Transfer labels
March 5, 2007 6:54 PM   Subscribe

I can’t seem to find this type of label anywhere. You generally see them as text printed on some kind of wax paper. You them apply them to some surface by scratching off or pressing hard on the text. It’s for printing words on areas that can’t go into a printer. I’d love to find a way to produce these myself or purchase them someplace. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I’ve tried searches using different keywords that describe these labels but no luck. Thanks for your time. Have a great one.
posted by JohnGL to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Back in the day, before desktop publishing, Letraset was the major maker of these.
posted by jamaro at 7:00 PM on March 5, 2007

Ah! I remember those; they were a big thing here in Malaysia growing up.

Transfer letters?
posted by divabat at 7:01 PM on March 5, 2007

I believe that I see them at Staples. They're in the project / posterboard section.

Can't seem to find it on the website though.
posted by Cog at 7:33 PM on March 5, 2007

Have you tried looking at hobby stores? Crafts Etc. online has a number of these rub on letter sets. Is that what you are looking for? (The first few pages have a bunch of shapes and frilly things, but there are sets of letters in various fonts further on.)
posted by John Smallberries at 7:37 PM on March 5, 2007

Any craft store should have these--look in the scrapbooking section. There are lots of goofy graphics and stuff, but plenty of letters and words too.
posted by maniactown at 7:44 PM on March 5, 2007

They used to be staples of art supply stores around the world, but computers have made them as obsolete as slide rules. Looking at the Letraset website reminds me of that: They used to print catalogs of hundreds of fonts for all kinds of purposes, and now they're down to selling CDs of comic book lettering and offering your manga art on a teeshirt.

Transfer type is easier to find in office supply stores than art stores these days, but if you've got a crusty old-fashioned art supply store nearby they probably still have some folders full of them. If you're expecting to label objects regularly, though, consider an electronic labelmaker.
posted by ardgedee at 7:45 PM on March 5, 2007

Haha! Until about three months ago, I coulda just sent you an assload of 'em from my office. I worked at a magazine that had only recent made the jump to full computer typesetting, and we had 'em in rolls all over. (You also could have had burnishing wax).
I'll second the advice to look at craft stores. If you were here in Ann Arbor, Peaceable Kingdom sells 'em. I was also under the impression that you could buy special paper that would work with inkjets and let you make 'em, but I can't seem to find any support for that.
posted by klangklangston at 7:49 PM on March 5, 2007

I imagine a Dymo manual labelmaker is what you're looking for. I was wondering the exact same thing a few months ago.
posted by neckro23 at 8:34 PM on March 5, 2007

(Actually I just reread the post and that isn't at all what you're looking for. Reading comprehension: D minus.)
posted by neckro23 at 8:35 PM on March 5, 2007

Go to an art supply store. Art galleries use them all the time to put lettering directly on the white walls.
posted by intermod at 9:40 PM on March 5, 2007

If you're looking for custom rub on transfers, this business in Canada seems to be the only place that makes them (can't order online though, boo-urns!). If you're just looking for plain letters, I'd go with the previous suggestions of craft stores (I know I've seen them at Michaels near the framing section).
posted by zippity at 10:59 PM on March 5, 2007

Go to and search for "Rub- Ons".
posted by puddinghead at 12:24 AM on March 6, 2007

Depending on the scale of what you want, you may be interested in vinyl lettering. A lot of places will do custom projects (Including Kinko's I think--a friend once had fake building sign lettering made there).

This site shows the application method, and if you search for "vinyl letters" on google you get some options of places that make them.
posted by that girl at 5:47 AM on March 6, 2007

yeah. most companies do call them "rub-on letters" or "rub-on alphabets," these days. if you live in a place where the "scrapbooking" fad is in full effect, you'll find them in any store that caters to that hobby (craft stores, fabric stores, some places even have dedicated scrapbooking stores). they'll probably be in the same aisle as the rubbers stamps or stickers. also stationery shops sometimes carry them.

actually. yeah. the renewed availability of letraset-style lettering is one of the few things i actually appreciate about scrapbook-mania. however, most of the typefaces available now are kind of atrocious.
posted by wreckingball at 11:41 AM on March 6, 2007

Response by poster: Thank you so very much for all of your help. It was perfect! Have a great one and thanks again.
posted by JohnGL at 12:32 PM on March 6, 2007

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