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View Full Version : What's your prefered method for labels?



Allen Brown
12-03-2009, 02:31 PM
Do you have them made?

Do you use label software?

Where do you get your papers?

Do you just use duct tape & a magic marker?

storm1969
12-03-2009, 02:37 PM
My method is MS Project to design a simple label,

Then print it out on removable labels.

They come off very easy after the bottle is drunk....

socpsy
12-03-2009, 02:59 PM
My method is MS Project to design a simple label,

Then print it out on removable labels.

They come off very easy after the bottle is drunk....

What brand of labels do you use?

akueck
12-03-2009, 03:08 PM
A few times I printed out labels I made in Adobe Illustrator and used some Elmer's to glue them on. That was more work than it was worth, since I just printed on regular paper and then had to cut out the labels. Now I just use a marker and write on the cap. Not exactly elegant, but you know what's inside is what counts. ;)

storm1969
12-03-2009, 03:09 PM
Avery.

The ones with 2 4*3 labels on them. They fit into the 4*6 picture slot on my printer. Easy to print and put on the bottle.

Allen Brown
12-03-2009, 03:20 PM
My method is MS Project to design a simple label,

Then print it out on removable labels.

They come off very easy after the bottle is drunk....

Do tell, Please...Where do you find these removeable labels?

socpsy
12-03-2009, 03:27 PM
Now I just use a marker and write on the cap. Not exactly elegant, but you know what's inside is what counts. ;)

I often do a similar thing with little round stickers that are peeled from a sheet of dozens of stickers. They're pretty easy to get off and if you write with one of those thin Sharpies you can get a good description of the bottle in the space.

storm1969
12-03-2009, 03:43 PM
Do tell, Please...Where do you find these removeable labels?

They come in various sizes.

When I get home from work I will post the Avery label number for the ones that I use.

Medsen Fey
12-03-2009, 03:55 PM
Now I just use a marker and write on the cap. Not exactly elegant, but you know what's inside is what counts. ;)

Tut tut. The label maketh the mead!

Seriously. People naturally judge a book by the cover and a bottle by the appearance and label. There are darned few folks who can taste something objectively. Presenting it with a slick package makes a huge impact on the perception of quality (one reason competitions don't allow labels). I'm not saying that a nice label will make an oxidized or rancid mead taste good, but something that looks better will taste better.

I use a program called printshop to make labels, but I don't recommend it because it is a pain to use. I usually print the labels on Avery 5164 size labels (unless I'm using Magnums), but the Avery labels are usually difficult to remove.

For things I know are going in the ice bucket, I use the weatherproof labels. They absolutely will not come off. To remove them I have to peel them off (they are made of a plastic-like material and stay in one piece) and then the glue they use for those weatherproof labels really stays on well. After peeling off the label, I have to soak the bottles in a concentrated PBW solution to soften the glue up for removal. I salute the Avery people for making a shipping label that will not come off in the harshest of environments

I'm interested to hear about the removable labels too. :)

wildoates
12-03-2009, 04:01 PM
I haven't ventured into labeling territory yet. It's my next experiment, as I have some mead I want to give for Christmas, and I agree with Medsen that it'll be taken more seriously if it looks good. I have coworkers that have been clamoring. :rolleyes:

AToE
12-03-2009, 04:04 PM
Right now I just write batch numbers on the caps, but once I have something that's actually worthy of giving as a gift I'll probably buy some lables and a program. Nothing fancy in mind though, just neat text with the name, style, ingredients, etc (in case I loose a brewlog and need to recreate something).

tatgeer
12-03-2009, 04:23 PM
I bottle in clear swing-tops, and feel that labels would get in the way of the brilliant colors. I put information on paper hang-tags. Staples has them with metal rims - the all paper ones got torn off sometimes.

For larger bottles, I print a label on a return address sticker (Avery brand, maybe, or the generic version) and stick it on the bottom. Then I try to remember to label the box they're stored in so I'm not lifting up each bottle searching for the one I want. :)

storm1969
12-03-2009, 06:05 PM
The avery label number is:05453

They call them "White Removable" labels, which they are....

Summersolstice
12-03-2009, 06:35 PM
Like Medsen, I think that with all the love and sweat I put into a bottle of mead the bottle really deserves a catchy label. I simply find some art, use MS Word and WordArt and print them with an inkjet printer, though I have to avoid water. I save the template and change the art and dates and names each time. After cutting the labels with the office paper cutter, I use a glue stick to attach them to the bottle. They float right off in hot water.

keepitlow
12-03-2009, 07:01 PM
Don't know what labels I'd like...but I do like this bottle!

http://redstonemeadery.com/store/catalog/Redstone-Reserve-p-1-c-3.html

If I am successful at using canning jars for my home made mead. I'll just use a sharpie to note on the lid what it is. It would just be for my own consumption, so don't care about fancy labels so much. If I made good mead and gave it away, I'd get some fancy labels made no doubt.

BrewinNColorado
12-03-2009, 07:56 PM
keepitlow-

Those bottles are ok, however they are only 375ml, so you will need twice as many. I am furtunate enough to live near Redstone, so get a lot of their bottles, including these. If you have plans on coming to Colorado, let me know, I have 11+ of those bottles, which you are welcome to have.

jt852
12-04-2009, 12:22 AM
I tried making labels for the bottles I was giving away as gifts, but never could achieve satisfactory results with what I had available. The colors were dull and would bleed if exposed to any moisture. What I eventually did was design my labels "2-up" on a 4"x6" layout and have them printed at a digital photo kiosk. Nice vibrant colors, and waterproof too. Just cut the 2 labels apart and attach them with either double sided tape or some spray adhesive.

Arcanum
12-04-2009, 11:43 AM
I bought some peel-and-apply labels with a preprinted design, used the company's MS Word template and some photocopies of the labels to set up some satisfactory lettering, then used one of the laser printers at work to print on the label sheets themselves. It worked very nicely.

Here are the labels I bought: http://www.midwestsupplies.com/products/ProdByID.aspx?ProdID=5128

Pewter_of_Deodar
12-04-2009, 11:52 AM
I use the Avery labels that come 6 to a sheet. They go on easily and seem to come off easily.

I use a program called something like "Label Maker" that I picked up for $9.95 at Best Buy a few years ago.

My biggest problem is that I use an inkjet printer and so the labels smear/run/fade when they come in contact with any moisture. I need to get a laserjet printer to correct this problem...

wayneb
12-04-2009, 11:58 AM
You can get an acrylic spray "fixative" (sometimes called a clear coat preservative) in most hobby and craft shops that will make your ink-jet labels less susceptible to running when exposed to incidental amounts of water. The spray trick is something that I use for my labels and although it isn't perfect (it won't preserve print integrity while you're soaking the labels off, for example), it does a very good job of keeping the colors from smearing when condensation forms on the outside of a chilled bottle.

Pewter_of_Deodar
12-04-2009, 12:04 PM
You can get an acrylic spray "fixative" (sometimes called a clear coat preservative) in most hobby and craft shops that will make your ink-jet labels less susceptible to running when exposed to incidental amounts of water. The spray trick is something that I use for my labels and although it isn't perfect (it won't preserve print integrity while you're soaking the labels off, for example), it does a very good job of keeping the colors from smearing when condensation forms on the outside of a chilled bottle.

Wayne,

I actually did that for the labels on some of the bottles I took to War. They spend a day in an ice chest in the van, then a week in a small fridge in a very hot tent that is opened repeatedly to fetch Gatorade, and then an hour chilled on a picnic table waiting to be sampled. Repeated condensation exposure...

I had mixed results but your method does improve things. I suppose it is a "medium" cost solution since the acrylic sealers/postcoats are a little pricey. But certainly a laserjet printer and cartridges is high end price-wise...

saur0n
12-04-2009, 12:22 PM
I just print some labels with Photoshop / a color laserprinter and stick them on the bottles using a pritt stick (a kind of paper-glue). It works like a charm, even when the bottles get wet.

STLBrewer
12-04-2009, 12:58 PM
I use (and forgive the plug) OnlineLabels.com for all my labels and I use their Maestro Label Designer program.

I all works pretty well for me, although I would REALLY like to start working with Photoshop and making some really professional looking labels with even higher quality!

Dan McFeeley
12-04-2009, 10:42 PM
I'm pretty low tech -- I made labels by drawing out the sections by hand, using a photcopier and cut and paste work to put it together. Clear vinyl shelf protector goes on the front, the label is put on using a glue stick. Simple, and it comes off the bottle easily.

--

keepitlow
12-08-2009, 02:05 PM
keepitlow-

Those bottles are ok, however they are only 375ml, so you will need twice as many. I am furtunate enough to live near Redstone, so get a lot of their bottles, including these. If you have plans on coming to Colorado, let me know, I have 11+ of those bottles, which you are welcome to have.

Thanks. That is very nice of you. CO is a great state for health and outdoors lifestyle. Looks like they have good meaderies too!

Fishbone
12-09-2009, 02:53 PM
Software: Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator

Labels: Standard white label-making sheets like: http://www.midwestsupplies.com/products/ProdByID.aspx?ProdID=6055
These sheets allow me the freedom to be as artistic as I want to be as well as being inexpensive and easily removable. The printing, paper cutting, and label application is time-consuming, but well worth the effort in the end.

Printer: Some garbage printer that came with my computer, but I will be upgrading to a better printer soon - just for my mead and beer bottle labels.

Label contest anyone?

wildoates
12-09-2009, 04:02 PM
That sounds like fun, Fishbone!

Fishbone
12-09-2009, 04:53 PM
That sounds like fun, Fishbone!

Maybe I'll start a thread...

Metal Fireworks
12-09-2009, 09:52 PM
I'm fortunate enough to work for a place that deals with a lot of tape stock so there are tons of inexpensive VHS tape labels hanging around. They're the perfect size for bottles, can be made effortlessly in Word, and they come off very easily. True, a bit of condensation will make the ink bleed a bit but it's a cheap and simple alternative to the wine labels they sell at the homebrew shop.

Here's a link:

http://www.meritline.com/laser-inkjet-white-vhs-face-label-compare-to-avery-5199-f---p-21762.aspx

500 labels for 7 bucks!!!

jonalexdeval
12-12-2009, 04:12 PM
I used a laser printer (black & white) with regular printer labels. It's fast, easy, neat, durable... although not professional looking.

Fisher kel Tath
12-12-2009, 05:01 PM
printer paper+packing tape >.>

shmoab
12-12-2009, 05:50 PM
[

Label contest anyone?


Let's see what you have.

Syme
12-12-2009, 07:38 PM
I use a free program called Avery DesignPro and print 1-inch circular labels. I use label style 5410, which is a sheet of 12, 1-inch labels. The one inch circle is big enough for me to put a small back-ground graphic and all the text I need. I use a laser printer, which limits me to b/w, but the labels stick well and the writing is solid against water and alcohol. I do alot of bottling in beer bottles, and the 1-inch label fits perfectly on the crown. They won't win any awards, but I enjoy making them and they are very useful.

Kun2112
12-26-2010, 05:51 PM
For those with an inkjet, you can use a spray clear-coat of paint. I would recommend what model builders use to seal home-printer decals. Testors makes some: Decal Bonder, part # 9200.

My personal favorite clear coat is Future Floor Polish (Now sold as Pledge with the power of Future). Go to a hobby store and get a cheap plastic "airbrush kit" ($20-$30US). Don't thin it, just jay the labels flat on some newspaper and spray them with a light coat. When dry, coat it again if you want.
Model builders love this stuff as it is self leveling and waterproof.
A word of caution: Windex and ammonia will strip it right off, so be careful.
This page (http://www.swannysmodels.com/TheCompleteFuture.html) shows what it is marketed as in other countries.

kudapucat
12-27-2010, 09:23 AM
My Local cleanskin reseller prints onto stick on labels, glossy. They appear to be avery or some such. the labels are good. Next time I'm in there I'm gonna ask him, so I can copy...

jkane
12-29-2010, 05:05 PM
I use some word art in word and make 6 lables per page on a regualr piece of paper. I have a color laser to print with. They bleed, but not too bad. Once they are wet and cold, it's time to drink anyhow!

As for glue ... why hasn't this been said already? Way back in the good old days milk was all the rage on Rec.Crafts.Brewing. I think it morphed into the Homebrewers Digest over time.

Anyhow ... MILK! I get a saucer and put a little milk in it. Then take the pieces of paper labels and slide the back side so the milk coats it. Stick it to a bottle and roll the bottle on a towel to soak up the extra plus set the lable smooth.

I have had some of these labels on for over 13 years. Others fall off in a few months. Either way, they come off in water very easy.

No, the milk does not seem to sour. Never had a bad smell from any of them.

icedmetal
12-30-2010, 05:47 AM
We use milk as well, but those Avery removable labels sure have us wondering if there isn't an easier/cleaner way...

Chevette Girl
01-04-2011, 11:33 PM
There's no reason why milk shouldn't work, and if it dries before it goes funky it will never smell... they did used to make paint out of milk, after all, and it stays on pretty well!

I use a store brand version of shipping labels, equivalent to Avery 8663 (10 per sheet) and are good for inkjet or laser printing, I bought a colour laser printer just for my labels because the ink from the jet printer runs (although for my mom's wedding I had pretty good success by spraying the sheet of labels with clearcoat before applying to the bottles). Haven't had laser printing run at all so far.

I have my "Chateau Chevette Wines" name in purple along with my disclaimer in tiny-text "(no purple Chevettes or Chevette parts were included in this wine, but a maroon Acadian was probably used for cargo shipping and handling somewhere in the process)", the type and stlye of wine in an appropriate colour for the ingredients, then in black, date started, date bottled, approx alcohol content, whether it contains sulphites or oak or anything else of note, and that little 1" high Chevette avatar I use here is in the bottom right corner of each label. Because I can.

And I label the corks with a code and the year bottled (yay mini-sharpies) so that I can tell what they are while they're still in the rack.

These labels work fine on beer, dessert, 750 ml and half-gallon bottles, and come off just fine with a 5-minute soak in hot water, which is how I generally clean all my bottles anyway, soak then scrape the label off with a dull knife, then scrub the insides with the bottle brush. Sometimes I get the timing and temperature just right to soften the glue so I can peel them off in one piece before the paper softens too much but I'm not exactly sure what the proper conditions are so I haven't perfected it yet :)

skunkboy
01-05-2011, 07:32 PM
I stuck some test paper labels on some bottles in with 2% milk about 5 years ago, and then stored them in my basement. I found them again last week, and they are still in great condition. Also did glue stick and rubber cement ones as well, and they all survived just fine. I still prefer glue stick or milk, for ease of removal when I'm only going to be storing the liquid for a short time (2-3 years... ;-)

Chevette Girl
01-05-2011, 09:16 PM
Rubber cement? Will that ever come off again? Or does it politely peel off the glass?

wayneb
01-05-2011, 11:03 PM
Rubber cement? Will that ever come off again? Or does it politely peel off the glass?
It does, in fact come off with very little effort. At least the old stuff (with the solvent that smells like pure acetone) does. I haven't used rubber cement on glass for a very long time - I'm lazy and the Avery stick-ons work just fine for me! ;D

MrMooCow
01-06-2011, 02:39 AM
I use Adobe Photoshop Elements. Nice little program, though MS Publisher works as well. Specifically, I make the image in PSE, then import it to publisher for the template, then shuffle off to the print shop to use the uber high quality printer.

That's for stuff that goes out the door. For stuff that stays home I use duct tape.

I buy the labels from 4th & Vine - http://www.4th-vine.com/

Chevette Girl
01-06-2011, 11:37 AM
I got pretty, easy-to-remove labels from my brewstore for my mom's wedding wine but they were a bitch to work with, they didn't have an Avery equivalent so I pretty much had to guess at its margins through trial and error with a Word table...

kudapucat
01-07-2011, 02:31 AM
I got pretty, easy-to-remove labels from my brewstore for my mom's wedding wine but they were a bitch to work with, they didn't have an Avery equivalent so I pretty much had to guess at its margins through trial and error with a Word table...

Use a ruler and publisher in this case...
Or you can set up a custom label sheet in Word if that's what you're familiar with. Entering ruler info works quite well.

havoc64
01-07-2011, 11:56 AM
Right now I use two rolls of Masking Tape. One 1 inch and one 2 inch. I stack them on their sides and slide the bottle in the middle of the roll's cardboard tube.

With the masking Tape roll, I can stick the bottle in the center and turn it if I did a back label. I think the hardest part of a front and back label would be the spacing between the two. I plan on heading to the hardware store and replacing the Tape roll with some PVC Piping. Then I can mark the plastic white pipe with lines to indicate where to place the front and back labels.

I used the Avery white shipping labels for Inkjet Printers 3 1/2 x 5 - 8168, and the Avery Label Design Pro software. If you use that, the 8168 template's not in it's list, you have to use the laser Jet template of the same size which is 5168.

Below is a photo of my bottles with my label. The bottle on the left was the first bottle I did, and I thought it was too low. So I changed to the two different sizes of tape.

Happy Meading.

http://i688.photobucket.com/albums/vv249/havoc64/Mead/IMG00028-20110106-0711.jpg

Tannin Boy
01-07-2011, 02:06 PM
Nice Touch!

Tb

TDMooney
01-07-2011, 04:03 PM
I was just searching around looking for pre-made wine/mead labels and I came across this Labeler, I thaught the price was rediculous, I dont know anyone that would pay $900 for a manual labeler :o

http://morewinemaking.com/view_product/11100//Momentum_Development_Labeler

wayneb
01-07-2011, 04:16 PM
Ridiculous for the home user, but not so bad for a small to medium volume commercial winery.

Chevette Girl
01-07-2011, 04:31 PM
Use a ruler and publisher in this case...
Or you can set up a custom label sheet in Word if that's what you're familiar with. Entering ruler info works quite well.

I'll give that a try if I ever get through the econo-box of shipping labels I bought last year when I got the laser printer but for now telling it an Avery number makes me happy :) even I can't screw it up that badly with Word (which I loathe, but that's the word processor on this machine)...

That labeller looks interesting, but for now I'll just set the bottle in my lap like I've been doing... maybe I'll get some PVC too, that's such a great idea!

1k_wayne
01-07-2011, 06:30 PM
even I can't screw it up that badly with Word (which I loathe, but that's the word processor on this machine)...

You might want to download Openoffice (http://www.openoffice.org/), It's definitely an upgrade from Word.

hepcat
03-28-2012, 08:32 AM
I've opted for plain, blank, white peel-n-stick on labels I ordered from Midwest Supplies home brewing. And plan to get some permanent Sharpie markers in a variety of colors. I like doing my own art work and each one will be a little different and unique.

fivecats
03-28-2012, 11:24 PM
Anyhow ... MILK! I get a saucer and put a little milk in it. Then take the pieces of paper labels and slide the back side so the milk coats it. Stick it to a bottle and roll the bottle on a towel to soak up the extra plus set the lable smooth.

I have had some of these labels on for over 13 years. Others fall off in a few months. Either way, they come off in water very easy.

No, the milk does not seem to sour. Never had a bad smell from any of them.

I made simple labels from color laserjet printer and used milk on them for a few batches of beer and a bottle or two of amaretto YEARS ago. The beer is long gone but I came across a hidden bottle of the amaretto late last year. The label came off as soon as I touched it, but considering the milk held it in place for the better part of ten years, that ain't too bad.

Since I'm likely to chill mead, I'm going to look into the glue stick idea. That seems to be a better balance between handling condensation due to chilling and ease of removal afterwards.

browncoats
03-29-2012, 09:52 AM
Coming from a design background, I get a little fussy about my labels. I design them in GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program) which is like Photoshop except completely free and isn't such a resource hog on the computer. Then I print to standard laserprinter labels. For removal, a couple squirts from a Goo Gone spray bottle, let it sit for five minutes, and it peels straight off in one go.

huesmann
03-31-2012, 09:25 AM
Browncoats, does all the adhesive come off with the paper?

Loadnabox
03-31-2012, 10:02 AM
After reading all the old posts in this, I would caution anyone attempting to use peel-and-stick avery labels in a laser printer.

Years ago I worked in Tech Support for HP working with their 4500 series color laser printer.

A very common call (at least once a week) would be someone calling reporting that smoke was coming from the back of the printer. This was the result of running inkjet labels through a laser printer. The label would come off and stick on the 500 Degree Fi fuser and begin to let out noxious smoke. The fuser was a $250 part, the label would ruin the fuser, and using a label in the printer voided the warranty. VERY expensive mistake.

Avery these days makes a label specifically for laser printers. If you use a laser printer and self adhesive labels, be sure to get the ones meant for a laser printer.

Chevette Girl
03-31-2012, 06:48 PM
Aha, now I understand why there's a difference!

I've been using Staples (Office Depot) generic brand "inkjet, laser and multipurpose" labels for at least two years now with my HP CP1215 laser printer that prints very little else, and never had a problem that wasn't a wetwear issue ;D. I find after 5-10 min of warm soaking, the adhesive comes along with the lablel if you scrape it off with the back of a knife or the edge of a spoon. If it doesn't come off fairly easily, hotter water or longer soak takes care of it.

fivecats
03-31-2012, 07:27 PM
Avery these days makes a label specifically for laser printers. If you use a laser printer and self adhesive labels, be sure to get the ones meant for a laser printer.

Loadnabox, do you know if it is still the case where you should only run a sheet of labels through a laser printer once? IIRC, the excessive heat of the fuser weakens the sticky substance on the back of the label causing unused labels on a sheet to easily melt off onto the fuser if they are run through a laser printer a second time.

Loadnabox
03-31-2012, 08:19 PM
I would have to assume It's the same still but It has been over a decade since I did that gig. Check with your printer mfg to be sure

fivecats
03-31-2012, 08:50 PM
I would have to assume It's the same still but It has been over a decade since I did that gig. Check with your printer mfg to be sure

In my day job I werk as an IT Manager. I've been telling all of my users to not run a sheet of labels through a laser printer for years. I was just wondering if that's still a problem or if I'm just being old-skool paranoid.

No worries.

browncoats
04-01-2012, 12:07 PM
Browncoats, does all the adhesive come off with the paper?

Not all of it, but the Goo Gone loosens it up quite nicely so it can be scrubbed off easily.

Bob J
04-02-2012, 08:34 AM
Unfortunately I guess I'm the cheapskate in the group...... I use painter masking tape and a sharpie.... Tacky but does the job for me....:rolleyes:

Soyala_Amaya
04-02-2012, 08:52 AM
Bob J, I often wind up giving my mead as gifts, sometimes at large events with several hundred people who's only experience with me might be that one weekend and that bottle they take home. Such as, at the last event I went to, my boyfriend had brought the spear pieces I had bought him for Christmas because someone we knew had said they would take it home and use their wood working tools to put it together. That person never showed up, but someone from Wichita we had never met before actually whittled the wooden shaft to the correct size with a pocket knife, and then made a pin with pliers and a really thick nail. It took several hours to do it by hand like that (we were taking 2 foot off the shaft before even attaching the head and butt pieces) and I thanked him with a bottle of my mead.

I'm glad I take the time to make my labels pretty because it leaves a lasting impression of where that bottle came from, who I am, and it makes the gift look better. If I were only taking bottles around with me to pour into cups, or just drinking them at home, I might do the sharpie label method. But other people see my bottles and receive them as presents.

I guess think of it as wrapping paper? ;D The present is the mead, but the outside needs to look pretty too or people kind of look at you funny.

TAKeyser
04-02-2012, 11:24 AM
Sometimes the presentation is important. Way back in the olden days (1999) my girlfriend at the time hosted a Halloween Party and all the beer was my homebrew and a lot of the liquor was made by me as well. She was still in college at the time so the Bud Light crowd was in attendance so not only did I label the bottles I came up with a laminated menu that explained the 12 or so types of beer, which was the appropriate glass to use for which type of beer and even showed how to pour a traditional German Hefeweizen. I'm a bit of a beer snob, but like I said sometime the presentation is important.

Bob J
04-03-2012, 07:46 AM
Thanks guys..... I guess it just depends on the situation.... Haven't thought about giving as gifts but if I did I would certainly want a nice label.....

Most of my meads/melomels either go to close family or are used when we have folks over....