Glossy Label Inkjet Printer question

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JackofallShaves

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Hey everybody,

So I ordered some samples from Online Labels (matte and glossy) to try with my HP Inkjet printer. After a few tries, I got a good print on my matte labels.

I tried the same with glossy labels and they came out very clear and the labels look really nice. BUT, I noticed that the black ink in my glossy labels scratches very easily. This is not about the ink being wet, I tried the same after 2 days and the black ink still scratches very easily. The issue only seems to be isolated to black ink.

See below, I edited out the actual content as my labels are still work in progress, I was able to make these scratches with my fingers with minimal pressure.

upload_2020-2-5_11-30-29.png


I really like the look of glossy labels, but cannot afford the ink to scratch so easily. Has anyone encountered this issue before? Any suggestions? Will spraying the labels with clear coat help?

For some context, my labels are black with white text on them. As far as I could tell, Online Labels does not have a black color option by default, so I just printed out my design on the white labels. Are there other label providers that offer black labels for a cheap price? That way I will only need to print my white label text on them.

Thanks for all your help and happy soaping!
 

JackofallShaves

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I found the solution to this issue.

Apparently, the black ink from a regular "black cartridge" does not work well with glossy media. One has to choose, "glossy paper" in the print media before printing. The printer mixes inks from the color cartridge to create black ink - this type of ink will work on glossy paper.

I chose "HP Flyer and Brochure, Glossy" from my print media under properties and the prints came out just fine. The black is not jet black, if you will, but comes pretty close.

This only applies to inkjet printers, I have no experience with laser printers, may be it is not an issue with laser printers at all.
 
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Misschief

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As far as I could tell, Online Labels does not have a black color option by default
That's because there are very few printers (no home printers that I know of) that can print white. Even professional print shops have to use a two step process to print in white on dark paper.
 

JackofallShaves

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That's because there are very few printers (no home printers that I know of) that can print white. Even professional print shops have to use a two step process to print in white on dark paper.
The support agent from online labels said the same thing. I can't help but wonder, what if someone wants to print other lighter colors like yellow, orange, pink, light gray etc. on black labels? It just seems weird that there are labels in almost all colors except black, with the "few printers can print white" reasoning.
 

Sony Sasankan

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The support agent from online labels said the same thing. I can't help but wonder, what if someone wants to print other lighter colors like yellow, orange, pink, light gray etc. on black labels? It just seems weird that there are labels in almost all colors except black, with the "few printers can print white" reasoning.
The CMYK model of mixing colours that most printers use, factor in the colour "white" as a constant that cannot be adjusted. This white colour of course is the colour of the paper. The rest of the colours mix at a ratio, that when printed on the white paper makes the final colour. So a ratio of the CMYK inks that looks like "Red" on white paper will look very different on another coloured paper. It will look pretty much invisible on black paper, because the ink mixing of the printers are calibrated to show through white.

The inks used in inkjets are see through and rely on the white of the paper to pass through the ink mix. Some commercial printers use opaque inks and have separate white colour in them. These have a different mixing method and calibrated to not factor in the colour of the medium. So you can have prints on transparent sheets, black paper, etc. with these printers.
 

Misschief

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The support agent from online labels said the same thing. I can't help but wonder, what if someone wants to print other lighter colors like yellow, orange, pink, light gray etc. on black labels? It just seems weird that there are labels in almost all colors except black, with the "few printers can print white" reasoning.
The only way around it is to print a black background as part of your label. For home printers, it's a great way of going through black ink cartridges really fast.
 

amd

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I can't help but wonder, what if someone wants to print other lighter colors like yellow, orange, pink, light gray etc. on black labels? It just seems weird that there are labels in almost all colors except black, with the "few printers can print white" reasoning.
Think of this... if you take a black marker and make a filled in box on a piece of paper... can you write in another color over the black filled in box and see it? That's essentially what you're trying to do by printing on black. It doesn't work. Printers work by filling in the area that is black, filling in the area that is (say) blue, filling in the area that is (say) red and so on for colors. Printers don't layer color over other colors, they stop where the color ends and adds a new color where the new color starts.
 

Misschief

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When a job is press run on black, what they usually do is layer the white (and it isn't ink per se, it's more of a "paint") in a couple of layers on the dark stock, even though it is opaque, until it is intense enough, usually 2-3 impressions. There's also more waste that way, as well, as each layer has to line up exactly with the previous layer. If it doesn't, you end up with ghosting and that sheet is garbage.
 

JackofallShaves

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Think of this... if you take a black marker and make a filled in box on a piece of paper... can you write in another color over the black filled in box and see it? That's essentially what you're trying to do by printing on black. It doesn't work. Printers work by filling in the area that is black, filling in the area that is (say) blue, filling in the area that is (say) red and so on for colors. Printers don't layer color over other colors, they stop where the color ends and adds a new color where the new color starts.
@amd - this helps clarify things a lot, thanks for posting this.

The only way around it is to print a black background as part of your label. For home printers, it's a great way of going through black ink cartridges really fast.
That is what I have been doing thus far. In fact, to print on a glossy media, you can't really use the black pigment ink that is in the black cartridge. The printer has to make a black by mixing colors in the color cartridge. I am wondering how long my cartridge is going to last. These HP ink cartridges ain't cheap.
 

TheGecko

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Hey everybody,

So I ordered some samples from Online Labels (matte and glossy) to try with my HP Inkjet printer. After a few tries, I got a good print on my matte labels.

I tried the same with glossy labels and they came out very clear and the labels look really nice. BUT, I noticed that the black ink in my glossy labels scratches very easily. This is not about the ink being wet, I tried the same after 2 days and the black ink still scratches very easily. The issue only seems to be isolated to black ink.

See below, I edited out the actual content as my labels are still work in progress, I was able to make these scratches with my fingers with minimal pressure.

View attachment 43788


I really like the look of glossy labels, but cannot afford the ink to scratch so easily. Has anyone encountered this issue before? Any suggestions? Will spraying the labels with clear coat help?

For some context, my labels are black with white text on them. As far as I could tell, Online Labels does not have a black color option by default, so I just printed out my design on the white labels. Are there other label providers that offer black labels for a cheap price? That way I will only need to print my white label text on them.

Thanks for all your help and happy soaping!
If you want to print white text on a black label, you will need to seek the services of a professional printer. Neither inkjet or laser printers have that capability since the cartridges only come in black, yellow, cyan and magenta and now of the colors make ‘white’.
 

Misschief

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If you want to print white text on a black label, you will need to seek the services of a professional printer. Neither inkjet or laser printers have that capability since the cartridges only come in black, yellow, cyan and magenta and now of the colors make ‘white’.
See above. I work in a print shop. Even we can't print white on black stock, not since our presses died. Even then, it was an arduous, expensive proposition.

We print everything on white stock. If you want a black background, we print the background... whatever colour you want it.
 

JackofallShaves

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My labels are black with a very light gray(almost white) text on it. I managed to print them successfully on white glossy weather proof labels from Online Labels using my HP inkjet. See above posts, the printer only uses the color cartridge when printing on glossy media as ink from black cartridge will not stick on glossy media.

I like the flexibility of printing at home but I will need to keep an eye on how many labels I can print per cartridge.

@Misschief - you seem to be quite experienced with the printing stuff! Any thoughts on laser vs. inkjet in terms reducing total cost of label printing over the long term?

I have read that laser printer toners last longer than inkjet cartridges. You can get a decent laser printer for about $150, I am wondering if it makes sense to make the upfront investment if laser printers are truly better for home label printing on glossy media(in terms of quality of print AND number of labels per toner).
 

Misschief

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@Misschief - you seem to be quite experienced with the printing stuff! Any thoughts on laser vs. inkjet in terms reducing total cost of label printing over the long term?

I have read that laser printer toners last longer than inkjet cartridges. You can get a decent laser printer for about $150, I am wondering if it makes sense to make the upfront investment if laser printers are truly better for home label printing on glossy media(in terms of quality of print AND number of labels per toner).
I've worked in the print industry for almost 20 years (as a CSR mostly). To be honest, I'm not really up on home printers. I used to have a laser printer (black only) and loved it. The downside was that, though the toner cartridges were fairly inexpensive, the fuser cost more than a new printer. Once that one died, we did purchase an inkjet but haven't purchased ink for it in years. I do all my printing at work, with my boss' blessing.

So, though I'm knowledgeable about printing, I'm not the best person to ask about home printing.
 

TheGecko

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I have read that laser printer toners last longer than inkjet cartridges. You can get a decent laser printer for about $150, I am wondering if it makes sense to make the upfront investment if laser printers are truly better for home label printing on glossy media(in terms of quality of print AND number of labels per toner).
Yes, toner lasts longer than ink. And yes, you can get a B&W Laser printer pretty cheap these days. All printers are cheap, it’s the cartridges that kill you.

I am actually looking into having my labels bulk printed except for the name of the soap, which I will then print myself.
 

JoeH

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That's because there are very few printers (no home printers that I know of) that can print white. Even professional print shops have to use a two step process to print in white on dark paper.
OKI makes a lazier printer that prints white. It's used to print heat transfer to be placed on fabric like t-shirts but wil print on plain paper.
I have one of those printers it's a OKI CM711wt.
 

mwhitmore

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I know this is an older post but I just wanted to chime in on my experience with home printers and labels in case it could be of help.
I print A TON of labels, paperwork, pictures, etc, and for a while was purchasing cartridges but then I decided to go with a Canon Pixma with ink tanks and I am so glad I did. The upfront cost is anywhere from $300-400 but in the end it's worth every penny. I have had this printer (had to buy a new Canon because I wore my other one out) for over a year and half and I'm just now at half a tank of ink. My old one was ran for over 2 years and ended up at just under half a tank before I had to replace the printer. Replacement ink is only like $28 for all 4 colors! If you're in the market for a quality printer, I recommend the Canon Pixma series but if you have a good printer and the price of cartridges is your issue, they now make after market ink tanks you can install on your printer. I had a sublimation printer with my previous business partner that we did this with and its very easy to do. Amazon sells them for almost every home printer, I believe, and they're more affordable. Just do your research on the different brands of them because there are some out there that is poor quality and is a waste of time and money.
As far as labels, I print on gloss labels from online labels and can get darker backgrounds with light colored words (not completely white). All of my clear labels get sprayed with a clear coat before I put them on my products and I've never had issues with scratching, smudging or any of that. I have found that getting the matte label is better for print quality and then once I spray them with my gloss sealant, they turn out almost perfect.
Hopefully my ramblings will be of help to someone. Good luck!
 

cmzaha

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If you are printing enough labels the same I would go with professional. For our lotion that we have sold for 10 years I have my labels printed from Print Runner since my labels also contain a lot of black. The price is not bad because they are one of their standard sticker sizes are vinyl so they are waterproof.

As for Laser printers I have a couple of Oki digital laser printers but they still never printer true black and the consumables are outrages to replace. My Oki's are pretty outdated now but nothing has changed as far as the cost of replacing toners, drums, fuser etc. Fortunately, aftermarket toners did come available for my laser which kept it affordable. It was always around 2k to replace everything. If you go with a laser make sure you check the cost of replacement consumables. My silly laser has drums for each toner.
 

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