Custom Label Printing

custom labelsCustom 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.


Using a Custom Label Printer

custom label makers

Sending label jobs to a printer can be both time-consuming and expensive. Many individuals and businesses instead opt for purchasing a custom label printer, which comes in handy for a variety of labelling needs in addition to everyday printing tasks.

Just to be clear, a label printer is different from a stand-alone label maker, which usually includes a built-in screen and keyboard and is used for the singular purpose of typing and printing labels directly from the unit. Label printers, on the other hand, can usually be used for all of your printing needs, making it a more practical, multi-functional tool. Choosing a good label printer will allow you to produce high-quality custom labels with graphics, colour pictures, bar codes and more.

The following are just some of the tasks you can complete with a custom label printer:

  • Shipping labels. Using labels of different sizes, you can complete every step of the shipping process, from address labels to listing package contents and return labels. There are many templates available to help create the correct labels to suit your needs, whether you require a mass mailing or an individual envelope. Default return addresses, mail merges, the option of using personalized fonts and images such as company logos—these are among the benefits of creating your labels for shipping using your printer. Also, the labels can be customized in terms of shape, colour, and material, adding a personal touch to your mailings.
  • Asset tracking. Keeping track of assets is a critical component for businesses, whether the system is used for controlling inventory, tracking orders or monitoring repairs. Printing custom asset tracking labels can facilitate the process. Businesses have a range of options: creating unique identification tags for each asset, labelling the shelves and locations, and having the option of using more durable labels for harsh environments are all possible with a custom label printer.
  • Product/barcode labels. Barcodes are perhaps the most well-known type of product labelling, and can be easily created and printed from within your office. But not everyone realizes that companies may also use product labelling for a range of other tasks, including ingredient lists, product warnings, directions, and expiration dates. Branding/promotional labels can be created on eye-catching colours and materials (such as glossy, fluorescent or metallic labels), and affixed on gifts or giveaways to promote your company.

Tips for Printing

Before printing your labels, make sure you are aware of the correct ink colour, paper size and type required for your printer (for example, if printing semi-gloss labels, you may need a specific wax/resin paper). Also, if you use a thermal label printer, which applies heat to transfer paper rather than using ink, keep in mind that these labels usually are not ideal for long-term needs, as heat or light exposure can cause them to fade.

Whether you decide to go with an inkjet or laser printer can have an effect on your label creation as well. For instance, if you plan on doing mass mailings, you may opt for a laser printer, which usually has the capacity for faster production of high-volume jobs. However, if you plan to use richly coloured or highly detailed labels, or if you often print in smaller batches, an inkjet printer might be more practical. The type of labels you purchase may correspond to either of these types of printers. You can eliminate any confusion, however, by just ordering inkjet laser labels that are compatible for both types.

Custom label printers are a staple of many busy offices due to their cost-effectiveness and ease of use. You will have a practically limitless resource for label creation with this versatile tool.

Choosing a Label Manufacturer

label manufacturersYou’ve mastered the art of using templates to create the perfect label. You’ve weighed the pros and cons of using a laser or inkjet printer for your labelling job. You’ve even decided on the type of label you want to use, and whether it is compatible with inkjets, laser printers or both. All that’s left to decide is which label manufacturer offers the right services and products to fit your needs. Choosing the right label company can save a great deal of time and frustration, and in some cases will even allow you to gain the upper hand with consumers.

Whether we like it or not, sometimes products are all about appearances. Labelling plays a major role in this respect; consumers are more likely to gravitate towards a product with high-quality, attractive labelling, regardless of the quality of what is inside the packaging. When you are choosing a label manufacturer, you need to make sure they offer the style of products that will allow you to beat the competitors with that initial consumer “hook.” Something as seemingly simple as colour or size can make a world of difference for your product, regardless of your industry.

Here are some important factors to consider in your search for a label manufacturer to suit your needs:

  • Experience and expertise. Whichever company you choose should have a great deal of knowledge about different label types, layouts, materials, etc. Labels vary greatly depending on their purpose and intended environment; you may need some guidance about which one is best for your particular needs. For example, if you are labelling chemicals, there are several elements that are critical to include, and the representative assisting you needs to be knowledgeable about these regulations. Customer service is important here, too; your business deserves attention to detail and support throughout the process, such as a phone call or email to touch base after you have received the product to ensure that it meets your expectations.
  • Eye-catching variety. Most labels count on visual appeal; choose a manufacturer that offers many choices in shapes, colours, and sizes, as well as materials. Depending on your needs, you may want to use several different types of labelling; the company should be able to inform you of several options that will help you set your brand apart.
  • Quality and consistency. You get what you pay for, and what you pay for needs to be high-quality labels that look the same every time. For companies who apply labels using automated equipment, consistency includes the thickness of each roll and how tightly the labels are wound on the spool. Make sure there is a good contrast between dark and light colours, that the labels are clean and smooth with no spots or fading and that any text or images are properly aligned on every label. Also, regardless of what type of label you choose, you should be able to count on a smooth and timely ordering and delivery process.
  • Extra charges. The label manufacturer might advertise a certain price, but this can change if you have a custom order (i.e., a particular size or shape). Be aware of the costs incurred by requests for resizing your labels or artwork, viewing proofs, creating a custom shape, etc. before placing your order, so that you will not be unpleasantly surprised when it comes to billing. Label manufacturers should also be able to suggest cost-saving options to meet your budget.

Taking the time to research label manufacturers and make an informed decision can help give your company save money and gain a competitive edge.

Using Safety Labels for Chemicals

chemical labelsThere are a number of laws mandating that employers correctly label chemicals, especially those that are potentially dangerous. Companies are not allowed to transport, use or store hazardous substances that are not labelled properly.

Over a decade ago, the International Labour Organisation (in conjunction with its Convention and Recommendation on Safety in the Use of Chemicals at Work) found that a harmonised approach to identifying and protecting against chemicals was lacking in the global community. To unify and strengthen international efforts to improve safety and communication, the United Nations issued the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). This system developed a more comprehensive worldwide approach to chemicals that would more effectively communicate information and protective measures, in order to safeguard against disasters in the workplace and environment.

Required Information for Chemical Safety Labels

In keeping with GHS recommendations, make sure that you include the following elements on your safety labels for chemicals, and be aware of any additional information that may be required by local agencies (or other countries, if you do business globally). Keep in mind that workplace chemicals can have different—and usually more stringent—safety labelling than chemicals in consumer products.

  • Chemical identification is the first step of hazard communication. Labels must list the name or number of the chemical (a product identifier) as well as applicable hazard warnings. Hazard warnings must be able to convey immediate understanding of risks to health and environment; this can be achieved by using a combination of words and pictures. The GHS standardized label elements are symbols, also called hazard pictograms, which show the hazard class/category; signal words (“danger” for more serious hazards and “warning” for less of a risk), and hazard statements that describe the nature of the risk. Only the symbol/signal word that corresponds to the most severe hazard should be included on the label; for example, if “danger” applies to any chemical, the signal word “warning” should not also be included.
  • The chemical supplier must include their contact information (name, address, phone number) on the label.
  • Labels should include information about how to safely store, handle, use and dispose of the chemical. Precautionary statements and/or symbols will prevent and minimise any adverse effects.
  • If a chemical is transferred from its original container into a new one, the portable container must also comply with labelling regulations.  This is especially true if used outside of working hours, or if the person who transfers the chemical or portable container leaves the work area.

Creating Chemical Safety Labels

  • Templates are available through numerous websites and software that will make label creation a simple task; or you can send your request to a reliable label manufacturer. Be sure to specify the information you need to include and choose only the highest quality to avoid having to redo the process later on.
  • The material and quality of your labels matter. By law, safety labels on hazardous chemicals must be readable and permanent, affixed to the chemical container or pipe work. Many label manufacturers specialise in creating durable, permanent adhesive labels that can withstand even the harshest industrial or outdoor conditions. Use the best quality for your protection and the protection of those who are handling or storing your chemicals.

By correctly labelling chemicals, companies can ensure a safer workplace; reduce health care costs due to fewer chemical-related accidents and illnesses; increase efficiency, and even create a more reliable corporate image. Workers will benefit from a more simplified system for identifying and handling chemicals, and the environment and the general public deserve the right to an honest, preventive approach towards chemical incidents.

Find out more about our safety labels at –