Common Label Printing Issues... You Make!

Common Label Printing Issues

There are many benefits to printing your own labels…. However, if you print with a print company in-house it will save you costs and wastage on the most common issues people have when trying to print labels. (And time … it saves you time!)

Companies waste so much stock on these issues, when in reality using a company like Tolarus for all your software and digital printing solutions and service needs, would reduce your wasted time, money and overall usage.

There are many common technical issues developed when using your own label printing device that you can come across. For example: driver and sizing issues causing you to re-print over and over until it becomes correct and even then, the template may move.

So, we have provided a list of common issues found that might just help you out, or you may discover that you would rather take away the stress, money loss and time wastage and get us to do them for you!

The most common issues discovered when label printing are as follows:

  • Label Jam: Not a very nice flavour and can leave a bad taste in the mouth of the printer. Yes, this is an age-old common problem that can happen to anyone. There are many different factors that cause this problem, it could be the material is cheap or the wrong material for the printer. You may have loaded it incorrectly or stored them incorrectly resulting in bent/ misshapen labels. This will result in labels partially peeling and getting stuck within the printer when trying to print causing…. You guessed it…a label jam!

Don’t forget to clean the printer regularly as this too will affect it!

  • Wonky (Donkey) Labels: This depends if you have loaded the paper correctly, using the right spool. If there is a gap the label will move about when printing causing the labels to drift across the printhead. This is where the wonky donkey appears!

Secure your labels properly to prevent sideways movement (wonky donkey)!

  • Ink Smearing/ Flaky Toner: This largely depends on the material and type of printer you are using. If you haven’t done your research, then you maybe using the wrong material in the printer you have got. Another reason would be that the settings are not correct for the type of job you are trying to perform on the printer you have. In short you need a bonding session to happen between your labels and printers!

Adjust your settings and materials to fit your printer! (Bond them!)

  • Label Template Alignment (Wrong): This is an issue in itself with its own 5 common causes!

So, here we go:

  1. The printer’s starting print position: Standard desktop printers do not print the full area of an A4 sheet. Therefore, there is an unprintable border surrounding the original area. A specific top left starting point is created where the printer will start from. This point will vary from printer to printer with some giving you an adjustment option but many don’t have that function.

This point may be the cause of your problems as it may not line up with the start of the label correctly. Thus, every label will be mis-aligned via the same amount either to the left or right of the label.

Adjust your label margins to fix this problem!

  • The printer’s print settings: A.K.A scaling mis-alignments, you need to tailor your margins and settings to the job at hand. The printer will be super helpful and default to another setting in times when your computer updates or settings/ drivers are updated. Therefore, you need to be vigilant before you print otherwise you will have wasted some money before you’ve even begun.

Check your label print settings and driver before you start!

  • The wrong label templates: Easy mistake to make…using an old template instead of the correct one for your newly designed spiffy label. Except it could be costly if you don’t realise in time! You could get lucky and have a printer that will warn you with an error that it is so wrong it cannot be done, for example: black labels to gap cut etc. If it does print, all of the mis-aligned labels will have the same pattern of error so you can figure out your error.

Check your template before you hit print!

  • Unhelpful autocorrect: We all know the painful errors of Microsoft word when it thinks it is being helpful right. So, some software is designed to predict what it thinks you want and can destroy the template you have set up for your images and text. Bummer!

Double check in your original template the gaps, sizing, row and column measurements to correct any errors.

  • Manufacturing tolerances: Depending on your label type, for example: self-adhesive or sticky sheet labels, will depend on the acceptable tolerance mm measurement range. If the variation is repeated in mis-alignment for example a couple of mms to the left or right, you will most likely have to adjust in your template to print correctly.

Get your ruler out! Measure the length, width and gap to get the correct margins and template.

  • Thermal printer issues: The main thing for these common issues is using the correct ribbon for the correct machine (of course!), cleaning dirt and debris (Genius!), Correcting the heat settings (duh!) and changing a worn print head (amazing!).

So, to fix these common issues it seems pretty easy but the easiest thing of all and would save waste and money would be to just let us Tolarus do it in-house or on-demand with bespoke quality from trusted professionals. Did we mention we have a fantastic software that does everything, graphic design team and tech support?!

In short, you can try to fix this all yourself whilst trying to run your business and make money and manage people and serve customers and have time for lunch and sleeping …. or we could solve your problems.

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