Determining which labels you need for a new labeling application can be confusing. You don’t want to get it wrong and find the label does not meet weather or chemical exposure requirements. Here are some simple questions you can start with to determine the right label.

1. What is the printer make & model these will be printed in, (if any)? (Or roll OD and core size or sheet size)

2. Does your label require a ribbon to print or not? Is your printer capable of using a ribbon? Your label is either Direct Thermal or Thermal Transfer.

3.  What resistance does it require? (Moisture, oil, grease, alcohol, abrasion)

4.  In what environment will it exist?  (Outdoors, outdoors covered, indoors)

5.  What surface will it stick to? (Corrugate, paper, packaging rims, plastic, metal, glass, rough surface, curved surface, moist surface)

6. Does it need to come off at any given point with little or no residue?

7. Is there any pre-printing needed, on front of label, back of labels or on label liner.

8. What size do you need? Width x Length (length measurement increases as the roll is unwound)

Answering these questions will eliminate many headaches, greatly reduce your cost and provide you with the best possible label. There are hundreds of different types of labels that will meet your requirements.

Other factors that determine how your label will print:

  • Ribbon Type
  • Print head DPI
  • Size of Text
  • Amount of Copy on the Label
  • Amount of Detail on the Label

Other specific details you will need to know:

  • Core Size .75″, 1″, 1.5″, 2″, 3
  • Label Width and Length
  • Quantity (Quantity per Roll)
  • Do you need perforations between each label
  • Outer Diameter (will it fit in your printer?)
  • Annual usage (how many labels per day?)

Hint: Bigger is Better  If your printer only holds a 5″ Outer Diameter Roll, consider buying a Roll Holder that accommodates an 8″ Roll. This inexpensive attachment, sits behind the printer and feeds labels in through the open feed slot. Larger O.D. labels are less expensive than smaller ones!

Hint: Cases Quantities  It is always less expensive per roll to purchase case quantities of labels (and thermal ribbon)! Many suppliers also offer buyer loyalty discounts fro annual purchases. Great distributors will even hold onto your labels in their warehouse until you need them. Just make the call.

Best Hint: Call a Great Supplier!  Buying labels is not like buying vitamins online! You can save yourself a lot or work by finding a good supplier and sticking with them. Don;t just go on their website and try it alone, CALL THEM! They can answer every question and you will have the opportunity to get a better price!

The labeling industry is a multi-billion dollar business and regardless of your application, there is a label material out there that will meet your needs.

Do you know the difference between thermal transfer or direct thermal?

Find the Direct Thermal Labels description with a wide selection of labels to choose from at the Direct thermal labels are the perfect solution for shipping labels with their short lived life span to get the job done.

The main difference between Thermal Transfer and Direct Thermal labels is that Thermal Transfer labels require the use of a Thermal Printhead to print ink upon the label.

Barcode Printers creating bar code labels with Direct Thermal or Thermal Transfer print Technology

The key difference when thinking about printing bar code thermal labels is whether one would need a Direct Thermal or Thermal Transfer printer to get the job done. Thermal Transfer printing is done with the help of a thermal ribbon to print text or images onto a thermal paper as where Direct Thermal only printers utilize heat from a print head in conjunction with a special paper that enables a chemical reaction to produce text onto the label. Direct Thermal labels can be a bit more expensive than that of Thermal Transfer labels because of the makeup involved in creating the labels. Direct Thermal labels are widely used in the shipping industry because of their lifespan in which the label is needed to provide dependable printing and cost effectiveness. Thermal Transfer is more widely used for situations that call for a much longer lifespan than a few weeks and can withstand harsh environments such as that in warehousing, frozen foods, RFID tracking and more!

I can recommend a few labels I’ve found across the web regarding Thermal Transfer Labels or Direct Thermal Only labels. For more specific brand labels like Zebra or BarcodeFactory

Here are a few images to help you choose between thermal transfer or direct thermal printing…

barcodefactory thermal labels