a clear indication that the label (and therefore an item) has been tampered with.

These labels are ideal for providing a deterrent to anyone who might be considering damaging or stealing high or added value items, and for proving any attempt to tamper with the label/item; they can be applied directly to these items or (if it isn’t possible, appropriate, or desirable to apply a label directly onto an item) onto the packaging that such items are stored or sold in.

We have nine sizes of tamper evident vinyl labels available for same day despatch from stock (25 sheet minimum order quantity) and a wide range of sizes available to order (500 sheet minimum order quantity).

Please visit the Tamper Evident Vinyl Labels range page to find out more, read the Material Specification Sheet, view the sizes available, or buy your labels now.

Leaving A Void: A Closer Look At “VOID” Security Labels

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Today, we’re taking a closer look at our Silver “VOID” Polyester Labels (SVP).

These labels are one example of “Tamper Evident” labels; known as such because they provide evidence of any attempt to tamper with the labels (and therefore the items they are applied to).

Tamper Evident labels tend to leave a visual indication of tampering and with “VOID” labels this is achieved through the use of special adhesives, coatings, and/or laminates. Labels are made up of a number of layers and “VOID” labels take advantage of this layering to produce evidence of tampering. When an attempt is made to remove a “VOID” label, all or part of the adhesive layer will separate from the rest of the label and so indicate that the label has been tampered with.

There are three kinds of “VOID” labels; total transfer, non-transfer, and partial transfer. Total transfer labels have an extra layer (usually a special coating) between the face material and the adhesive; when the label is removed the coating (which is usually printed with a “VOID” message) and the adhesive remain in place to indicate that the label has been removed. With non-transfer labels, the “VOID” message is usually printed on the back of the face material or an extra layer (again a special coating), which will be revealed when the label is removed.

The most common type of “VOID” label, however, is the partial transfer; these labels use “pattern coating” to create the “VOID” message on both the label itself and the item that was labelled. Some use a pattern release coating between the face material and an extra layer (of special coating) or a pattern release adhesive; in either case, when a label is removed the bottom layer will be split between the surface of the item and the label. With our “VOID” labels, the adhesive that remains on the item spells out “VOID” in block capital letters, while the same message is also formed on the label itself where areas of adhesive are now missing.

“VOID” labels can be used to improve the security of high or added value items in a number of ways; if applied directly onto an item they will act as a visual deterrent against damage or theft and will indicate if any attempt has been made to tamper with the label (and therefore the item); where it is impossible, inappropriate, or undesirable to label an item directly they can be used as security seals on packaging to deter people from opening the item (who shouldn’t!) and to indicate when an item has been opened; and they can be used as Warranty Seals, which will act as a visual indicator that the warranty on an item has been voided (usually by an individual damaging, mishandling, or misusing an item in a way that would void any agreed warranty).

Our Silver “VOID” Polyester Labels are supplied on A4 sheets and are suitable for use with laser printers. We have nine sizes available for same day despatch from stock (25 sheet minimum order quantity) and a full range of sizes available to order (500 sheet minimum order quantity).

Visit the Silver “VOID” Polyester Labels range page to find out more about these labels, to view the Material Specification Sheet for this product, view the sizes available, or to simply buy.

New Products: We’ve Got Three, Yes THREE, Brand New Label Products

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

Yes, we’ve been busy this summer and we’ve got three brand new label products to introduce to our customers.

First up we have two new security label products: Tamper Evident Vinyl Labels and Silver “VOID” Polyester Labels.

TAMPER EVIDENT VINYL LABELS (TEV)
These labels are designed to increase the security of items by providing evidence of any attempt to tamper with the label (and therefore the item that the label is applied to). These labels are made with an extremely fragile cast vinyl material and a strong, permanent adhesive. Once a label has been applied, any attempt to remove the label will cause the vinyl to disintegrate into tiny pieces, making it impossible to remove the label in its entirety and providing visual evidence of tampering.

MATERIAL: Matt White Cast Vinyl
ADHESIVE: Strong Permanent Adhesive
PRINTER COMPATIBILITY: Laser Only
LABELLING APPLICATIONS: Security Labels on High or Added Value Products/Items OR Security Seals on High or Added Value Product Packaging

SILVER “VOID” POLYESTER LABELS (SVP)
These labels also provide evidence of any attempt to tamper with the label (and therefore the item that the label is applied to). These labels are made with a silver polyester and a special partial transfer “VOID” adhesive. If an attempt is made to remove one of these labels, the word “VOID” will appear on both the item that was labelled and the label itself; this means that it is evident that a label/item has been tampered with and makes it impossible to reuse the label to hide the fact that an item has been tampered with.

MATERIAL: Matt Metallic Silver Polyester
ADHESIVE: Strong Permanent “VOID” Adhesive
PRINTER COMPATIBILITY: Laser Only
LABELLING APPLICATIONS: Security Labels on High or Added Value Products/Items, Security Seals on High or Added Value Product Packaging, OR Warranty Labels/Seals

Our third product is a new colourful addition, made with Brown Ribbed Kraft paper.
BROWN RIBBED KRAFT LABELS (BRK)
These labels are made with an uncoated, unbleached ribbed kraft paper, which means they have a natural brown colouring with a subtle touch of pattern and texture. Supplied on A4 sheets with a permanent adhesive and suitable for use on laser and inkjet printers, these labels are particularly popular for use on homemade or hand crafted products and for use when an individual or business wants to use products that are more environmentally friendly.

MATERIAL: Brown Ribbed Kraft Paper
ADHESIVE: Permanent Adhesive
PRINTER COMPATIBILITY: Inkjet and Laser
LABELLING APPLICATIONS: Product/Packaging Labels, Address Labels, Marketing & Promotional Labels, OR General Purpose Craft Labels

All of these products currently have NINE sizes available for same day despatch from stock (25 sheet minimum order quantity) and a full range of sizes available to order (500 sheet minimum order quantity). Find out more here: