Archive for November, 2016

Need Some Help Printing Labels? Check Out The New & Improved Label Planet HELP Pages!

Monday, November 28th, 2016

At Label Planet, we know EXACTLY how frustrating it can be when you run into a problem designing a template or printing your labels and you just CAN’T figure out what to do – even though you KNOW there’ll be some perfectly simple little trick that you can use to fix things in an instant.

Over the years we’ve dealt with thousands of customers and their tricky templates, which means that we’ve picked up plenty of tips and tricks to help resolve design and print issues – and we’ve created a comprehensive HELP SECTION on our website to make sure that all of our customers have the help and advice that they need ready and waiting if they encounter a problem – or even if they just need a bit of guidance on how to get started.

We’ve recently put our Help Section through a serious revamp to make sure that all of our templates and advice pages are as comprehensive and up to date as possible (see our New & Improved markers below). So, what sort of things can you find in our HELP SECTION? All of this (and much more!):

LABEL PRINTING TEMPLATES
We’ve created Word & PDF templates for ALL of our label sizes, so if you don’t have an existing template you can use (and don’t fancy trying to make your own), you can simply pop over to our Template Section and download the one you need. We’ve created options for portrait and landscape versions of our templates (where possible), as well as a few more specialised options (Text Box, Mirrored Text Box, Bleed) for customers to try.

Each of our label sizes has its own unique template information page, which includes the full set of templates for that size along with detailed measurement and layout information, design and printing tips, and a list of the material options available for that size.

REQUEST LABEL SAMPLES
We know that choosing the right label can be a tricky process, which is why we run a free sample request service so you can take a look at and test a few of our labels to make sure that you pick the one that’s perfect for your particular label application. Requesting a sample is a quick and easy way to make sure that you’ve chosen the right colour/material/finish/adhesive for the job AND it’s a great way to have a practice at getting your print alignment just right before you print onto your actual label sheets.

You can request a free sample using our online form or by contacting our Customer Service Team; please give us as much detail about your label application as possible – this will allow us to make sure that we only send samples that are appropriate for your purpose AND will allow us to make a few recommendations and suggestions if you’re really not sure what kind of label you need.

GUIDE TO DESIGNING AND PRINTING LABELS *Improved
Our very own guide to designing a template and printing your own labels. This basic guide leads you through the various steps involved in designing and printing a label template; Finding & Opening A Template, Designing A Template, and Setting Up Your Printer.

GUIDE TO PRINTING ROUND LABELS / CIRCULAR LABELS / OVAL LABELS *Improved
This guide is an extension of our general guide and provides more specific advice relating to round labels / circular labels and oval labels; these shapes are a little bit trickier to design and print accurately, so this guide aims to provide you with additional pointers to help you get the best possible print result on your labels.

GUIDE TO PRINTING MIRRORED TEXT / IMAGES
If you are printing transparent labels and want to create labels that can be read correctly from the reverse side (e.g. if the labels will be stuck inside a window but need to be read from outside the window), you can use this guide to find out how to reverse or “mirror” your text and images in a Word template.

TOP TIPS *Improved
A shortlist of quick Dos & Don’ts that can help prevent the majority of issues that arise when printing labels.

TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE *New
A new addition to our Help Section, this page collects together the most common problems that can occur when designing a template and printing labels, along with a simple explanation of how you can (hopefully) resolve each one.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS *Improved
Of course, no website is complete without a FAQs page and this is ours! This page features answers to all of those questions that we are most regularly asked, so if you have a quick question or query this is a good place to start!

AVERY CODES WITH COMPATIBLE LABEL PLANET CODES *Improved
You can use this page if you are already using Avery labels and/or templates and you want to see if we supply any labels that are the same size. This way you can order labels from Label Planet (in any of our material options) but continue to use your existing templates.

LABEL PLANET CODES WITH COMPATIBLE AVERY CODES *Improved
If you want/need to use a built in Avery template to print your labels, you can use this page to find out which of our products have compatible Avery template codes and/or find out which Avery code you need to use to bring up a template that is the same size and layout as your Label Planet labels.

Our HELP SECTION is completely free for ANYONE to use; we also offer support to customers by phone and email if they find that they have a question, query, or persistent problem that isn’t answered by these resources.

Need Some Suitably Seasonal Labels? Try This Selection To Add Shimmer & Sparkle To Your Christmas Goodies!

Monday, November 21st, 2016

Whether you’re looking for Christmas product labels, labels to finish off your Christmas themed event or marketing materials, or just want the perfect labels for your Christmas cards, invites, and presents, this post lists our absolute favourites to add that finishing touch of Christmas magic!

GOLD LABELS & SILVER LABELS
Gold and silver are our most popular colours at this time of year and for good reason; these paper labels have a wonderfully decorative semi-gloss textured finish that is about as Christmassy as it gets! These labels create a subtle shimmer that is luxurious and classic, which makes them a perfect choice for any project that needs that little bit of Christmas joy.

KRAFT LABELS
Perhaps a less obvious choice, the natural warm finish of these kraft paper labels makes them another popular choice for this time of year. They’re especially popular for homemade arts and crafts projects and for companies who want to promote their goods and/or services as having the friendly personalised feel of homemade or handcrafted items.

COLOURED LABELS
If you just want to add a bit of fun to your Christmas items, our coloured labels are a brilliantly quick and easy way to add a subtle bloom or sharp burst of colour. You can choose between seven gentle pastel shades or go all out with our five fabulous fluorescent colours.

GLOSS TRANSPARENT LABELS
Another less obvious choice, our gloss transparent labels are a wonderfully decorative option that adds a bright shine to all of your labelled items. You can use these labels to add information or a personalised message to any item without covering up the surface of the item (or its packaging) – so if you’re trying to add a label to items that have been especially printed with a Christmas design, you can add your extra information without covering up your seasonal theme. They’re also a really easy way to avoid colour matching issues and are the perfect label to choose if you want to add a personalised seasonal seal to envelopes or packaging. We have two options available; gloss transparent labels (for laser printers) and gloss clear labels (for inkjet printers).

Labels are a brilliant way to add a completely unique finishing touch to any Christmas item; you can print your labels with a unique design to personalise each and every item, add a handwritten message, or even use your labels as materials for craft-inspired projects, such as making your own Christmas stationery and decorations.

To add your own personal spark of Christmas magic to your products, cards, invitations, or gifts this year, visit our website and take a look through our wonderful range of label materials to see if we’ve got something that will give your project(s) that perfect festive finish!

How To Print Christmas Labels Using Word’s Mail Merge Tool

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Yes, it is that time of year once again, where we revisit Word’s Mail Merge Tool to help guide you through the process of creating Christmas labels using a Word template and a database (e.g. an Excel Spreadsheet). If you’ve got a list of addresses or a product database that you’d like to turn into Christmas Address Labels or Christmas Product Labels but aren’t sure how to go about setting up a mail merge, this is the blog post for you!

We recommend using the built in “Step By Step Mail Merge Wizard” and so this blog will describe how to complete a mail merge using the Wizard; if you wish, you can choose to do the steps manually.

Things you will need before you start:

  • A saved database, such as an Excel spreadsheet, that contains the information you want to include on your labels (e.g. addresses or product details)
  • The Avery template code that matches your labels, the measurements of your labels, OR a saved copy of a Word template that matches your labels (e.g. one that you have downloaded from our template section!)

GETTING STARTED – Enter the “Step By Step Mail Merge Wizard”
label-planet-mail-merge-wizard
Open Word and create a blank document. Click on the “Mailings” tab at the top of the page, then click on “Start Mail Merge”, and select “Step By Step Mail Merge Wizard”. This adds a Mail Merge pane to the right hand side of your screen, which will guide you through the SIX steps involved in completing a mail merge. Simply follow the instructions at the top of the pane before clicking on the “Next” link at the bottom of the pane to move on to the next step.

STEP ONE: Select document type.
Easy peasy! Select “Labels” and then click “Next: Starting document”.

STEP TWO: Select starting document.
If you are printing labels that are the same as Avery labels, you should use the built in Avery template.
For example, our LP21/63 label size is the same as Avery’s L7160 label size – as shown below.
label-planet-mail-merge-select-avery-template
Leave the top option as “Change document layout” and click on “Label options”. Make sure that the Label Vendor is set to Avery A4/A5 (or Avery Zweckform) and then click OK. This will bring up the template that you will use to design your labels.
If you cannot see the outline of the template, you have Table Gridlines turned off; click on the Table Tools “Layout” tab at the top of the page, and click “View Gridlines”.

If you do NOT have a compatible Avery code then you will either need to use the “New Label” button in the “Label Options” box to enter the measurements of your label sheets to create your own template OR you will need to use the “Start from existing document” option in the Mail Merge pane. Click “Open” to find and select your saved template file. Then click “Next: Select Recipients” in the Mail Merge pane.

STEP THREE: Select Recipients
Leave the top option as “Use existing list” and click on “Browse” to find and select your database. If your database is made up of multiple sets of data – for example, if you have an Excel spreadsheet with multiple sheets – you may be presented with a “Select Table” box; simply select the sheet that contains the information that you want to print and select OK.

If you need to make adjustments to your list, you can use the “Mail Merge Recipients” box to sort, filter, remove, or validate addresses in your list. Once you are happy with your list, or if you don’t need to make any amends, click on the OK button.
label-planet-mail-merge-select-recipients

You should now see a <<Next Record>> rule in each of your labels APART from the top left label. If you aren’t using an Avery template (or a template you set up using the “New Label” button in “Label Options”) your template will be blank. You need to manually add the <<Next Record>> rule to your labels by left clicking once inside one of your labels (NOT the top left one), clicking on “Rules” in the Mailings tab, and selecting the Next Record option from the list. You don’t have to repeat this for each label; you can simply copy the first <<Next Record>> and paste it into the rest of the labels (NOT the top left one).
Then click on “Next: Arrange Your Labels” in the Mail Merge pane.

STEP FOUR: Arrange your labels
This is the part where you design your labels! You CAN just add your information as a block of text OR you can put in some extra design features, such as a company logo or a friendly picture to personalise your labels.

The easiest way to add information from your database is to use the built in options in the Mail Merge pane (Address block or Greeting line), but you can also use the “More items…” option in the Mail Merge pane or the “Insert Merge Field” option in the Mailings tab to add a placeholder for any bit of information from your database anywhere within your label design. A placeholder takes the form of <<Information Name>> where “Information Name” is the column header from your database; once you complete your merge, each placeholder will be replaced with the relevant piece of information from your database.

You must make sure that the <<Next Record>> rule always comes BEFORE the first bit of information that is pulled from your database in each label.

Mail merge is really designed to create a set of labels that share the same basic design but are each printed with information from a different record in your database (e.g. address labels with the same design but a different address on each label); to design your labels, set up your design in the top left label and then use “Update all labels” in the Mail Merge pane to instantly add your design to the rest of your labels. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can ignore the “Update all labels” option and add different designs to your labels manually.

If you are not using an Avery template or a template you have set up using the “New Label” button in “Label Options”, the “Update all labels” option is NOT available and you will need to set up each label individually – although you can still add your design to the top left label and then use copy and paste to transfer it into the other labels.

If you are using the Address block or Greeting line options, you may need to use the “Match Fields” function to tell Word which column in your database correlates to each element of the built in option. For example, if your spreadsheet doesn’t use the exact same column headings as the different elements in Word’s built in Address block, you can use the “Match Fields” function to tell Word that you want it to use the information from your column “Customer Surname” to fill in the “Last Name” element in the Address block (and so on). This also means you can use the Address block function even if you aren’t creating address labels. Use the “Preview” box to check through a few records to make sure you’re happy with how the information will be displayed.

label-planet-mail-merge-arrange-your-labels

When you are happy with your design, click on “Next: Preview Your Labels” in the Mail Merge pane.

STEP FIVE: Preview your labels
This step shows you what your labels look like once the placeholders have been replaced with the information from your database. We recommend using the “Preview another label” or “Find a recipient” options to check through a few different records to make sure that your design and layout works for each one. For example, you have may have one or two entries that are much longer than others, which could throw out the positioning of your design (perhaps even pushing some of your design off the edges of your label). If you need to, use the “Previous: Arrange your labels” option at the bottom of the Mail Merge pane to go back and correct any problems that you’ve found.

STEP SIX: Complete the merge
At this stage you can save your mail merged template, print your completed labels, or make some final amends/add personalised finishing touches using the “Edit individual labels” option. When you come to print your labels, we STRONGLY recommend that you do a test print FIRST either by selecting the “From…To” option and selecting the first few records from your database to print ONE page of labels or by setting the Page range option in the “Print” box to “Pages: 1” (see below). You should also click on the “Properties” button to check that all of your printer settings are correct; for example, make sure that the page size is set to A4, select a specific “Labels” or “Heavy Paper” setting, make sure that no scaling options (e.g. Fit To Page) are selected, and that no options such as Ignore Printer Settings or Use Driver Settings are selected.

label-planet-mail-merge-test-print

Test print the first page of your mail merged template onto blank paper so that you can confirm that the alignment of your template is correct (and amend it if it isn’t) BEFORE you print your labels. For example, if your labels are all printing too high, you can go back and increase the top page margin to move all of your designs into the correct position.

The “Edit individual labels” option creates a new document which contains enough pages to display each of your merged labels (where the original mail merge document shows only one page with the first few entries from your database added).

We hope this guide has helped to demystify the process of completing a mail merge a little, so you can get busy creating your own seasonal labels this Christmas. If you have any queries or encounter a particular problem that isn’t explained by this guide, please take a look through our Printing Advice pages or get in touch with our Customer Service Team and we’ll do our best to help!

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like (This Is A Blog About) Christmas (Despatch & Delivery Information)!

Monday, November 7th, 2016

Yes, yes, we know – it’s far too early to talk about Christmas, but with only 48 days (yes, we counted!) and only 35 WORKING days (yes, we counted again) left until Christmas  – it’s never too early to get organised, especially if you need Christmas labels that will actually arrive BEFORE Christmas.

The majority of the labels that we sell at this time of year, as you can probably guess, end up being used as Christmas product labels, address labels for Christmas cards, invites, and mailers, or as part of Christmas events – so all of these labels need to be ordered, despatched, delivered, designed, printed, applied, and despatched on to their final destination BEFORE Christmas arrives – and doesn’t that just make those 48 days (or 35 working days) seem a lot less longer than they did before?!

A lot of our customers end up buying their labels as the very last step in their Christmas projects; they may have spent weeks and months (and years!) putting together Christmas product ranges, working on marketing and promotional campaigns for the Christmas season, or creating special invitations and cards BUT the labels they need to complete these projects all too often end up being a last minute thought – when, actually, they need a lot more than a “last minute” to get them just right.

Simply designing a template and getting it to print correctly can take much longer than you’d think and you’d be surprised at how many of our customers are caught out by forgetting to account for the time that it will take them to actually stick their labels onto their products/packaging/marketing materials/invitations etc. And all of this is before you consider the implications of trying to get things delivered at this time of year!

So, with all of this in mind, we’d like to encourage ALL of our customers to plan ahead and to order their Christmas labels as soon as they can – so you don’t end up in a last minute panic! Here is our despatch & delivery information for November & December;

25-200 sheets
Despatched from stock via Royal Mail’s first class service (or Signed For first class service where the value is £35+).
Order by 4:30pm, Monday to Friday, to qualify for same day despatch – LAST POSTING DATE: Wednesday 21st December.
Please note: we will still process and despatch small orders of stocked items up to 4:30pm on Friday 23rd December but these items are not guaranteed to arrive before Christmas.
250-475 sheets
Despatched from stock via next working day carrier service.
Order by 3:30pm, Monday to Friday, to qualify for same day despatch – LAST POSTING DATE: Friday 23rd December.
500+ sheets (stocked items)
Despatched from stock via next working day carrier service.
Order by 3pm, Monday to Friday, to qualify for same day despatch – LAST POSTING DATE: Friday 23rd December.
If the item(s) you order are temporarily out of stock, they will be made and despatched within a couple of working days.
500+ sheets (made to order items)
Despatch is up to five working days via next working day carrier service (standard paper items are usually despatched sooner).
As we get closer to Christmas, demand for made to order items soars, which means that items will eventually be placed on a waiting list for manufacture and the lead time is likely to increase – in our experience, it will usually become 5 working days (and not “up to”) before extending to 7-10 working days as December approaches. Depending on the level of demand, production of made to order items will usually stop in early/mid-December with despatch and delivery estimates shifting into 2017.
This means that it is especially important to order your labels early if you know that you need to order a large quantity of (made to order) labels.

Special Delivery Options
As Christmas gets ever closer, the reliability of delivery services (and especially the Royal Mail) does decline as more and more items are sent out in time for Christmas, which means that it’s a good idea to consider upgrading your order to a special delivery option – especially if you’ve got some pretty tight deadlines to meet. We offer the following special delivery options:
Royal Mail’s Guaranteed Next Working Day Delivery (by 1pm)
25-200 sheets only; available by phone or online; requires a signature on delivery – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Royal Mail’s Guaranteed Next Working Day Delivery (by 9am)
25-200 sheets only; available by phone; requires a signature on delivery
Royal Mail’s Guaranteed Next Working Day Delivery (Saturday)
25-200 sheets only; available by phone; requires a signature on delivery – in our experience, NOT 100% reliable
Timed Next Working Day Delivery via Carrier (pre-10:30am/pre-noon/Saturday)
250+ sheets only; available by phone; requires a signature on delivery
 

Delivery to Northern Ireland & Republic of Ireland (+ Islands With UK Postcodes & “Extended Postcodes”)
These areas tend to have slightly longer delivery times all year round, which means it’s even more important to order early if you need your labels delivering to one of these locations before Christmas.
Small orders (25-200 sheets):
Northern Ireland, Islands With UK Postcodes, Extended Postcodes:
Despatch same day via Royal Mail’s first class service (Mon-Fri, up to 4:30pm), LAST POSTING DATE: Wednesday 23rd December
Republic Of Ireland
Despatch same day via Royal Mail’s international standard service (Mon-Fri, up to 4:30pm), LAST POSTING DATE: Friday 16th December
Medium/large orders (250+ sheets & made to order items):
Despatch same day from stock (or when made to order items have been made) via 2-3 working day carrier service (Mon-Fri, up to 3pm), LAST POSTING DATE: Wednesday 21st December

Remember, if you have any questions about our despatch and delivery, would like to check the stock availability or despatch estimate of a particular item, or need some advice about how to order the labels you want in time for a specific deadline, please get in touch with our Customer Service Team.