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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Label Display & Discussion > More Important: Label Paper or Printer?
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Old 05-20-2010, 01:57 AM   #1
ChiN8
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Default More Important: Label Paper or Printer?

Question;
I have a logo and label designed on my computer using photoshop. I have multiple versions to use pending on the venue I am using for A) Printing and B) Label Types (size/quality).

I have a fairly nice Canon ip4500 photo printer and was wondering if there is a type of label paper (Avery or something) that would be good enough to allow my printer to print high-quality labels for my beer? I do not want just cheap stickers plastered on my beer but was hoping there is a professional semi-gloss or something label paper.

Or do I need to go to a source like MyOwnLabels.com and just get them professionally printed?

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Old 05-20-2010, 03:38 AM   #2
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There are a lot of factors involved. I worked at a label printer until a few months ago, so I hope I can help.

Any quality printed piece starts with design. Ideally you would only work in Photoshop to edit any raster images (photos). Any other design aspect, like text etc would be done in a drawing program like Illustrator. Any raster (photo) images would be placed into Illustrator after they are color corrected, cropped and resized.

Any raster image should be 300 ppi. You can go lower, but I really wouldn't use any image below 200 ppi.

Your printer seems pretty capable. If you can print on glossy photo paper, I'm sure it can handle a semigloss pressure sensitive stock. I've not delved into printing labels at home, so I'm not too sure of the stock available in a sheeted printer ready format.

The stuff from a place like MyOwnLabels is honestly going to be a lot better than anything you can do at home. Not saying that you can't make a good product at home. They are using a production press capable of short runs (probably an Indigo). These presses are toner based and can produce some very high quality work. IMO, inkjet technology is just not up to par with really competing in the label business yet. I worked with a production roll to roll inkjet press for a year. There were a lot of quality issues. Another problem you will run into is that the ink from your printer won't be water proof. Might not be a huge issue, but any condensation or dampness will cause the ink to run.

I'd probably start with trying it yourself. Worst case scenario, you are out the cost of a pack of stock and a little bit of time.

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Old 05-20-2010, 04:24 AM   #3
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just buy some avery to experiment with before investing all the money into the labels. They turn on very nice.

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Old 05-20-2010, 06:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edcculus View Post
There are a lot of factors involved. I worked at a label printer until a few months ago, so I hope I can help.

Any quality printed piece starts with design. Ideally you would only work in Photoshop to edit any raster images (photos). Any other design aspect, like text etc would be done in a drawing program like Illustrator. Any raster (photo) images would be placed into Illustrator after they are color corrected, cropped and resized.

Any raster image should be 300 ppi. You can go lower, but I really wouldn't use any image below 200 ppi.

Your printer seems pretty capable. If you can print on glossy photo paper, I'm sure it can handle a semigloss pressure sensitive stock. I've not delved into printing labels at home, so I'm not too sure of the stock available in a sheeted printer ready format.

The stuff from a place like MyOwnLabels is honestly going to be a lot better than anything you can do at home. Not saying that you can't make a good product at home. They are using a production press capable of short runs (probably an Indigo). These presses are toner based and can produce some very high quality work. IMO, inkjet technology is just not up to par with really competing in the label business yet. I worked with a production roll to roll inkjet press for a year. There were a lot of quality issues. Another problem you will run into is that the ink from your printer won't be water proof. Might not be a huge issue, but any condensation or dampness will cause the ink to run.

I'd probably start with trying it yourself. Worst case scenario, you are out the cost of a pack of stock and a little bit of time.
You bring up a good point about Inkjet ink not being water resistant. I guess no matter how expensive the paper is that isn't going to change the ink's ability to repeal water. Which is what I wanted!

I have a logo that I made that is generic that I will use for all beers for I have a blank box to write what I brewed for that batch. I just hate spending 1.00 per label at MyOwnLabels.com
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Old 05-20-2010, 06:09 PM   #5
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Check out Neato. They have some great in jet printable labels designed for beer and wine bottles

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Old 05-20-2010, 10:47 PM   #6
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I vote printer.

Inkjet labels look great till they come out of the fridge, get soaked with condensation, and bleed all over your hands.

I've settled on using my inkjet to print one photo quality master, then take the master to Kinkos and run off copies on their regular color copier paper. Then slice them up and stick them on bottles with milk.

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Old 05-20-2010, 11:50 PM   #7
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do they make paper sized sheets of adhesive-backed vinyl? you'd have to laminate them, for the colorfast characteristic that you want.

what about a local printer or sign-making shop?

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Old 05-21-2010, 02:04 AM   #8
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Print the labels, stick them on and spray polyurthene over them and they wont run. Takes about 3 washes for them to wash off also.

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Old 05-24-2010, 07:13 AM   #9
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Most workplaces have color laser printers, which won't run (I plan on using one for mine). Any chance you have access to one of these babies?

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Old 05-24-2010, 01:18 PM   #10
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I use a color laser for labels. Works perfectly. I print on standard office paper and apply to bottle with milk and paintbrush. Works great, especially when it comes time to remove the labels.

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