Archive for October, 2015

A Happy Halloween (Weekend) From Label Planet!

Friday, October 30th, 2015

Yes, it’s here once more: Halloween Eve!

Okay, so we’re a day early, but we’d like to wish all of our customers a Happy Halloween for the weekend.

We wish you well with all of your spooky endeavours; whether you’re off trick or treating in your creepiest costume or staying in with your favourite cushion for a frightfest of fearsome films – complete with a huge bowl of popcorn (for you) and a huge bowl of sweets (for trick or treaters) – we hope you have a fabulously frightful night!

Psst. Have You Got Your Labels For A Certain Holiday That Must Not Be Named Yet?!

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

While we don’t wish to invite an angry chorus of “but it’s only October” down on our heads, the weeks are slowly creeping by and the wintertime rush will soon be upon us. As companies get busier and busier, being prepared for the winter holidays is a must and labels are an easy thing to forget about and leave too late.

In fact, we’ve been receiving orders throughout September and October from customers who are busily preparing their seasonal products, promotions, and special events to make sure that they are thoroughly prepared for December – we even had some seasonal orders as far back as early summer!

So, if you’re looking to get organised this year and make sure that you are absolutely ready, we highly recommend buying your labels now (especially if you’re buying large quantities and/or purchasing labels for use on your Christmas stock), so you don’t end up panic ordering at the last minute and then worrying about whether you’ll have enough time to get them printed and applied to all of the bits and pieces you absolutely have to get despatched in time for the holidays.

Remember, we’ve got all sorts of labels to suit all sorts of applications including:

  • REMOVABLE LABELS: this time of year is the time for giving, which means that the majority of purchases are gifts. We’ve all had the nightmare of buying the perfect gift, only to find that the price label plastered across the top of it is firmly stuck in place and any attempt to remove it only results in a horrific sticky mess being smeared everywhere. Our removable labels are a perfect way to label gift items with a label that removes cleanly and easily from all kinds of surfaces. We’ve even got a Super Removable adhesive that is designed especially for those extra delicate items made of paper or glass, which won’t leave any trace of adhesive residue behind when a label is removed.
  • KRAFT LABELS: our Kraft labels have a ribbed finish, which gives them a lovely subtle touch of pattern and texture. These labels are brilliant product and packaging labels, particularly if you want a natural, homemade appearance for your goods OR if you’re feeling particularly crafty and you’re making your own holiday cards, envelopes, tags, decorations, or gifts.
  • GOLD & SILVER LABELS: for a touch of luxury seasonal colouring or a bit of extra sparkle just for fun, our metallic gold and silver labels are ideal for the holidays. Whether you’re sending special cards and invites, all important gifts, or simply want to add a touch of holiday spirit to your company letters and parcels, these labels have a delightful semi-gloss textured finish that is the perfect finishing touch.
  • COLOURED & FLUORESCENT LABELS: if you’re thinking colour and creativity, our coloured labels are an excellent way to add a burst of colour to your items. Choose from six pastel shades (for a more subtle addition) or five fluorescent colours (if you’re feeling daring) to bring a bit of decoration to your cards, presents, or parcels this year.
  • GLOSS LABELS: choose one of our gloss label products to add a bit of shine to your items, whether you prefer a full on gloss finish or the subtle compromise of a semi-gloss finish. These labels are extremely popular for use as product labels to bring a professional, decorative finish to all those items you’re sending out for the holiday season.
  • TRANSPARENT LABELS: whether you need to label transparent items (such as glassware), you’ve invested in special design work for your packaging and don’t want to plaster a boring label over the top, you want an unobtrusive label that won’t distract from your product or packaging, or you’re having problems with colour-matching, transparent labels are the perfect label for you! These labels are a brilliant way to add text without imposing a block of coloured background over your products and/or packaging. They’re also a great way to add text if you’ve left some important details off packaging or promotional leaflets that you’ve already had printed.
  • WATERPROOF LABELS: if you supply products that are designed for use in locations where they might get wet or you’re in need of some labels for an outdoor event, take a look through our range of Waterproof Labels. These labels are made using polyester or polyethylene along with a waterproof adhesive, which makes them tough, durable labels that are perfectly efficient, even in outdoor conditions. Our MWP and MWPE labels are made with a Marine Adhesive, which makes them a perfect choice if you’re looking for labels for an outdoor event or display.
  • FREEZER LABELS: whether you’re getting stuck in making homemade treats for the holidays or your business is a supplier of all kinds of food and drink delights, our Freezer Labels are a quick and easy way to add a seasonal message or design to your goods that won’t fall off in the freezer.

FAQ – I Want Labels Delivering To A Non-UK Address, Can You Help?

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

At Label Planet, we supply A4 sheets of labels to customers in the UK and Ireland, and are not set up to deal with customers worldwide. Our sister company, Madebuy, sells genuine Label Planet products via Amazon and Ebay, which means that some of our products are available to worldwide customers via those market platforms. However, we are more than happy to supply customers who nominate a UK address for delivery and make their own arrangements to have those items forwarded out of the country.

If you do want to order from Label Planet, here’s a brief guide to our Delivery Information & Delivery Destinations:

UK MAINLAND
Standard Despatch (not a guaranteed next day service)
Orders of less than 500 sheets placed by 4pm are despatched same working day via Royal Mail’s First Class service or next working day carrier service.

Orders of 500+ sheets placed before 3pm are despatched within five working days, with standard white paper products being despatched much sooner (often same day where items are in stock at our warehouse). Delivery is via next working day carrier service.

Express Despatch
Small orders can be upgraded to a guaranteed next day delivery service (by 1pm) when ordering online or over the phone.

If you’re working to a deadline, ordering late, or need a guaranteed delivery time, get in touch with us to discuss alternative shipping options.

NORTHERN IRELAND & ISLANDS WITH UK POSTCODES
Standard Despatch (not a guaranteed next day service)
Orders of less than 500 sheets placed by 4pm are despatched same working day via Royal Mail’s First Class service or 2-3 working day carrier service.

Orders of 500+ sheets placed before 3pm are despatched within five working days, with standard white paper products being despatched much sooner (often same day where items are in stock at our warehouse). Delivery is via 2-3 working day carrier service.

Express Despatch
Small orders can be upgraded to a guaranteed next day delivery (by 1pm) when ordering online or over the phone (please note that some “extended postcode” areas may not be covered by the next day service).

If you’re working to a deadline, ordering late, or need a guaranteed delivery time, get in touch with us to discuss alternative shipping options.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
Orders must be placed by phone so we can arrange for your items to be despatched via the correct delivery service.

Orders of less than 500 sheets placed by 4pm are despatched same working day via Royal Mail’s International Signed For service or 2-3 working day carrier service.

Orders of 500+ sheets placed before 3pm are despatched within five working days, with standard white paper products being despatched much sooner (often same day where items are in stock at our warehouse). Delivery is via 2-3 working day carrier service.

If you’re working to a deadline, ordering late, or need a guaranteed delivery time, get in touch with us to discuss alternative shipping options.

Prepare For A Truly Spooktacular Halloween With Labels From Label Planet!

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

Halloween is on the way, which means that if you’ve got exciting plans for creepy celebrations we might just have the labels for you! Whether you’re wanting to send out invitations to a monster bash or create spectacularly spooky decorations, we’ve got some fabulous label products to help you get things started with a bloodcurdling bang!

FREAKY FLUORESCENTS: these brilliantly bright labels are a stunningly simple way to add a burst of colour to your Halloween inspired projects. Featuring a Revolting Red, a Gruesome Green, a Yowling Yellow, a Malevolent Magenta, and a perfectly seasonal Outlandish Orange, this range of labels will really add a wicked burst of colour to your event.

CREEPY KRAFT: we’ve got a wonderful Kraft Label, made with ribbed Kraft paper for a subtle touch of putrid patterning and terrifying texture for all your homemade finishing touches!

HOWLING HIGH TACK: these paper labels have a supernaturally strong adhesive, which makes them perfect for sticking onto bursting bags of Halloween treats or for adding a label to your Halloween decorations or those all-important trick or treat buckets.

TAUNTING TRANSPARENTS: these transparent labels will add a touch of magic by “disappearing” into thin air, leaving behind “floating” text and images on your items. They’re also a brilliant way to make some fabulously frightening window stickers (but make sure you choose our Removable Transparent Labels, so you don’t end up with a frightful mess once the celebrations are over!).

FAQ – How Permanent Are Your “Permanent” Labels & How Removable Are Your Removable Labels?

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

Some customers are concerned about whether our permanent labels will be permanent enough or whether our removable labels will be removable enough. Here’s a short guide to the different adhesives we have available and how they will behave in typical label applications.

Permanent adhesives are designed to create a strong adhesive bond that will hold a label firmly in place and will prove difficult to remove. They are not, however, “impossible” to remove; if someone is absolutely determined to remove a permanent label, they will be able to do so. Removable adhesives, on the other hand, are designed to provide a light adhesive bond that is strong enough to hold a label in place while it is needed but that will allow the label to be removed quickly and cleanly with little to no adhesive residue being left behind.

The strength and success of the adhesive bond will depend on four factors: the length of time the label is stuck onto an item, the temperature during application, the surface onto which the label is applied, and the strength of the adhesive used.

TIME: adhesives used to make self-adhesive labels will “set” over time, meaning they have both an “initial tack” (i.e. the strength of the initial bond when a label is applied) and an “ultimate tack” (i.e. the strength once the adhesive has fully strengthened and set). If you apply a label and then immediately pull up one of the corners to test the adhesion without allowing the adhesive to set, the label is likely to come away quite easily.

TEMPERATURE: a higher temperature will quicken the process of adhesion, while lower temperatures can slow down or even prevent an adhesive from working altogether. All adhesives have a recommended application temperature (or range), but as a general rule it is best to avoid applying labels (and storing them) in extremes of hot and cold temperatures. You can find the recommended application temperatures for our products on the Specification Sheet for each product.

SURFACE TYPE: some surfaces are more conducive to a successful bond than others; the texture, shape, and material type of a surface will influence how well a label remains in place.

Surfaces have varying degrees of smoothness, from flat surfaces that have no peaks and troughs to rough, uneven surfaces that have extreme peaks and troughs. The best adhesive bond usually occurs where there is a regular pattern of shallow troughs as this provides the adhesive with the largest surface area over which to bond. If there are no troughs or very shallow troughs an adhesive may not have a large enough surface area to bond with. Alternatively, if there are too many troughs or if the troughs are too deep, an adhesive will not be able to reach the full surface area available and a weaker bond will form.

Stronger bonds also occur on flat surfaces in comparison with curved surfaces. If you apply a label to a curved surface, the adhesive bond has to be strong enough to overcome the “memory” of the face material of the label, which will try to return to its original flat state. To avoid this issue, you should opt for a larger label, a more flexible label material, a stronger adhesive, OR use a long thin label that can be wrapped all the way around an object (e.g. a cylinder) so that the ends overlap.

Finally, different materials will interact with adhesives in different ways – particularly if a material has had any special treatments or coatings that can cause the adhesive bond to fail if the treatment or coating changes or disintegrates over time.

ADHESIVE STRENGTH: most adhesives fall into the categories of permanent or removable; they will be designed with one of these types of adhesion in mind, with most adhesives being developed with a range of additional beneficial properties that will allow them to perform effectively in a range of label applications or in a more specific kind of environment. Adhesive strength ranges from high tack labels that offer extremely strong initial tack and ultimate tack, through to low tack labels that offer a gentle initial tack that will barely strengthen at all before reaching a low ultimate tack.

Here at Label Planet, we offer a range of adhesives as follows:

MEGA TACK ADHESIVE: our strongest adhesive; this product offers strong initial and ultimate tack. It is most commonly used for labelling unusual surfaces (such as fabric samples or building materials) that other adhesives struggle to adhere to OR for adding a simple paper label that is very difficult to remove. It is only available to order over the phone, with a minimum order quantity of 500 sheets.

HIGH TACK ADHESIVE: this adhesive offers strong initial and ultimate tack on a wide range of materials and surfaces. This adhesive is popular with customers who have tried standard permanent adhesives but have found that they don’t work well with the material or surface they are trying to label. They are also effective for use as labels that should be difficult to remove, in applications where it is vital that the information printed on the label remains with the item, even if it is moved around a lot or left in storage for long periods of time.

MARINE ADHESIVE: our MWP and MWPE products are made with a waterproof permanent adhesive that has been tested according to the BS5609 standard for marine adhesion. This adhesive has been tested extensively in marine conditions, including immersion in sea water for three months, and is ideal for use in label applications that will involve exposure to or immersion in water or storage/use in outdoor conditions.

STANDARD PERMANENT ADHESIVE: the majority of our label products are made with a standard permanent adhesive, which provides a good level of initial and ultimate tack on a range of materials and surfaces. These adhesives will hold labels firmly in place on most surfaces and will usually fragment and/or leave behind adhesive residue if an attempt is made to remove them.

REMOVABLE ADHESIVE: we have both paper (REM) and polyester (GTR) labels made with a removable adhesive; both of these product ranges are designed for use as “Temporary Labels”. They will remain in place while needed before removing easily and cleanly (i.e. there is no adhesive residue left behind and the surface of the item is left undamaged) when the label is out of date or no longer needed.

SUPER REMOVABLE ADHESIVE: we also have a super removable adhesive, which provides a very light initial and ultimate tack. This adhesive is designed specifically for use on more delicate items, such as those made of paper or glass.

This year, we have also introduced two security products, which use special adhesives to provide visual evidence of tampering. Our Void Labels use a special adhesive that divides when a label is removed, creating the message “VOID” on both the label and the item that it was applied to. Our Tamper Evident Vinyl Labels are made with a fragile cast vinyl and a very strong permanent adhesive so that if an attempt is made to remove one of these labels it will disintegrate into tiny pieces making it impossible to remove it in its entirety.

For a complete list of our label products along with the type of adhesive used for each product, please visit our Complete List Of Label Materials page.

Tips: Printing Labels From A Database Using Mail Merge

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

If you want to create labels for an existing database of contacts or product details but don’t want to enter the information for each one manually, then the easiest way to do this is to use Word’s “Mail Merge” tool.

This tool will allow you to merge the data in your database with a label template; you can choose one of the built-in Avery templates, set up a new template, or open an existing template (for example, if you’ve downloaded a template from our website).

If you’re not certain of the process, the best thing to do is to use the Step By Step Mail Merge Wizard, which will guide you through each step. Alternatively, if you already know how to go about completing a mail merge, you can do the steps yourself.

Here’s a quick guide on how to complete a Mail Merge using the Step By Step Wizard.
Select “Mailings”, click on “Start Mail Merge”, and select “Step By Step Mail Merge Wizard”.

STEP 1: DOCUMENT TYPE
Select “Labels” as your Document Type.

STEP 2: STARTING DOCUMENT
– To use a compatible Avery template:
Click on “Label Options”, select “Avery A4/A5” as the Label vendor, and choose the relevant code from the list.

– To create your own template:
Click on “Label Options”, and then select “New Label”. Fill in the required fields with the relevant measurements to create a template to match your labels.

– To use an existing template:
Select “Start from existing document” and click “Open” to locate the existing template you want to use.

STEP 3: SELECT RECIPIENTS
Select “Use an existing list”, then click “Browse” to locate your database file.

If you are using an excel spreadsheet, the “Select Table” box may show multiple options – these are the tabs in your spreadsheet so you will need to select the one that you want to use.

If you only want to create labels for a specific set of entries within your database, you can use the Mail Merge Recipients box to filter your data and select only the entries that you want to print.

STEP 4: ARRANGE YOUR LABELS
This step is where you enter the text you want to print on your labels; you can choose to create labels using only the text in your database (for example, if you’re printing plain address labels you will only need to use the address details from your database) or to add additional text along with field placeholders, which will be filled in with the relevant data from your database when you complete your merge.

There are a number of ways to design your labels:
ADDRESS BLOCK: this is the best tool to use if you’re printing address labels. If you find that not all of your fields are displaying correctly in the preview pane, click on “Match Fields” and match the fields in your database with the default elements contained in the Address Block.

GREETING LINE: if you’re writing a message to the recipient of each labelled item, you can use this tool to personalise each label with the recipient’s name.

MORE ITEMS: use the “More Items” option to select the fields from your database that you want to print onto your labels.
For example, if you are printing product labels using a database of product details, you can select the fields containing the information you want to include on the labels and insert them into your template.

FIELD PLACEHOLDERS: alternatively, you can simply type in the text you want and insert field placeholders where needed. To insert a field placeholder, click on “Insert Merge Fields” and select the field that you want to enter.

You should design your labels in the top left cell and then use “Update all labels” to copy your design into the rest of the cells.

[If you have opted to use an existing template, you will not have the “Update all labels” option. You will need to copy and paste your text into each cell yourself. You will also need to enter a “Next Record” rule at the start of each cell (except for the top left cell) so that when you complete the merge, each cell will be printed with the information from the next entry in your database.

To insert a “Next Record” rule, click in the second cell, click on the “Rules” button, and select “Next Record” from the list. You don’t have to repeat this for each cell; you can simply copy and paste the “Next Record” rule placeholder into the remaining cells.]

STEP 5: PREVIEW YOUR LABELS
Check that your design and layout work properly and that the correct bit of information is added onto each of the labels in the correct position.

STEP 6: COMPLETE THE MERGE
Select “Print” to choose your printer and set your print settings (remember, if your printer has a specific “Labels” or “Heavy Paper” setting, you should use this to improve the print quality you get when printing onto labels).

We strongly recommend doing a test print of the first page ONLY before you print the whole lot. Many people use Mail Merge because they have a database of hundreds, if not thousands, of entries and it can turn out to be a very costly mistake if you print them all without doing a quick test print first.

FAQ – Why Don’t You Do Heavier/Thicker Materials?

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

Some customers come to us looking for a specific weight or thickness of material while others simply want something heavier or thicker than standard materials.

Our products do cover a range of weights (122gsm to 260gsm) and thicknesses (129 microns to 228 microns); however, we do not offer bespoke labels made with materials of a specific weight or thickness NOR are our label ranges available with different material options (in other words, each is made with a material of one specific weight and thickness).

While we strive to always use materials of excellent quality, we are restricted in the weight and thickness that we can use due to the practicalities of printing labels. We specialise in supplying customers with sheets of labels that they can print themselves with THEIR OWN standard printers at home or at work.

This means that we are restricted to label products that are compatible with the recommended maximum weights and thicknesses applied to standard printers by their manufacturers. All manufacturers will supply recommended guidelines for the materials that their printers can safely accommodate; for standard printers this tends to be lower than printing presses used in the printing industry. Some standard printers are limited to paper only, which means they may not be able to accept materials of more than 80-90gsm. Others will be made with both a paper tray (suitable for paper products of 80-90gsm) and a media bypass tray, which is designed specifically for heavier and thicker materials – albeit with a limit as to the materials they can accept. You can check the recommended maximum weights and thicknesses of your printer in the manual provided by the manufacturer.

Labels are, by their very nature, a layered product, being made up of a number of layers including (as a bare minimum) a face material, adhesive layer, and a backing sheet. This means that the weight and thickness of the face material is limited by those of the adhesive and backing sheet layers.

If you absolutely have to have a heavier or thicker material, you will need to ensure that you have access to a printer capable of processing such a material and then source a product from a label manufacturer or supplier who is able to offer that material or produce a bespoke product for you. Alternatively, you may want to use a printing company who would be able to source a heavier or thicker material AND would have a printing press capable of printing onto that material.

You can view the weights and thicknesses of our materials on our Material Specification sheets, which are listed on our website here.

Template Tips: Working With Images In Word

Monday, October 5th, 2015

One of the most common problems that tends to trip people up when they’re creating templates in Word is the use of images.

Word is a “Word Processor” and as such is designed specifically for composing, editing, formatting, and printing written material – in other words, it’s designed for handling TEXT.

While Word does offer tools for adding and editing images, they are quite limited, which means that if you do add images to your Word template, they can cause a few problems.

Over the years we’ve spent quite a lot of time working with Word templates and we’ve got TWO TOP TIPS for any customers who want to include images in their templates:

1: USE THE RIGHT SIZE FOR YOUR IMAGE
When using a label template, you already know the dimensions you need to keep to. We advise that you ensure your image is the correct size BEFORE you paste it into your Word document. Word will often try to be helpful and rearrange your document to fit any oversized content that you add – which will obviously ruin your chances of getting the perfect alignment. Ensuring that your image is the right size (or at least an approximation of the right size) before you add it to your template can reduce problems with the document automatically adjusting itself.

2: USE THE BEST LAYOUT SETTINGS
The most common reason why images cause so much trouble in Word templates is the default layout settings. As Word is a word processor, it prioritises TEXT over everything else; when you paste an image it uses a default layout setting called “In Line With Text” – in other words the positioning of your image is defined by and limited to the font size and layout settings used by your text. In fact, even if you haven’t got ANY text in your template, the font that happens to be selected will still be used to determine the positioning of your images – just in case you should go ahead and include text.

We advise changing this default setting; we find that “Tight” gives you the most freedom over where you can position your images. If you are adding both text and images, you may want to use the “Behind Text” or “In Front Of Text” settings to get the correct balance, or use one of the other settings to ensure that your text and images will sit in a specific position relative to one another. If you find that your image sits half in front of and half behind your template, you should test the different Text Wrapping options to see if this removes the issue; alternatively, you may want to try using the “Arrange” options (“Bring to Front”, “Send to Back”, etc) to ensure that your template grid is set to the very “Back” of your layout, while your image is set to sit at the very “Front”.

You can find these layout settings in the following ways:

– Left Click on the image, then click on the Pink “Format” tab at the top of the page beneath “Picture Tools”. You can then use the tools in the “Arrange” section of the ribbon to improve the positioning of your image, with the options discussed above being listed under the “Wrap Text” button.

– Right Click on the image, then use the “Arrange” and “Text Wrapping” tools to change the layout settings. Alternatively, you can select “Size and Position” to view all of the layout and positioning settings applied to your image and make any necessary adjustments.

To find all of our templates (including both Word & PDF files), please visit our Label Templates section.

Be Inspired By Nature: Autumn Labels To Match The Autumn Leaves

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

With Autumn in full swing, nature is full of colour as parks and gardens across the country burst into shades of red, orange, yellow, and gold. With such a colourful season upon us, now is the perfect time to get inspired by nature, particularly if you’re after a crafty project to keep you occupied as the nights draw in or you’re looking to give your products or promotional materials a special seasonal feel.

We’ve got a whole heap of labels for you can choose from but here’s our top picks to perfect your autumnal theme:

  • Pastel Red & Yellow: the red labels have a touch of orange to them, which makes them a perfect match for the autumn spectrum of red and orange, while the yellow labels are a lovely way to add a note of brightness. These labels are an easy way to add a light touch of colour to all kinds of items.
  • Metallic Gold: for a touch of shimmering autumn colour, our gold paper labels are a wonderfully decorative addition that brings a touch of gloss and shine that’s perfectly suited to this season (and the next!).
  • Crafty Kraft: our brown Kraft labels have a ribbed finish, which gives these labels a lovely touch of pattern and texture. Ideal for all kinds of projects, from home based arts and crafts to businesses who want to give their products a natural, homemade feel, these labels are an easy way to add a creative finishing touch.
  • Fluorescent Red, Orange & Yellow: of course, if you’re after something with a bit more colour to add a burst of brightness to the darker days and nights, you might want to give our fluorescent labels a try; these labels are a great way to create an explosion of colour, with red, orange, and yellow options available to suit the autumn season.

[Please note: our Pastel Coloured Labels and Kraft Labels are compatible with both inkjet and laser printers, while our Metallic Gold and Fluorescent Labels are compatible with laser printers only. All of our coloured label products can also be handwritten.]