History of ‘LEGO Brick Labels’

Sample Labels

Each label features a high-contrast image of the LEGO part.

Even with clear plastic drawers, it’s can be hard to find the part you need. That’s why I designed this collection of LEGO Brick Labels. I decided to share my labels with other LEGO enthusiasts, because I hoped that they would be helpful to others (and they are time consuming to make)!

How do I know that LEGO Brick Labels is the best way to label a large LEGO collection? Because LEGO Fans from around the world continue to show their appreciation for the project!

Version History:

This section highlights major improvements and new parts included in each update. (For even more detail, check out the “VERSION_xx.txt” file included when you download LEGO Brick Labels. It includes a list of part ID’s added to each update since December 2015.)

  • September 14, 2021: Version 37 adds 76 new labels for a total of 1492 parts!

    Yet another massive update to the LEGO Brick Labels collection, supported by the many awesome Patrons supporting this project!

    Version 37 adds 76 new labels for a total of 1492 parts!

    Version 37 adds 76 new labels for a total of 1492 parts!

    Major changes in this update:

    1. Labels for at least 15 newly released parts!
    2. Labels for (almost) every part in the top 1100 most common parts – based on my updated analysis at brickarchitect.com/most-common-lego-parts/
  • August 22, 2021: Added download links for older versions of LEGO Brick Labels. This includes links to download old versions up to v2.0 (as .zip file), and contact sheets up to v2.1 (as .pdf file).

    Thanks to Patreon supporter LeAnna for encouraging me to make older versions easier to find!

  • April 7, 2021: Version 36 (pdf) adds 76 new labels for a total of 1416 parts!

    This is another very large update which includes key new parts to the LEGO Brick Labels collection, and cleans up some retired Technic parts..

    Version 36 adds 78 new labels, for a total of 1416 labels!

    Version 36 adds 78 new labels, for a total of 1416 labels!

    Major changes in this update:

    1. The most anticipated change in every update is the addition of lots of brand new, increasingly popular, or otherwise missing parts—including 17 exciting new parts which were just released this year!
    2. The other major change in this update was an audit and re-organization of the LEGO Technic section. I’ve changed to a more logical order for various sub-categories (starting with ‘TECHNIC-brick’), and removed 24 retired LEGO Technic parts from the main collection. (They were moved to the retired section. This reduces the number of labels people need to print if they only have relatively new parts in their collection.)

    Please consider supporting the LEGO Brick Labels project by making a donation at https://www.patreon.com/bricklabels — your support keeps the project going!

  • September 17, 2020: Version 35 (pdf) adds 77 new labels for a total of 1340 parts!

    This is a very large update which reflects the continued evolution of the LEGO Brick Labels collection.

    Version 35 adds 77 new labels.

    Version 35 adds 77 new labels.

    Major changes in this update:

    1. To keep the core collection focused on current parts, I have moved 44 retired parts to a separate folder. (Technic and Vehicle categories have not been thoroughly scrubbed for retired parts yet.)
    2. I added a new folder “ELECTRONICS” because this update includes labels for all of the new “Powered Up” hubs, motors, & sensors. (Every part in the new #45678 LEGO Education Spike Prime set is now included in the collection.)
    3. The “MINIFIGURE” now offers both the option of “category-level” labels for Minifig parts (ex: Tools, Weapons, Hair), as well as the option of sorting the most common pieces by part (with 18 new part-specific labels).
    4. This is the first update that includes a few “new” labels for long-retired classic parts, specifically the classic “3-finger” hinges of the 80’s and 90’s. (Per request by Robert Dickson and many others.)

    P.S. In the interest of simplicity, I’ve removed the ‘.’ from version numbers, so this is simply version 35. (This is technically the 24th update in just over 6 years, since I skipped some decimals along the way.)

  • June 5, 2020: Version 3.4 (pdf) adds 66 new labels for a total of 1263 parts!

    As always, this update includes new parts from recent years. It also ensures that the top 800 larger most-common parts are included in the list (unless it is highly specialized part without widespread utility). It also includes a thorough analysis of sets released in the past 10 years, to see if any of them have become common enough to include in the collection.

    Version 3.4 adds 66 new labels.

    Version 3.4 adds 66 new labels.

    In future releases, I will move more ‘retired’ labels into a separate folder. This is necessary to ensure the main collection remains an accurate reflection of the most common parts available to builders today.

  • May 8, 2020: Added question about using Black labels to the FAQ. (Thanks to Shannon Peel for the photo.)

  • March 30, 2020: Added an FAQ to the main page at brickarchitect.com/labels. This was inspired by learning that the Brother P-Touch application for Mac will not print a full 11 ¾″ strip of labels with the ‘PT-D600’ printer. (Thanks to Lauren & Gabriela for helping me diagnose this issue.)

  • March 13, 2020: Significant Webpage Updates. The page to learn about LEGO Brick Labels and download them hadn’t been updated in 4 years! The updated page is shorter, easier to read, includes an up-to-date list of compatible Brother label printers, and encourages readers to visit my LEGO Storage Guide to learn more about storage solutions.

  • January 19, 2020: Version 3.3 (pdf) adds 74 new labels for a total of 1197 labels!

    This update adds popular new elements from late 2019 and a few extremely useful parts which were just introduced in 2020. It also includes some parts that you requested, and older parts which continue to grow slowly in popularity.

    (You can learn more about my criteria for adding labels to the collection in the release notes.)

    Version 3.3 adds 74 new labels!

    Version 3.3 adds 74 new labels!

    I’ve also ensured that the top 600 most common parts from sets 2015-2019 are included in the collection. (Excluding weapons; they are already covered by generic labels for Guns, Swords, etc…) You can see the top 600 parts list here: 600 Most Common LEGO Parts. (The previous update only verified that the top 500 parts were included.)

    Part Variations shown more clearly on each label, and groups of similar parts include a table showing Part ID's for each size.

    Part Variations shown more clearly on each label, and groups of similar parts include a table showing Part ID’s for each size.

    I’m also trying something new—there are some less common parts like “Flex Axles” which come in several sizes. Rather than create a label for each size, I created one regular label, plus a key showing the part ID for each size. (I recommend putting the label on the outside of the drawer, and the key on the inside of the drawer.)

  • June 23, 2019: Version 3.2 (pdf) includes 1124 labels!

    This update adds popular new elements from 2018 and early 2019, all of the Roller Coaster elements, a few parts that people have requested, and some common parts I had missed. (My article 2019 Most Common LEGO Parts“includes a list of the top 500 parts, so I’ve made sure they are all in the collection.)

    Version 3.2 add 55 new labels!

    Version 3.2 add 55 new labels!

    I’ve also improved label text using extended unicode characters: replacing letter “x” with the multiplication sign “×”, compact fractions for 1/2, 1/3, 2/3, 1/4, 3/4 etc… (‘½’, ‘⅓’, ‘⅔’, ‘¼’, ‘¾’ at 9pt font), degree symbol for slopes (‘°’), and hair spaces (‘ ’) as needed to improve legibility. This makes the labels a little smaller and easier to read. This resulted in minor changes to most labels, but there is no need to re-print all of your labels for these minor improvements.

    Typographic improvements in version 3.2

    P.S. Apologies for the delay in releasing this update… (I’ve been busy defending my LEGO collection from the new addition to our family—he’s almost 9 months old now!)

  • April 4, 2018: Version 3.1 (pdf) adds 48 new labels for a total of 1069 labels!

    This version focuses on two things: New parts released since last fall, and “common” parts which haven’t been added yet. This ended up including a lot of propeller parts, as they are quite common and were not included in the collection until now.

    I define parts as “common” if they are included in more than 30 sets, currently in production, and useful to a broad range of LEGO builders. I am more generous with Technic parts, as a lot fewer sets are released every year, and more strict for Minifig accessories or Bionicle parts – only creating labels if those parts can easily be used in other ways.

    Version 3.1 adds 48 new labels.

    Version 3.1 adds 48 new labels.

  • September 6, 2017: Version 3.0 (pdf) adds 66 new labels, for a total of 1021 different labels!

    This version also includes the following improvements: 1) Easier to understand file and folder names. 2) Increased consistency of spacing between labels. 3) Consistent scale for related LEGO elements, most visible with the Basic LEGO bricks collection. 4) I created a separate folder containing only those labels which are new for this version.

    Version 3.0 adds 66 new labels.

  • January 5, 2017: Version 2.8 (pdf) adds 55 new labels, for a total of 955 different labels!

    The focus this time is on Minifigures, Animals, Minifig Accessories, Plants, and Nature. For this update, I made a decision to offer broad categories in some cases, such as generic categories for “Mammals”, “Guns”, or “Skis & Minifig Footwear”. With such a large (and growing!) number of relatively rare accessories and weapons, it doesn’t make sense to use a whole drawer for each unique minifig accessory. If you have a much larger collection that I do, or are running a BrickLink Store, you might want to sort your collection by specific accessory.

    Version 2.8 adds 55 new labels, with a focus on minifigures, accessories, animals, and plants.

    Version 2.8 adds 55 new labels, with a focus on minifigures, accessories, plants, and animals.

  • August 30, 2016: Version 2.7 (pdf) update adds 50 new labels, for a total of 900 labels!

    There has been a focus on the many new elements released in the past couple years. I have done analysis of the most common elements based on currently available sets, ensuring the most common elements are already in the Label collection. To see the analysis, visit http://brickarchitect.com/bricks/. (The new labels are scattered across many different files, so please copy/paste only the labels you need before printing.)

    Some of the 50 new labels in version 2.7

    A sample of the 50 new labels in version 2.7

  • May 19, 2016: Version 2.6 (pdf) is an unexpectedly MAJOR UPDATE, adding 78 new labels! (For a total of 850 labels!)

    The biggest change is the addition of a whole new collection – Wheels and Tires! This update also adds some common Bionicle / Constraction parts for model building. (NOTE: It is unlikely that I will ever add the more obscure Bionicle / Hero Factory parts representing faces, heads, hands, torso, armor, and other humanoid forms.)

    78 New labels in version 2.6 (May 19, 2016)

    Version 2.6 added 78 new labels.

  • May 3, 2016: Version 2.5 (pdf) adds 31 new labels.

    I used data to ensure that the most common LEGO elements really are included in the label collection. I looked at only parts which were included in sets released since 2010. (Thanks to Huw @ Brickset for a good dataset to start with…) This analysis revealed some important gaps like #4599 1×1 Tap, #30153 Diamond w/ stick, #4079 Minifig Seat, #6126 Flame, #64567 Lightsaber Handle, #4349 Megaphone, #4697 Pneumatic T-piece. Even with this update, there are a few common parts which are still missing.

    New labels in version 2.5 (May 3, 2016)

    Version 2.5 added 31 new labels.

  • April 27, 2016: Version 2.4 (pdf) adds 13 new labels and fixed minor consistency issues.

  • April 19, 2016: Version 2.3 (pdf) includes 82 new labels, completing the TECHNIC label collection.

    Newly added Technic labels in version 2.3.

    Newly added Technic labels in version 2.3.

  • February 9, 2016: Version 2.2 (pdf) includes 52 new labels.

    This update adds a lot of new Panels and Windows.

  • December 13, 2015: Version 2.1 (pdf) includes 43 new labels

    In this version, I added a convenient “contact sheet” (pdf) that you can print to help organize your LEGO collection.

  • November 1, 2015: Version 2.0 doubled the number of labels in the collection!

    Labels are now organized into groups of related elements: Basic Elements (bricks, plates, tiles), SNOT Elements, Slopes, Wedges, Round, Curved, Clips/Hinges. Two additional groups are in “beta” because they aren’t complete: Technic, and ‘Other’. (I also moved the website to http://brickarchitect.com/labels/)

  • January 31, 2015: Version 1.8 includes 40 new labels!

    NEW: bricks_large, wedge_plate, wedge_brick, door_rails. UPDATED: fence, bricks_curved_more, cones, slopes_3

  • January 16, 2015: Version 1.7 adds labels for some additional slope pieces.

  • November 17, 2014: Version 1.6 adds 32 labels to the collection.

    This includes hinges, turntables, click hinges, clips, and handles.

  • September 30, 2014: Version 1.5 adds about 30 labels to the collection.

    This is also when I moved the label collection to http://tomalphin.com/bricklabels (now obsolete).

  • September 17, 2014: Added a table of compatible Brother label printers at the bottom of this article.

  • September 13, 2014: Version 1.4 add several new pieces.

    This update improves consistency and quality of text + images throughout the “All Labels” collection. This version also adds 8 new panel types, technic_pin_axle_connectors, and technic_misc labels

  • September 10, 2014: Version 1.3 adds many of the most common Technic parts.

    New Technic parts include: Pins, Axles, Technic Bricks, Ball + Socket, Technic Plates + Rotors, Connectors. Gears, Pulleys and other specialty parts will need to wait for another day.

  • May 30, 2014: Version 1.2 was a major update.

    The collection now includes most of the labels for a large general-purpose LEGO collection. Let me know if you like it by leaving a comment. Missing some important parts, let me know. In my next update, I hope to add common Technics pieces.

  • April 2, 2014: Version 1.0 & 1.1 was the initial release.

    It included labels for all of the parts in the 21050 / Architecture Studio set, plus a few additional common bricks.

Bibliography

The following resouces have been useful when researching LEGO Brick Labels…

  • holly-wood.it “Adding unofficial LDraw parts to MLCad.” 2014.
    Instructions to add unofficial LEGO parts in bulk.
  • Ryan Howerter, “Color List.” 2015-Present.
    The most complete guide to LEGO Colors through history. Also see his excellent Photo Gallery of rare colors
  • Christoph Bartneck “The curious case of LEGO colors.” 2016.
    Expanding on Ryan’s work, the Peeron Database, and other sources, Christoph examines the mismatching CMYK, RGB, and Pantone colors cited for common LEGO colors. (No clear answers, but good analysis.)