FAQ'S

FAQ's on Label Materials and applications

Please check the questions below to help with sorting out any questions you have regarding labels or materials, any further queries please email sales@smartlabels.co.uk or call 01257 270200

What are the three main types of direct thermal label material?

Economy paper, top coated paper and coated paper.

What are the limitations of using direct thermal material?

The print will start to fade after 6-9 months unless exposed to direct sunlight, in which case the print will fade much quicker.

What are the advantages of using a top coated direct thermal paper?

The material has a much better resistance to marking when scuffed and moisture damage. The material is also more resistant to fading.

Are there any other types of direct thermal label available?

Other types of material include card tag labels and specialist synthetics.

What are the two main types of thermal transfer paper?

The main types of thermal transfer material are matt paper (vellum) and semi-gloss paper.

What standard type of adhesive is used on thermal transfer material?

The adhesive used is generally permanent acrylic but rubber based and peelable adhesive are available

What is the typical operating temperature range of permanent adhesive?

-20 to +80 Degrees C depending on label material.

What are the most common label adhesive types?

The most common adhesives are permanent, removable and freezer.

What is the typical operating temperature range for freezer adhesive?

-40 to +60 Degrees C depending on the label material.

What is the most durable label material?

The most durable material is polyester (PET).

What is the most common application for polyester label material?

The most common applications for these labels are Asset Tracking and Serial Labelling.

What is the main disadvantage of using polyester material?

Due to its high level of rigidity the material can come unstuck when applied to a curved surface.

What is the advantage of Polypropylene over Polyester material?

Polypropylene is lower cost than polyester material but not as hard or rigid, suitable for outdoor use and resistant to blood, oil and alcohol.

What are the most common applications for Polypropylene material?

Chemical labels and document labels where a long print life is required.

What is the main advantage of using Polyethylene material?

It is less rigid than polyester and polypropylene material and will adhere to curved surfaces e.g. laboratory vials.

What type of label material is tamper resistant?

Ultra destruct vinyl material.

What happens when you try to remove a tamper resistant label?

The label breaks up into small pieces.

What are the types of tamper evident label material?

The two types are VOID,Chainlink or Destructible label materials.

How do these materials react when someone tries to remove them?

They leave a VOID or chequered pattern behind on the product and the label cannot be used again.

How are my labels presented?

There are four ways your labels can be presented, either on rolls or fan-folded, sheets or cut single. Factors such as the quantity required, number of colours, and how the label is to be used will have a bearing on the most cost effective way to present

What is the advantage of fan-folded labels?

Fan-folded labels will fold themselves into a stack when they exit the printer, avoiding the need for a rewinder.

FAQ's on ribbon grades and applications

Please check the questions below to help with sorting out any questions you have regarding ribbons, any further queries please email sales@smartlabels.co.uk or call 01257 270200

How does thermal transfer printing work?

The print head heats up an ink ribbon which then transfers the ink onto the label material

What is the main advantage of thermal transfer printing?

The print has excellent resistance to fading and you can use a wide variety of label materials including synthetics

What are the three main grades of printer ribbon?

Wax, Wax/Resin and Resin

What are the main benefits of printing labels using a wax ribbon?

Wax ribbons provide limited smudge and scratch resistance

What label materials would you use with a wax ribbon?

You would use a matt or semi-gloss paper material

What are the main benefits of printing labels using a wax/resin ribbon?

Wax/resin ribbons provide good definition and smudge resistance, but limited scratch resistance

What label materials would you use with a wax/resin ribbon?

You would mainly use semi-gloss or gloss paper but wax/resin can be used on some synthetic materials

What are the main benefits of printing labels using a resin ribbon?

You get excellent definition, strong resistance to water and many chemicals and it has good scratch resistance

What label materials would you use with a resin ribbon?

You would mainly use synthetics with a thermal transfer coating, such as polyester, polypropylene and polyethylene

What are the two main types of ribbon?

Inside and outside wound for flat head and near edge printers

Other FAQ's

Please check the questions below to help with sorting out any questions you have regarding general issues, any further queries please email sales@smartlabels.co.uk or call 01257 270200

What are colour separations?

Colour separations break down a colour graphic or into the four basic ink colours: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK). Each single-colour layer is then printed separately, one on top of the other, to give the impression of infinite colours.

What are Halftones?

Halftone images are made up of a series of dots diamonds, squares, or lines in a specific pattern that simulate the look of a continuous tone image. Another term for half toning is dithering.

What is a colour bleed?

When the artwork for your label aligns any edge of the label with no white border, or blank space between the artwork and the edge of the label, you have a bleed.

What is the difference between the RGB and CMYK colour space and why does it matter?

RGB refers to the primary colours of light, Red, Green and Blue, which are used in monitors, television screens, digital cameras and scanners. CMYK refers to the primary colours of pigment: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. These are the inks used on the press in "4-color process printing", commonly referred to as "full colour printing". The combination of RGB light creates white, while the combination of CMYK inks creates black. Therefore, it is physically impossible for the printing press to exactly reproduce colours as we see them on our monitors. Many programs have the capability to convert the layout/images from the RGB colour space to the CMYK colour space. We request that you convert your colours from RGB to CMYK if your tools allow you to. By doing it yourself, you have maximum control over the results. You may notice a shift in colour when converting from RGB to CMYK. If you do not like the appearance in CMYK, we recommend that you make adjustments while working in CMYK (usually lightening). Generally, you should specify CMYK colour builds that look a little lighter than you want, since the dots of ink "fatten up" on press, giving you more pigment on paper than you see on your monitor. Be especially careful to keep backgrounds light if there is black or dark coloured text over it, so that the text remains readable.

What's the difference between 4 colour process (CMYK)" and "spot" colour printing?

4 colour process printing is generally used in printing labels with photographic images-by recreating colour by combing two or more of the subtractive colours _ cyan, magenta, and yellow, plus black. Spot colour printing is generally used for text and simple graphic printing in single colours, usually not more than 3 colours to a label.

How is a label constructed?

Release Liner - The label is temporarily adhered to a release liner prior to use. Release liners are generally made of paper and have a coating of silicone for easy release of label.

Adhesive - Permanent, temporary, removable and repositional are just a few adhesives that will keep your label adhered to the surface. When choosing an adhesive, it is important to know the environment and the surface to which the label is to be adhered.

Material/Substrate - There are many materials/substrates to select from. Depending on your application and the environmental conditions your label is exposed to paper, vinyl, polyester, film, foil, or pvc, may be the right choice.

Artwork/Printing - Many technologies are used to get the print the artwork onto the label material/substrate. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages in terms of quality, durability and cost.

Laminate - There are many laminates available to add protection to a label. Depending on your application and the environmental conditions your label is exposed to polyester, UV or polycarbonate may be the right choice.

What is Corner Radius?

Corner Radius is the measurement of the amount of curve a corner has, usually expressed in millimeters, the higher the corner radius, the more curve. The corner radius cannot be greater than half the dimension length.

What is the most effective way to design a label?

Start with an understanding of how the label will be used, the application.

1. Is this a product label, a parking permit, an asset tag?

2. Based on the application, what label stock will you need to meet your application needs: paper, vinyl, polyester.

3. What ink colours will you need to use, spot colours, CMYK, foil.

4. What special features do you need, laminate, special adhesive,

Disclaimer - Whilst we take every effort to ensure our answers are correct, we cannot accept any responsibility for actions you may take after reading this page.

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