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Printing fine print for labels

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by Signature Sign Guys, May 1, 2020.

  1. Signature Sign Guys

    Signature Sign Guys Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    Kamloops BC
    Hey all,

    I have a client that wants to print some very small labels. 1.5in x .5in with font point size of 3pt.
    We have told the client that we suggest printing of fonts no smaller than 6pt but she insist that we print them this small. We printed the run and now she is complaining she cannot read the font because it is blurry.

    how would go about this job with telling her that 3pt font is just to small to have printed clean? Can this even be done as we have tried basically all of the print profiles in Roland to try and make the cleanest print.

    Printer is Roland Pro4 xr-640 , material is GB, setting we used is Generic Vinyl II HD - High Quality

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
  2. White Haus

    White Haus Formally known as RJPW..........

    Apr 6, 2018
    If you're already printing on high quality, the only other thing you could try is to print uni-directional and slow the head speed way down.

    Might not make much of a difference, but it might be worth a shot.

    Good luck, hope you guys are doing ok out in BC.
  3. woolly

    woolly Active Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Cornwall uk
    depends how well the heads are set up and no defections.
    recently done similar on a vs540. black only head low, half head speed the vinyl 11 hq.
    if your bi-directional is off a little then use uni-directional just a thought can you just use one of the two heads to remove any alignment issues.

    the other thing is does the customer require new glasses before sending the finished job out asked a couple of younger people if they could read this
  4. P Wagner

    P Wagner Very Active Member

    Aug 16, 2006
    San Diego
    Let's see a pic of the output
  5. Solventinkjet

    Solventinkjet DIY Printer Fixing Guide

    Aug 2, 2011
    Denver, CO
    For text that small you're basically out of spec for the machine but the best way to go is high res low speed. Find a profile with a 1440x1440 resolution, unidirectional, slowest motor speed and variable dot. Then orient the print so that the height of the letters are parallel with the movement of the head. That will cut down on blurriness between letters. Make sure your heat setting is as high as possible without buckling. Even a little buckling at 3pt will blur it out but you want the heat high so the dot cures faster.
    • I Appreciate You I Appreciate You x 1
  6. Signature Sign Guys

    Signature Sign Guys Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    Kamloops BC
    here is the pic of the first print that we did. definitely a bit hard to read as it is blurry. We did explain to her that 3pt font is to small to print clear so how do we explain to her that we told her this in the first place.

    I have also slowed the print speed right down to 400mm/sec and I am using a 720x1440 dpi print setting. Seems to be a bit better

    Attached Files:

  7. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

    Sep 28, 2017
    We try to have this info in an email or on the proposal, so when the customer is happy with something that you did not recommend, you can point out this information was brought to their attention and they did not care.
    For instance, we installed a big pole sign and polished reverse channel letters on a dark background... Pointed out the issue with dark background and the totally separate issue of polished faces. Customer was unhappy, so we got flood lights and installed brushed aluminum faces after the initial install, to the tune of $8k. They paid it all, no complaints, because it was in writing.
  8. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

    Jun 4, 2007
    Home Office
    Head height makes a huge difference on my Mutoh. If I forget to set the head height small text turns out terrible. Been doing labels with part numbers in the range of 0.060". Super crisp.
  9. unclebun

    unclebun Very Active Member

    You've got 1/2" of wasted width you could use to make the ingredients bigger.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. ProColorGraphics

    ProColorGraphics Very Active Member

    Apr 1, 2009
    If I have super fine text I need to do, I just do unidirectional and it works great.
  11. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

    Feb 3, 2010
    Racine, WI
    vectored file, black-only output, uni directional, gloss laminate (if applicable)
  12. 2B

    2B Very Active Member

    May 5, 2011
    Agreed, The layout needs to be changed to enlarge the text.

    try unilateral print direction. This will help with the sharpness of the imprint, especially with small details.

    How many are they wanting?
    there are plenty of MM that has the equipment that can print small and sharpness of imprint instead of you struggling to do it.

    as suggested, if they are requesting a service/product that you know has concerns, have it in writing before starting.
    In this case, print a test run. have them review and SIGN IT before starting the full order
  13. Jim Hancock

    Jim Hancock Active Member

    Nov 11, 2008
    Delray Beach, Florida
    In addition to what everyone else has suggested, you could also create a special black only profile in Versaworks. Note this is only for printing black only text. This should force Versaworks to print with just the black channel.
    1. Go into Media Explorer
    2. Find a profile that has a 1440x1440 setting.
    3. Make a copy of this profile and name it Black Only.
    4. Set up Quality Settings on this profile as suggested above - Uni-directional, head speed 400.
    5. Still in that settings window click Print Chart and set CMY limits to 0 and K to 100. Do not print the chart as it's not needed.
    6. Still in that settings window click Set Ink Limit and set Max. Ink Limit to 100. Again, no need to print the chart.
    7. Click OK all the way back out.
    8. Edit the Queue Settings and click Quality button.
    9. Change media type to Black Only, selecting the High Quality setting, which should set your resolution to 1440x1440.
    10. Set Color Management to Density Control Only.
    11. Click OK.
    12. Print some labels with this profile and the print head in the low position
    13. Let us know if this works...
    • Like Like x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1


    Jul 12, 2019
    Panama city, Panama
    Did you tried to change the font ?

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