General Questions

1How can we contact you?
You can contact us directly and in person by visiting us at B&S Labels. However, we’ve also made a contact form that you can fill out to ask us, technical difficulties or sales inquiries. Just visit our contact us page.
2What are your opening times?
When you click on the map, you’ll be shown an overview of the Printing factory and our opening times. We can process your orders online at any time, but our guaranteed turnaround only includes working days. Monday – Thursday 8.00am to 4.00pm -Friday 8.00 am – 12 noon.
3How environmentally friendly are you?
We take every measure to reduce print waste and improve our environmental impact. We have recycled options on Leaflets, Letterheads and Compliment Slips, all made from 100% post-consumer waste.
4Can I get any free samples?
Yes, you can!
5How many labels/Leaflets etc… can we order?
From 1 to 1,000 000+ Rolls normally start from 1000 labels minimum order. But ask as we could adjust something to suit.
6What sizes can I order?
We have over 250+ sizes to choose from, but we can make and mend to suit…
7How much does delivery cost?
Depending on where the delivery takes place, prices may vary. For our guaranteed turnaround times. However, if you need it delivered to a different address or you need it delivered sooner than our guaranteed turnaround times, we can provide this service at an extra cost.
8Can I have you mail part of my order and ship the rest?
Simply let us know the print quantity you would like ASAP. We'll ship the rest of the order as directed.
9How can I pay?
We are happy to accept payment in the form of cheques, Bank Transfer or cash. We require full payment before we start work.
10What is the cost?
The cost depends on the label size, material, colour, text and the quantity.
11How long does it take for me to get the proof of my job?
Once you have placed your order, you should get it within 1 business days after we receive your electronic files.
12How long will it take to get my order?
Most jobs will be shipped within 2-4 business days after you approve your proof online. Shipping by our local delivery company takes from 1 to 3 business days to get to you depending on your location. The length of time depends if you have already got artwork that you would like to use, if not it can take several days for the artwork to be designed and then the label can be created. The process should take no longer than five days as long as all artwork is passed and proofed before the label process can be done.
13What if I want to change something on my order after I've placed it or approved the proof?
We require an electronic "paper trail" for all changes made after your initial order is placed. You may make changes to such things as quantity, shipping method, or shipping address. Please note that some changes cannot be made after certain stages in the production process -- for instance, the quantity cannot be changed once your job has been printed.
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Artwork, File Types & Uploading

1What is artwork?
Artwork is the design you would like to be printed on your label. You can create your own artwork and save on a pdf, if you don’t have any artwork we can create it for you at a cost.
2How do I upload my files?
If the product you selected needs you to upload a file, we’ll ask you to upload it directly from your computer. Or email to neilbarrett@bandslabels.com
3What types of storage media do you accept?
We can take your files on a CD, DVD or flash drive.
4What other file formats can you take?
We can take any Mac or PC version, Files done in vector format only i.e. Illustrator
5What type of files can I upload?
We accept PDF documents for uploads, and recommend that you create the file using Adobe InDesign. We want your file to work and your item to print as expected, so please read our File Supply Guide which covers everything you need to make the most of our high-standard production machinery.

Technical Questions

1Why is a Printing Plate/Block Required?
A block is a printing plate which is required to add the print to label, each colour needs a block.
2What is a printing plate?
Flexography (often abbreviated to flexo) is a form of printing process which utilizes a flexible relief plate. It is essentially a modern version of letterpress which can be used for printing on almost any type of substrate, including plastic, metallic films, cellophane, and paper.
3What is plate making?
Flexographic plates have the printing image in relief, which means the image area is raised relative to the non-image area. As the name implies, flexographic plates are very flexible and are typically composed of rubber type compounds.
4How does a flexographic printer work?
Anilox roller: Anilox roller receives the ink from fountain roller and transfers the same to the nylon image area of the flexographic printing plate which is mounted on the plate cylinder. It has cells engraved one it to hold the ink – for receiving and transfer
5What is flexography used for?
Flexography, sometimes referred to as "surface printing," is a method commonly used for printing on packaging and other uneven surfaces. In "flexo," the plates used in the printing process are often made of rubber or flexible plastic, allowing the inked surface to conform to many kinds of substrates.
6What ink is used in flexography?
Flexographic inks are inks transferred by the process of flexography, primarily used in the printing of packing materials (cardboard boxes, corrugated cardboard, paper bags and plastic bags, food packaging, newspapers, catalogues, etc.). ... The most important part of the printing process is the application of the ink.
7Can we get waterproof labels?
Waterproof labels would be made on vinyl material, also using UV Varnish for extra protection.
8What is UV varnish in printing?
UV coating, or ultraviolet coating, is a very glossy, shiny liquid coating applied to a printed paper surface and cured on a printing press or special machine using ultraviolet light.
9What are the Benefits of UV Coatings?
Ultraviolet coating has several advantages over other coating methods such as aqueous coating or varnish. They include: • Very high shine finish o When UV is used on deep, rich colours, like blues and rich blacks, the result is an almost wet appearance. This can be highly effective with image-rich projects, like Labels. The stunning shine it creates is why it is so popular for certain designs and products. • Good abrasion resistance o If your printed piece is going to be handed out or travel through the mail, The UV coating allows the mailed piece to resist smudging and marking and allows it to maintain a professional, high quality appearance due to an extremely hard finish, one known for being both chemical and abrasion resistant • High clarity o UV coatings make details pop and stand out, and are perfect for photographic images and company logos. • Environmentally friendly o UV coatings are free of solvents and do not emit volatile organic compounds, or VOCs when cured. • Instantaneous drying time with UV light exposure o By drying so quickly, the use of UV coating helps reduce production time, enabling earlier shipping and delivery times.
10When is UV Coating Not the Best Option?
While UV coating works great for a wide variety of printed pieces, there are a number of instances where UV coating is not a good fit. • When using Metallic Inks • On text weight paper under 100# • Anything that needs to be written on • The addressed portion of a mailing piece
11Can you make the labels suitable for fridge or freezer?
Labels that are put on a deepfreeze or insta-freeze paper are suitable to be put in the fridge or freezer. Freezer or frost fix – Most permanent and peelable adhesives have a service temperature limit of -10 degrees Celsius, whereas freezer (otherwise known as frost fix) adhesives have a service temperature -40 degrees Celsius and are suitable for deep freeze use. High tack – A type of permanent adhesive that exhibits a high initial grab to the application surfaces, and is commonly used at higher coat weights to enable labels to adhere strongly to difficult, rough or dirty surfaces. Permanent – Typically not designed to be removed without tearing the stock, damaging the surface, or using solvents. The adhesion strength and speed can also be varied. For example, full adhesion can be nearly instant, or the label can be almost removable for a short period with full adhesion developing in minutes or hours (known as repositionable adhesives). Peelable – Adhesion is fairly strong and will not fall off in normal circumstances, but the label can be removed relatively easily without tearing the base stock or leaving adhesive behind on the old surface. The adhesive is usually strong enough to be applied again elsewhere. This type is frequently known as 'removable'. There are many different types of removable adhesives, some are almost permanent, some are almost 'ultra peelable'. Vinyl - is not a natural substance but is a synthetic man-made material. It is a type of plastic that is made from ethylene (found in crude oil) and chlorine (found in regular salt). When processed, both the substances are combined to form Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) resin, or as is commonly referred to - Vinyl.
12What is the use of vinyl?
Vinyl is often referred to as the “infrastructure plastic,” and with good reason. Approximately 76 70 percent of PVC is used in building and construction applications. Vinyl is used so widely in the construction industry because of its durability, easy installation and cost-effectiveness.
13Can you produce Thermal labels?
Heat is applied directly to the label, and a chemical reaction on the face stock causes the label to darken where heat is applied. Receipt printers use direct thermal technology. Standard Direct Thermal Labels: The material is an uncoated medium sensitivity product with excellent image quality.
14What is a thermal printer?
Thermal printing (or direct thermal printing) is a digital printing process which produces a printed image by selectively heating coated thermochromic paper, or thermal paper as it is commonly known, when the paper passes over the thermal print head.
15What is a direct thermal label printer?
Each method uses a thermal print head that applies heat to the surface being marked. Thermal transfer printing uses a heated ribbon to produce durable, long-lasting images on a wide variety of materials. No ribbon is used in direct thermal printing, which creates the image directly on the printed material.
16What is a thermal transfer printer?
Thermal transfer printing is a digital printing process in which material is applied to paper (or some other material) by melting a coating of ribbon so that it stays glued to the material on which the print is applied. It contrasts with direct thermal printing where no ribbon is present in the process.
17What is the use of a thermal printer?
Early fax machines used direct thermal printing. Thermal wax transfer: This type of printer uses a thermal transfer ribbon that contains wax-based ink. Heat is applied to the ribbon using a thermal print head that melts the ink transferring it to the paper where it is permanent after it cools.
18What is a thermal wax printer?
A printer that uses heat to transfer an impression onto paper. There are two kinds of thermal printers: thermal wax transfer: a printer that adheres a wax-based ink onto paper. A thermal print head melts wax-based ink from the transfer ribbon onto the paper. When cool, the wax is permanent.
19Do thermal printers need ink?
Transfer printers use a ribbon containing wax, a wax resin or pure resin to do the transfer. Thermal printers are very fast and quiet. Direct printers are very economical since there are no ink cartridges involved and low maintenance as only the thermal paper must be replaced when it runs out, which is a simple task.
20Do thermal labels fade?
DT labels will fade or brown with age and will even turn black if exposed to heat or strong sunlight. ... Thermal transfer printing is a method that uses a heat-sensitive ink ribbon instead of a heat-sensitive paper.
21Who invented the thermal printer?
Kilby, however, won the Nobel Prize in 2000, an honour never accorded to Noyce. Kilby also invented the semiconductor-based thermal printer, in 1965, and led TI's team that developed the first calculator based on integrated circuitry, in 1967.
22What is a resin ribbon?
Resin ribbon is the perfect match when printing with polyester labels in applications involving outdoor use, harsh conditions, or exposure to chemicals.
23What is the use of barcode printer?
A barcode printer is a computer peripheral for printing barcode labels or tags that can be attached to, or printed directly on, physical objects. Barcode printers are commonly used to label cartons before shipment, or to label retail items with UPCs or EANs.
24How do I get a bar code?
1 Get a GS1 Company Prefix Before a company can begin using barcodes, they must first assign the numbers that go inside the barcode, called GS1 Identification Keys. The first step in assigning a GS1 Identification Key is to obtain a GS1 Company Prefix from a GS1 Member Organisation. The GS1 Company Prefix provides a way for companies to create identification keys for trade items, logistic units, locations, parties, assets, coupons, etc. which are unique all around the world. GS1 Company Prefixes are used by 1.3 million companies worldwide as the basis for creating unique numbers to identify everything in the supply chain. 2 Assign numbers After receiving a GS1 Company Prefix, a company is ready to begin assigning identification numbers to their trade items (products or services), themselves (as a legal entity), locations, logistic units, individual company assets, returnable assets (pallets, kegs, tubs), and/or service relationships. The process is simple. Your local GS1 Member Organisation can provide you with specific information about how many numbers you can assign based on the length of your GS1 Company Prefix. 3 Select a barcode printing process To begin, you should decide what you are barcoding and if the barcode will carry static or dynamic information inside it. If the information is static (always the same), the barcode can be printed using traditional printing presses directly on the package (e.g., paper milk carton) or on a label that is applied to the package (e.g., label on a gallon milk jug.) If the information is dynamic then either digital or a combination of digital and traditional printing will be required. For example:  If the product requires multi-colour graphics and a barcode with dynamic data, the graphics could be pre-printed using traditional printing presses and leave a blank portion of the label for digital printing inline during production and packaging.  If the product only requires text and a barcode with dynamic data, a label could be printed inline and applied to the package (automatically if high volume or by hand if low volume). It could also be printed directly on the package itself without using a label.  Also a barcode with static data could be printed directly on the package using a digital printing method, for example when the same packaging is used for different products. 4 Select a "primary" scanning environment The specifications for barcode type, size, placement, and quality all depend on where the barcode will be scanned. By knowing where your barcode will be scanned you can establish the right specifications for its production. Barcodes to be scanned at the retail point-of-sale will need to support omnidirectional scanning. If the barcode will be scanned at point-of-sale as well as in the warehouse, you will need to use a symbol that accommodates point-of-sale scanning, but printed in a larger size to accommodate scanning in the distribution process. Barcodes on healthcare items to be scanned in hospitals and pharmacies do not require omnidirectional scanning, unless the items are also scanned at retail point-of-sale. 5 Select a barcode Selecting the right barcode is critical to the success of your barcode implementation plan, but here are some high level tips: ■ If you need to barcode a trade item that will be scanned at the retail point-of-sale (POS), first symbol of choice is the EAN/UPC symbol. This symbol is guaranteed to be scanned by POS systems all over the world. In some cases GS1 DataBar symbol may be applied. ■ If you are printing a barcode with variable information like serial numbers, expiry dates, or measures, then you will use GS1-128, GS1 DataBar, or GS1 2D symbols. ■ If you want to encode a URL into a barcode to make extended packaging information available to the end consumer, then you should use a GS1 2D symbol. ■ If you need to barcode an outer case to be scanned in a logistics environment, and you want to print directly on corrugated carton, ITF-14 may be the choice for you. 6 Pick a barcode size After the correct barcode symbol is specified together with the information to encode in it, the design stage begins. The size of the symbol within the design will depend on the symbol specified, where the symbol will be used, and how the symbol will be printed. Symbol sizes The X-dimension is the specified width of the narrowest element of a barcode. X-dimensions are used together with the symbol heights to specify the permissible symbol sizes. For each scanning environment the relevant symbols are listed with their target X-dimension and corresponding target height. Besides the target sizes also the allowed minimum and maximum sizes are specified. Example: UPC Symbol Sizes Minimum X-dimension 0.264 mm ; 0.0104” Minimum symbol height 18.28 mm ; 0.720” Target X-dimension 0.330 mm ; 0.0130” Minimum symbol height 22.85 mm ; 0.900” Maximum X-dimension 0.660 mm ; 0.0260” Minimum symbol height 45.70 mm ; 1.800” Consideration of the printing process The final major consideration for symbol size is the capability of the selected printing process. The minimum size (magnification) and correct Bar Width Reduction (BWR) for a symbol varies by printing process and even from press to press. Printing companies should establish a minimum symbol size (magnification) and BWR to achieve acceptable and repeatable quality results. 7 Format the barcode text The text beneath a barcode, called Human Readable Interpretation (HRI), is important because if the barcode is damaged or of poor quality to begin with, then the text is used as a back-up. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions on HRI: Does the Human Readable Interpretation need to be a certain size? The human-readable text must be clearly legible and in a size proportional to the symbol size. Is the Human Readable Interpretation supposed to be above or below the symbol? HRI should be placed below the barcode and grouped together wherever physically possible while maintaining the HRI legibility and minimum barcode height. I see parentheses around the Application Identifiers (AI) under some barcode symbols. Are they supposed to be there and are they encoded in the bars and spaces of the symbol? All AIs must be enclosed in parentheses in the Human Readable Interpretation, but the parentheses are not encoded in the symbol. How many digits do I print beneath the EAN/UPC Symbol in the Human Readable text? ■ You must print 12 digits below the UPC-A Symbol. ■ You must print 13 digits below the EAN-13 Symbol. ■ You must print eight digits below UPC-E and EAN-8 Symbols. 8 Pick a barcode colour The optimum colour combination for a barcode symbol is black bars with a white background. If you want to use other colours, the following may help you in choosing satisfactory ones: ■ GS1 barcodes require dark colours for bars (e.g., black, dark blue, dark brown, or dark green). ■ The bars should always consist of a single line colour and should never be printed by multiple imaging tools (e.g., plate, screen, cylinder, etc.). ■ GS1 barcodes require light backgrounds for the Quiet Zones (area free of printing around the barcode) and spaces (e.g., white). ■ In addition to light backgrounds, "reddish" colours may also be used. If you have ever been in a darkroom with red lighting and tried to read red copy, you know it can virtually disappear. This is also true of similar colours such as orange, pink, peach, and light yellows. Given the fact that most barcode scanners use a red light source, you can quickly see why these colours may be suitable for backgrounds, but should be avoided for bars. ■ In many cases the symbol background is not printed and the colour of the packaging substrate is used as barcode background. However, if the symbol background is printed beneath the bars, the background should be printed as solid line colours. ■ If you use multiple layers of ink to increase the background opacity, each layer should be printed as a solid colour. ■ If you use a fine screen to deliver more ink to the substrate, be sure there are no voids in the print caused by the screen not adequately filling in. 9 Pick the barcode placement When discussing symbol location we are referring to the symbol placement on the design. When assigning symbol placement first the packaging process should be considered. You should consult the packaging engineer to make sure the symbol will not be obscured or damaged (e.g., over a carton edge, beneath a carton fold, beneath a package flap, or covered by another packaging layer). After determining the proper placement, the printing company should be consulted. This is because many printing processes require barcodes to be printed in a specific orientation to the feed direction of the web or sheet. When using flexographic printing the bars should run parallel to the press direction. If the bars are required to run perpendicular to the press direction check to ensure the symbol is not distorted. When using either silk screen or rotogravure printing processes, the symbol should be aligned parallel to the cell structure on the screen or gravure plate 10 Build a barcode quality plan ISO/IEC 15416 Barcode Print Quality Test Specifications for Linear Symbols describes a method for assessing the quality of barcode symbols after they are printed. An ISO-based verifier looks at the symbol in the way a scanner does, but goes further by grading the symbol's quality. GS1 utilises the ISO/IEC method, but specifies the minimum grade necessary for every GS1 barcode based on which symbol is used, where it is used, or what identification number it is carrying. In addition to the minimum grade, GS1 also specifies the verifier aperture width and wavelength. Setting up different minimum specifications is similar to a university using a standardised test to determine whether applicants qualify for admission. Several universities may utilise the same standardised test, but each sets the minimum score necessary for its applicants to be admitted.
25How does a label printer work?
Label printers use a wide range of label materials, including paper and synthetic polymer ("plastic") materials. ... On the other hand, thermal transfer printers use heat to transfer ink from ribbon onto the label for a permanent print. Some thermal transfer printers are also capable of direct thermal printing.
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