March 10, 2015

Need to order thermal shipping labels in a rush..?

By Databazaar Blog


If you are ordering shipping labels for the first time and are in doubt, ask for guidance. It might save you a lot of awkwardness later. Please be aware that there can be different categories of thermal labels depending upon the printing technique. The wrong kind will not work with your printer.If there is no one you can turn to for help in these matters, we suggest that you read our guide below; It has been written with a view to making your buying decision easier.

Thermal Label Buying Guide :

A. Thermal labels Types

1. Direct Thermal Labels :

Direct thermal labels are used in Direct thermal printers. These printers use chemically treated thermal papers and films which are activated by heat and blacken when the print-head applies heat to the chemical. These printers do not employ ink, toner, or ribbon to apply print to the label surface and so, are not able to print in color unless special, pre-printed direct thermal paper is used. The most common applications for direct thermal labels, fan-folded and on rolls, are for bulk printing shipping labels and barcode labels. They are popular in the food industry.

2. Thermal Transfer Labels

Thermal Transfer labels require a printer with thermal wax ribbons. A thermal print-head applies heat to the ribbon, which in turn melts ink on to the label substrate to create the printed image. The ink is absorbed into the label material. The ribbons can be of different colors, so you are not limited to printing in black. The label surface or substrate can be made of paper, film or even foil however, label substrate material and ribbon needs to be carefully matched for overall quality and performance of the print. The most commonly used applications for Thermal Transfer printing include distribution, product identification, inventory and asset labeling, as well as bar code labels that need to last longer than six months.

B. Direct Thermal vs. Thermal Transfer Labels – Which one do you need?

Direct Thermal LabelsThermal Transfer Labels
No waiting for the ink to dry and cool. No waiting for ink to dry.
Labels print only in black unless special, pre-printed direct thermal paper is used The thermal ribbons can be of different colors, so labels can be printed in colors other than black.
Prints only on thermal paper and films Prints on paper, film and also polyester and polypropylene foil
Prints are not crisp. Labels have a shelf life of 1 year or less Printing is very crisp and long-lasting. Labels have a shelf-life of over 1 year
Barcodes cannot be scanned after a few months. Good for printing high-density barcodes.
Print can fade or darken with temperature, humidity, liquids and chemicals, sunlight, frictions and abrasion Does not fade with time or exposure to the environment. Print can withstand various temperatures from freezing to boiling, liquids and chemicals.
Wax ribbon can smudge under heavy abrasion.
Lower running cost as ribbon or ink is not required Comparatively higher running cost
Popular in the foods industry, since most items are stored away from heat and sunlight. Goods are perishable and the labels do not need to last a long time. Suits companies whose products need to endure friction, changes in temperature or dampness and last more than 6 months.
Use for : Address labels, Parcel/ pallet labels, Library Date Due Labels, receipt labels, and nametag labels, Short-term price/barcode labels Use for : Asset tags, Shelf marking labels, Asset tags, Shelf marking labels, Indoor/outdoor signage, Long-term price/high density barcode labels

C. – Selling Thermal labels for 15 years

A division of the well-known blank label convertor Worldlabel, Labels Ontime Inc. manufactures and offers thermal barcode shipping labels in over 100 sizes. All sizes and types are always in stock in 4 warehouses nationwide and they ship out the same day. Labels come on 1" and 3" cores as well as fanfolded for thermal transfer and direct thermal printing. also offers Labels for Zebra Printers as well as all popular Dymo sizes. Thermal ribbons are also available on the site for all types of printers including Zebra, Epson, Datamax, Sato and others. Prices are factory direct and get lower and lower as you buy more. Samples are available for testing. All orders received before 3:00 pm will be shipped out the same day.

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