Announcing: GEAR LABELS

Gear

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Hello PokerChipForum!

We are proud to announce the launch of



on the web at www.gearlabels.com


Custom Labels, Printed & Cut

Gear Labels can print, laminate, and cut vinyl poker chip labels of any size and shape, in full-color CMYK and metallic inks.

We offer:
• glossy or matte finish
• textured or smooth lamination
• "faux" shaped inlays
• REAL shaped inlays - full inlay replacement!
guaranteed color matching
• hotstamp removal (milling/resurfacing)
• chip cleaning & oiling
• professional-quality photography of the finished product!

Prices start at 10¢ per label. Shipping extra. Satisfaction 100% guaranteed.


IMAGINE - YOUR OWN CUSTOMIZED PAULSON CHIPS
Gear Labels custom inlay.jpg


Pictures available at www.gearlabels.com -- more coming almost every day.

Stay tuned for sample set info!
 
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Racer96

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I've known Gear for a while now, and his attention to detail is extremely high. If you are looking for some great quality work, he'll deliver.

Mike
 

Mesnik44

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I will echo Mike's comments. Gear is awesome at what he does. I have had Gear make me some labels and they are very well done. Top notch!
 

LabMonkey

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The color matching on the shaped inlays is impressive. I've got a big winter labeling project and I'll definitely be getting some samples from Gear.

I've been corrected. That isn't color matching but an actual shaped inlay replacement. Equally impressive because I would think that the inlays are not consistently shaped on every chip. I know I've observed some distortion from the final pressing of the chip. Great stuff!
 
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MoscowRadio

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I love the support that goes into local vendors. Gear will also be doing a re-labeling project for me that I'm incredibly excited for. Here's to you, Gear!
 

Racer96

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The color matching on the shaped inlays is impressive. I've got a big winter labeling project and I'll definitely be getting some samples from Gear.
That's not a colour matched faux shaped inlay.

That's a removed shaped inlay, with a new laminated shaped label inserted into that space.

Mike
 

Gear

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Thanks for the encouraging words, everyone!

...and Mike is correct about the shaped-inlay chip. That's not a circular label with a color-matched shape around the edge; that's a shaped label.

Of course, I can also do circular labels with color-matched shapes, what I would call "faux shaped" inlays (e.g. Casino Aztar Indiana chips), but I don't have any pictures of those posted yet. :)
 
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Quicksilver-75

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I would be very curious as to the excision of a shaped inlay. I did realise while cleaning all my Aztars that the moisture does creep through the edges of the shaped inlays. Do they come out clean?
 

Gear

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I would be very curious as to the excision of a shaped inlay. I did realise while cleaning all my Aztars that the moisture does creep through the edges of the shaped inlays. Do they come out clean?
It depends on the chip and the manufacturer. Most of the casino Paulsons I have seen have a paper label that leaves behind a lot of paper and adhesive residue. Getting that removed and smooth is a lot of the work. By contrast, on ASM chips the inlays just pop right out. Other chips like Bud Jones and BCC are somewhere in between.

It also bears mentioning that the existing inlay is essentially destroyed in the process. If you remove the inlay to replace it with a custom one, you can't put the original back if you change your mind. :)

- - - - - - - - - Updated - - - - - - - - -

Here's a photo to demonstrate what I mean by "faux shaped inlay".

The Casino Aztar Missouri chips on the top row are "real" shaped inlays -- the printed paper inlay and protective plastic layer are die-cut to a shape (hex for the $25, gear/sprocket for the $100.) The green and black areas inside the "inlay area" (center circle) are blank clay.

faux vs real.jpg

The Casino Aztar Indiana chips on the bottom row are "faux" shaped inlays. They are still printed paper with protective plastic layer, but they are both die-cut as circles. The shaped look is achieved by printing the outer edges of the paper with the base color of the chip - green for the $25, black for the $100. (I have to think this method is a lot cheaper and a lot easier to manufacture.)
 
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BGinGA

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Worth noting for the masses that the referenced "faux" designs are not faux inlays - they are in fact real laminated inlays* (not adhesive labels) that are pressed into the chip during the manufacturing process using heat and pressure. Only the 'shaped' component is faked, so they are faux-shape inlays, so to speak.

But they are real inlays, not faux inlays. Adhesive labels are faux inlays, when used in chip centers to mimic a real inlay.


* there's another nickel for james
 

ParrotheadMZ

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That's great news. I have a 1000 chip label project coming up. I will keep you in mind.

How much do you charge to kill chips? About time someone took on this gap in the industry. Wish I had minty solid RHC to mill out for
my .25c chips.
 

Gear

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Worth noting for the masses that the referenced "faux" designs are not faux inlays - they are in fact real laminated inlays (not adhesive labels) that are pressed into the chip during the manufacturing process using heat and pressure. Only the 'shaped' component is faked, so they are faux-shape inlays, so to speak.
That is correct. My intention is always to say "faux shaped inlays" (meaning "inlays with a faux shape") but I'm sure in some cases I have forgotten to include the word shaped :eek: The point is that while they are real inlays, they are not cut to shape. They're circular with a printed shape.

The flip side is that the "real shaped inlays" that I'm producing are cut to shape. You are right that a laminated adhesive label is not the same thing as a factory inlay, but the ones I'm producing are darn close, and they are the best option on the market right now for customizing Paulson chips.

- - - - - - - - - Updated - - - - - - - - -

That's great news. I have a 1000 chip label project coming up. I will keep you in mind.

How much do you charge to kill chips? About time someone took on this gap in the industry. Wish I had minty solid RHC to mill out for
my .25c chips.
How much do I charge to kill chips? Well, I do have a friend with a 30-06 :) ... but seriously, I think you mistyped mill there?

My rate is 20¢ per chip, plus shipping.
 

BGinGA

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...the ones I'm producing are.... the best option on the market right now for customizing Paulson chips.
And as you know, I have a big order coming soon for that exact purpose. Just keep that 30-06 away from my chipes. :)
 

brains613

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Gear, I'm thinking about relabeling some china clays. How do you determine the label size? Do I need to send you a few of the chips? I also have some extras of the original labels I could send.
 

jja412

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The site looks great! Loving the Empress 5000. I'm gonna have to get together an idea for a Oak Tree quarter!
 

Gear

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Gear, I'm thinking about relabeling some china clays. How do you determine the label size? Do I need to send you a few of the chips? I also have some extras of the original labels I could send.
Direct measurement works best, I find. If I don't have an example of what you're planning to label, I'll try to get one, or you can send me samples if you have extras. I'll send you a PM.
 

jbutler

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@Gear could you discuss the operative difference between unlaminated and laminated labels and whether you would recommend unlaminated? i'm considering a large-ish (1500 chips) set of the new Apache blanks with your custom labels as a gift to a guy who hosts a game and the cost difference is substantial when you get into that number of labels (not saying that to demean the product as not worth the cost, so please don't take offense). they're both vinyl, so what purpose does the lamination serve?

i have very little experience with labels, so i thought you could educate me a bit and provide your opinion. thanks in advance :)
 

BGinGA

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Vinyl is used for both laminated and unlaminated labels. The lamination is a thin piece of plastic that covers the printed label, protecting it from scratches and liquids. Highly advised if you have the necessary depth.
 

Gear

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@Gear could you discuss the operative difference between unlaminated and laminated labels and whether you would recommend unlaminated? i'm considering a large-ish (1500 chips) set of the new Apache blanks with your custom labels as a gift to a guy who hosts a game and the cost difference is substantial when you get into that number of labels (not saying that to demean the product as not worth the cost, so please don't take offense). they're both vinyl, so what purpose does the lamination serve?

i have very little experience with labels, so i thought you could educate me a bit and provide your opinion. thanks in advance :)

A good question, thanks for asking it. There are a number of differences and advantages to laminated vs. unlaminated labels.

First, a bit of background on process. In either case, I print on adhesive-backed vinyl with certified inks that are basically waterproof, and reasonably wear-resistant to begin with. My device is a Roland printer/cutter, which means the same machine is doing both the printing and the cutting.

For unlaminated jobs, the cutting is typically done shortly after printing, i.e. before the next print job but after a brief drying time.
For laminated jobs, the printer adds registration marks to the output so that the sheet can be removed from the printer (i.e. cut off the roll) and put back in later for cutting. Thus the job can be printed, removed and laminated, then returned to the printer for cutting. The downside is that more media is consumed per print job because there is a 3-4 inch "header" and "footer" required for the printer to have something to hold onto while cutting near the top or bottom of the sheet.

The lamination film itself is slightly thicker and definitely harder than the vinyl. It's adhesive on one side, and is applied as a surface layer on top of the printed vinyl.

So if the inks are waterproof and wear-resistant, why bother with lamination?

The inks are waterproof -- I printed an unlaminated wine label, stuck it on a bottle and let it soak in soapy dishwater for a couple days with no noticeable effect -- but they are not necessarily alcohol-proof (think beer) or stain-proof (think hot wings.) Also, wear-resistant means wear-resistant, not invulnerable. For applying printed vinyl to perfectly flat surfaces, or reasonably flat surfaces on objects that aren't getting handled, lamination is probably not necessary. However, surface imperfections under the label can make themselves known as high spots wearing more quickly, especially in areas with lots of ink coverage (e.g. labels with a black background.) For example, I printed a large (unlaminated) logo for Mesnik44's fridge door. It looked great at first but after a couple of months of people sidling past it (it's between the poker table and the garage wall) it started to show small scuffs and scratch marks (mostly due to the textured surface of the fridge door.) We ran it again and laminated it this time, and it's still perfect, months later. Labels on small objects like chips have an advantage in that the thickness of the label relative to its size makes it stiffer and less likely to show high spots - but chips do get handled a fair amount.


The lamination films are pretty tough, and will definitely protect the ink from wear under any kind of normal use. Aside from wear resistance, though, there are several other benefits to lamination:

* Surface finishes. Lamination film comes in a variety of finishes, e.g. smooth matte, textured matte, glossy, and I have one that's almost like chip cross-hatching. Unlaminated labels are limited to either matte or glossy. The surface finish adds to not only the look of the chip, but also the feel.

* Print quality. Printing on glossy media is usually slightly sharper and more vibrant in color than printing on matte media -- and that's with any printer, not just mine. Printing with lamination lets you print on glossy media for maximum quality but still have a surface finish that isn't super-shiny, if that isn't what you want. (Don't get me wrong - print quality and color depth on the matte media is still excellent. It's just a little bit better on glossy media.)

* Metallic ink. My printer can print metallic silver ink, for extra reflectivity in the parts of the design that call for it. (See Quicksilver75's Silver Club labels, for example.) The drawback to the metallic ink is that it is much less wear resistant than the standard CMYK inks. Lamination on poker chip labels with metallic inks is pretty much required in order for the metallic ink not to be a waste of time and money. But with lamination, you can add some really cool effects without worry.

All in all, if your chip has the inlay depth to allow for lamination, I would definitely recommend it. That said, I have printed unlaminated labels for myself and others and they are holding up well. (For example, I printed some Stardust Mansion 25¢ labels as unlaminated matte and put them on the T1000 chips. Very nice result!)


So if lamination is so great why do you offer unlaminated labels at all?


One of the main factors in the decision of laminated-vs-unlaminated is the inlay depth, as implied above. Many (maybe most?) casino chips don't have enough depth in the inlay area for lamination, without removing the existing inlays. For the CPS chips and other china clays -- and I'm assuming the Majestic chips will be roughly the same -- there is definitely enough depth for lamination. However on chips like casino Paulsons, unlaminated is the way to go, even for brand-new chips in most cases.


How am I supposed to swallow putting 30¢ worth of labels on a 29¢ chip?

I would submit that it's not that the labels are expensive -- it's that the chips are really inexpensive. (Many thanks to Josh @ Apache for making the Majestic chips possible!) While it's true that the factory labels are much less costly, they also aren't as good (there's no pure white, for one thing) and they are being printed by the million, by a different process (likely offset litho, vs roll-fed inkjet.) Plus my labels can be customized down to a single label, if desired. Good luck with getting the factories in China to print very small custom runs. (I could be wrong about that but I doubt it.)


Whew - a bit of a wall of text, I'm afraid, but I hope that helps explain things!

Cheers,
Gear (Chris)
 

72o

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Damn...nice post, Gear.

Thank you for the explanations. I will need to save that post for reference. I too am looking to do some labels this summer and this really helps.
 

Psypher1000

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Post 24 should be a stickied, locked, and separate thread in your Vendor section, Gear. Great stuff.
 

Quicksilver-75

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I'm putting 18c labels on a 16c chip. What's a couple dollars to see your plan come together?
And the results still make me smile every time I lift some racks down to look at!
 
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