Printing gold-colored colors is fun in theory, but never meets expectations with an inkjet printer. But what if they really want to print a luxury label with beautiful metallic spot colors? We investigated the best solution for high-quality product labels in small quantities that can be personalized on-demand. Read below how the solution was finally realized and what steps you need to take to create the solution yourself.
You can download the result below.
THE QUESTION AND COMMON PROBLEMS?
We have had relatively little demand for these types of labels and think it is because it seems to be a very difficult concept to print it yourself.
Often, a golden color or gradient is created in the design. the metallic effect should simulate.
It looks pretty ok on your screen, but the result from the printer really leaves something to be desired, especially when we look at the TM-C3500, for example. Even with a TM-C7500 the result is not ideal and has no metallic appearance at all.
To emphasize the contrast of the metallic print you can of course use the less beautiful matte paper, but a nice glossy plastic still looks a lot fresher but the contrast of the metallic print is gone. Conclusion … too many concessions have to be made and the result is not satisfactory.
THE APPLICATION AND REQUIREMENTS WE SET.
We want a solution where small runs are printed and the metallic print can be variable. This solution can, for example, be used in a marketing campaign for a liqueur brand. Labels are printed in high quality in advance in color and then distributed to the retailers where these labels can be personalized individually.
PRINTER FOR THE RETAILER
The purchase price of the printer that will be displayed at retailers is not entirely unimportant, a nice cost when you think of a retail chain with dozens of locations. Ease of use is also very important and it must be possible to operate the printer without a computer.
A retail organization is usually not willing to link an extra printer to the POS system and you are therefore not dependent on the IT structure of the different retailers.
The printer must always be able to print one label with, for example, a personal name as an end-of-year gift in which the print must be metallic gold or silver. This application requires the printer to be extremely reliable and maintenance-free.
Eventually we came up with the & nbsp; Godex RT700i because Thermal Transfer is actually the only solution for metallic printing. The Godex RT700i is extremely reliable and the & nbsp; Stand-Alone function & nbsp; together with the & nbsp; display & nbsp; makes it very user-friendly.
If a higher resolution is desired is, eg from the details on the label, & nbsp; there is a possibility for the 300DPI version namely the Godex RT730i.
PRINTER FOR PRINTING THE LABELS
Which printer did we choose to pre-print the labels and why? It must be possible to rapidly print large numbers in high quality. The print must be full-color and waterproof, with beautiful and deep hues on matte paper. Ultimately, as far as we are concerned, only one choice remains and that is the & nbsp; Epson ColorWorks TM-C7500 , with nice deep colors and a high resolution in the print. Regarding speed, the & nbsp; 30 cm per second & nbsp; with which the printer spits out the labels will certainly do well.
THE MEDIA printer
When it comes to product labels, there is always a discussion about what’s better, a glossy or matte label, our answer in 95% of the cases is matte compared to the 95% that I hear should be a glossy label. < br> Fortunately, in the consumer electronics market we have often seen matte packaging or the so-called “soft touch” in which the finish has a satin finish. When it comes to bottled drinks, it is often dull again and the contrast with the metallic print is therefore emphasized extra well.
INKJET AND THERMAL TRANSFER NOT ALWAYS A GOOD COMBINATION!
Finding the right material was quite a challenge. The problem is that you cannot print properly on inkjet paper with a Thermal Transfer printer and, conversely, with an inkjet printer, you cannot print on a Thermal Transfer paper type.
A trade-off had to be made between a beautiful color print or a sleek metallic-spot color print. After some testing and using different metallic print ribbons, we found that a metallic ribbon did not cause many problems on the & nbsp; DIA050 .
As this was also the first choice due to availability, price and mat appearance this was totally super despite the lines of the metallic print are not always as tight as you would like.
It is best to first let the pre-printed labels dry properly, after 60 minutes drying time the result is already good but we for best results, advise the labels to be printed the next day.
THE DESIGN AND APPLICATION.
We now need to make a design that we can pre-print and that is easy to personalize for the retailer with a standalone application on the Godex printer.
The design was created in Adobe Illustrator with a label designed in two different colors in the size 76x51mm. The metallic spot color is used for the logo at the top and there is space left where the personalized text can be placed. We removed the elements that were made for the spot color and saved the files as pdf for easy printing.
THE STAND ALONE APPLICATION FOR THE GODEX RT730I
We exported the element that should be a spot color for the logo to a PNG8 with 1 color for the application with a full black value (# 000000).
This also immediately gave the correct DPI based on the DPI of the printer, in this case 300DPI because I am using the Godex RT730i.
If you are using the RT700i this should be set to 201DPI for the best result.
We open & nbsp; GoLabel & nbsp; and get started with creating the standalone application.
GoLabel is free software from Godex in which you can easily print labels and create standalone applications and upload them to a printer.
FIRST, YOU MUST ENTER THE RIGHT LABEL SIZE.
GOLABEL PAGE SETUP FOR GOLD PRINTING
PRINTER SETTINGS “PRINTER SETUP”
Then in our case we have to rotate the design 90 degrees so that we can design the label standing up but still print it correctly and enter the settings for the printer such as speed, darkness and printing mode. What is striking is that we have to put the printer very hot for a neat print on the inkjet material, we have put extra speed on the assumption that quality is the most important thing in this case and that no major productions will be made.
GOLABEL PRINTER SETUP FOR GOLD PRINTING [/ caption]
PLACING THE LOGO ELEMENT “GRAPHIC FUNCTION”
Next, we can place the elements that are needed in the label.
We start with the logo element – we place an image via the left menu under “ Graphics “. Select the file that we exported with illustrator and place it.
If all goes well, it covers the entire label and now we will align it on the label.
This works very simply with the “ Object Alignment” “in the top menu.
On the far right you will find the alignment functions based on the label and here we do” Align middle “and” Center “.
The image is now correct, we may have to rotate the print 180 degrees, depending on the pre-printed labels. This is best done at the printer settings by checking the “ Rotate 180 ” function.
MAKE VARIABLE INPUT FOR THE NAME.
To use the variable data in a standalone application we can only use the “ Printer text ” option in the & nbsp; left menu & nbsp; under “ text “.
We need to create a variable that we can enter when printing.
On the left we press the & nbsp; “setup serial, variables, date and time” & nbsp; press the & nbsp; “Variables” & nbsp; on “ Edit” & nbsp; (here we can specify the properties that the input must satisfy).
Enter the desired settings and press & nbsp; “Add” , we are now ready to use them on the label.
Press & nbsp; “OK” & nbsp; to open the window to close. With variables the variable that we have created is now à click on add and you will see, if all goes well, at the top of the data field & nbsp; “^ V00” appear.
The settings we have given are:
GoLabel Variable settings [/ caption]
SELECT FONT TYPE AND UPLOAD TO THE PRINTER.
I want to use a graceful font for this label.
True Type Fonts can be uploaded to the printer so that they can be used in a standalone application. Only use a font that is free for commercial use or a font that you have purchased a license for.
A good website for free commercially usable fonts is & nbsp; Fontsquirrel .
The font we want to use is “Alex Brush”, which is only not available as a True Type Font on Fontsquirrel, so we searched it online with a free commercial license (you need it on install your computer by opening the file and pressing install). To use the font for the variable text, we must upload it using the following steps.
In the & nbsp; “Text Setup” & nbsp; you can go to the & nbsp; “Font Type ”, press & nbsp; “ True Type Font ” & nbsp; here on the & nbsp; “ Download True Type Font ”button. Select any “Font ID” here, we’ve grabbed the last & nbsp; “TZ” & nbsp; to keep other fonts for other applications intact but it makes no matter which one you choose.
Once you have made your selection you will get a list of the fonts that are installed locally, look for the font that you want to use here, in our case it is “Alex Brush”.
Before we can continue, the printer must be “on” and set to “ready.”
Then press “OK” and if all goes well the printer will give a beeping sound.
LAYOUT TEXT AND PLACE RIGHT.
We selected centered for “variable”, but now there are only zeros on the screen to show the size of the variable. We now have to adjust the text size to the maximum width so that it fits well within the label, bear in mind that some letters are larger than a 0 (such as a W).
You can change the size of the font in the & nbsp; “Text Setup” & nbsp; under the & nbsp; “Text” & nbsp; setting & nbsp; “Size in points” , we came out at 21.
Getting the text properly centered is quite a trick, because it is not going as you expect. First we have to send a command to the printer to see how the text comes out.
Now we can place the text in such a way that it comes neatly in the middle of the label.
Our advice is … try a number of names of different lengths, otherwise Ed will appear on the label like Marie-Louise. Only when you are satisfied do you save the label.
UPLOAD THE STANDALONE APPLICATION TO THE PRINTER.
To be able to print this label in a stand-alone application, we have to upload the elements that we use to the printer. Uploading is quite simple with GoLabel but make sure that the printer is not in a menu but on “Ready”.
In the top menu under & nbsp; & nbsp; “Advanced” & nbsp; go to “Download Objects To Printer” then to “Format” & nbsp; and “Download the currently open label” . In the next window, give the label a name (this is only necessary if there are several labels to print).
For these applications we can choose to use the & nbsp; “Print automatic” & nbsp ; check this box.
This ensures that 1 label is always printed, but this would also mean that if 5 of the same labels have to be printed, the variable must be entered 5 times. we only need to print this label and use the & nbsp; “Save Format As Auto Form” option. This ensures that when the printer is turned on, it immediately opens this label for printing to keep it as easy as possible for the retailer. Therefore, no name can be entered anymore.
GoLabel has automatically prepared the label and also converted the image to a file that the printer can use. Nothing further needs to be adjusted and we can now choose to upload it directly to a printer or to a usb stick for later use.
How to distribute a solution through the use of a USB stick is something we will deepen later
For now we will download directly to the printer through the & nbsp; “Start Download” & nbsp; button, the application is ready to be used in standalone mode.
Print the labels
The solution was easier than we could have imagined in advance. The quality of the Thermal Transfer print is not as sharp as we would like but is certainly sufficient for a good marketing campaign. With this you create a lot of added value to the product and we expect that you can use it to raise your eyes during special and public holidays.
The solution was easier than I thought in advance.
The quality of the Thermal Transfer print is not as sharp as I would like but is certainly sufficient for a good marketing campaign.
There will certainly be a lot of added value to your product around the holidays I expect that this would cause a huge increase in your product sales.
The Epson ColorWorks TM-C7500 ensures a good print and can certainly print large productions for sending to retailers. It is even possible to add the name of the retailer to the label in order to offer added value to the retailer.
THE FINAL RESULT
The TM-C7500 brings beautiful colors and the matte media i.c.m. the metallic spot color print provides a very luxurious look. The whole makes your product an ideal gift for the holidays or a good promotional gift.
THE TOTAL PRICE OF THE APPLICATION?
For a project like this, we can make project prices for the different hardware.
The media we used here is by chance one of the cheapest inkjet materials in our range. The Thermal Transfer ribbons are not a standard stock product and the price is on request and depends on the numbers. If you are interested, feel free to contact us, we will be happy to tell you more.
Er is een pakket gemaakt van de bestanden waarmee we zojuist gewerkt hebben en geëindigd zijn. Hierin zit o.a. de pdf-files voor het printen van de labels op de TM-C7500; het GoLabel bestand welke je direct zou kunnen uploaden naar de printer en het TTF bestand van Alex brush.