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Troubleshooting Glossy Labels

Printing Glossy Labels

Are you struggling to get proper color balance & saturation or experiencing excessive drying times while printing to glossy labels with an inkjet printer?  Well good news, here are a couple of easy tips to be sure that you’re inkjet printer is optimized to produce the finest quality labels possible.

The Ink is taking Forever to Dry & Smears

Problem – Most desktop printers come from the factory preset to print to copier paper.  Copier paper (unlike glossy labels or glossy paper) has an “open face,” meaning that it has the highest capacity of all materials for absorption of liquid inks.  Glossy label material on the other hand can only absorb so much ink, and once that point of saturation is met you’ll have sheets that won’t dry immediately.  So what to do?

Solution – Most major brands of desktop printers will allow the user to make adjustments to the media type settings on the printer.   Although it can vary by brand, the media type setting can generally be found int he print dialogue box, by clicking File > Print.  Once the print dialogue box appears, the user will need to click on “Properties.”  Depending on the printer, the user will then have the options to choose the media type under the tab Paper/Quality.

Screen shot 2010 11 01 at 11.00.40 AM 300x282 Troubleshooting Glossy Labels

Under the media type drop down settings there will be various options ranging from Plain (uncoated/copier paper with maximum absorption quality) to Transparency (a film sheet with minimum absorption qualities).  Since our goal is to reduce the about of ink being applied we will want to select a media type that more closely matches the labels we will be printing.  If a glossy media setting is available, that will be our best option.  If not, it may take a little trial and error to find a setting that balances the amount of ink needed to maximize the vibrance and saturation of color with the most expedient drying times.

The color balance changes when I change the media Type (Advanced)

Occasionally we get a call from a Adobe CS user, who after using the media setting tip above will have issues with Color Shifting when printing directly from any one of the Creative Suite applications.  Fortunately this is usually an easy fix.  Be sure that that the Color Profile is set to CMYK SWOP V2 to assure color accuracy when working in Photoshop/Illustrator/InDesign.

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