Tips for Label Printing Success

For some people, printinglabel makerslabels can be nothing short of a nightmare. The good news is that for these people, there are many options to getting their labels printed. However, is printing labels on your own printer really that hard? Not when you apply these terrific tips.

Don’t Print On Labels the First Time

The labels you plan to use may have been inexpensive to purchase, but that’s no reason to waste them. A good way to find out how your inkjet labels are going to look is to print them on a regular blank sheet of paper. Once printed, simply place the label paper behind the sheet and look at it against a light source to determine whether spacing and positioning is the way you want it. As well, printing on a blank sheet will tell you whether or not labels need to be inserted into the printer face down or face up.

Care for Your Labels

Believe it or not, how your store and otherwise care for your labels can make a big difference to how they turn out once you’ve printed them. Most labels are sold in some sort of plastic packaging. This packaging should be kept intact with labels inside, and then stored in a place that’s free of humidity.

A flat label will print best, and so, if you’ve long since recycled that plastic packaging, consider placing a weight on top of your stack of labels to keep them straight.

Label Handling

Even though your printer’s settings are perfect, and the paper you chose for your labels is the right kind, doesn’t mean your labels will be smudge-free as soon as they’ve been printed. In fact, smudging can happen to anyone. Oil from your fingers is enough to cause ink to move around, causing a label print redo. To avoid this, always handle your label sheets by their edges.

Don’t Print On the Same Sheet More Than Once

Inkjet label sheets can only go through a printer one time. Sending labels through more than once can cause curling at the edges due to paper being so tightly guided through the printer. Curled label paper can result in other problems, such as jamming and peeling off of labels inside the printer.

Be Patient

The inkjet printer distributes ink onto the page using droplets of ink, and not by burning ink onto the paper like with a laser printer. Therefore, it’s important to ensure your labels have lots of drying time before you set about peeling them from the sheet and applying them to items. If label sheets must be stacked, consider placing a piece of paper between each sheet to minimize smudging.

Stack Support

The number of sheets in your printer’s paper tray will also make a difference to how well your labels turn out. For example, if you are planning to print one sheet of labels, ensure that there are at least 25 pieces of plain paper loaded in the paper tray behind your label sheet. This will ensure that the leaf is taken into the printer correctly, and aligned properly once inside the printer.

Not being familiar with your printer’s settings can also negatively affect the quality of your printed labels. It’s important to know what to expect out of your particular machine so that there are no unwelcome surprises. At the end of the day, getting to know your printer settings, as well as following the suggestions above can help you to avoid a lot of stress, money, time and ink when the time comes to print your labels.

Everything You Need To Know About Printing Labels with Your Inkjet Printer

printing labelsWhen you need to label your items, you may not be sure which type of label is best suited to your needs. When trying to make a choice, it might help you to know that the inkjet labels are currently one of the best-selling types. This is most likely due to the popularity of inkjet printers, which continues to increase due to the wide variety of printers available at prices to suit nearly every budget.

Why Inkjet?

The inkjet label has many advantages over its competition. Not only does it allow for inexpensive printing from the home, but the material from which these labels are made allows for quality printing without the bleeding of ink. The inkjet label also resists smudging, which means far less chance that additional labels will need to be printed in future.

Inkjet Printing Technology

The inkjet printer applies ink onto paper and labels by applying the ink in droplets. There are two ways to do this; continuous printing, and drop-on-demand printing.

Continuous Printing

Continuous printing offers high speed, meaning that it takes less time to print labels. As well, continuous printing eliminates the common issue of clogging in the ink nozzles, because this type of printing moves ink from the cartridge to the paper using high pressure. Once the ink reaches the nozzle, it is then subjected to an electrostatic charge. Deflection plates then direct the ink to the surface being printed on.

Drop-on-Demand

This form of printing can be accomplished using two methods: piezoelectric and thermal. Piezoelectric drop-on-demand printing uses chambers located behind the ink nozzles. These chambers are filled with ink, which is forced through the nozzle and onto the material being printed when an electric charge is applied.

Thermal drop-on-demand printing also requires the use of an ink cartridge that has chambers. However, the chambers in thermal drop-on-demand printing contain heaters instead of ink. An electric current passes through the heater, causing ink to bubble. As the ink bubbles, pressure increases to the point where ink is sprayed onto the material being printed.

Print Quality

The print quality of any label printed by an inkjet printer is determined by two factors: Dots per inch and pixels per inch. A dot is defined as the smallest amount that a printer can generate. A pixel is an image’s smallest unit.

Generating the best quality label means understanding how the above terms relate to one another. The inkjet printer renders its images using a limited set of colours, unless it is a higher-end printer, the latter of which uses a variety of colours. The DPI or dots-per-inch measurement is how many dots an inkjet printer can print over one inch of material. The PPI or pixels-per-inch measurement will be smaller than the DPI because many printer dots will make up a single pixel.

Usually, the higher the DPI, the clearer and cleaner the printed image or text will appear. Of course, there are other factors at play which the inkjet printer cannot control.

Image Size

The size of the image being printed on a label is important. For example, if you are trying to increase the size of a very small image to fill the length and width of a label, that image will become more and more distorted as its size is increased. A printer cannot clarify a picture that was distorted to begin with. So to avoid this problem, use an image that’s as close to the label’s size as possible. Doing so will result in a much clearer result.

Whether it’s a set of address, parcel, pallet shipping or other labels that you are trying to print, your business can save money and you can save time by printing them on an inkjet printer.

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Should Your Business Consider Smart Label Technology?

qr codesWhere it comes to securing the products you sell, it can pay to have technology on your side. Smart labels can offer the security your business needs, as well as provide a cost-effective means of protection. The smart label is quickly becoming an important item for retail stores as well as in other sectors such as health.

Types of Smart Security Labels

QR Code

This type of label can be scanned with a mobile phone or other device. The QR code can contain a large amount of data, and can even be split into several areas, each area containing a particular type of data. Even if the QR code has been smeared or damaged in some other way, it has the capability to correct itself. This is possible with the addition of one of four different levels of error correction code. The levels are chosen by the businesses wanting the codes prior to their production.

There are many ways in which the QR code can be used by businesses. Inventory queries can be made quickly, meaning that potential tampering or theft can be identified extremely quickly. As well, stock can be replaced quickly as information can be passed wirelessly to the code reading device, notifying staff instantly of shortages in inventory.

EAS

EAS or Electronic Article Surveillance is a type of security label that emits an alarm when an article has been tampered with. These special tags are affixed to merchandise and activated upon stocking of the items. Once purchased, the tags can be deactivated by store clerks. EAS tags are commonly used in stores that sell a lot of high-priced electronics items, but they are also used in libraries to prevent book theft.

EAS requires the installation of a detection system, which will sound an alarm should a tag be tampered with. These systems are often placed at the entrance and exits of stores, as well as in bathrooms where would-be thieves may try and remove item tags. EAS tags exist in many types, including microwave, magnetic and radio frequency.

RFID

Radio frequency identification continues to be a popular method of securing products. This label type can be as small as a grain of rice, making it a clever way to secure a wide range of products. RFID tags transmit information wirelessly via the use of electromagnetic fields. This allows items to be tracked and identified incredibly efficiently. RFID tags have received much criticism in the past because they can be placed virtually anywhere and contained personal information that can be read without the consent of an individual.

The RFID label can replace the use of bar codes and manual systems as it is far more efficient than either of these. Not only can these tags be read from virtually any distance, but they can also be read if the tag itself has been obscured in some way. These types of tag also allow for hundreds to be read at one time, unlike barcodes, which must be scanned individually.

Smart labels can also be a solution where diagnostics are required. For example, if a storage or transport facility becomes dangerously warm for the items being stored or transported, the smart tag can detect temperature and notify the business owner or storage or transport service, resulting in prevention of product loss due to damage.

Different types of smart labels can also be used simultaneously in a business to provide different levels of security. There is no doubt that, as time goes on, and technology continues to develop that smart labels will become the norm for securing products of every price and type.

Inkjet Printer Hacks Than Can Improve Label Print Quality

inkjet printersMany people think that their printer’s quality is due to the quality of the ink that is used, or even how much they spent on their printer. While it’s true that more expensive printers do include more choices for colour and more features, this doesn’t necessarily mean that their print quality will be any better.

There are actually several factors that can affect an inkjet printer’s printing quality. If the printer software or hardware malfunctions, this can negatively affect print quality. Moreover, as far as ink is concerned, all it takes is one damaged cartridge to mess up your inkjet labels, printed images and more.

Fortunately, there are factors affecting print quality which can be controlled. These include colour saturation, print speed and resolution.

Improving Colour Saturation

Raising the colour saturation of your inkjet printer is as easy as decreasing the print speed of your printer. Print speed options can be found in the “Paper” or “Quality” tab, which can be accessed by going to Settings, Control Panel, and then clicking on your printer.

Once there, simply access the drop-down box next to Media. Your choices may include Draft Quality, Normal Quality and Best Quality. To decrease print speed, choose the highest print quality available for your printer.

Improving Resolution

Print resolution is measured in dots-per-inch or DPI. The higher the DPI, the better the resolution of printed label images will be. To reach this area of your printer, simply navigate to its advanced options, usually located in the Control Panel when you right-click on your printer and choose “Properties” . Choosing “File” and then “Print” may also bring up the option to improve resolution by increasing DPI.

Other Ways to Improve Print Quality

Paper Type – The type of paper used can also affect print quality. Not using the paper recommended by your printer’s manufacturer can result in less-than-desirable colour saturation. While this may not be a concern for those printing labels, it’s still an important point to keep in mind.

Power Down – Did you know that leaving your printer on can have a negative effect on print quality? Not shutting down your printer leaves it in standby mode, which means that the printer will be ready to print whenever it is needed. This means that print heads are uncovered for long periods of time, increasing the chance that they will become clogged with the dirt and debris that can affect print quality.

Image Resolution – High print quality on an inkjet label is only as good as the resolution of the image being used. That being said, be sure always to choose graphics that have as high a resolution as possible. This will drastically improve the quality of your labels.

Maintenance – Every printer manufacturer has a set of maintenance suggestions. To find them, just connect your printer to your computer and navigate to the printer software. Some of the more common general maintenance operations include the removal of print nozzle blockages, calibration of the printer, and the cleaning of print cartridges. Proper printer head alignment is also important, as this can also negatively affect print quality.

Upgrades – Ensuring that your printer always has the latest software, and other updates is crucial to maintaining high print quality. When the printer’s drivers are outdated or not installed correctly, the quality of your printer’s output will not be what you expect. To download new drivers, a visit to the printer manufacturer’s website is usually sufficient.

Ensuring that you’ve addressed all or most of the items above can result in a label printing experience that’s always stress-free.

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