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Author Topic: Label Design  (Read 402 times)
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chefofthebush
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« on: April 03, 2016, 20:26:45 »

Some time ago we had a discussion on labels and producing long lasting tokens.

This is my latest, far more readable and most effective and attractive method I am using.

To show the label I will have to first give some info that will clarify the layout.

My stock sheet is as follows:

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Each species is assigned a number. #0122 for example. an appendix "a" can be added to the number for the same species from a different supplier or source - mainly for me as I am hunting for non-related plants of the same species for seed reproduction.

The supplier or source is added in the form of a code, and then the sale price.

The labels itself is layed out as follows:

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The sheets info is done on excel and looks like this:

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These I print on two pages -  flipping the first page over to print on both sides. One side has the data and the other is contact numbers and email address...

The page is printed and then laminated and cut into individual tokens ready for attaching.

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The label can be punched with a hole and cable tied to a plant or stapled to the back of the support wood.

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Some samples from the back....

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The labels are holding up well in the rainy weather of late and I am awaiting the results of further weather and UV damage. Permanent markers, pen and pencil hand written labels have not fared well for me, fading fast or being overgrown by algae.

How have you overcome this label issue?

Conrad




 
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jaga
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« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2016, 03:22:44 »

Hi Conrad, your system is wonderfully comprehensive! well done, but seems a lot of work?. So I'm assuming you are using a label printer on to external UV tape? self adhesive, then put on to the standard plastic plant label. I have tried all sorts, still find straight pencil on to the plant label the easiest and quickest. We have the labeling machine and have done some in 2013 and they are still very clear but so is the pencil ones. Commercial growers do use the printed label system for mass plants all with the same name but have noticed after about 5 years they break up. some people here also use light weight aluminium labels that you can engrave and that seems pretty good.

As far as recording cost/where plant came from etc, I keep it in my diary, a bit archaic I know, I also number every plant, that's all written out long hand and probably should put it in the phone as would make life easier. The number are very important as when I pollinate a plant that's the number used as the ID.

Cheers-John
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chefofthebush
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2016, 06:55:32 »

John I am using the over the counter stuff at the moment. Ink from my bubble jet printer as lasted me well in the past where I printed the labels and the sealed them between layers of clear sticky tape. That only lasted between a few month and a few years depending on how they were attached and the amount of movement they received. That also meant I was continuously re labeling and marking plants, or only putting on labels before I sold them. Not very nice for the poor fellow who bought a plant and then lost a label a few months later.

The laminating pouches I am using now are 80 and 125 micron. The cost thus far for the 125 micron labels ( I get 32 per page) is a few ZA cents. I can also print up to 48, slightly smaller font - smaller than that I can't read! Cost of the 80 micron labels are double that of the 125, so I am using those labels to mark my stock plants and special pieces. There is also the option of double laminating the sheets. 

The normal hard plastic labels and rolls of thinner plastic or synthetic labels here are usually in the 10's ZA cents each, and with  a handwriting like mine - always illegible, also time consuming and repetitive. Imagine handwriting 144 labels as to printing laminating and cutting 3 sheets for 144 labels. This is convenient!

I have not yet tried this on potted plants = tank broms. My Tillandsias come first!

I will give more feedback as time goes on re the durability and viability of these labels.

Conrad
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2016, 21:07:30 »

Conrad, I now see how you are doing this and can see the printing process would be a easy using your PC rather than a label maker. I certainly are interested to see how this pans out. I have more to add once I get some images.
John.
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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2016, 02:56:15 »

Hi everyone.

Conrad – That’s a very professional looking system you have in place there and I expect it’s what you need when you are growing brom’s as a business. Fortunately, just being a backyard grower I don’t need anything as complex and I’m still using the system I developed a few years back which does what I want it to do and which I’ll explain later.

First I’d like to comment on my experiences with printed paper labels which were later put into laminating pouches. Let me say at this stage I just used the normal pouches that I buy where I get my printer paper so they’re nothing special. I found they were great from the point of view of legibility and with a hole punched through them worked fine when tying onto mounted plants, but were a nuisance to tie onto pots as each pot needed a hole drilled in the top edge to tie the labels to. Unfortunately I found that after about six months or so the lamination stared to part and I had to write out every label again to overcome losing the names.

While I think about it, John’s mention of the thin aluminum labels which you can use an old ball-point to emboss the name into the aluminium, reminds me of an experience I once had years ago when growing orchids. I bought some of these labels and used them on my Cymbidium orchids at that time and just poked them into the potting mix like other labels.

At that time it was common practice at the start of spring to top up your pots with a bit of fowl manure to give them a “kick along” for the growing season and it wasn’t long before I noticed several  half labels on the top of the pots with holes in them. What had happened was the fowl manure had re-acted with the aluminium where ever it touched it and eaten right through it in many cases. I also later found that some of the granulated fertilizers will do the same thing as well, so they’re good for tying onto plants and pots but not putting anywhere they’ll contact manures or fertilisers. 

These days I use name tags cut from old aluminium venetian blind slats as I found plastic label were disappearing. The culprits were the local Bower Birds, and although they are known to prefer blue coloured objects, I know for a fact that they will also steal white plastic labels and what’s more they seem to have taught the Magpies and they too were stealing them. For some reason they don’t seem to like the recycled aluminium blind slats so that’s what I use now for everyday use. For plants that are going to be entered in shows, I use the professionally manufactured  “T” shaped ones, I find they are great for this purpose as they are neat looking and people can see the name clearly (judges included) without having to take the tag out of the pot to read it.

Like John, I previously kept my records in a diary type book, and on the computer, the trouble was, they were both up in the house and my plants were all down the yard and each time I wanted to check something, I had to waste time going up to the house to do it.

I’ve since developed a simple coded system to use on the labels themselves and it works well, because as well as the name, the label also carries the history of the particular plant. On the front of the label I write the Genus and the cultivar or species name. If a seedling I also write the number and the formula name.

On the back in code I describe the plant at the time of potting. eg. S (Unflowered seedling) FP (Flowering plant) PL(Mature Plant) P (Pup) or M (Mother plant); if it has pups, the number are also shown e.g. M+3P (Mother plus three pups)

Next comes the month it was repotted and the year, e.g. a plant repotted in March 2016 would show as PL/03/16 – Next, what type of fertiliser was applied if any e.g 5xHK (5gm Osmocote High K). 10xBB (10gm Blood and Bone) If no fertiliser used, NF and finally where the plant came from originally. SPS (Society Plant Sales), if a nursery (abbreviation for the nursery) e.g. Pine Grove Nursery, (PG Nursery) if a private grower (initials)

As an example, if it was a pup I got from Kayleen and potted it up this month and gave it say 5gm of Osmocote High K fertiliser, it would show as P/04/16/5HK/KC. It’s a simple coded system that fits easily on the back of the label and leaves space below for a brief comment e.g CD leaves 4 rem. (4 Cold damaged leaves removed) It works for me and I’ve now been using it for several years with no hitches. If I use a code that’s a bit unusual to what’s normally used, I keep a record of it on the computer in case I forget it a couple of years down the track

Finally names are all written with a fine pointed permanent Overhead Projector Slide marking pen which my son brings me home from Bali each year when he comes. The brand is “SNOWMAN” OPF Permanent and I find them very good and still clearly legible after 10+ years. Learning tech drawing and sign writing as part of my apprenticeship many years ago allows me to still print quite neatly and suffices at this stage however as this problem with the nerves in my hands progresses I can see myself seeking out some mechanical way of doing my labels in the future so anyone with good ideas, feel free to share them.

All the best, Nev.




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chefofthebush
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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2016, 06:49:35 »

Nev, I am grateful that we do not have bowerbirds here, but we do have monkeys. Double problem! They jump onto the plant supports dislodging all the plants, throw the plants at each other and then to add insult to injury, their urine is lethal to orchids and broms. Highly concentrated nitrogen. I keep a box of fireworks crackers on hand to scare them off when noticed.

I have used the aluminium lables ince in the past, but cannot get hold of then locally now and would have to import them. That means paying in dollars with our Rand! I just cannot afford them. Again repetition for volume of plants is time consuming,

I have my stock sheet  that I have laminated too I use when selling plants and when stock taking. As new plants are bought in every so often I need  to update that sheet regularly. On that sheet I have a lot of added info - original cost, notes on pup development, etc.

This labeling is just for my Tillandsias. I still need to get to the rest of the family! I did a stock take a long time ago but as for labeling those plants, that is going to wait until I retire or am unemployed again. Both I do not wish to do yet!

I will pinch your notation ideas! Thanks! it is clear and reader friendly. I do not fertilize sufficient to keep record of that, yet. ( For some unknown reason not a single chemical supplier in Durban sell osmocote or a good slow release fertiliser - i do not know why! Or perhaps I am not looking hard enough.)

Best wishes,

Conrad


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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2016, 08:47:59 »

Conrad, I know what you mean when it comes to primates!, we have them in malaysia. Our property there has a 2m high fence all round with steel rods out of the top so tends to keep them at bay.
Nev don't have those birds in NZ lucky for us.
John.
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« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2016, 22:29:02 »

Hi everyone.

Just to add a bit more to my last post, I'm posting some pictures of the marking pens I described just in case anyone's interested.


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All the best, Nev.
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« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2016, 03:22:00 »

Yes I'm interested Nev. Glad you have fine this as meant to ask you to photogragh them. Will look out for these on our trip to Asia, where are they made?,Can't quite read the small print there.

Cheers, John
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splinter1804
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« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2016, 09:00:26 »

Hi everyone.

John -  Sorry, that's the one thing I forgot to include above. They're made in Japan.

All the best, Nev.
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jaga
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« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2016, 21:06:47 »

Thanks for that, will keep a beady eye out for them.
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chefofthebush
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« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2016, 20:44:04 »

Thanks Nev. I have tried permanent markers but I have a persistent hand tremor r that does not allow me to write neat or anything small. Hence my solution on the typed labels. Hopefully they can make a marker that types as you write. I read in the news a few days ago about a pen that records what you write and then later can print the document via a pc! So maybe soon.....


Conrad
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