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Quality & Performance


Listed below are some of the more common questions asked about self adhesive labels and printing requirements/issues. If you still require assistance please contact our technical department by e-mail or phone: +44 1480 211222.

What information do I need to find the right label for my job?

The following information is given as a guide only and the manufacturer cannot be held responsible for an incorrect choice.

If unsure - TEST first. It is up to the end user to make sure they have the right material(and the correct adhesive) for their job. Request samples

Firstly what type of adhesive do you need?

Permanent - a general 'all round' adhesive designed for most applications requiring a permanently bonded label. Excellent for 'chill' conditions e.g. sandwich labelling (available in all of our label ranges).

Removable - removes cleanly from glass, metal and other flat, smooth surfaces (available in all of our label ranges).

Super peel - a super low tack removable for labelling book jackets, double glazing etc (available in PCL, A4, Office and A4+ ranges)

Extra Permanent - use where a more aggressive adhesive is required e.g. cardboard boxes made from a high percentage of re-cycled fibre (available in PCL, A4, Office and A4+ ranges).

Deep Freeze - for goods stored under deep freeze conditions (available in PCL, A4, Office and A4+ ranges).

BS5609 'Hazardous Goods Labelling - this application requires a special adhesive and material, please see our Matt White PE grade (available in all of our label ranges). We have listed the most popular label sizes used for Hazardous Goods labelling on a Quick Link. For OKI printer users there is a total solution for this requirement when combined with our Matt White PE. Please see the OKI solutions page.

There are a number of surfaces where satisfactory adhesion will be difficult, whatever the adhesive type. The most common are:

  • Surfaces that have been treated with silicone, wax or are greasy, dusty or dirty. This forms a barrier between the surface to be labelled and the adhesive so no contact is actually possible. All surfaces to be labelled MUST be clean and free of contaminants.
  • Uneven or rough surfaces where the adhesive is only in contact with a very small area of the surface e.g. rough finish brickwork, rough sawn timber, sacking and other open weave surface.

There are also a number of surfaces which can be damaged by self adhesive labels - the most common being:

  • Silk, suede, leather and other such 'natural' products
  • Wooden furniture
  • Some metals such as copper, brass and silver may tarnish.

If you have any doubts at all please ask for samples for testing.

Secondly how do you want to print it and what type of face material do you need?

Coated or uncoated, matt, gloss, opaque, coloured, synthetic? Please see the material options together with their print methods, available for each of our product ranges and label sizes. The downloadable spec sheet for each material includes printing method suitability and other relevant print related information.

The PCL and Office labels don't appear in Word™ (or other Label programmes) so how do I set them up?

You will find a download file against your chosen label size labelled 'word set up'. Download the file and print for reference. The measurements you will need are listed below the graphic showing the label layout.

In Word™ you will find the Labels option from the drop down boxes. Using the measurements shown on your downloaded file choose to set up a New Label and enter the measurements in the appropriate boxes. Other label programmes use a similar grid to enter information.

For OKI users there are .okt template files listed for the PCL and Office ranges that can be downloaded straight into your Template Manager programme.

I have set up my graphics/text on my computer and now I have come to print the labels it is printing in the wrong place what do I do?

Please make sure that you turn OFF any page scaling options on your printer before attempting to print the labels. Most printers are set to 'fit to page' this means that the text shrinks to fit within the printer margins of the page. Labels are in a fixed position on the sheet so all page scaling must be switched off e.g. Page scaling - NONE - this option can be found in the printer dialogue box.

Have you put the labels into the feed tray the right way round? Try turning them round. You can print out the pdf template file and use this as a guide to check your text and printing position rather than waste any labels. (The template file can also found with the information on the specific label size - remember to turn OFF the page scaling option in the printer menu to print this accurately).

I have printed the labels on my laser printer and they have come out with powder on the surface and the image comes off what do I do?

The toner hasn't fused correctly.

In the printer dialogue 'properties' box choose the heavyweight, extra heavyweight or labels option for the 'media type'. Self adhesive labels are roughly twice as thick as normal copier paper (normal copier paper is 80 to 90gsm, self adhesive labels are 160gsm plus) so they need to be printed using the appropriate settings to make sure that the toner fuses correctly. Please follow the printer manufacturer guidelines for printing self adhesive labels for your particular printer.

I need to print by litho and then add the variable information by laser overprint which range should I use?

The PCL range has been specifially designed to accomodate the requirements of pre print litho with over print by laser in both the layout of the labels on the sheet and the stability of the materials available. If using the PCL (A4) range the finished job can be presented without guilloting, - if using the PCL3 (SRA3) range the sheet can be guillotined back to A4 for presentation and laser printing.

I have guillotined SRA3 sheets back to A4 and have adhesive residue on the edges of the sheets and the guillotine blade what do I do?

Self adhesive should be cut in small stacks to avoid pressure from the blade picking up adhesive on the 'down cut' and wiping that residue on the edges of the sheets as the blade rises. It is good practice to interleave waste card/paper every 20 sheets or so to reduce the problem. Keep the blade sharp and clean to reduce problems.

What labels are suitable for food labelling?

All of our adhesives are suitable for use for indirect contact with food e.g. on the packaging. For direct contact e.g. apple labelling please see the Machine Coated Gloss Permanent and Removable options (available in all of our ranges). All of our adhesives and materials are free of heavy metals.

I need a 'fabric' self adhesive label do you have one?

Rayon Satin fabric is available from all of our ranges. The adhesive can be described as a semi permanent as for a few days it will remain removable from most substrates. The adhesive strength builds over time and will stick firmly to most fabrics within a couple of weeks. Please allow sufficient time for the adhesive strength to build before washing the garment.

I am litho printing and I have labels coming off the sheet onto the blanket what should I do?

The mantra for litho printing pre die cut labels (particularly those with a gloss coated face) is: Low tack inks - hard blanket.

Formulated low tack inks (rather than 'reduced') are preferable and all ink manufacturers produce a set just for this type of print. Compressible blankets further exaggerate the 'suction effect' and as hard a blanket as possible should be used to reduce this. Heavy solid areas should be avoided if possible by laying down the 'solid' as a screen from 2 stations. Our technical department is on hand to help wherever possible (telephone +44 1480 211222) However, despite correct inks, blankets and first class labels there are some jobs that the amount of ink coverage is just too great for pre cut self adhesive labels and these may need to be run as flat sheet and cut after printing.

I am litho printing polyester and the ink isn't drying - why?

Polyester grades require fully oxidising inks and all traces of standard 'all purpose' oil based inks or varnishes removing from the ducts and delivery system. If you have difficulty obtaining the appropriate inks from your current supplier we are happy to recommend PJF Printing Inks (telephone +44 1933 271201) and ask for inks suitable for PCL Polyester grades. For Polyesters - run the press as dry as possible, check the image/material suitability for example; a single pass on paper may require 2 stations for polyester (e.g. solid and tint should ideally be run on 2 stations) and run multiple colours in a single pass wherever possible.

I have an HP Indigo 5000 and a Kodak NexPress can I run your die cut labels on them?

Yes - please see our PCL3 Digital range of flat sheets and pre die cut labels. We are very proud of the fact that this range was the first of its type in the world to be accredited by both HP (for Indigo) and Kodak (amoungst other hot fusing press manufactuers) for their presses. The labels are truly 'digital print friendly' as they are equally at home on hot fusing toner as well as HP Indigo, whilst remaining completely litho printable. For printers with a variety of equipment they can fulfill a 'one stock' solution. Our Matt White PE grade can aslo be printed by water based ink jet. For HP Indigo press users, you can find our PCL3 Digital range approvals on the HP Indigo media selector and samples in the HP Indigo Specialities media swatch for Commercial presses.

I have a really urgent job to print, can I print the labels as soon as they arrive on the lorry?

Ideally labels need to acclimatise to the press room conditions which depending on the 'outside' conditions may involve several days in the winter months. Very low temperatures can affect the surface of the adhesive film and temporarily reduce the tack between the adhesive and backing paper which in turn may lead to labels lifting if printing is attempted too quickly. Allowing the sheets to warm to room temperature before printing will return the adhesive to its normal characteristics. Paper based laminates if exposed to extremes of humidity; for example arrival in November in the pouring rain into a very dry, warm environment may give rise to a temporary curl until the material re-acclimatises. All of our materials are chosen for their inherent stability as they are required to remain stable during both 'wet' (litho) and hot, dry (laser) print processes however, we would always recommend a period of acclimatisation particularly where extremes of conditions are involved.

If you have a question you would like us to try and answer for you please complete the following e-mail request and we will get back to you as quickly as possible