Labels and templates designed for the UK and US are different - and there's one key reason why.
Some of our customers come to us in a state of confusion and frustration because they’re struggling to find labels that work with existing software at work. Some of them are trying to find a better or cheaper supplier than the one they are currently using, while others are trying to find labels to suit brand new software that their company has just invested in.
While some of these customers will turn out to be looking for a label that simply isn’t a standard size, some will be having problems because the software they are using is American and they’re struggling to find UK products that will work with it.
So why does this happen?
The problem is that the UK uses the International Standard’s (ISO) standard for paper size, while the US uses the American National Standard Institute’s (ANSI) standard for paper size.
So, where labels on sheets in the UK are designed to fit on an A4 sheet (210 x 297mm), labels on sheets in the US are designed to fit on an American Letter sheet (8.5 inches x 11 inches – or 215.9mm x 279.4mm). This obviously has implications for the sizes of label that are manufactured as “standard sizes” and for the way these sizes are laid out – which in turn determines the templates that you need to use to print onto these different pages and layouts.
When companies import software from America, it is likely that the software will use American Letter and imperial measurements as default settings – and only some software will allow a user to change these settings and select A4 and metric measurements for their label templates (for example, the built-in templates in Word feature templates for both “A4/A5” – using the UK standards of page size and measurements – and “US Letter” – using the US standards).
If you’re using software imported from America and you’re struggling to find label sizes and template codes that are compatible with those for UK products, the first thing you should do is check the settings your software is using and – most importantly – if you are able to change them. If your software will allow you to use UK standards, then you simply need to change your settings and then purchase compatible UK products.
However, if your software won’t allow you to use the A4 page size and metric measurements, and you don’t have access to alternative software to print the labels you need, then you will need to source labels from an American distributor (e.g. World Label).
Of course, if you’re struggling to find a template for one of our label products, you can always download one of the templates we have set up by visiting our Templates Page.