insignia Labelling Support

From custom prime labels to overprint or blank labels for your thermal printer, our labelling experts collaborate with you to create a cost effective solution to meet your business needs and bring your brand to life.

For additional information, our Labelling support hub provides a comprehensive range of buying guides and frequently asked questions to cut though the labelling industry lingo and ease your decision making process.

General Labels

Synthetic materials are best for outdoor applications. The type of synthetic needed will depend on environment and length of time required. Speak to one of our label experts for advice on the best synthetic material for your application.

Roll direction refers to the presentation of your label or tag as it comes off the roll. The main factors to consider include the presentation on the finished goods the label is to be applied to; the maximum label width your thermal printer specifies (if overprinting any variable data onto the label); and, if the label is to be applied by machine, the appropriate direction to have the label presented correctly on the product.

We are able to provide you with labels in a range of shapes and sizes – square, rectangle, circle, oval, or a custom label with a shape tailored to your use.

Standard sizes are 19mm, 25mm, 38mm, 40mm and 75mm - these sizes are compatible with most thermal printers, portable printers and label printer-applicators. Contact our label experts to find out more or if you need a different size.

insignia can supply labels in a roll, sheeted, or fanfold presentation.

  • Rolls of labels are wound onto cores. A range of core sizes are available to match your printer brand and model.
  • Fanfold are bundles of alternating folds, as opposed to rolls. Fanfold label bundles can be used where larger quantities are preferred to minimise the frequency of rolls changes, or for smaller printers that can only hold small rolls of labels.
  • Sheeted labels are cut so that each label or 'label-set' is on an individual sheet, and are often used when the labels are over-printed by a laser printer, rather than a thermal printer.

If you would like your stock provided in a different way or are unsure which is best for your requirements, contact our team on 1300 467 446 for advice.

Yes. Check out our 'Perks of Perfs' infographic showing the benefits of adding perforations between labels.

Perks of Perfs

Minimum order quantities for stocked labels is 1 carton. For custom-made labels, speak to someone in our team (or your Account Manager) regarding a minimum order quantity.

Minimum orders are dependent on the size of the label or tag and the number of colours. Also, if you have a range of labels made together of the same size, the number of changes between types. Keep in mind the setup charge is less of a factor if you order larger quantities. The more you order, the less you pay per unit! We will always advise you on the most economical way in which we can help you.

You sure can! We have an in-house facility where we are able to print variable information such as alphanumeric sequencing.

Flexographic printing is globally recognised as the label industry's leading printing technology. Combining fast press speeds, excellent print quality and efficient plate and colour change regimen, Flexo ensures a flexible, efficient and cost-effective printing process providing outstanding image and colour integrity.

Costs (separate to the labels themselves) include the tools and the plates which may be needed to manufacture your labels. If either are required they will be included in our quote.

This is the tool used to cut the shape of the label or tag.

Most label materials can be stored in freezers if applied to the product before freezing, however they cannot all be applied after freezing. Freezer grade labels are required if the labels are being applied on already-frozen goods. Our label experts can advise you on a suitable label material and adhesive for your freezer products.

Labels and tags can be made from various materials including Paper, Synthetics, and Clear Synthetics. The material surface may be Gloss, Satin, or Matte.

We have a range of adhesives available including permanent, removable, repositionable, freezer, and unadhesed. Speak to one of our label experts to find out which adhesive is most suitable for your application.

By applying a finish to your labels, the labels' inks will have an extra layer of protection against abrasion or moisture. Some finishes are suitable for overprinting in thermal printers.

Common finishes include:

  • Laminate - Creates an excellent barrier to protect against scuffing or corrosion- available in both Matte and Gloss. Some are suitable for overprinting in thermal printers.
  • UV Lacquer (Varnish) - Creates a gloss effect and protects to a lesser degree.
  • Water Based Lacquer (Varnish) - Satin/Matte finish dependent on label material. Also used in overprint applications.

Speak to one of our label experts for specific advice relating to your application.

Blank Labels

Thermal Direct labels are manufactured from heat-sensitive label material which turns black when it comes into contact with the thermal printhead in the label printer. Thermal Direct printing is a cost-effective media option and ideal for printing sharp, clear barcodes. Typical applications include short-life food labels (e.g. bread and fresh produce), transport labels, and cold environment labelling. No thermal ribbon is required with thermal direct labels.

Since thermal direct labels react to heat, they are also sensitive to sunlight which can cause labels to darken over time, as can scuffing or rubbing during transport. Also, the thermal image may fade after a length of time, depending on the environment the labelled item is stored in.

Thermal Transfer refers to printing using a heat-sensitive thermal ribbon which, when it comes into contact with the thermal printhead 'transfers' the ink onto the label material.

Thermal Transfer creates a permanent, durable and crisp print, making it ideal for long-life product labelling, and for products stored outdoors or in direct sunlight.

Read more on the difference between Transfer and Direct

The quantity of labels on a roll should reflect the highest possible number of labels to fit the diameter of your printer and/or applicator. The objective is to reduce the number of stoppages for the user to spend time changing rolls. Your label representative will be able to calculate the appropriate number to suit your application.

Flood coating is where the entire label is 'flood coated' in one colour, for example if you wanted the label to be solid red. Tags can be floodcoated on both sides if required.

Prime/Custom Labels

CMYK or Four Colour Process technology is the industry standard means of transferring full colour artwork onto a substrate through a printing press. Using combinations of four - Cyan (C), Magenta (M), Yellow (Y) and Black (K) and incorporating half tone dots and solids - printers can achieve photographic quality reproduction and solid colours with maximum efficiency.

While CMYK is suitable for reproducing millions of images there are certain colors that cannot be achieved using this process. Spot colour will help you achieve the perfect colour quality required, by using the Pantone Matching System (PMS) to mix specialty ink pigments and achieve an exact colour match. Spot colours can be used in addition to CMYK printer process to help aesthetically enhance your labels and achieve metallic and particularly intense colours.

When ordering new custom labels, there are a few steps to go through to get the best labels for your situation.

New custom labels will go through this process:

  1. Talk to, or be visited by, one of our labelling specialists about your label's requirements including substrates it will be applied to, environment it will need to last in and overprinting requirements for variable data (if applicable).
  2. We will then send you a quote. For special applications (e.g. withstanding high temperatures for multiple days), samples can be provided.
  3. If you wish to proceed we ask for your artwork and purchase order.
  4. For printed labels our in-house graphic artists will develop an art proof, this usually takes 24-48 hours (during business days only).
  5. Once the proof is signed off and returned to us we then go into production of your labels.
  6. From here, it will take us 10-12 working days for us to dispatch your custom labels. Metro areas can expect to receive their order in 1-2 business days, regional a little longer.
Please note the above process is for new custom labels.
If you are an existing customer ordering a repeat of previously made labels, your labels will be made and dispatched in 8-10 working days.

Overprint Labels

First, decide on what information you need to print such as company logo, barcodes, batch number, contact details, nutrition panel, best before date, or ingredient list. Next do a draft layout so you can see what size text is suitable. You should now know the label size you'll require. Most label printers are 4 inches (101.6mm) wide, so if your label needs to be larger you may need to consider a 6 inch or 8 inch printer. However, thermal printers can print both portrait and landscape orientation so a 4 inch printer can suit most applications. This may require some readjusting of the label layout. Don't forget to measure the item or product you are labelling to ensure it will fit too.

Overprinting your labels can be done with thermal transfer, thermal direct or laser printing. However you do need to consider the appropriate material for your application and suitability of the print method. Speak to our experts for advice.

Tickets & Tags

Tags are unadhesed, and can be made of paper or synthetic in various thicknesses (microns). Tags with holes/slots can allow the user to tie the tags onto goods. If printing the tag in a thermal printer, you will need registration marks or sensor cut outs so the sensor on your printer can detect the start and finish points of each tag. If printing in continuous mode, these marks are unnecessary, but your printer would need a cutter fitted. Tags can be used for purposes including product coding, pricing, and identification, and are used in the fresh-produce retail supply chain on RPC's (Returnable Plastic Crates), in agriculture on seed and feed stitch-in bags, construction industry outdoor applications and in abattoirs for carcass identification.

insignia's tickets are ideal for theme park entry passes, event ticketing and boarding passes. They can be sequentially coded with alphanumeric characters if required.

Unfortunately it isn't possible to print on both sides of a ticket or tag using a thermal printer. However, we are able to preprint fixed information (for example, we could print terms and conditions on the back of the tag or ticket, and your logo on the front). Then you will be able to overprint your variable information, using a thermal printer, on one side.

Thermal printers have a sensor that detects dark and light, so it will 'see' the gap between your labels or the gap cutout on tags. The same sensor can be set to 'reflective' mode so it detects a black backmark line on the reverse of tags without gap cutout, or labels that are made from clear material. When the sensor sees the gap or mark it knows to start printing. Once finished printing it then looks for the next gap or mark. Therefore the printer will start printing at the same place on every tag or label.

If your printer has a cutter, insignia can supply the tags or labels in continuous rolls. Effectively the printer sensor is switched off and the labelling software tells the printer to cut after each tag or label format is printed. This is called "continuous" mode.


insignia stocks quality thermal ribbons to bring out the best in your printer and prolong the life of your printhead. All ribbon products meet strict quality specifications for printer manufacturers and have a special coating on the back of the ribbon to product your printhead. There are three different formulations of ribbon ink – wax, wax/resin, and resin.

Wax ribbons are the most economical as they have a low melt point. These are suitable for general purpose printing on most paper stocks. They are not suited to synthetic materials.

Wax/Resin ribbons are suited to glossy finishes, coated papers, some synthetic materials, and where a product may be subjected to some abrasion.

Full Resin ribbons provide excellent performance in harsh conditions including high temperatures, corrosive, outdoor or long life applications. They are suitable for synthetic and some specialty label materials.

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