Even in label printing, there are a large number of technical terms that may not always be immediately understandable. Below you will find a collection of these terms together with explanations. For example, terms relating to the structure of print data and the production sequence of your labels are explained in detail.
Adhesive labels are self-adhesive labels on rolls. Adhesive (roll) labels are suitable for various applications in almost all branches of industry, whether it be the beverage, food or cosmetics industry. Adhesive labels are universally applicable and can be easily processed.
Optimum material processing through the right use: In the printing industry, a benefit (or “print benefit”) is the number of copies of a print product (label) on the printing surface. In order to make optimum use of the space on the printing surface, the label form is placed several times on the available space, i.e. it is used.
This way, the printing process is faster, waste is reduced and the machines are better utilised. But don’t worry: You don’t have to be familiar with this, we do this work for you in the pre-press department.
The bleed is a margin, usually 2.5 mm, which extends beyond the final format. This safety zone compensates for tolerances during trimming and ensures that your motif can be printed right up to the edge of the image. If no bleed is provided in the print document, it can happen that white stripes are visible at the edges.
The embossing of patterns, fonts or motifs in printed matter is called blind embossing. These elements then stand out plastically from the label. This form of embossing is blind because, unlike hot foil stamping, no metallic foil is pressed onto the printed matter. The printed material is therefore three-dimensionally formed during this finishing process. A real advantage for highlighting the qualities of your own product.
Castgloss RP51 HG65 is our standard paper and most used material for self-adhesive labels. However, as we don’t want our customers to have to deal with the complicated proper names of paper manufacturers, we usually have our own names for these papers. In this case simply “High gloss white, 80g”. If you are looking for a specific paper, please feel free to contact us. We procure every standard paper available on the market.
A cliché in printing technology is a stamp-like printing form. The word is derived from the French cliché and means stencil or replica. After exposure and chemical treatment the photopolymer plates are washed off. So that – similar to a stamp – only the areas to be printed are visible. Clichés are mainly used for imprints, i.e. where the basic label remains the same and, for example, only a changing year is imprinted.
The CMYK colour model forms the basis for four-colour printing. Cyan, magenta and yellow form the three colour components, supported by the “key plate” black. For more information click here.
Doublehit means to apply the colours black or white twice during the printing process to increase opacity. In this way you can achieve a particularly brilliant white or deep black.
Please note: All fields that are 100% black will receive a double colour application. All fields that are laid out in 100% opaque white are printed twice. White must be named HPI White and must be a solid colour.
DPI stands for “dots per inch” and is the resolution in print. During the printing process, printed images are converted into small dots (rasterised). In order for us to be able to print the print image in the best possible quality, your print file should meet some minimum requirements with regard to resolution:
Minimum resolution: 250 dpi
Standard resolution for images: 300 dpi
Standard resolution for line graphics: 1,200 dpi
Euroscale is the short form for the European colour scale for offset printing. The four process colours cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK) are used for printing according to Euroscale, the standard four-colour printing process.
Do your labels need special protection or special gloss? This is where film lamination comes into play. Here the labels are provided with a special protective laminate, which can be applied in glossy or matt. Compared to normal UV varnish, the lamination is somewhat thicker and more resistant.
With this finishing you catapult your product into the top league: because thanks to the lamination the design and colours of the label are particularly striking. You will be surprised at the big difference the 12µm thin film can make. You can select this and many other finishing variants and materials directly in the online calculator.
The final format is the format that your label should have at the end and that you order. The bleed is automatically calculated later and does not need to be specified in the order process.
Gloss varnish is the perfect finish for your high-quality labels. A gloss varnish is applied to many of our labels after the printing process. This varnish covers the label like a protective layer and prevents the colours from fading due to sunlight. The varnish also protects the labels from mechanical damage. Glossy varnish is the perfect finish on your labels to present your products even better, because glossy labels are more resistant and look more brilliant on top.
In four-colour printing, the printed image consists of so-called halftone dots of the individual components of the four colours (CMYK). The screen dots are then printed at specific screen angles offset to each other so that the different colour tones become visible. Since dots are printed, there is no clear edge. With very fine contours and colours that do not consist of solids, the individual screen dots can therefore become visible at the edges. To prevent this, we recommend that you choose a thicker font or, in the case of grey tones, work only with black. We also recommend a minimum point size of 6 points.
Hot Foil Stamping
Hot foil stamping turns your label into something very special. In hot foil stamping, a foil is pressed onto your label using heat and a special tool. The resulting gloss is unique and definitely sets the label apart from the competition. This noble embossing is particularly often used for high-quality drinks, such as wines or spirits. Hot foil is available in various colours such as bronze, silver, gold or even mint green or pink. You can see how the hot foil works in our free sample book.
At label.co.uk we print with HP Indigo digital printing machines. These machines offer perfect quality with the greatest possible flexibility: for example, there is no need to make printing plates. On the Indigo machines, the “electronic” special ink is applied directly to the printing medium. Although the machines can thus roughly be classified as “digital printing”, the print image produced by HP Indigo machines is far superior to conventional digital or inkjet presses. The first-class print quality was the main incentive for us to include the machines in our park. Compared to conventional machines, the HP machines also have many other advantages. For example, each label can be printed differently, which can be used for barcodes, numbering or individual addresses. This is not possible with classic machines. If you would like to learn more about our printing machines or have any questions, please contact us. If you would like to see the print quality of the Indigo machines for yourself, please ask for our free sample book with sample labels.
HPI White – (Opaque White)
Opaque white serves as a primer on your label to make your colours look brighter and more vibrant. The opaque white colour must be created in your print file as an extra colour channel called HPI-White and set to overprint. This is especially useful in the following types of paper:
Intermediate cut is the distance between two labels on the web. The intermediate cut is individual from customer to customer. As standard, we produce with an intermediate cut of 5mm. If you would like a different intermediate cut, please let us know in a separate email. A minimum intermediate cut of 3mm is possible. For alternating labels, the intermediate cut must be defined by the customer in the print file.
In the photo sector, the JPG standard has been an indispensable standard since 1992. The format is widely compatible and easy to use. For photos this is no problem. It becomes difficult, however, when complete labels are to be printed in this format. In a JPG file, each pixel is stored flat as a fixed pixel element. This means that individual sub-areas can only be changed infrequently and with difficulty. Furthermore, the quality of the print, especially with fonts and fine lines, may not be optimal.
For these reasons we ask you to send us print data in standardised formats whenever possible. As a rule, the PDF format is the ideal option here. We have also compiled all information on data delivery for you again under “Data delivery“.
We receive most of our materials on rolls. Therefore we have to calculate the running metres of your labels for the price and material calculation. This size indicates how many running metres of paper your order requires. The running metres result from the quantity of your order, offset against various key figures of the chosen material, an intermediate cut due to production technology, a subsidy and … Everything too complicated? No problem. That’s why we do this calculation for you!
In conventional offset printing (from eng. set off, “settling”), so-called printing plates are used. The offset is called planographic printing and works indirectly. The printing plates and substrate do not come into contact with each other, but the printing ink is transferred to a rubber blanket. This rubber blanket then transfers the ink to the substrate, usually paper or film. Incidentally, there is no difference in quality between digital offset printing via HP Indigo and conventional offset printing.
The PDF (Portable Document Format) format is a universal file format. It can contain both images and text and can be opened independently of the operating system or terminal device. The format is mainly used in the printing industry and was created by Adobe in 1993.
The print data is the be-all and end-all of a label production. All subsequent steps are based on it and for a smooth production flow it is important that this data is correctly created. Therefore we ask you to deliver the print file in PDF format.
To create professional print data, it is best to use graphics programs such as Adobe Illustrator, InDesign or ArtPro. You will find detailed instructions on how best to create your print data on our data delivery information sheet. Or simply use our print data workshop. What does that mean? We check your print data for technical errors, depending on the correction package selected, and correct them if necessary. So you can be sure that you will receive a satisfactory print result
On classic machines, printing plates are needed to transfer the colours onto the printing medium (paper, foil, etc.). A separate printing plate is required for each colour. These aluminium plates are then chemically processed so that ink sticks to some parts of the plates and not to others.
If it is a standard print job in Euroscale printing, individual plates are made for the colours cyan, magenta, yellow and black, which are clamped one after the other in the press on cylinders.
If your label is printed with special colours or opaque white, separate printing plates must be made for this. The printing medium now passes through each of these printing units. This way the final print image is created bit by bit. On newer digital printing machines, such as our HP Indigo machines, printing plates are no longer necessary. This is because here the print file is sent directly to the machine and the “electronic” special ink is applied directly to the printing medium.
Protective varnish is an additional finishing and is mainly used to protect your label from abrasion. At the same time, it gives the label a special effect and makes it stand out from the competition. At label.co.uk you can obtain the protective lacquer in matt or glossy.
The die-cutter marks the final size/outermost edge of the label. The die-cutter must be created as a spot colour and named “Die-cutter”. It must also be set for overprinting, as the punch is only a technical aid that is not printed.
To achieve a pure black in digital printing, we recommend applying the following colour values:
C:0% M:0% Y:0% B:100%.
If a pure black is applied, we also have the option of printing it twice (“double hit“), which produces a particularly deep black.
Would you like us to base the printing of your order on a previous order? No problem! In order for us to be able to match the colours as accurately as possible when printing, we need a colour sample of the old order. If we do not have a sample, we will print according to standard and without further colour corrections. Therefore, colour deviations can occur from job to job.
RGB is an additive colour space represented by the primary colours red, green and blue. The RGB colour space is mainly used for screens and TV sets. The counterpart to RGB is CMYK, the colour space for four-colour printing. For more information click here.
Roll Core Diameter
Roll labels are not an off-the-peg product. The optimum quality can only be achieved with a high degree of individualisation and through consultation between the print shop, design and production. Therefore, at etikett.de you can also specify the desired diameter for the roll core in the calculator:
The values of 1″ / 25 mm, 2″ / 40 mm and 3″ / 76 mm (standard), which are usual for labelling systems, are available to you as roll core diameters. With the right core, you avoid machine downtimes and ensure optimum labelling speed for your products.
The roll diameter indicates how large the rolls are in diameter (with labels). You can specify this value individually during the ordering process when configuring the roll. If a specific roll size is to be maintained, the number of labels per roll must be specified.
The maximum roll diameter indicates the maximum size of the rolls. However, this does not mean that the rolls may not also be smaller.
Roll labels are often also referred to as labels on a roll, adhesive labels on a roll or roll adhesive labels. As the name suggests, roll-fed labels are labels that are wound onto a roll. Irrespective of this, the labels can be designed freely and individually according to your specifications and wishes. Roll labels are particularly suitable for machine processing. If you apply your labels to the product by hand, we recommend our labels on A4 sheets.
The safety distance is the distance to the element that is printed first. For printing reasons, the safety distance should be at least 2 mm. If the safety distance is not maintained, some elements can be punched in or out.
With four-colour printing (CMYK) the print image consists of individual screen dots (see above). In order to create different colour tones, these screen dots are not printed congruently on top of each other, but at certain angles to each other:
C 15°, M 74°, Y 44°, K 43
A test print is a proof of your labels under original production conditions. It serves to test the quality of the colours and the material. So you can be sure that your labels will look as planned.
So-called waste belongs to the printing industry just as rain belongs to the weather. It is unloved, but indispensable. Waste paper (from lat. maculatura “stained thing”, from macula “stain”) refers to all material that cannot be used for the final product. This can be narrow strips of waste that are cut off. Before the print image meets the quality requirements, the machine must first “warm up”. This also generates waste, as the machine must first be set up correctly.
When die-cutting labels, a rest of the material remains around the die-cut shape. If this residue is removed from the backing material, this is called weeding. Especially if the labels are further processed by machine, prior weeding is necessary. By default, all labels are weeded at label.co.uk.
For the machine finishing of your labels it is important that you know which winding direction you need for your machine. A distinction is made between inner and outer winding and how your labels are positioned on the roll, i.e. foot first, head first, word start first or word end first. An illustrated overview can be found here