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Old 12-11-2012, 06:24 PM   #1
reynolds5520
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Default Review- onlinelabels.com

Yooper has been trying to help me rebuild the original post with new image links. Unfortunately, she can't just cut and paste it in as a moderator. So, I am reposting my review in full with the corrected image links.



This is intended to be a review of 4 different paper types from onlinelabels.com that I tested with the two printers I have available. Hopefully this will help others in selecting a paper that meets their label needs. I will include pictures so you can see the results for yourself (click on any to see them larger on webshots). If you test a different paper, please add to this.


With a batch in primary that would be shared with a group at an event, I decided it was time to look into labeling my bottles. I would need something that survives a road trip in a cooler of ice water and wasn't sure what to use. I read many threads here on homebrewtalk about labeling for ideas, this one was particularly helpful: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f46/esky...labels-224476/


I decided that for me the way to go would be pre-cut sticky back label sheets from a vendor that I could run through a printer. I have both color laser and inkjet available for use.

The inkjet tests are with an HP Officejet Pro 8600, this uses an ink that HP calls water resistant. The laser tests are with an HP Color Laserjet CM2320nf.

After looking at various vendors I decided to test 4 samples of the OL3078 shape from onlinelabels.com. They sent me the requested samples very quickly and followed up to make sure I had received the samples and offered to answer any questions I may have.

Here are the papers I tested, three with laser and two with inkjet:
OL3078WI - Weatherproof Gloss for inkjet
OL3078WS - White Gloss Laser
OL3078WX - Standard White Matte - laser printed
OL3078WX - Standard White Matte - inkjet printed
OL3078LP - Weatherproof Polyester Laser


OK, first a picture of my layout:



Now, on to the print pictures and descriptions.


OL3078WI - Weatherproof Gloss for inkjet

These printed well but had to be handled carefully until the ink dried to prevent smearing. The color is bright and glossy. The HP 8600 produced a visible dot pattern in the colors, the text is sharp but solid colors look a bit mottled.




I did get some ink rub off when applying the labels 12 hours after printing but the ink did eventually dry. This neck band shot shows the rub off:



This weatherproof (polyester? they didn't say in the description) sheet is very dimensionally stable and the neck bands sometimes puckered a bit when wrapping around the tapered bottle neck. They could be stretched slightly to get a smoother wrap.


After four hours of riding in an ice bath, the label still looked great but the ink smeared when handled. The ink does dry again when left out of the cooler. This water resistant ink doesn't resist water well on this label stock, other inkjets may be better.





When it came time to remove the sample, the label peeled off in one piece but left most of the adhesive behind. I used alcohol to remove the adhesive, other solvents may work too. Hot water did not work.




OL3078WS - White Gloss Laser


These printed bright and glossy. I expect this would be a good choice for a photo image.




The neck band is easy to apply with no puckering.




When wet from the cooler, the paper was soft and saturated. The colors didn't look as bright but did return when dry. Surprisingly, the toner still holds tight to the paper when wet.

Unfortunately, this label is easily damaged when wet. The adhesive gets very loose and it is easy to slide part of the label away when holding the bottle. These next pictures show the damage that occurred in the cooler or when holding a bottle.





I would use this label anywhere it won't get wet.



OL3078WX - Standard White Matte

This is the only label I tested that is recommended for laser or inkjet. It printed reasonably well but not quite as bright as the glossy stocks. The neck band didn't pucker.

Look close and you will see some spots where the laser toner didn't bond in this first pic.






Here it is from the inkjet - (this was my last sample sheet and I fed it through wrong end first.)




When wet the inkjet ink stays fast to the paper but the laser toner can be rubbed off. Colors are dull when the paper is saturated but return when dry. The adhesive holds well when wet but can be completely removed with hot water. This paper is easy to damage when wet, but so are many commercial beer labels.

Here it is wet - laser:




and wet - inkjet:




Since this is one of the lower cost labels, I will probably order some of these to use for small one of a kind batches.



OL3078LP - Weatherproof Polyester Laser

This is really the premium label for bottles that will get wet. It prints bright and glossy and the toner holds tight. You have to apply these carefully as they grab tight and don't want to give you another chance. (The old sign makers trick of misting the surface with water first may allow you to slide it into position before smoothing the water out from behind.) The neck band does tend to pucker and stretching a bit seems to help. Watch out for bubbles behind the label when you wrap these on.




Here's one after a weekend in the cooler - still looks great!



When the time comes, this label removes very easily. It peels off in one piece leaving very little adhesive behind. Dabbing at any spots of adhesive with the back of the label lifted what remained right off.

One odd thing, when peeling them off some of the toner may break loose and end up coloring your hands. it is easily rinsed away.


This is the label stock I ended up ordering for use with recipes I will bottle regularly.



I hope this is helpful,

Kevin

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Old 12-17-2012, 08:16 PM   #2
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Thanks for the great and comprehensive review

Was trying to figure out which paper I wanted to get for the labels, and the white matte seems to be the winner, for me. The beers will almost never be in a cooler with ice - and if they are, people can't really whine about my lables on my free beer that I bring to the party

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Old 01-27-2013, 04:43 PM   #3
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I just noticed that I never provided a link to the labels I reviewed above. Onlinelabels.com has a full range of label papers cut to the shape I used. You can see them all here:

http://www.onlinelabels.com/OL3078.htm



(Moderators, I hope providing this link to a vendor isn't an inappropriate use of the forum.)

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Old 01-30-2013, 03:30 PM   #4
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I've got a pack of pre-glued label paper from my lhbs. It's commonly available at the online brew supplies as well. They're supposed to remove easily. I'm going to print them on my inkjet,then use a craft waterproofing spray when the ink dries.
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