Printing narrow color labels can be tricky.
|1" x 2" Color Labels|
Tricky as many of the label printers I sell have a minimum print width. Here are the minimum print widths of a few of the printers I sell:
· LX 900: .75”
· TM-C3500: 1.2”
· TM-C7500: 1.81”
· TrojanOne: 2”
· GP-C831: 3”
· Okidata C711: 3”
To get around this issue, I recommend typically printing labels in the widest orientation possible. For example, Vape Dudes need 1” x 2.625” labels; so we printed 2.625” wide by 1” tall. You can learn more about the small labels used by Vape Dudes here: http://colorlabelsondemand.blogspot.com/2014/06/couldnt-be-happier.html
When you apply the labels by hand, orientation is not an issue. When you need to apply labels with an applicator, especially to cylindrical containers such as bottles or vials, orientation is critical. Typically, you need the leading edge of the label to be the narrowest direction. For example, here is a Primera bottle applicator that I sell: http://www.primeralabel.com/ap360_features.html
So how do you print a 1” wide label when the minimum print width is 2X or greater?
The easiest way is “Multiple Up”. “Up” refers to printing multiple impressions of the same image at the same time. “Multiple Up” is used typically to reduce the amount of time needed for a given print job; or to print smaller than spec labels.
|2 Up-1" x 2" Die Cut Matte Poly Labels|
Formatting the printing is the most complicated issue when printing Multiple Up. To manage this issue, I’ve found BarTender’s page setup wizard makes printing multiple up easy to do:
|BarTender Page Setup Wizard|
Just setup in the printer driver the total page size of all the labels; and then create the page setup with the template size and number of rows/columns. It’s easy to do. You can even add a background image or color.
|Small Labels With Grey Background|
With small labels, I would typically recommend using blackmarks to set the precise print start/stop point.
|Small Labels With Blackmarks on Back|
Experimenting, I printed these 1” x 2” black mark labels on the new TM-C7500. Works great!
|Small Labels Printed On TM-C7500|
You can see a short video of the printer running and rewinding here:
When you need to “flood coat” the labels, covering them 100% with ink including to the edge, I recommend the TrojanOne label printer. With the media handling capabilities of this printer, you can made very precise adjustments (Microns) to the print; to top, bottom and left offsets:
These precise adjustments make printing to the edges of the label very accurate. This capability is especially important when working with small labels. Check out these less than 2” by less than 1” labels with 2 half-circle cutouts on the bottom of the label I printed on the TrojanOne printer:
|TrojanOne Small Labels|
Once printed, you still need to separate the printed labels to place on an applicator. To make this process easily, our plant will wind the labels are separate cores; and place a “soft perforation” between the labels making it easy to slit. If needed, you can use a “slitter” like this one from Labelmate to separate the multiple up labels: http://labelmateusa.com/category/stand-alone-label-slitters
Small labels are required for certain markets, such as the vape labels mentioned earlier in this post. But other markets, such as chemical, require small labels. Check out my earlier posts on printing labels for laboratory samples: http://colorlabelsondemand.blogspot.com/2014/08/ghs-laboratory-labels-quickly-easily.html
Printing color labels on-demand smaller than the specification of the printer can be accomplished; with a little preparation and support like you get from Color Labels Solutions. Contact us if you have any questions about printing small or any other color labels.