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Vintage Label Printers: Then and Now

History

Before electronic handheld label printing became as mainstream as it is today, label printing had to be done by embossing a plastic or metal tape. Typing was achieved by rotating a wheel to the correct character and squeezing the handle grip. Then a cutter would have to be manually operated which varied across different models. The tape was continuous, usually had a self-adhesive backing, and came in various colours of plastic and metal.


White Text

The technology behind producing these types of labels is super simple. With the exception of the metal tape, the coloured plastic tapes will change to white when embossed producing the white, bevelled characters that make up your label text. With the metal and white tapes, the bevelled characters are clear enough on their own without turning a different colour.


Retro

Some people still prefer to use this type of label producing system as it holds a pleasant nostalgic look and feel to it. The labels are actually harder wearing than some of the newer labels of today. For example, the Dymo D1 tapes can have their print scratched off fairly easily despite what they say.


Today

Today there is a more industrial use for this type of labelling. The Dymo M1011 metal tape embosser is used in various industries including oil rigs, power plants, farming, water treatment, etc. Materials available for this embosser include stainless steel for very hard wearing applications, aluminium for regular hard wearing applications, and self-adhesive aluminium for low hard wearing applications. The M1011 can also punch a small hole in the metal tape suitable for tagging with a wire tag or nail.

For more information on the Dymo M1011, or for advice on an alternative printer, please call our sale department on 01202 681311 or email sales@labelzone.co.uk

Colour Address Label Printer: Brother QL-800 & QL-810W Review

Brother QL-800 and QL-810W Review

First things first. It’s not full colour, so please don’t get too excited. However, it still is a fairly exciting thing because this a 2 colour printer that doesn’t require any ink, toner or ribbon. This is the first twin colour direct thermal printer from Brother in the QL range, and the first in the market it’s aimed at.

As I’m reviewing 2 very similar printers at the same time, I’ll review mostly the QL-800 and then mention any differences with the QL-810W.


Features

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Water Dissolvable Labels

Being introduced to labels that can dissolve in water is something that I really liked the sound of. I don’t mean to point fingers, but whenever I buy mugs or glasses from IKEA, I get very annoyed having to pick the barcode labels off the bottom; it’s next to impossible to remove them (but I know a secret which I’ll explain below). These dissolvable labels however, stay stuck until wet. Let’s check out how easy it is for these labels to fade away.

I’m going to do the worst thing imaginable: I’m going to apply 2 labels to the inside of a glass; a standard label and water dissolvable label. I’ll leave them 24 hours for the adhesive to get to full strength, then I’ll rinse the glass with water to see how much effort is required to remove them. I’ll do this test twice with both warm water and cold water to see if there’s any benefit to either temperature.


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