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Printing assistance

Posted on 2013-05-17
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Last Modified: 2013-09-29
I'm hoping I can find someone with printing experience that can give me a hand here.

We've been printing quite a few 0.625" circular stickers / labels with an inkjet printer. The problem we're having is that it seems as if the paper doesn't always register evenly so some of the labels are OK and others are just way off or not centered vertically / horizontally.

It seems as if the paper doesn't register the same way every time and because the labels are so small, they're unusable even when they're just a slight bit off.

Our labels are in color and have a circular design to them so it's very obvious when they aren't centered on the sticker.

What I'm trying to do is find out if there is any special equipment that will allow me to print these labels of this size (glossy) correctly every time without having to go to a professional printing company.

Every inkjet / laser printer we've tried is hit or miss for each page and it's driving us nuts.
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Question by:mcainc
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6 Comments
 
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:tailoreddigital
ID: 39176670
The label paper is a specific size, you should be able to align those images in Photoshop and get a consistent print.   If they are out of alignment, then adjust in Photoshop until they line up.    

Are there multiple label images per page?

Are you trying to align these images in Photoshop?

I can't count how many times i've had to check where things were printing on a page and then adjust the image to get things to align correctly.
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LVL 53

Expert Comment

by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
ID: 39177418
I don't see how this would be a photo shop issue.  

If you are going to use a sheet fed system, and you try and align some text in a small pre printed area, you are not going to get perfection - ever.  

I would try a tractor feed printer http://www.twindata.com/tally/T3016.htm for your labels if you are printing a lot of them.  Or buy blank labels and get a little more expensive printer where you just print the entire label which  is what most new printers do.
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:eerwalters
ID: 39183068
Depending on if this is a business or not, it may be cost effective to consider buying a thermal (or thermal transfer) printer and use continuous labels.  It will definitely be more expensive but alignment is not an issue as the form registration is controlled by sensors reading the labels, alignment marks or the carrier sheet itself.
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Author Comment

by:mcainc
ID: 39183091
eerwalters, do you know of any of these thermal printers that can actually print to 0.625" (circle) labels?

So far I've only been able to find rectangular labels for this type of system.
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:tailoreddigital
ID: 39183209
No matter what printer you decide to use, your graphics still have to line up correctly.   I've printed labels on all types of printers.   When i print on round labels or whatever labels, many a times, i had to make an alignment adjustment in Photoshop to get things to line up  correctly.    In other words, Photoshop isn't broken, it's a solution to align graphic things for printing.
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LVL 7

Accepted Solution

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eerwalters earned 2000 total points
ID: 39183247
Most thermal/thermal transfer printers do not use sheet fed labels.  You would need to purchase a new label for your needs.

  Just a quick search for circular labels gives the following examples.  
     http://www.labtag.com/thermal-transfer-cryo-removable-labels-1-25-4mm-circle-white-1-000-roll-rmtt-115c1-1wh/
     http://www.labtag.com/13mm-0-5-1/

  Whatever program you are using to generate the labels needs to be setup/adjusted to get the labels to print correctly but you will not have the registration variance using thermal printers that one usually does when using most laser printers and cut sheet labels.
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