Template Accuracy Isn’t The Only Factor For Better Inkjet Labels

Printing your own labels means taking template accuracy into account. However, it also means using your printer as efficiently as possible. The printer you use may have features that can do much to improve the quality of your labels if you know they are there and know how to use them. Please use the following as a guide. However, for large batch or regular printing it is often more cost effective to use a professional print supplier. Get in touch and chat to us about your requirements for a bespoke quote.

Print Properties

The majority of printers will give you the option to view and modify your print settings before you decide to print. These properties can allow you to improve the quality of your printed labels when the best possible combination of settings is used. The print properties settings to focus on include those relating to media weight and media type. Simply put, these two settings will change the way your printer prints your labels on particular media. If your printer has a specific ‘labels’ setting, all the better. If not, likely the best setting to choose will be ‘heavy paper.’

While you’re in the Print Properties dialogue box, you might want to check that a few more items are in place. You should ensure that no scaling options like ‘fit to page’ have been selected. You’ll also want to ensure that you haven’t chosen to ignore printer settings. Finally, no scaling options like “Fit to Page” or any percentages have been selected.

Choosing the correct Tray

Check your printer for a secondary tray, located above or below the main paper tray. Known as the media bypass tray, it is there to use when printing thicker materials like inkjet labels. Another reason the bypass tray is so handy for label printing is that when placed into it, your labels will travel on a different path through your printer that bypasses one or more rollers. In bypassing the rollers, the paper won’t rotate slightly as it travels through each set of rollers.

Print for your Printer

Regardless of the printer you have, it will have its own level of print accuracy, as well as its own starting point for printing on any sheet of paper. That being said, your template can be adjusted to suit the way your printer does its job. When you bear your printer’s unique accuracy and starting point properties in mind, you can actually design your labels around them and get the best results each time you print.

The unprintable area of your printer is the border of a page where your printer is unable to print. Being aware of this area is another important thing to keep in mind when designing your labels.

Print Specifications

Just as every printer has its own level of accuracy and print starting point, so too does every printer have its unique print specifications. If you have a more basic printer, it will likely have its limits in terms of weights and types of materials it can print onto. Fancier and more expensive models have a higher number of customisable features.

The all-in-one office printer is a popular choice. These machines are capable of scanning and copying in addition to printing. These particular machines are designed to complete the tasks above reasonably well. However, a printer that’s dedicated to printing alone will be able to complete this task to a much higher standard and print on a far wider range of materials, therefore requiring less adjustment to your printer settings.

If you plan to print inkjet labels on a regular basis and are searching for a printer, try and find one with two trays that has a specific setting for the printing of labels. It should also be able to print on a large selection of weights and materials. Above all, ensure that your label template has been set up correctly and then test it by printing on a regular sheet of paper before printing on your actual label sheet.

Security And Branding With Holographic Labels

Where the goal is to brand your products as well as increase security, the holographic label continues to be unsurpassed. Hologram labels are not only attractive, but offer protection from counterfeiting as well.

What is a Hologram and how is it Applied?

A hologram consists of two or more images. These images are arranged in such a way that one image is visible over the others when it is viewed from a particular angle by an individual. When used as security labels, the thick holographic image is transferred onto security paper.

Holographic labels have a backing of permanent adhesive. When applied to paper, this adhesive sets very quickly.

How Holograms Keep Products Secure

Once the adhesive on a holographic label sets, it becomes nearly impossible to remove. As well, any tampering can be easily detected by visible damage to the image. Many types of holographic labels are impossible to remove in a single piece, which also makes tampering evident.

The holographic labels you may have seen on the tags of official sportswear and similar items are a symbol of authenticity. There are various ways to tell if a holographic label is authentic, depending on the product you are considering purchasing. All holographic labels have the same characteristics.

Not only can these label types not be forged or reproduced, but they are also able to be validated quickly and easily.

Business Benefits of using Holographic Labels

Not only are these types of labels secure, but they also offer business benefits. Holograms can offer an advantage to the appearance of a product’s packaging or tags. These eye-catching labels with their rainbow colours and unique 3D construction invite the customer to take a closer look. Not only that, but a customer will tend to look at a holographic label for longer than they might a regular label.

These labels can also contain a company’s logo. Placing a business logo on a holographic label can mean that the customer interacts with a brand as well as the label itself for a longer period of time, which translates into plenty of brand exposure.

Added Security Features

In addition to the hologram itself, these labels can also include a number of other security features.

A label can be altered with something called white code marking. This allows a code, a series of numbers or even a signature to be incorporated into the label. These items remain visible regardless of the perspective from which they are viewed.

Inkjet numbering is another feature. This is the addition of a number series or separate dates or years. Inkjet numbering is best for products with some sort of expiry date, or those which need to have a visible date of manufacture.

Another feature is called laser etching, which can be in the form of a code, signature or year, among other items. The etching is permanent, and when completed, takes on the colour of the bottommost part of the label.

UV features are only visible under UV light, making them another viable means to secure items. This feature can appear on a holographic label in just about any way including code and numerical form.

Many businesses are adopting the use of holographic technology to secure their assets. The increasing number of counterfeit goods on the market is a worry to all businesses. And whilst not all counterfeiting can be completely eliminated, holographic images are helping prevent it.

Of all of the security labels in existence today, the holographic label combines the simplicity of authenticity identification with a formidable tool to prevent it from being copied, forged or replicated.

Digital Imaging: Vector and Raster

As both a professional printer of laser and inkjet labels and a full-service graphic design firm, we often are asked to enlarge images so that the client can use them elsewhere. Usually, we receive business logos and photographs. Unfortunately, many times, enlargement of the image is not possible because doing so would only result in a poorer quality image.

Explaining the reason why a photo cannot be enlarged can sometimes get complicated because of the terms being used. However, when you know what these terms mean, things become much clearer.

Vector

A vector image uses lines, shapes and curves when creating an image. This structure makes it easy for a computer to enlarge the vector image, because there are far fewer points in a vector image to be connected by the computer than there are in a raster image, which can contain thousands of pixels. The computer also stores colour information according to the points in the image. This means that should the image increase in scale, the computer knows where in the image to place certain colours and doesn’t guess like it is forced to with a raster image.

File Size

The file size of a vector image is typically far smaller than its raster counterpart because there is simply less information stored within the image. The same is true of colour; the vector image needs only to store points and colour information, which allows it to be more scalable but smaller in size.

In fact, a vector image is infinitely scalable. So even if you make a vector image incredibly small or incredibly large, it will never lose any of its quality. It is for this reason that many logos are stored in vector format; they can be scaled to any size for all manner of digital or printed media, from stamp to billboard, while retaining their quality.

Flexibility in Editing

The vector image also allows for editing, regardless of where you may be in the process of doing so. A rasterised image contains layers, all of which must be merged or ‘flattened’ before the image can be saved. Should you need to go back and do more editing, you will not be able to do so with a raster image. But with a vector image, design aspects can be changed at will, and independently of each other.

Raster

A raster image can use millions of dots of colour, or pixels if you are referring to print media or digital media respectively. These dots or pixels combine to create the image. One incredibly common form of raster image is the photograph. The megapixels of today’s digital camera refer to the number of dots contained in every image. The higher the number of dots, the better the quality of the image.

File Size

Raster images need to store individual colour information for each and every dot or pixel. As a result, the file size of a raster image can be enormous. Not only that, but each piece of information uses memory, making it impossible to send over email or other means. This is why many raster images are compressed into formats like .png and .jpg.

Enlargement

Unfortunately, raster images cannot be enlarged, as they quickly lose quality and become distorted or ‘pixelated’. The number of dots in a raster image do not change; as a result, the space between them becomes larger as the image gets larger.

Image Quality

For all its flaws, the raster image’s quality is second-to-none. They are usually far more detailed than a vector graphic.

The next time you hear your professional printer speak about vector and raster images, you will have a better idea of what makes each image type unique.