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#1 Posted : 2/27/2014 12:22:59 PM(EST)
PeterPan

Rank: Member

Posts: 27
United States
Location: Tampa FL

Two items I'd like to mention. I had requested some samples of several label products that have no scoring or divisions (1 label/sheet) , intending to cut out my own labels. Among them was your weatherproof Matte Finish product, OL177WJ. After significant testing this was the product i chose for my project. But now that I've ordered some, I notice that I am having a very tough time visually discerning the prints side from the backing side. Comparing to my samples, I can see that the backing on the samples had an obvious visual sheen when viewed in a good light. Since these were matte finish, that made it very obvious which was the print side. The backing on the labels I ordered subsequently had less sheen and so it was harder to tell front from back. My Final and more important issue is that the original samples were very tough and very flexible, You could not tear it with your hands. This made in much easier to make minor connections as you applied a large label. In comparison the batch you sent was neither flexible nor tough, could be torn as easily as paper when you attempt to apply it.

So my first questions is whether the product has changed any in the past month. If it helps, my order invoice was 3501701 and my sample (sample delivery 134319).

The second point is more in line with a forum question I think. I strongly suggest you start putting some identifying text on the backing side of all your products. I've already had the misfortune of sampling several similar products, only to have them hopelessly confused with each other after accidentally dropping a few. Having the product number printed lightly on the backing would have helped so much. And especially in matte finish labels products like the OL177WJ, which have no cutout scoring to guide you, its almost impossible to tell the front from the back. Peeling the corner risks a printer jam, but I'm sure you'd agree its much better to be able to just look at the product and immediately know which side is the back.

Edited by user Friday, February 28, 2014 4:37:02 AM(EST)  | Reason: Not specified

#2 Posted : 2/28/2014 8:07:24 PM(EST)
Dave Carmany


Rank: Label King

Posts: 717
United States
Location: Sanford

Was thanked: 38 time(s) in 38 post(s)
Thanks for the feedback. I had Josh from our support team give you a call on the phone earlier today. He let me know that you all had a good discussion. He mentioned to me that he is getting you out additional product to fix / replace any product that didn't perform well. Hopefully, in that conversation you all discussed and resolved any questions in regards to product inconsistency.

At this time, we aren't printing any watermarks or indicators on the back of our label sheets due to the fact that many of our customers buy our product and then resell it. For these customers that resell our product, It is very important that our label products don't have any unique markings on the back or front of the sheet.

That being said - we will definitely consider the feedback and think about ways that we can possibly make it easier for customers like yourself to distinguish the back of the sheet from the front.

Thanks.

Dave Carmany
#3 Posted : 2/28/2014 9:24:52 PM(EST)
PeterPan

Rank: Member

Posts: 27
United States
Location: Tampa FL

Understood on identifying the product on the rear. I can see where your product IDs would be a problem if other companies re-market your products. As for me, I'm glad I'm dealing directly with the source, a company that actually cares to address and track down problems. By comparison, calling Avery, reminds me of that credit card commercial with the mock customer service of the "other" company, where the SC rep. (a male), answers in a thick accent (hello... 'dis is PEGGY, how many I help you"). Seriously ... customer service is a joke with most companies these days, and yours is a welcome change. It iterally restores my faith in American business

Yes... josh did identify a product change that occurred some time ago, and I just happened to get the better and NEWER one in my sample, and the older version in my order. That's understandable too, since its quite possible the product variation I ordered is not commonly ordered.

If the replacement proves to be the better material we're hoping for, you may expect an informative post about my application for it next week! I needed to label an electronic product I intend to test market soon. I ad already found the optimum ink setting, at least for Lexmark ink jet printers, and posted about that last week. The next thing I want to share is a method of layering two different Krylon products after printing, to create labels that are not only extremely moisture proof, but has a tough final coat that you'd be hard pressed to mar even scratching with your fingernails (unless maybe you're name is Wolverine). Bottom line, now I can actually look at my product and say I'm proud to sell it!
#4 Posted : 3/2/2014 9:35:51 PM(EST)
Dave Carmany


Rank: Label King

Posts: 717
United States
Location: Sanford

Was thanked: 38 time(s) in 38 post(s)
Thanks for the compliments. We definitely try our best to take care of our customers.

I am excited to hear that you possibly found a solution to your labeling issues. We are definitely interested in learning more about how you resolved the issues. Keep us updated.
#5 Posted : 12/5/2014 9:55:45 AM(EST)
PeterPan

Rank: Member

Posts: 27
United States
Location: Tampa FL

Even though this is an old topic I'd like to bring it up again, and if Josh is still around, I'd like to speak to him on-line or by phone. I was very pleased to have finally gotten to the bottom of the issue with the product variation, of your weather resistant matte finish labels (OL177WJ). Recall that having spent considerable time, ink, and materials getting my product "control panel" labels to near perfection, it was distressing when I finally ordered and received a product variation that didn't perform acceptably at all. That was resolved and the mystery solved, as I'd apparently received an old batch. But just a week or so ago I ordered a new batch of this same label product, and once again something seems different.

Unlike the last issue I had, this time the product doesn't have any easily recognizable differences. yet now I have been suddenly having a much harder time getting consistent black backgrounds on this shipment. Also, I always spray my finished labels with a Krylon acrylic coating, usually a day after a print (to ensure the ink is dry). In the past this improved the durability and enhanced the appearance. But now, my the acrylic coatings always seem to fog over, ruining the labels.

Of course it is possible that some other variation, perhaps just in temperature or humidity in my work area has changed. But while I'm looking into this, I'd appreciate someone looking once again to discover whether any change was made to the product, since my original purchases back around Feb/March. Its somewhat of a setback now because this was a "solved" problem, where I now feel I'm back to square one.
#6 Posted : 12/5/2014 12:08:13 PM(EST)
Josh


Rank: OnlineLabels Rep

Posts: 557
United States

Was thanked: 43 time(s) in 42 post(s)
I'm very sorry to hear about the printing inconsistencies you've run into. I've spent some time this morning researching the material to see if I could find any issues or recreate the problem. Unfortunately, the material that we shipped you back in February seems to be identical to the stock you received a couple of week ago.

Last time, the difference in materials was very easy to spot - our previous iteration of the material looked and felt much different than the stock we transitioned to. There was also a significant improvement in performance which is the reason we made the change in the first place. When we spoke earlier this year and determined that you had received the old material on your initial order, I disposed of all of the faulty stock and sent out replacements. Still, to be sure I went back to the warehouse this morning and confirmed that we only had new material stocked. I also pulled a retained sample of the good stock you received back in February to compare it to the material you received on your most recent order.

Both materials looked and felt identical, but I did run a couple of test prints to see if there was any discernible difference in quality or visual appearance after printing. Unfortunately, the printed samples looked identical as well. I also checked with the supplier of the raw material to see if there had possibly been any slight changes to the construction of the material, but their documentation indicates nothing has changed with their manufacturing process.

In terms of the printing application on your end there are a couple of factors that could potentially lead to printing inconsistencies. While uncommon, differences in humidity or temperature can occasionally cause materials to behave somewhat differently. Another factor to consider is the ink cartridges in your printer. It sounds like a silly question, but have you checked ink levels recently? In some cases, depleted ink cartridges have been known to cause inconsistencies, even before they're considered totally empty. In addition, remanufactured or recycled ink cartridges have been known to cause printing issues when printing certain designs. It's always best to use new ink cartridges directly from the printer manufacturer when possible.

I hope that you find this information useful for troubleshooting your problem. I apologize for not having a definitive solution for you this time around. If you should need further assistance, please just let us know.
#7 Posted : 12/5/2014 12:35:40 PM(EST)
PeterPan

Rank: Member

Posts: 27
United States
Location: Tampa FL

Well thanks! I really appreciate your effort, even if it simply eliminates one variable. With so much black in my labels (see linked photos), it certainly is possible I just have a bum BLACK cartridge. And as to my issues with the Krylon coatings, it is almost a sure bet that the temp and humidity are at fault. I had much better results in the heat of the summer there. OK... at least I know the product hasn't changed! :-)

One of my "laminated" labels... http://elfintechnologies.com/pubImages/Hotfoot2b.JPG
Some of my "Krylon Acrylic Coated" labels... http://elfintechnologies.com/pubImages/RcvrAndXmtr1.JPG

On another but maybe related subject, I'm coming to the conclusion that I should be either laminating all my labels, or maybe covering them with a thin layer of PETG plastic. And I'm also considering whether I'd do better with laser, and more to the point, with YOU folks doing the printing. We can talk about the prices for those services off line, but I have a few basic questions. Based on the images above...

1. Do you think you could print with black areas as consistent and dark as I'm getting with inkjet? I thought lasers had problems with big areas of color, but maybe times have changed.

2. Considering that I have a few colors there, will this be a problem, or would I need to re-format. Its my understanding that color laser output is not as versatile when it comes to color?

3. I mentioned experimenting with both lamination and simple plastic top coverings. If I have laser labels laminated, and the lamination machine produces heat to seal the adhesive, will that distort the printing? For my ink jet labels, I KNOW I MUST give them a coat of acrylic, or the lamination adhesive will cause the colors to run and bleed. A main reason to consider laser would be to eliminate the need for an acrylic preparation coat, and I'm sure the acrylic spray would wipe out the toner anyway.

Edited by user Friday, December 5, 2014 12:37:29 PM(EST)  | Reason: Not specified

#8 Posted : 12/5/2014 3:31:00 PM(EST)
Josh


Rank: OnlineLabels Rep

Posts: 557
United States

Was thanked: 43 time(s) in 42 post(s)
Acrylic spray shouldn't harm laser printed labels, but the extra durability provided by laser printing usually eliminates the need for an acrylic coat after printing. That being said, we do have customers who want the assurance of durability that acrylic coating provides, and use the sprays with our laser materials anyways. At this point in time I've yet to hear any complaints regarding this type of scenario. If you are interested in trying weatherproof laser samples so that you can do some testing on your own we would be more than happy to get a few sheet sent out to you.

As for your questions regarding our custom printing services I'm going to forward your information, along with the pictures you provided, to our resident custom printing expert. He should be able to give you an idea of what we are capable of and provide you with a quote. It may be too late in the afternoon for him to respond today, but he'll definitely be able to get back to you on Monday with additional details.

In the meantime, if you should require any further information about our blank label products please just let me know. I'll be happy to provide you with any assistance that I can!
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