Friday, December 28, 2012

My Heart Bleeds: Using a Primera Label Printer and Printing a Bleed in Illustrator, Photoshop or NiceLabel

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Many customers have asked us how to print a bleed on a label using their Primera Printer. A bleed occurs when the ink touches the very end of the label on all sides. For our tutorial, we recommend you print out our guide and follow these steps. This tutorial is intended for advanced users who are printing from a program like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or like programs.

What you need:

  • Properly Installed and configured LX Series Printer with Operating System appropriate drivers

  • Ink Cartridges

  • Labels

Step 1 : Loading your Labels
Load your roll of labels properly into your Primera printer. For more instructions on how to load your Primera printer, please visit our youtube channel at

Step 2: Get to know your size
Jot down the width and height of your label for future reference. (Width is measured from left to right, height is measured front to back, coming off the label roll

Step 3: Create your label in the Printer Driver

This is the complicated trick that will tell your printer that the labels loaded in the printer are larger than the true size of your label.

Here's how it works:
The driver is configurable to 100's of an inch. which means that 1inch=100 units.  If your label is say 3" X 3" then the true size would be 300 units by 300 units.

In order to print a bleed, both the artwork and the printer driver must think that the label is LARGER than the true size of that label.

Typically that size difference is small so we recommend making a small tweak of 3/100 of an inch larger on each side, that would make it 6 units total for width and 6 units total for height.

Make sure to apply this new size setting.

Step 4: Tweak your artwork.

If you designed your artwork to the exact size of your label, we need to make an adjustment.  In our example above (step 3) we used 3" X 3" with a bleed of 6/100's of an inch.  We have to do that now in our software as well.

In Illustrator or Photoshop, this step is fairly easy, by going to either the document size (Illustrator) or image size (photoshop) we can add the 6/100" easily to each of the width and height.

In NiceLabel this can be a little more tricky, because the elements are drag and drop and not necessarily in layers.  You should go to File > Label Setup > Dimensions and modify the size by adding 6/100" to the width and 6/100" to the height.

Step 5: Printing your first labels

At this point, you should have a label design that meets the new size requirements mentioned in steps 3 and 4, it is now time to print 2 labels and see where the printhead alignment is zeroed in.

If the bleed misses the top, bottom, left or right of the label, that means that we need to tweak the Top of Form and Left Margin Offset settings to account for the position of the label.

Note: These values can differ from roll to roll of material due to slight variation in the manufacture process, specifically the Left Margin Offset.

Conclusion: After a few tweaks of the Top of Form and Left Margin Offset settings followed by printing 2 labels, you should have a label with a bleed all around.