Selecting the Right Adhesive for Your Inkjet Label

Inkjet labels are used in nearly every industry and can be found on thousands of products and applications. The use of such labels quickly becomes counterproductive and costly if the label fails to adhere to the surface of the application it was created for.

Choosing the correct adhesive from the get-go is essential to ensuring long-term label adhesions (i.e., making sure that the label stays exactly where it is supposed to.) Not all bonds or glues were created equally; certain products (like books, ice chests, or glass) might require the use of special adhesives.

Important Glossary of Terms in Label Adhesives

1. Permanent:

Permanent adhesives are just as the name suggest – permanent. Meaning that they are neither designed nor intended to be removed once applied. Permanent adhesives will work on most surfaces, however, might experience some difficulty bonding to certain materials such as damp plastics. These types of labels are not removable or repositionable once applied and will leave a tacky residue on most surfaces if they are removed. These are amongst the most commonly used adhesives and the ideal choice, cost-wise, if the ability to remove the label is not a necessity.

2. Peelable Labels:

Labels with peelable adhesives are designed to be removed easily. However, they may leave a residue on the surface of the application. In most cases, the longer the label has been on the surface, the more difficult removal will be.

3. Ultra-Peel Labels:

These types of labels are typically the weakest and are most often used in retail situations where the label must be capable of being quickly and easily removed from the product (example glass, china, books, etc).

4. Freezer Labels:

Freezer labels are ideal for use on products that are going to be stored at freezing temperatures.

5. Marine Labels:

Marine labels use adhesive materials that are capable of withstanding submersion and are most often used to label chemicals

6. Security Adhesives:

Security labels use special adhesive compounds that can indicate if a label has been tampered with.

Tips for Successful Label Adhesion

Most of the labels that come from professional printers are sensitive to things like moisture and temperature. Therefore, it is necessary to take a few precautions when applying them.

Verify that the surface the label will be applied to it smooth, clean, dry and free from elements like water, dust, oils, waxes and other contaminants. It may be helpful to carefully clean the surface with alcohol prior to application of the label.

Verify that the application and service temperature and the humidity levels are compatible with the type of label adhesive that is being used. Most labels, if correctly stored, should have an average shelf life of 2+ years. If incorrectly stored, or kept in temperatures that are too cool, the label adhesive will begin to deteriorate. Generally speaking, warm storage nets better results.
Remember that at least twenty-four hours is needed in order to a label to fully ‘set’ and for the adhesive to reach peak strength. If the label does not set, or stick, then go back and ensure that the surface of the application has not gotten wet, dirty or has some other contaminant preventing the label from sticking.

Do not, under any circumstances, clean the label with organic solvents, cleaners or soaps. Labels should only be cleaned with a slightly damp cloth. Cleaners and chemicals have been known to damage the label material, remove label print and alter the bonding capabilities of the label adhesive.

Common Printing Types

If you are contacting a professional printer for the first time, you may have heard of several different kinds of printing processes, but may not have been sure how each actually works. The good news is that you no longer have to wonder about the differences between them; simply read on and learn more.

Understand This First
It is important to consider that there is much more to the printing of anything, including inkjet labels than simply transferring images and words to paper. Paper is, in effect, a carrier of a message. However, it also offers an experience; one of holding and feeling of the paper. There are many types of paper, and choosing the right one for your needs is crucial for a successful printing run.

Gravure is a printing process whereby an image is transformed into tiny dots that are halftone in colour. Gravure printing is most commonly used where long runs are needed, such as those of packaging and publications. Gravure printing consists of a plate cylinder with tiny ink-holding cells. Excess ink is scraped off of the plate with a blade as the press runs, which leaves ink in the cells only.

Offset Printing
Offset printing is by far the most popular type of professional printing due to its high cost-effectiveness. This type of printing involves roller plates being run through water before they are run through ink. Water adheres to the white spaces of a layout, while ink adheres to image, design and text areas. The plates are pressed to a rubber plate prior to printing on paper. Although high quantities can be printed much faster than with other types, changes are not easily made once the plate has already been made.

Screen Printing
This printing type is exceedingly versatile. Today’s screen printing process allows for longer production runs and produces accurate and brilliant colours, as well as consistency in each. In this process, the ink is shot through a mesh fabric with a squeegee type blade onto the material being printed.

Electrostatic Printing
This type of printing only needs zinc oxide-coated paper, and not plates or ink. Short print runs work best with electrostatic printing, and can print faster than an inkjet printer. The zinc oxide provides insulation in dark conditions and acts as a conductor when exposed to light.

Letterpress printing used to be the standard. Today, this type of printing is often chosen where speciality printing is needed, such as that for posters, fine art prints and books. In letterpress printing, the image area is raised above the rest of the plate, causing the image to make a physical impression.

Engraving involves raising or engraving the images being printed for a more attractive and defined image. This process is usually reserved for speciality items like invitations or corporate logos due to its complexity and high cost.

Also known as flexo and flexographic printing, this process uses plates that have been photo-etched to remove non-image areas, which are then transferred via ink to the material being printed. Flexography works best for media that exists in roll form, such as plastics, newsprint and foil.

The once-meticulous process of printing has been transformed since 1439, when Johannes Gutenberg invented movable type. Since that time, there have also been numerous advances in technology, which resulted in the several printing processes above. Whether it’s a book or corporate logo, it cannot be argued that there are many types of printing to choose from. Understanding each type can help you to make a more informed decision about the printing type that’s best for you.

Fixing Common Printer Problems That Can Affect Print Quality

Choosing to print labels on your own instead of using a service can seem like a cost-effective solution. But it can quickly turn into a stressful and time-consuming nightmare when things start to go wrong. In fact, you may wish you could just take a hammer to your printer. But the reality is that, despite the headaches they cause, printers are a necessity when printing inkjet labels or anything else, for that matter.

There are many things that can go wrong with a printer that can make label printing a stressful chore. But these common issues have easy fixes.

When Printing Has Lines, Is Spotty, or Isn’t Dark Enough

There’s nothing worse than buying labels, aligning your text and printing a sheet, only to find that it’s pale, intermittent or has horizontal lines through it. This can actually be due to more than one issue. Spotty text or images can be due to a clogged print head, which can be cleaned by pressing the appropriate button on your printer and then printing a test page. The same applies if you notice horizontal lines through the text on your labels.

For text that appears faded, try consulting the print dialogue, which can be accessed by right-clicking on your printer in Windows Explorer, and then choosing Properties. Under the Print Quality tab, check to see whether “Draft” or “Economy” has been selected. These options use less ink, and so will appear lighter.

Your Ink Is Out – Or Is It?

If you’ve tried to print your labels and were warned by your printer that your ink is low or out completely, you may be ready to rush to the ink store. Many printers are notorious for being unreliable where it comes to ink level warnings. But you can circumvent your fibbing machine by using several hacks like resetting the cartridge or print a test page to discover the real truth.

Printing Your Labels Is Taking Forever

If you’re beginning to think that watching corn grow is more fun than waiting for your labels to print, then you have a problem. Text labels and even those containing images should not take very long to print at all. If slow printing is your issue, the solution will likely be in your printer settings. Ensure that your printer is set to Normal, and Photo Quality, as the latter will take far longer to print, as there will be more DPI or dots per inch being dropped onto the paper.

All of Your Label Text Won’t Fiat

Admittedly, this may be more of a user issue than a printer issue. But if you can’t fit all of your desired text onto a single label, you may first want to shrink the font size. If this makes your labels harder to read, consider using bolded capital letters in a simple font like Arial. If possible, you may want to consider using bigger labels to eliminate this issue altogether.

Your Print Jobs Disappear

If you’ve told your printer to print and it never does, it could be trying to send the job to another printer. Check to see whether you may have a past printer in your control panel that you previously set as default. If you have Windows 7, it may have selected a new default unbeknownst to you. If this is the case, just enter the Printers and Faxes area, right-click your desired printer, and set it as the default.

Utilising the solutions above can go a long way to saving time and money when printing your labels, not to mention saving your sanity.

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.

Can Envelope Labels Be Made From Inkjet Printing?

Can Envelope Labels Be Made From Inkjet PrintingOver the years, developments in inkjet printers have made it a tough choice for companies deciding whether to use inkjet or laser printing for various jobs. Some prefer laser printers for high-volume, black-and-white jobs, but inkjet printers have a range of uses that can make them ideal for specialised tasks. This includes printing labels of many different varieties, including envelope labels.

A wide variety of label types are available for both inkjet and laser printers. Inkjet laser labels help give a professional look to a company’s mailings, and usually are compatible with label templates that can be found in a variety of software programs and websites. Since inkjet printers are widely used for colour printing and jobs where high-quality printing is essential, some people prefer to use inkjet printing for envelope labels in order to make the best possible impression in mailings.

The following is some advice to help you navigate your way through creating envelope labels using an inkjet printer:

Envelope Label Templates

It is usually easiest to use an envelope label template for your label creation. These templates are available through different types of software such as word processing, design, or desktop publishing programs, and are equipped to suit a variety of needs, from printing a single label to mass mailings. Many of these programs and templates include special features, such as the ability to customize your shipping labels, use default return addresses, add images (such as a company logo) to your labels, or use different font types and sizes. An inkjet printer allows you to attain high-quality colours, images and more on your envelope labels.

Correct Labels

Make sure you have the correct labels for your job; some envelope labels are designed specifically for inkjet printers and others are meant for laser printers. There are label types (i.e., some glossy surface labels) that should not be used in inkjet printers.

Sample Labels

Save yourself a hassle by first printing out a sample of your inkjet laser labels on a plain sheet of paper; then check the alignment against a sheet of labels. One benefit of using an inkjet printer is the high quality; you wouldn’t want to waste it on a sheet of labels printed on the wrong side!

Tips from Microsoft

Microsoft Windows suggests using for you to use a font that is big enough and to avoid printing out addresses on a background image that is dark or colourful, so that the post office will have no difficulty reading your address labels.

Using Microsoft Word for Labels

If you are using Microsoft Word to create envelope labels, select Letters and Mailings from the Tools menu, and choose Envelopes and Labels. Once you select Labels, you can choose the type of labels you need by clicking on Options; then click New Document. You can then copy and paste information for each label, create individual labels, or select “Full Page of the Same Label” from the Print options.

When you use an inkjet printer and label template to suit the needs of your business, you can create envelope labels that give your mailings a high-quality, professional appeal.

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.

What are the Benefits of Laser Printing A4 Address Labels?

address labelsAll companies need a hassle-free system for creating mailings in order to communicate effectively and professionally. However, for those without an understanding of the best products and systems for creating labels, this may be easier said than done.

For starters, your choice of printers can make a world of difference in how smoothly your office functions. Inkjet printers work well for specialized projects and high-quality colour printing, but laser printers are considered both highly functional and cost-effective. Many companies looking to print A4 address labels reliably and quickly, regardless of the project’s size, depend on laser printers to get the job done.

The Office Workhorse

Often referred to as an office “workhorse,” a laser printer can hold over 3,000 sheets of paper—as opposed to the typical load of 100 sheets for an inkjet printer—and uses a toner cartridge, requiring fewer refills than inkjets. Laser printing is also faster than traditional methods, with speeds ranging from 12 to 45 pages per minute, making it quite a useful tool for companies with large jobs or tight deadlines.

Durability and Reliability

Since address labels must withstand a variety of conditions, companies need access to durable printing and labels. In this regard, laser printing again tends to be a more reliable choice than inkjet, since the ink for inkjet laser labels is fused—essentially melted—into the paper, creating smudge-proof and water-resistant labels. Though you should always make sure your labels are suitable for laser use, laser printers accept a wide range of A4 labels, including address, mailing, shipping, and white laser labels. Waterproof A4 laser labels are available, along with metallic and fluorescent laser labels, though these glossy surfaces cannot be used in inkjet printers.

In addition, laser printers are useful for busy offices in terms of their networking ability. Editor Mark Toft of Staples, in the online article “Inkjet or Laser,” points out, “Laser printers have their own memory and, therefore, can process and manage several, simultaneous print requests sent over a network.”

Laser label templates are available through many software and word processing, desktop publishing, and design programs. Templates can be tailored to fit various needs, including mass mailings, customized shipping labels, default return addresses, mail merges, and personalized images and fonts. There are countless options for individualized design within a template, for both black-and-white and colour laser printers.

Adjusting American MS Office Templates for UK Use

Microsoft Office applications, such as Word and Publisher, feature various address label templates. However, the printing default for Microsoft programs is often the American setting of letter-sized paper. This can cause many UK companies the frustration of having their label sheet print out completely misaligned, regardless of whether it looked correct on-screen. This common problem can easily be solved by adjusting the settings (paper sizes/print configurations) to A4 paper.

Even after changing print settings to A4, mistakes can happen, so be sure to always print a test page on a plain sheet of paper. This way you can check your address labels before putting your laser “workhorse” to the task of creating professional labels for all of your needs.