Things to Consider When Printing Labels

If you already have pre-designed labels, then choosing the best printer is a matter of identifying which printer is bestPrint your own product labels suited for the job, so you should consider the following when shopping for the best label printer and which additional tools/consumables may be required for the job:
  • Best Label Stock?
    • Paper vs Synthetic
    • Gloss vs Matt
    • Coloured vs Clear
    • Water Resistance Required?
  • Cost Per Label?
    • Ink + Stock Costs
    • Labour Costs
  • Costs to Replace Ink?
  • How Will Labels be Applied?
  • Required Label Duration/Lifespan?
  • Product Storage?
  • Product Placement?
    • Inside v Outside
    • Refrigerated?
  • Do You have to Comply with Existing Labeling Laws?
    • Country of Origin
    • GHS Labelling
    • Nutrition Requirements
    • Safety Requirements
    • Use by Dates
Not All Label Printers are the Same Label printers can vary quite a bit from brand to brand, so one of the first things to identify is where will your product or labels be used?  Most standard inkjet printers cannot print on stock that is intended to be used outside like bumper stickers, window stickers etc.  This is because inkjet printers use liquid ink that is transferred onto the stock and then set to dry, so its lifespan / duration is much shorter and is not UV resistant. Whereas, labels printed via powdered ink from a toner-based printer have a much longer lifespan, and these types of printers can print on a much wider range of label stock types, so if you have multiple lines of products or brands, with varying types of stocks, a toner-based printer will provide a much better total solution. Not All Stock is the Same If you require stock that will be used or stored outdoors, your options for choosing a printer and stock are limited.  However, if your products or labels are stored and sold indoors, then there are a wide range of label printers that are available to produce long-lived labels. Another major consideration is do you have to print white ink onto clear or coloured stock?  Again, inkjet label printers cannot print white ink, so that type of printer will not give you the ability to print white fonts or images.  In that case you would need a toner-based label printer. Other Things to Consider Include:
  • The Font(s) Size
  • The Clarity of the Images/Fonts to be Used
    • DPI
  • How Fast are the Labels Printed?
  • Do you Need Additional Tools?
    • Rewinders
    • Unwinders
    • Cutters
    • Applicators
  • Software
    • Barcodes
    • Colour Images
Ready to Go Once you have the equipment and stock setup, and complete the label design(s) process, you can print on demand for just a few labels or 100’s/1000’s of labels as required.  This means you are not bound to expensive, large-order print runs where the more labels you print, the cheaper it gets, which is usually the case when you use a label manufacturing company to produce  labels for you.