Are your Fixed Assets Secure?

From a business perspective, a fixed asset is defined as company property used for the purposes of conducting business that does not leave the business location. So if you have a sales floor consisting of a number of computers, the computers would be fixed assets. Of course, there may be several fixed assets in your company which may be moved from time to time, but for the most part, fixed assets are those that remain connected to a particular location.

Why Should You Track Fixed Assets?

Even if there is no risk to your business regarding theft or loss of your fixed assets, they still need to be tracked. This is because each of the items you have identified as being fixed assets will depreciate at their own rate. And because the life cycle of each asset is unique to that asset, it’s important that its reliability can be measured.

As well, tracking your fixed assets allows you to have a complete view of your company’s value so that you can plan for maintenance. Doing this will allow your company to avoid having to pay for replacements and repair prematurely.

The maintenance and repair of fixed assets is another reason to monitor them. The equipment you deem to be of the highest value to your company is the equipment that you should be most concerned about keeping in working order.

There may be regulations in place which require you to report the status of your fixed assets to a government body.

How to best track your Fixed Assets

The most effective means of tracking any fixed asset is with security labels. Whether you use a bar code label or a heavier-duty asset tag, the importance of labelling your computers, scanners, printers and other similar items cannot be understated.

Barcode Labels

Any bar code that will be used for the internal tracking of assets will usually be either a Code39 or Code128 barcode. These bar codes can be in colour, but barcode readers and scanners prefer black and white. The bar code is one of the most effective forms of security labels. However, if considering the use of colour, it’s important that the right colour combinations are used, as some can render the bar code ineffective.

Asset Tags

There are a number of asset tags available. This is due to the fact that they are used in several industries including manufacturing, warehouse and telecommunications. In the case of the equipment being used in an office, tamper-evident tags may be an option, as may be those made from aluminium. The built-in security features of the tamper-evident asset tag allows businesses to have a tighter rein on all aspects of equipment health and location.

Whether you choose a bar code label or asset tag, the benefits are many. Not only are these labels as easy as peeling and sticking to apply, but they can also contain a plethora of information. Asset tags can be personalised with a company’s name and logo, and can be printed with or without a barcode.

The peel-and-stick type of labels are ideal for environments where there is very little risk of abrasion, and where there are no chemicals present. The aluminium, asset tags are ideal for both indoor and outdoor use, as well as withstanding temperature extremes, solvents, abrasion and sunlight incredibly well. They are also available in a wide range of sizes to suit virtually any application.

Regardless of the type of security labels you choose for your company’s important equipment, it’s critical that there is some sort of asset tracking system in place. Otherwise, you can’t possibly know where your assets are or what condition they are in, which can cost you money and time.

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On the Edge: Laminated Piece Production

When lamination is chosen for print materials, the reason is usually to protect those materials from things that can shorten their life. Lamination prevents things like dirt and moisture and handling from causing stains, smudges and creasing. It can be applied with either a matte or gloss finish, and is made of clear plastic which can be placed on one or both sides of a piece. Typically, lamination is applied to both sides.

Among the other options for laminated printing are a wide variety of thicknesses, with the thinner film being applied to items such as information sheets, and thicker films being used to protect items such as first aid documentation.

But there is another way that laminated pieces can be protected, and that is via the type of edge. There are two edges that laminated pieces can be processed with: flush cut and sealed edge.

A Clean Line

The flush cut edge can be easily identified, as it is lamination which has been applied to a piece, and then trimmed even with its edge. This kind of edge offers many advantages to the look of a piece. However, as far as protection is concerned, the edge of the flush cut is not completely sealed. The edges are simply joined together without completely enclosing the edge in film.

The fact that the edge of a flush cut piece is unprotected makes it a poor choice for printed items that will frequently be handled, used in conditions of extreme dampness, or be frequently exposed to contaminants like dirt, which can enter into the seam and cause the lamination to separate.

The best candidates for flush cut lamination are those that use thinner paper, such as business cards, book pages and presentation folders.

A Protected Edge

The sealed edge variety of lamination sees the plastic film being applied to beyond the edges of the printed piece. This allows for the bonding of the laminated sheets to one another all the way around the piece. This complete encapsulation of the document in lamination offers a high degree of protection.

You may ask just how much protection the sealed edge provides. Typically, the sealed edge lamination process produces a lip that overhangs the piece. This overhang lip is usually between 1.8” and 1.2” from the edge of the document. This distance allows for the strong bonding of adhesives so that contaminants cannot enter.

Sealed edge lamination is most commonly seen on items like restaurant menus, ID inkjet labels and the like.

Which to Choose?

The edging you choose for your laminated piece will depend on several factors, not the least of which is the environment the printed item will be in for most of the time. Another consideration are the corners of your laminated pieces, because the thicker the laminate, the more likely it is that any corners will be sharp. Any rounded corners should only be made when the laminate is 5mm or thicker.

Cost may or may not be a factor, depending on your budget. However, when choosing edging for your printed pieces, it’s important to note that one edge is not less costly than another, as there are variables concerning the amount of bulk to be cut and how large a piece of laminate is needed.

Any of the 16 available types of laminate will intensify the colour printed on a piece, as well as enhance its professional look. But care should be taken to ensure that the proper thickness and edge of the laminate is being used for the application of the printed piece, as this will help to preserve its quality for as long as possible.

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The Best Fonts for your Label Printing Job

Many people today design their own artwork to appear on their inkjet labels. Following that, however, the decision will need to be made about the font that will be used on the label. Traditionally, the True Type font was not usually used in commercial printing situations. However, with today’s technology in place, these rules have changed. Still, caution should be taken with the types of fonts you use.

Be Careful with Embedded Fonts

There are many attractive fonts to choose from when designing your labels. However, not all of them will be present on the computers at your chosen printing company. This means that if you send your label through tot your printer with an embedded font, that font will not show up on their screens. This alone can cause a myriad of problems for your entire print job.

If you are using a computer with Windows installed, it’s imperative first to contact your printer and confirm that they will be able to view your chosen font on their computers before deciding to use the font on your labels.

If You Must Have a Font without an Equivalent

Some fonts only have one typeface. For example, the Arial font is available in regular, bold, narrow and italic versions, but the Mistral font is not. As a result, if you wish to use a font like Mistral but use a different typeface, your printer will have to take the font into the software they use and basically create your desired typeface.

Depending on how much text requires conversion, the printer may also be able to take entire sentences into their program, create the typeface, apply it to all text, and then save it as a typeface version of your desired font.

Deciding on the right font for You

It can be a daunting task to choose an ideal font, especially if you have little or no experience with designing for print. Even for the experienced printer, the thousands of available fonts is mind-boggling. The best way to choose the right font for any project is to narrow it down. No project should have a list of potential fonts longer than two or three.

Don’t Overdo

It may be tempting for Inkjet labels containing text alone to choose the now-standard Arial or Times fonts. Although they do work well together, they are two of the most commonly-used fonts for business, whether on business cards, labels or other publications.

If you want to ensure that your labels stand out, you can inject uniqueness by choosing an alternative serif font to Times. There are hundreds of serif alternatives out there; you simply need to find the one that suits your product’s needs best. You can also substitute the Arial font for a more attractive alternative, such as Gill Sans.

Font Personalities

The amount of fonts available today have a wide range of personalities. From the subtle to the bizarre, you can find one or more which suit your product perfectly. The trick to finding the right fonts and blend of fonts is to experiment with them. You can try designing your label all in the same font, and then in a combination of fonts. Do several test prints so that you can place the fonts side by side and compare them.

Fonts by Industry

You can also choose fonts by the industry your business is in. For example, technology-based businesses tend to prefer the more modern look of sans-serif fonts, while professional services are more likely to lean towards traditional fonts like Times.

When choosing fonts for your labels, another consideration will be cost. If the font you choose needs to be converted by your printer, you will need to be prepared to pay more. Overall, the best font for your project is one that’s been carefully considered regarding all of the points above.

Colour Models and their Characteristics

When it comes time to print your materials, colour is a consideration which must be made. Not only are there millions of shades to choose from, but sometimes, those colours may not translate well when they’ve been printed.

The reasons for so much variation between the optical perception of colour and its resulting appearance on paper are many. From the computer’s perception of colour to the paper types you use, a colour can end up looking completely different than you intended. However, there is another cause of differences in colour; their colour models. In the printing world, these models exist in four types.

RGB

RGB stands for red, green and blue. This colour model is used by all screens, including those on computers and mobile phones. Red, green and blue are the colours of light that, when combined create the colours of the spectrum. In the RGB model, each colour is represented by a number between 0 and 255. The way in which numbers are assigned to colours in the RGB model is based on amount of light. A colour with zero light will receive a value of 255, where white is classified as being 0.

RGB is device-dependent, meaning that the values assigned to colours will differ according to the equipment being used to view them. Sending RGB images to a printer can result in amendments needing to be made at the printer’s end to convert the image to a usable model, which can be costly.

Pantone

The Pantone colour model represents a standardised system that’s used by the whole of the printing industry. Pantone uses 15 base pigments including black and white to create its colours. Each colour is given its own universal code, so that if the same Pantone shade is chosen in Asia and in North America, each will be that exact shade once printed.

The Pantone model contains a different set of colours for coated paper, like that used for business cards, and uncoated paper such as is most commonly seen on ink jet labels. This ensures that the colour will be reproduced accurately regardless of paper type. This is important where a company needs to have its logo look the same on a glossy business card as it does on office stationery.

CMYK

CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and black, and is the most commonly-used colour model for the four-colour printing process. Different combinations of these four colours can be used to create virtually any imaginable colour. CMYK is most often used where graphic and photographic images need to be printed with high quality.

The process for printing with the CMYK model is as follows: the more ink that is added, the darker an image will be. In other words, the paper being printed on can be considered a base, with ink being added in the CMYK order until the desired image has been achieved. All images being sent to a printer for printing should be sent in CMYK format.

Hexadecimal

Hexadecimal colour, also known as HEX code, is a colour model used by the online world. These colours can first be specified as RGB, and then be converted into HEX format. HEX, like RGB, assigns a unique number to each shade. This colour model is what web designers use to create web sites. So if you are having a website designed, specifying colours in HEX format are preferable.

When you think about colours like a printer does, the need to have a specific colour model becomes clear. As well, it is easy to see how an image sent in one type can cause a lot of issues with colour matching when it finally reaches the printer. However, communicating with your printer beforehand to ensure you’re sending images with the correct colour model can save a lot of money and time.

www.labelmakers.co.uk