Most people in business have at some stage had to order business cards or fliers or brochures or catalogues. Generally, it is pretty easy to do because the printing company you work with would almost certainly have done the exact same order as yours except for the different artwork.
This is not so when it comes to labels. You can’t just choose A4 or A3 or DL or some other standard size as you do in printing, you really do have an almost infinite number of sizes you can choose.
Again, when you print regular business cards or brochures, you are almost certainly going to produce these items as a rectangle. Rectangular labels are the most common shape but you get to choose your shape. Circular and oval labels are quite common but you can have special shapes for special products. You can make the label into the shape that best fits your product. The best example of this is labels for bottles and especially labels for wine bottles.
Your regular printer will never ask you, “What are your using your business cards for or for what purpose are these catalogues printed? Printing companies do not need to ask many questions. The most complex question they are likely to ask you is how would you like your brochures folded and are they are being inserted by hand or by machine into envelopes?
The most important question your label printer must ask you is how are you going to use these labels. Are they merely stuck on paper or are they exposed to heat, cold temperatures or the weather and also what surface are the labels affixed to? These are vital questions since if the wrong stock is used the labels become worthless. There are different label stocks needed for different purposes.
When ordering brochures, they can be delivered flat or folded but when it comes to labels, you have lots of options. Also, labels can be prepared in different ways. Your labels can be printed on rolls, printed in sheets and printed in a certain way as to enable your machine to affix the labels.
Most labels have the glue on the back of the label but occasionally the glue is on the printed side of the label. This happens when labels are printed on the inside of windows. One we are all familiar with is car registration labels which are always stuck on the inside of the car but appear visible from the outside.
The biggest difference between general printing and label printing is in the number of options you have. Your label printer must be good at asking questions and have a sound technical knowledge. Your label printing supplier should be a reputable company which specialises in label printing. Most importantly, you must get the right label for the right purpose.