Choosing the right label printing for your business: Doing it yourself vs outsourcing it to a printer.

Choosing the right label printing for your business

Before you consider whether printing your own labels is for you, you need to get your label design created.

The presentation of your product is one of the first ways your prospective customer receives your branding message. When creating your look and feel or your logo and label, ensure you brief your designer well on the elements that are important to you. Alternatively, some print yourself labels or online printers have software & templates for you to use so you can create the look you are after.

Design concepts should also be reviewed in conjunction with how you plan to print your labels. Each printing style will have specific nuances and it is best to be familiar with the artwork set up requirements early in the process.

Some things to be aware of include:

File formats: Should be compatible with your printer’s software. If you are supplying the printer finished artwork, check to see that your artwork is in the right format and is of a high resolution (i.e. 300dpi) so that the print quality is clear.

Pantone PMS colour or CMYK : Pantone PMS colour is spot colour and typically more vibrant. CMYK is a 4-colour process that combines Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black to create the final colour. Most Pantones can be converted to CMYK but whilst they will not be exactly the same, it does mean that they are adaptable to all printing styles. This is particularly relevant when finalising your logo colours, as your logo will have numerous applications such as signage, corporate stationery, office décor, etc.

Paper stock & finishes: Also impact on how your colours translate after printing. Matt stocks absorb the inks more, so colours sit back and are more subdued. Whereas the inks sit on top of gloss stocks and colours appear brighter.

Next, deciding on whether to do your own label printing or outsource it to a printer should relate to your projected sales volumes. It is worth exploring the costs of several options before making your decision.

Very small runs (up to 200): Can be accommodated on a good quality home laser or ink jet printer. These are typically CMYK print process, so see above for design guidelines. Research your printer equipment well so it accommodates your requirements and choose label stock that is compatible.  Avery labels are readily available from office product stores and you are able to upload your own design or create a label design using their Design & Print Online software. One of the advantages of doing it yourself is that if you are a start-up and are not sure of how many labels you need, you can print the desired quantity without the minimum orders often required by external printers.

Small to medium runs (200-5000): Suit digital printing as you can get a variety produced in low quantities and there is generally a quicker turn around compared to medium to long runs. The quality of digital print has improved enormously in the last few years, and because of this the presence of online printers has grown over the years and standard print shops now offer this technology. Digital is usually CMYK process plus there are many high quality finishes you can choose from. Avery now have a service to print and deliver your labels to you called Avery WePrint, go to for more information.

Medium to long runs (5000+): Suit offset printing and gives you great flexibility in shape, size, corners and special finishes such as foiling or embossing. Take into consideration though that if you update or change your labels for future print runs, new plates need to be created and this incurs extra costs.

What is your preference? Doing it yourself or outsourcing it to a printer?