Frequently Asked Question's...
Here is a page that contains all of the questions we are most frequently asked by customer's like you! Click through to find the answer you're looking for. If you have gone through the list and are still unable to get the question you have answered, feel free to give us a call at (888) 443-9602 so that we can provide you with an answer!
> Who uses labels?
Everyone. How does that affect you as a sales person?
Every account you have uses labels in some way or another. They may not be in great quantities but it’s always worth the question. Manufacturing facilities are a treasure trove of labels. Again, some facilities may not use many, but some use millions a year in all different shapes, sizes, colors and configurations. The types of labels we will mainly discuss are pressure sensitive which means they have a type of adhesive on the back that does not need to be activated in any way; they can just be peeled off the liner and stuck to an object.
When selling labels the best place to start is with the company’s buyer. You may also want to deal directly with the production manager as that person will be far more interested in performance than price. After all, what good is a cheaper label if the liner snaps during production and the line is down for an hour? Is the $4.00 they saved on the case of labels going to outweigh their down time on line? Probably not. However, you will most likely end up talking with the buyer to get your POs, so it’s good to build relationships with both people.
> What are Pantone colors?
> What are the different directions off a roll?
There are 8 different ways labels can come off of a roll. To answer this question you need to find out how the labels are being applied to the product. This will dictate how the labels need to be finished on the roll. If the labels are being hand-applied, usually it does not matter how the labels are finished on the roll.
> How much ribbon do I need?
How to calculate how much ribbon you need based on labels.
To determine how many ribbons you need for your labels, take the length of your ribbon, multiply it by 12 and then divide by the length (around) of your label.
Example: 1,345(ft) X 12(inches) = 16,140 (inches). 16,140 / 6 (inches, an example length of a typical thermal transfer label) = 2,690, so one 1,345’ ribbon should print approximately 2,690 6” labels. If the label was 2” then the same ribbon would produce 8,070 labels.
> What is the make up of a label?
Labels are made from many different types of materials and adhesives. Face stock is the top surface of the label and is either paper or film (poly) in construction.
Examples of Paper Stock are:
Uncoated papers, Coated papers, Thermal Transfer, Direct thermal, High-gloss and Semi-gloss papers, Matte litho, Fluorescents, EDP/Data papers, Metalized papers, Tags, Wet strength papers
Paper stock is used for most applications and can be used for anything from barcode shipping labels to wine bottle labels.
Examples of Films are:
VIP film, UL approved films, Thermals, Vinyls, Polypropylene, Polyethylene, Polyethylene Terephtalate
The type of stock chosen depends on the type of application and environment in which the labels are being utilized.
Films offer a higher level of durability than papers, including resistance to water, oil and chemicals.
Either type of stock can be laminated with a clear material, or UV varnished, to give an even greater protection against scuffing, water damage, heat, etc. We will talk more about finishes in a bit.
> When to use what type of adhesive?
The next layer of construction in a label is the adhesive. Again, application will dictate the type of adhesive that needs to be used. There are endless combinations of face stocks and adhesives, so never be concerned about asking for what you think the customer needs, it most likely exists.
Permanent, All-Temperature/Deep Freeze, Hotmelt, Microsphere, Removable, Semi-Permanent, UV Hotmelt, and Wash-off.
> What to know for artwork specifications?
Artwork specifics and requirements for print production Preferred file formats:
ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR up to and including CC:
Although Illustrator allows you to embed images into the ﬁle, we requires the linked, high-resolution files and fonts. Just a few tips when using some of Illustrator's filters and effects:
Avoid using transparencies in group, or on top of one another. When creating glows and drop shadows, avoid using Multiply as an option. Darken, is a better option. Avoid using an effect on a filter, such as Opacity. Always set Document Raster Effects Settings to 300 dpi; not 72 dpi. You can find this setting in the Effect menu. Please do not use spot colors in a gradient mesh. All fonts, or an outlined ﬁle, must be supplied. If an outlined ﬁle is provided, and a text change is required, there will be a charge for typesetting.
ADOBE PHOTOSHOP up to and including CC:
We prefer Layered files. Layered files are especially helpful if a photo has several elements, drop shadows or an element that needs to be converted into spot or Pantone colors.
The minimum resolution for a continuous tone image is 300 dpi. The minimum resolution for a bitmap image that includes text is 1000 dpi at 100%. We do not recommend text be created within a continuous tone image. If the image goes to the edge, please provide enough image for .125” bleed on all sides.
INDESIGN up to and including CC: Supply all high resolution links, fonts and a PDF from the final file.
PDF: Provide all high resolution links, fonts.
Colors: Please note any color matches with PMS/Pantone #'s in file.
> Do I want perforated or non-perforated labels?
Perf, Non-Perf and Slits When do labels need perforation and when should they be non-perforated.
Perf and Not Perfed
Some labels are perfed in-between and some are not. A perf is sometimes necessary for the application in which they are being used and sometimes will inhibit production if they are present.
Perfs are necessary for labels that the end user wants to separate the label along with the liner. For example, if they are shipping a product with a return label, they will want the return label to be perfed so they can tear it off and keep the liner to throw it in the shipping box for the customer’s use.
A case in which you would not want the labels to be perfed is labels being used in a label applicator. Perfed labels in a label application would most likely snap at the perf as there would be too much tension on the roll.
Sometimes it is just customer preference as to whether they want perfed labels or not. If the labels are being hand applied and used at the customer site, then there is no rule other then “the customer is always right”.
Some labels also have slits. Back slits make getting the label off the liner easier. You can “crack” the liner on the back slit and make labels more accessible. You can also have a label with a slit on the face. This creates multiple labels within a single die. For example, if you have a standard 4 X 6” label you can add a front slit to create two 4 X 3” labels within the die. They will have outside rounded corners and interior square corners but it is possible.
> Does my label need laminate or varnish?
UV Varnish, Aqueous Coating, and Lamination
UV varnish – UV coatings can be formulated to a wide variety of finishes, including extremely reflective and glossy to flattened for a matte finish. UV varnish provides protection against scuffing, scratching and ink run and even some chemicals. However, once a label is coated with UV varnish it cannot be printed on thermally.
Aqueous Coating - Aqueous coating is a fast-drying, water-based, protective coating which is applied in-line on press to attain a selection of finishes similar to UV varnish. This clear coating provides a high gloss surface which protects from dirt, smudges, fingerprints and scratches. As opposed to UV varnish, aqueous coating does allow thermal printing after application
Lamination is also available to provide the most protection against chemical damage, water exposure, handling, etc. Laminate is available in clear gloss or matte.
> How do you measure a label?
The size of a label depends on how it is oriented on a roll. Please review the diagram for more info.
> What to ask when quoting a label?
Information you need to get a targeted quote.
- Label size: across and around – Yes! It matters.
- Number of versions
- Number of colors
- Is there a sample available? (samples reign!!)
- Are they going to be printing on them after they are delivered?
- How are they going to be applied and to what?
- What is the environment in which they are applied?
- What type of label material do they need?
- What type of adhesive do they need?
- If they are being printed on after delivery, what type of printer are they using?
- Do they want rolled, sheeted or fanfold product?
- If they are on a roll, what direction do they labels need to come off?
- Last, but not least, quantity, quantity, quantity!