Custom label printing is a practical, convenient tool for any organized individual or business. Printing custom labels on your own rather than sending jobs to a printer can save money and increase efficiency for a variety of tasks, from shipping and asset tracking to storage organization and product labelling.
Regardless of the task, before printing labels on your own, it is important to know some basic printing procedures and limitations so that your custom job does not end up turning into more of a headache than a help.
Use the Right Materials
Many people learn the hard way that the success of a custom label printing job depends on the materials you use. This includes the type of printer, the labels themselves and the programs or templates used to create the project.
First off, make sure to use a printer or a label maker that has the capability to print the type of labels you need. Two main types of printers used in offices and homes are inkjets and laser printers. For those who are unaware of the difference between these, inkjets spray ink onto a sheet while laser printers use heat to melt the toner into the paper. These two technologies offer different advantages; some prefer inkjets because they can produce higher quality in detail and colour while busy offices might decide on a laser printer that has the ability to handle high-volume printing jobs with greater speed. There are also thermal printers, which utilize a digital printing process that does not require ink or toner.
The type of printer you use can affect the quality and type of your labelling jobs. For example, certain types of labels are specialized to suit inkjet printers; others are made specifically for laser or thermal printers. You will maximize the quality of your labels by using products tailored to your equipment. Conversely, using the wrong type of label in your printer can lead to time-consuming, costly paper jams that defeat the purpose of doing it yourself.
Similarly, consider the type of labels that will suit your needs; a label that you use for a CD or DVD does not need to be made of the same heavy-duty material as a mailing label or asset tracking in industrial environments. If you are using product labelling, you will want an eye-catching label that separates your brand from the competition, such as foils or fluorescents; on the other hand, post offices might have a hard time accurately shipping your products with these colours. Therefore, it is vital to choose the label that best suits your project needs.
Creating Your Labels
Creating labels has become a relatively simple process, thanks to continuously updated software. Word processing programs, such as Microsoft Word, have built-in label templates that make it easy to create and print labels of varying sizes and for a range of purposes. You can also use mail merge; insert graphics or custom logos; and more.
If using a recent version of Word, click Mailings, then Labels for the “Envelopes and Labels” window. This will allow you to create address labels; for other tasks, click Options in this window and choose the brand and style you need. Make sure you select the right type; otherwise your labels may print out incorrectly. Always print out a test page first to avoid the frustration of wasting expensive label sheets.
Many other companies and websites also offer software for label making, including major CD/DVD burning programs. Check with the manufacturer of the labels to see if they have a particular template available; you may be able to find even more creative options for your project.