In this project, we'll be using Papilio's FREE label making software, available from http://www.labelhelper.com, some inkjet White Waterproof Vinyl (WVF) and some Polyfocus Glossy Laminate (PFG) sheets, to create, print and apply a custom bottle label. After reading this guide ( and hopefully trying these steps yourself! ) we hope you'll have a better understanding of how YOU can minimize your label printing and packaging costs by doing it yourself. This method is ideal for short runs or long and produces crisp, vibrant, waterproof labels that may be applied to glass bottles, plastic jars and more.
Download and Install Papilio's Label Helper software
The first step is to actually produce the label you'd like to print. This can be done in a number of ways including using Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Word and a wide variety of other word processing and graphic design software suites. For the purposes of this tutorial and for simplicity, we'll be using Papilio's very own Label Helper, a free program pre-loaded with templates that can be selected and customized to fit your needs. Visit http://www.labelhelper.com to download this software and follow the on-screen instructions to complete installation.
Once installed, open Label Helper and select the "New Project" button which will open up a listing of available templates. Select the blank or pre-made template that best suits your need and select it. This will be the foundation our label is built on and the labels you produce here will look the same when printed. This is a "what you see is what you get" (WYSIWYG) label editor.
Create your label
Once your blank template has been generated and opened, begin producing your label. Papilio's Label Helper offers a variety of methods and means to add graphic and text elements to your labels, readying them for print. To begin adding these elements, select one of the labels on the template and select the "Zoom In" button to expand the view of your potential label. This will allow you to see things a little more clearly and also give you more room to work with. Add your design elements one at a time by selecting the proper tools. For example, if you'd like to add a graphic, select the Graphic tab and "Insert New Image". Text may be added in a similar manner, by selecting the Add Text button. Position the elements as you see fit to produce your overall label. Once you are satisified with your design, select the "Zoom Out" button to return you to the template overall. From here, you can copy your finished label to the rest of the blank / unedited labels.
Outline and Clone your label
Now that you've created and are satisfied with the look of your new label, it is time to copy the design to the rest of the blank / unedited labels on the template. This will ensure your label looks exactly the same across the whole page and save the work involved with manually re-creating the label over and over. To copy your design to the rest of the available labels, select the "Control" tab and the select the "Clone Label" button. A new menu will open, allowing you to pick and choose which labels to copy to. Once you've cloned your labels, ensure the "On" box is checked on the "Outline" tab to print a small border around your labels when printing. This makes it much easier to cut your labels out and ensure they are uniform.
If you are using pre-cut labels, ensure the template you select within the software matches the template of your sheets and leave the label outline box unchecked. To conserve ink, or if you only have use for a few of the labels on the sheet, you can disable the ones you don't use by right clicking the label and selecting the "OFF" option. This will ensure that particular label is not printed and may be used at a later date.
Select the "Print / PDF" button to save your project as a .pdf file, ready for print.
Printing your labels
With your labels created in Papilio Label Helper and ready for printing, load your inkjet printer with a single sheet of Papilio's Inkjet White Waterproof Vinyl so that the bright, matte white side is printed on. If you are unsure whether to load your sheet face up, or face down in your inkjet paper tray, use a marker to mark a large X on a sheet of plain copy paper. Load the paper into the printer so that the X is face up and print some sample text. After completing this quick test print, look to see if the print is on the same side as the X you marked. If so, load the White Waterproof Vinyl with the bright white side face up.
Once your inkjet is loaded with a sheet, open your newly created label PDF file and select the "Print" option. A new menu will open, allowing you to define the properties of the printer. For paper settings, "Plain Paper" is ideal and for maximum quality, select "Best" or "Maximum" image quality. This will reduce the speed of your print, but will increase the visual appeal of your overall design. Consult your printer documentation if you are uncertain how to define and edit these settings.
After defining your printer settings, print a copy of your labels.