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Label history
  
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Tobi
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PostPosted: Mar 12, 2017 10:54    Post subject: Label history  

Hi guys,

Once again I made new labels for my collection because I never was perfectly satisfied with the others. After printing these new labels (I hope they will be the final ones) I started thinking about how many different styles I tried since I first printed uniform labels for the first time. I found there were at least 13 (!) different labels that I used, and I never was satisfied. Maybe there were even more than 13, but I found that number of different ones. Here you can see my "label history", the numbers 1-9 were completely printed (also the mineral and locality names), the numbers 10-13 are made for hand-writing the specimen information. I prefer the latter now and I think this is a nice tradition to keep even in a time where digital printing is common. Label no. 13 is the new style and I hope I will finally keep it ;-)

What are your opinions about those different styles, which ones do you like the most or the least? Is no. 13 nice enough to be the final version?

I would like to know how many different labels other collectors had and how those labels evolved. I know there are many different styles, from having no labels at all to high-end labels that look like those of Archduke Stephan. Browsing the MinRec label archive is a lot of fun, but I'd also like to know how the FMF community members developed the labels of their collections.

Tobi :-)



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Robert Seitz




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PostPosted: Mar 12, 2017 12:36    Post subject: Re: Label history  

Thanks for the ideas although you have added to my challenge. I'm standardizing labeling after a few decades of collecting and it's a daunting task. The thought of doing it several times is intriguing?
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SteveB




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PostPosted: Mar 12, 2017 13:36    Post subject: Re: Label history  

An interesting process, what happens at #13? Do you use a specific pen to write with, printed or cursive script? Ink color? Then there's the card stock itself. As a fountain pen enthusiast these are my dilemmas :) For mine, I only have a small number of special specimens in my cabinet and I know the details already and a label distracts from the view of the collection and takes away space for more specimens. I'm not saying it's a bad idea to label, a well labelled and laid out collection is very attractive to the eye. Just it's not for me at this stage. I have decided on simple discrete numbering on the specimens and a notebook in the cabinet to document each specimen as best I can so the information isn't lost. With fossils I can research the specimen and add information in the future. In some cases I could add precise GPS co-ords instead of just location since I collected them myself and with the rise of google maps I can revisit the area online and find the exact spot and its GPS coords. I don't sell and am trying to get my collection into an intact state where I can donate or leave the entire collection to a museum or similar with all the best information possible.

I know labelling is more for others to find out about a specimen and I let people handle most of my specimens and they can look up the number in my notepad for themselves. I like to encourage children I trust to handle them safely, it's a better experience for them instead of the foreboding glass barrier and it teaches them how to look up the information themselves. My display is in a room I call my library so they can examine a calcite crystal and grab a book to look up calcite.

I enjoy the hobby in my own way and try to use it to encourage others to learn. I don't have new agers in my life ;)
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Tobi
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PostPosted: Mar 13, 2017 12:03    Post subject: Re: Label history  

Robert Seitz wrote:
Thanks for the ideas although you have added to my challenge. I'm standardizing labeling after a few decades of collecting and it's a daunting task. The thought of doing it several times is intriguing?
To see that you made "standardized labels" more than a dozen times is rather annoying than intriguing. It reminds me of the old joke "Quit smoking is easy - I've done it a hundred times" :-/
SteveB wrote:
An interesting process, what happens at #13? Do you use a specific pen to write with, printed or cursive script? Ink color? [...] I only have a small number of special specimens in my cabinet and I know the details already and a label distracts from the view of the collection and takes away space for more specimens. I'm not saying it's a bad idea to label, a well labelled and laid out collection is very attractive to the eye.
I use a simple ball pen with black ink, and I use my normal handwriting, attached you can see a sample.

I know what you mean, Steve: Somehow labels distract from the specimens, but they also look good together with them - a classic dilemma ;-)



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Jesse Fisher




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PostPosted: Mar 13, 2017 13:40    Post subject: Re: Label history  

Hello Tobi,

I always prefer hand written labels for a collection. Everyone's hand writing is different and the writing on the label gives it one more connection to the person who put the collection together.
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SteveB




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PostPosted: Mar 13, 2017 21:36    Post subject: Re: Label history  

Nice handwriting, mine is always a mess, another reason I don't label :)

So would you use the back of the label for other information for yourself? Like cost of specimen ? I guess there's no standard convention of what information must be included on a label card, or its size. Seems odd, since pretty much every specimen I buy from a dealer or at a fair has a card, and usually a nice little box I never seem to be able to find to buy elsewhere. Everyone does the same thing just differently. Sometimes the handwriting is just so attractive I wish I had everything looking as great.
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Tobi
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PostPosted: Mar 14, 2017 13:01    Post subject: Re: Label history  

Jesse Fisher wrote:
Hello Tobi, I always prefer hand written labels for a collection. Everyone's hand writing is different and the writing on the label gives it one more connection to the person who put the collection together.
That's the reason why I changed completely printed labels for such ones. Hand-writing the specimen information is a much more individual way of "designing" a collection.
SteveB wrote:
Nice handwriting, mine is always a mess, another reason i dont label :) [...] Sometimes the handwriting is just so attractive I wish I had everything looking as great.
Thanks Steve, but I don't think I have a nice handwriting. I would call it legible, not more ;-) Like you, I envy people who have a really nice "calligraphic" handwriting. I will never forget Ed Huskinson's labels, he has such a great writing. Ed, if you read this, I really admire your labels :-)
SteveB wrote:
So would you use the back of the label for other information for yourself? Like cost of specimen?
I put a description on the backside and some information where I got the specimen from, e.g. on the label above: "Purple fluorite XX + 1 black sphalerite X on grey matrix. Bought from Dealer XYZ, 2015".
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Tobi
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PostPosted: Feb 03, 2022 04:11    Post subject: Re: Label history  

Silvia posted one of her labels in her collection thread and asked us other members about our labels:
silvia wrote:
[...]I have attached a photo of a typical label, and I would welcome the polite input from other members of the Forum regarding their home-brew labels and stands.
( https://www.mineral-forum.com/message-board/viewtopic.php?p=77595#77595 )

I think this could fit in this topic here. My last post here is several years old and since I'm always on the hunt for the "perfect" label, I have already a new version because I never was 100% happy with them. But I guess I found my final labels with the version shown below ...

So here are the current collection labels of Silvia and of Tobi, maybe others want to join the discussion that Silvia re-started :-)

And Silvia, I hope it was okay that I copied your label here? As I mentioned in your collection thread, I really like that style, very professional and aesthetic labels for my taste! Do you and your husband also have a long history of labels?

Best regards
Tobi



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silvia




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PostPosted: Feb 03, 2022 14:20    Post subject: Silvia's labels  

Hello Tobi:

Many thanks for your kind words.

I think making labels should not be too difficult. I use Microsoft Offices’ table function to create the borders and the shading. With a black background the ‘ink’ is set to white and visa-versa. You can choose any one of over a 100 fonts. The two fonts I use are Verdana and Garamond. The dominant mineral species of a particular specimen is given a font size of 22 pts., and the minor minerals a font size of 11 pts. The spacing between letters is set at 1 pt. You need to ‘tweak’ the size of the borders and the spacing between lines, but the net result is the label shown above.

The labels are printed on quality A4 bond white gloss paper, and after printing they are laminated. Sometimes we use white card 120 gram/square meter weight and also laminate the final product.

As my partner and I specialize in cabinet to large cabinet size specimens the size of the label is never a problem. In the case of smaller specimens (miniature/small cabinet) the label can dominate the specimen, but I think it is just a matter of how the specimen is placed in the display cabinet. I have seen Museum displays where the specimen is a miniature but it still has a large label. The display gives the specimen good clearance from other specimens on display, so the label size is never a problem.
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PostPosted: Feb 03, 2022 14:52    Post subject: Re: Label history  

I keep my labels small (43x37mm) so I can use them with any size specimen (I trim it a little to fit in Tn box), and I write the data by hand so that I can print up a sheet of labels at a time. To me, the most important information about the specimen is the number and the locale. Most of us recognize what the mineral is by sight, but the location data is what really matters, so I put that first.

The tricky part is that these days I like to keep the original labels with the specimen, and original labels can be awfully darn big. I didn't always do that, I used to put the original labels on the back of the specimen's index card, but now I'm trying to get them all back with their specimens so they are less likely, in theory, to be lost. I wish dealers would think about this size problem when designing their labels. Fabre Minerals does a great job with their tidy, foldable labels.



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Bob Carnein




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PostPosted: Feb 03, 2022 16:13    Post subject: Re: Label history  

I agree with Wynn. I don't like those big, cardboardy, full-color, shiny labels that some dealers use. But that's my preference--my own labels are relatively austere.


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James Catmur
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PostPosted: Feb 04, 2022 02:57    Post subject: Re: Label history  

I lay mine out as labels in a standard label format, then I print them on perforated A4 card so they can easily be separated into labels.

The layout of each one was developed about 30 years ago using Wordperfect and what could be done then, and I still use the same layout (but now, sadly, in Word) and a supply of perforated card. The image shows them before printing with all Word's nagging about spelling, and with non-US dates.

I am slowly adding white paint and black numbers to them all. I use a white paint pen to add the background to each one. At some point I guess I should print new labels, as the information in my database gets corrected as I find out more about localities (especially in Spain, where the FMF locality database keeps improving and I try to keep up with it)



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Michael Shaw
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PostPosted: Feb 04, 2022 10:12    Post subject: Re: Label history  

My current collection label is pictured below. This label is the 3rd iteration of my labels since I began collecting 65 years ago. My first labels were typed on an old Smith Corona typewriter. All specimens in the collection currently have this label as I have replaced all older style labels (I like uniformity). Each label measures 39 x 62 mm and easily fits the various size boxes that hold each specimen with exception of thumbnail specimens which have their own size label made to fit the TN box. I use a standard sheet of 8.5" x 11" white acid free cardstock which has 3 columns of 6 labels, thus 18 labels per sheet. The sheet containing the blank labels was created in WordPerfect and once the ID number, species, and location information is filled in, it is printed and the individual labels are cut out with a paper cutter.


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silvia




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PostPosted: Feb 04, 2022 16:02    Post subject: Re: Label history  

Michael Shaw wrote:
My current collection label is pictured below. This label is the 3rd iteration of my labels since I began collecting 65 years ago. My first labels were typed on an old Smith Corona typewriter. All specimens in the collection currently have this label as I have replaced all older style labels (I like uniformity). Each label measures 39 x 62 mm and easily fits the various size boxes that hold each specimen with exception of thumbnail specimens which have their own size label made to fit the TN box. I use a standard sheet of 8.5" x 11" white acid free cardstock which has 3 columns of 6 labels, thus 18 labels per sheet. The sheet containing the blank labels was created in WordPerfect and once the ID number, species, and location information is filled in, it is printed and the individual labels are cut out with a paper cutter.


Many thanks to all those who contributed to this thread.

Nice labels. I did like Michael’s comment “My first labels were typed on an old Smith Corona typewriter” as this brings back many memories for me.

Back in 1985 I bought my first computer. It was a Taiwanese clone of an IBM machine based on Intel’s 8088 chip. It ran at a speed of 5 MHz, but in turbo mode it could run some programs at a blistering speed of 10 MHz – this was fast in those days.

To connect my dot matrix printer I had to wire up the parallel port cable myself. Only after I had done this could I print labels for the various items I had collected. In those days not many young ladies enjoyed using a soldering iron, but I had four great brothers more than happy to show me.
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silvia




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PostPosted: Feb 04, 2022 20:07    Post subject: Re: Label history  

This is another style of label we regularly use. This style is created using MS Office Words' text box option.


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