Using Inkjet/Laser Labels in Your Custom Label Printer

Printing custom labels has become an easy way to save money and time for busy businesses and individuals. Custom labels can facilitate a variety of tasks, from shipping and organization to product labelling and asset tracking. However, it can be frustrating to find that certain types of labels are not compatible with your laser or inkjet printer. Not all labels can be used interchangeably in these two printer types—which many people find out the hard way when a costly jam occurs.

No Longer One or the Other

The reason many labels are specified for use in either an inkjet or laser printer is that these two technologies employ different printing mechanisms, and many people are unaware of the difference between these two types of printing. Inkjet printers work by spraying ink onto the sheet of paper, and are useful especially in tasks that require excellent quality, such as labels with detailed graphics or rich colours. Laser printers use heat to melt toner into the paper; these printers are generally preferred for high-volume or rushed printing jobs (though, of course, there are exceptions for both types).

Since the laser printing process is so different to the inkjet method, label makers will often tailor their products for use in either inkjets or laser printers. For instance, some metallic or polyester labels are not recommended for use in inkjet printers; while using anything but high-quality label sheets can run the risk of melted adhesives and repeated jams when exposed to the high temperatures of a laser printer.

Fortunately, however, some companies do manufacture labels that are friendly to both types of printers. These interchangeable laser/inkjet labels eliminate the need to squint at the fine print to see what type of printer you need. By balancing the technologies of inkjet and laser printing, these labels provide great results regardless of your printer type (although there are some limitations if using a colour laser printer).

There are many types of inkjet/laser labels on the market to suit your needs, including removable ID labels, media (CD/DVD) and address/shipping labels, as well as a multitude of colours and types from white and pastels to fluorescents. You can even purchase a variety of differently shaped inkjet/laser labels.

Tips for Printing Custom Labels

Using inkjet/laser labels can help you avoid many printing-related issues. However, there are certain things to avoid when printing any custom label job in order to make the task more hassle free. Although the packaging might promise jam-free performance, this will not apply if you are misusing or incorrectly loading the sheets into your printer.

The following are some tips to keep in mind in order to maximise your label printing:

Do not attempt to print multiple times on a single sheet of labels. Every sheet should be fed only once through the printer; attempting multiple passes with the same sheet can cause the adhesive to melt, the edges to curl, etc.—which in turn can lead to costly, aggravating jams. Some companies make mini label sheets for smaller jobs, so you will not feel the need to reprint on a sheet that has only a few labels used.
Fan the sheets before placing them in the printer. Label manufacturers usually recommend placing the label sheets on top of 25 to 30 sheets of plain paper in the tray for the best performance.
Store any unused label sheets in their original box in a cool, dry place. Depending on the temperature and environment, labels can be stored for at least a few years.

Whenever you attempt to print custom labels in your own printer, make sure you carefully follow the instructions on the printer and your design package. If in any doubt, it is often quicker to consult a printing professional for advice than persisting with trail and error.

Top 5 Tips on Printing Sticky Labels for Businesses

sticky labelsWhether using an inkjet or laser printer, printing sticky inkjet laser labels can be a bit of a headache for businesses. It may be a matter of incorrect alignment, paper jams and misfeeds, printing in the wrong direction, or any other number of mistakes that can cause a great deal of frustration and waste valuable time.

The following are some tips for hassle-free printing of inkjet laser labels for your business: 

1) Make Sure you Have the Correct Labels for your Job

Some labels are specially designed for inkjet printers, others for laser printers; labels come in all different sizes, shapes and textures. Avoid jams and printer damage by checking whether the labels are suitable for your printer; for example, many glossy labels cannot be used with inkjet printers. Make sure to enter the label brand, size and product number before printing for maximum printing performance.

2) Use a Template to Create your Labels

Many different label templates are available through a variety of word processing, desktop publishing, and design programs, or through label companies who provide their own label printing software. Templates can be used for a variety of business printing needs, from a single label to mass mailings, and from address labels to special-shaped sticky labels. Many templates have a range of features so you can customise your labels; add images (i.e., company logo); use different font types/sizes; mail merge; and more. In addition to making it easier to design labels, template software may also provide instructions for how to feed the label sheets into your printer, and offer different printing options.

3) Print a Test Page

You should print a test page to save time, frustration, and a potential waste of expensive inkjet laser labels. Regardless of how careful you are, it’s not always easy to predict whether your labels will print correctly. First do a print preview on-screen to view the page. You should then print a sample on a plain sheet of paper. For mailing labels, make sure the font and background are clear enough for the post office to read easily.

4) Check the Alignment of the Text

Put your test page on top of the label sheet and hold it up to a light. If the alignment is off, try centering the text within the label cell; allow at least a 2mm space between your text and the edge. Using a single sheet feeder to print one or two sheets at a time can also help with alignment.

5) Make Sure Label Sheets are Being Properly Fed into the Printer

Fan the stack of label sheets before loading; keep in mind that bent or curled corners can lead to jams. Top label makers suggest placing the label sheets in the tray on top of 25 sheets of plain paper. Make sure each sheet only goes through the printer once; trying to print a second time on the same label sheet can cause labels or adhesive to get stuck inside the printer.

By keeping these tips in mind, your business will be able to print professional-quality inkjet/laser labels with ease alternatively, let the professionals do it for you. Contact us today on 01530 830 770.