Getting Your Product Labels Cut To Size In The Best Way

There are a number of ways we can help you in getting your product labels cut to size in the best way. Label printing is more complex than regular printing because all labels are different sizes and the challenge for label printing companies like ourselves is to finish the labels in the best possible way. The actual printing of your product labels is often the easy part. Our preference is for digital label printing but there are a number of offset methods also available.

There is an almost unlimited number of sizes available for your labels and your labels do not need to be rectangular. Labels can be circular, oval shaped, triangular or a custom shape. Before you print product labels for the first time, you first need to get your bottles or other container. Then you can choose a label shape or size to match that container. The next restriction you have is the amount of information required on your labels.

For example, laws governing your food labels mean that your labels must be big enough to ensure your labels are compliant. Many food manufacturers get around this problem by having two labels on their products. The first label promotes their brand and does the selling. The second label lists such things as ingredients, kilojoules and other relevant information.

Four Options For Cutting Your Product Labels To Size

 

Before I list the four options for cutting your product labels to size, it is important to examine the pitfalls of DIY label printing. When I visit local markets on the weekend, I see some shocking attempts at printed labels. The first thing to do is to get high quality labels by printing your labels at a high resolution. The second issue is to get your product labels cut to size in the best way. Scissors is not a recommended tool. Our company uses four ways to cut your product labels to size.

  1. Pre-cut labels on A4 Sheets. If your labels do not require a varnish or laminate coating because they are not exposed to moisture or refrigeration and are typically for short term use, then the least expensive form of label printing is to run A4 sheets through a digital printing machine that is designed for paper. There are several labels of the same size on that A4 sheet. This method is ideal for straightforward short runs.
  1. Die-cutting of labels. This is the most common method to cut your labels to size. In fact, in the last century it was the only option. The advantage is accuracy and consistency. Your labels will all be the same. The skill in label printing and die-cutting your product labels is to get all of the labels to be the same. This depends in part on the printing machinery. It also depends on the die-cutting. If the labels are cut in different places, then the edges of the label will be different. This is why accurate cutting of your labels is so important. The disadvantage of this method is the cost of a new die. If your run is large and a die exists, then this method is recommended. The labels are supplied in rolls.
  1. Laser cutting of labels. This features two components, a scanhead and a laser source. The scanhead has mirrors that use the information to trace around the desired cut shape. The mirrors can then redirect the light around the cutting surface. Laser cutting is appropriate for short runs and labels that are not machine applied. For labels with a coloured background, a thin white line may be visible because the laser cuts the labels on an angle so the edge is exposed. Hence, this process works best when labels are hand applied to a white container. A varnish or laminate can easily be added to the labels. The laser cutting process cuts the labels without dies, strips, slits and rewinds in one quick process. The labels are produced in rolls.

    Laser vs Digital Cutting

    The label artwork and bottle colour will sometimes determine which cutting method will be more suitable – laser cut exposes the white edge of the label stock and when stuck onto a dark bottle with dark artwork is very visible – the digital cut on the right is a cleaner cut and better suited for this product.

  1. Digital cutting of labels. This process features a knife that cuts quite quickly the labels to size. Again, this process is not as accurate as die-cutting so it is recommended for short runs and hand applied labels. There are no dies needed and this process is fast and has nice clean cut edges. Laminate can be applied (varnish is not available) and labels can be cut without dies and then stripped of wastage, slit and rewound in one quick process. The labels are then supplied on rolls.

    Laser Cut on Light Bottles

    These labels were also laser cut but because the artwork and bottle are light in colour, the exposed edge is not noticeable.

For both laser cutting and die-cutting of labels, these provide an accurate finish but are still not suitable to be given to commercial bottling companies which require labels in a specific way and in a certain roll direction.

When it comes to printing your product labels or any labels for that matter, there is often a compromise needed between quality and price. You need your labels to stick strongly to your products and have the printing protected for the label to outlast your product. However, it is not necessary to pay for something you don’t need especially for short runs.

You are welcome to contact us at Renton’s Labels on 1800 736 861 or email us at info@rentonslabels.com.au so we can give you the best advice.

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