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20 Jun '18

Using the right SHAPE label for your content.

While the standard Return Address Label is just a bit over three times as wide as high, this is not a good shape for all content.  Even some addresses with four and five lines would look better on a label that is closer to twice as wide as tall. 

Three examples of a standard Return Address Label shapes are displayed below:

Original IPC Size Label Standard Roll Label Size Avery Return Address Label Size
Original IPC Label Size Standard Roll Label Size Avery "Return Address" Size

You can see that three line content, four line content with longer lines, and content with a monogram or icon fits on this shape label pretty well.   However, four line content with shorter lines, and five line content leaves a lot of "wasted" space on the edges of the label.   In addition six and seven line content simply will not fit without the font becoming so small as to be unacceptable to most people.

Three example of labels with a smaller width to height ratio are displayed below.  The smallest is only suitable for up to three or four lines since the label is so small.  It is really best with three shorter lines that would leave too much empty space on the 1.75" x 0.5" labels.   But it will work well with four lines if the print can be pretty small.  The next two labels work well with 5 and 7 lines respectively.   They both have enough height to print more than four lines without leaving empty space to the sides of the printed content.

Small 1.25 x 0.5 label Medium Small 1.25 x 0.75 Label Larger 1.75 x 1.0 label
1.25" x 0.5" 1.25" x .75" 1.5" x 1.0"

So, this raises the question, how do you determine the best shape for your content if you want the label be completely used without a lot of empty space. The simplest way to start is to simply type your content in any word processor, using a fairly standard font. See Below:

RDS Services, Inc.
892 Deer Valley Road
Willis, Virginia 24380-4208

Next measure the longest line, and the height of the text.   It doesn't really matter what font you use as long as you don't use a very narrow font, like "Arial Narrow" or a very wide font, like "Lucida Handwriting".  Only use one of these fonts if you intend to use them in the final product.  Also, it doesn't matter what font size you use since the ratio will still be essentially the same.  In the example above, on the computer I'm using while typing this the longest line is 1 3/16" (1.1875") long, and the four lines measure 11/16" (0.6875") tall.   This width over height ratio calculates to 1.73  (1.1875 / 0.6875).   Since the 1.25" x 0.75" labels have a with over height ratio of 1.67 (1.25 / 0.75), the content would fit very well on those labels.   However, the  1.75" x 0.75" labels have a width over height ratio of 3.5 (1.75" / 0.5") and as you can see below will leave a wide left and right margin on the label.


LHQ 1.25 x 0.75  
1.25" x 0.75" 1.75" x 0.5"


If you aren't up to the math, no worries, just ask and we can help you determine the best shape for your labels.   

Once you determine the shape, you will still need to determine the size of the label based on the font size you would like, and your budget.   Obviously the larger the label the larger the font, but the larger label also costs more per label than a smaller label.  Since the per sheet cost is about the same, a label with 32 labels per page will cost about twice what a label with 64 per page.   So, balance minimum font size, with your budget and look at labels close to your width over height ratio to determine the best labels for your application.

To review all "standard" sizes and shapes review our Label Comparison Chart for in-stock options, and our Blank Labels page.

As always if you would like to discuss options that might fill your needs, email us at support@label-headquarters.com with your questions.




22 May '18

Tiny Labels for special needs

While it seems obvious that labels come in every size, shape, color, and a wide range of "paper stock" types.  It is easy to overlook the tiny labels that can be added for effect, or to add some bit of information. Very small round, square, and rectangular labels are available as a standard item, special or custom shapes are available as well.   A heart on the back on an envelope, or a starburst on a certificate or product, can add just the impact you are looking for.

Specific examples of tiny label usage include; a small round bottle top label with the size (i.e. 8 oz.), or a small brightly colored label on an envelope that indicates "order enclosed", or a "Made in the USA" label on the bottom of a hand-made product.  You might even find use for an opaque labels to cover information that has changed, and highlight the new information at the same time.

Made in the USA Label          Net Weight Label

Check out the Tiny-Label Collection for our smallest standard labels.  One size is available as a standard personalized label (#829), but all of them can be made available as a custom printed label.  Most are available in 30 stock types, including 11 standard colors.  Custom printed labels can have custom colors as well as text.

As always if you would like to discuss options that might fill your needs, email us at support@label-headquarters.com with your questions.

11 May '18

Custom Cut Labels - Part 2

In the "Custom Cut Label Shapes" post I discussed in fairly general terms some of the reasons and rational the extra expense involved in short-run custom shape labels.   I mentioned shapes that might fit your jar or other packaging, and labels cut in the shape of your logo.  I also mentioned shapes that just add flair to your invitation, product packaging, or other project.  It is this last application that I would like to focus on in this post.

In order to give you a good idea of what is involved, I'm going to step through the process with fairly broad strokes.   This is NOT intended to give you step by step instructions, rather it is to give you some insight in preparation for envisioning shape labels that might work for you.

Basic Cupcake ShapeThe process starts with finding or creating a shape that works for you.  In this example I'm going to create the cupcake shaped labels mentioned in the previous post.  While you need to be sensitive to copyright issues, Google Image Search is a great place to start.  A quick search found a shape I liked ... on the pixabay.com website.  Since in this case I was only interested in the "shape", I wasn't concerned about the colors or any other aspect of the graphic.  IF you want to print the graphic on the labels, as we did with the waving flag design, then you will want to consider all aspects of the design.

The next step in the process is to reduce a version of the graphic to an outline or solid shape to use as a "cut-line".  This step is necessary even if you will not be printing the graphic on the cut label.   Following that step you should determine the content and layout on the label in an way to accentuates or compliments the shape of the label.  See below for graphics of the outline, and content placed on the label.   I have given the label a background color and outlined it with a black line so that it shows better on the page, but if you are going to place the label on something dark you might want to leave it white.  In either case the black line will not normally be printed on the actual label.

In this design the blank space is left in the middle of the label for the baker to write the name of the birthday boy or girl, and then place the label on the outside of the packaging of the cake or cupcakes.

Cupcake OutlinePink Cupcake with Happy Birthday


The final optional step is to place a background image on the label.   For this illustration I chose to use a graphic that was not the source of the shape.  It is much easier if the shape is created from the graphic, however I wanted to illustrate that this is not always necessary.

Once again I used Google Image Search and was able to find a suitable graphic on the freepik.com website.  However, it was too narrow, so I changed it's shape as needed to fit.  Below to the left is the source graphic, and to the right is the edited version used as the background.

I hope you find this overview of the process involved in creating your own custom shape labels useful.   For more information, along with some pricing notes visit the Custom Cut Labels page.  If you think one of our "standard" sizes and shapes might fit your needs review our Label Comparison Chart for in-stock options, and our Blank Labels page.

As always if you would like to discuss options that might fit your specific your needs, email us at support@label-headquarters.com with your questions.

03 May '18

Custom Cut Label Shapes

In spite of all the standard die cut labels labels available, sometimes you need something a little different. Whether it is to fit packaging, accent your logo, or just to make an impact, a custom shape is sometime just the right answer. Unfortunately die cut labels cost hundreds of dollars just to create the die, and that is before you have your first label made. Consequently, unless you need thousands of labels, it is NOT generally a viable option.

Fortunately, there are short run options. Computer controlled cutters can cut any shape without the investment in a die. Obviously this is not a good option if you need thousands of labels ... but if you need a small quantity of special labels, they can't be beat. Any design can be cut, on any available paper stock, with as many on the page as will fit.

Picture your company logo, printed and cut in the shape of the logo. Or, maybe as a baker you have labels cut in the shape of a cupcake to label your packaging. Labels can also be cut to fit bottles, jars, boxes, etc. The possibilities are endless.

Our custom cut flag label is an example of a label that  has been printed and cut to the shape of the graphic.  The cut line is very close around the graphic producing a waving flag shaped label.

For more information, along with some pricing notes visit the Custom Cut Labels page.  To review all "standard" sizes and shapes review our Label Comparison Chart for in-stock options, and our Blank Labels page.

As always if you would like to discuss options that might fill your needs, email us at support@label-headquarters.com with your questions.

23 Apr '18

Waterproof and Water Resistant Labels

Choosing the right labels for your needs is crucial when you are labeling products.   Many of our customers are using pre-designed packaging, that allows for a label to be added with their name and contact information.   Examples of this are honey & maple producers, jam, jelly & apple butter producers, and those marketing products such as shampoos, soaps, and lotions.  Each product has it's own requirements as to size, shape, label stock, and at times the adhesive.

Label stock can be divided into several broad categories as they relate to waterproof or water resistance.   

The first are those with absolutely no water resistance.  Examples of this are plain white and colored labels. Using a basic address sheet label as an example, the White Permanent, Pastel Colors, and Fluorescent Color labels are examples.  While they should not smear or smudge when properly laser printed, they will absorb water quickly and may quickly become unreadable.

The second are labels with some water resistance.  Examples of this are Gloss White, Gold Foil, and Silver Foil.   Since these labels either have a "coating" or have a layer of actual foil, the surface of the label is either water resistant, or waterproof.   However, under the coating or the foil is a paper layer.   These labels will slowly absorb water along the edges and eventually will start to de-laminate (come apart).  For example they may withstand a dozen cycles in the dishwasher, but will show wear.   Examples of these are found on our Traditional Address Labels as Gloss White, Gold Foil, and Silver Foil.

The third and final category are labels that are highly water resistant or waterproof.  We have tested four label stock types with very good results.  These  label types have been tested in a wet environment (shower & dishwasher), and have been exposed to oil/lotions.  All four types were laser printed (not inkjet), and stood up very well throughout the test.  The four tested types were Matte Clear, Crystal Clear, White Polyester, and White Vinyl.   The testing included printing a color background with black text.  Examples of the first three are available with the Traditional Address Labels ... all four are available with most of the blank label options.

For some products one other option to consider is the All Temp Freezer stock type.   While it is not designed for a wet environment, it will stand up to temperature variations and still stick to the product.  It is also available with most of the blank label options.

As always if you are unsure as to the right product for your needs, email us at support@label-headquarters.com with your questions and we will help you unravel the mysteries of the 25 label "stock" types, and 188 sheet label "designs" we have available.  

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