November 26, 2022
Sticker Printing
Label printers in Australia and worldwide have been creating wonderful labels, customisable for every business.

Label for Your Business Labels are an integral part of every business. From mentioning the prices, barcodes, company address, and ingredient list to being an effective medium of advertising, labels contribute a lot to the success of a business. With technological advancements, we now witness many smart labels including the ones that can change colour with temperature variations and chip labels. Label printers in Australia and worldwide have been creating wonderful labels, customisable for every business. There is no one size fits all label printing technique because every industry deserves a unique label. In this article, we will discuss one technologically advanced label printing technique, i.e. thermal labels and understand how to use it for your brand.

What Are Thermal Labels?

Thermal printers, as the name suggests, use heat to create imagery or text on a heat-sensitive surface. These are becoming increasingly popular nowadays because they are pretty inexpensive and can print more copies in relatively short periods. 

The outcomes of the thermal label printers in Australia or elsewhere depend on the type of 

printers and materials used. Both paper and synthetic materials are common label printing 

materials that render unique results depending on the type of printer. 

What Are the Types of Thermal Printers?

Thermal printers are available in two types, i.e., Direct thermal and Thermal Transfer. These are two entirely different printers working on the same principle of using heat to transfer the imagery in two different ways. The results of these thermal printing types are different and suitable for the particular industry. Let’s learn more about the types of thermal label printers in Australia

and worldwide.

Direct Thermal

Direct thermal printers use heat to print text or imagery on a specially-coated label material. 

However, the printer does not require ink, toners or ribbon to print high-quality labels. The text or imagery through direct thermal printing is either back or white.

How It Works: The direct thermal label printers in Australia and worldwide use special label materials coated in leuco dye to print text or imagery. As the printhead heats and hits the paper, the colourless dye changes into a dark colour, thereby printing the desired matter. The movement of the printhead and printing surface may vary according to the design of the direct 

thermal printer, as sometimes it’s the printhead that moves, and otherwise, the printing surface moves to the printhead.

Durability: Direct thermal label printing has a considerable shelf life. However, the print isn’t 

resistant to heat, light and abrasion. Therefore overexposure to such elements will make it fade quickly. For the same reason, direct thermal printers aren’t helpful for labels that must last for a lifetime.

Usability: Though direct thermal label printers in Australia aren’t suitable for labels that need 

to last long, these have many other applications. The key uses of direct thermal label printers are for parking tickets, patient wristbands, name tags, receipts, event passes, and ticket printing.

Advantages: Direct thermal printers offer multiple benefits. These are-

  • ● Only require specially-coated paper, no need for ink, ribbon or cartridge
  • ● Require low maintenance 
  • ● Quick printing
  • ● Small in size, therefore easy to carry
  • ● Lower operation and maintenance costs
  • ● Enables batch or single label printing with no waste
  • ● Easy to operate

Thermal Transfer

Thermal transfer printers also use heat to print imagery or text on paper or other forms of label media. These consist of ink and ribbon that transfer the requisite details onto the label surface. Usually, thermal transfer printers use black-coloured ribbons. However, the ribbons are available in other colours also to help print colourful texts and imagery.

How It Works: The key to understanding the working of thermal transfer printers is to 

understand the word ‘transfer’. The thermal transfer printers transfer the ink on the ribbon onto the label surface through the heated printhead. The printing material for thermal transfer printing is also a specially-coated surface so that heat melts the coat and imprints the required information. Utilising high-quality inks delivers sharp images and text to the thermal transfer labels.

Durability: Thermal transfer label printing is long-lasting. It’s resistant to heat, light. moisture, abrasion and other elements, making them last a lifetime. It’s also unfazed by UV lights and chemicals. The thermal printers can also work with different labelling materials, increasing the label’s longevity.

Usability: Since thermal transfer label printers in Australia and worldwide offer immense 

longevity, they are a favourite in industries that require labels to remain readable for a lifetime. Some of the usages of thermal label printing include safety labels, UL certification labels, lab specimen labels, circuit board tracking, product identification labels, sample and file tracking, asset tagging, cold storage, freezers, and outdoor applications.

Advantages: The most important benefit of thermal transfer printing is that the print is long￾lasting and stays intact for a lifetime. However, that’s not the only benefit it has. 

There are many others, as listed below-

  • ● Produces high-quality, long-lasting label prints
  • ● Resistant to heat, light, moisture, and chemicals
  • ● Abrasives cannot rub it off easily
  • ● Suitable on multiple types of printing media; paper, polyester, vinyl, and polypropylene
  • ● Delivers sharp texts and information with maximum readability and scalability
  • ● Performs batch and single printing with zero waste
  • ● Lower maintenance costs
  • ● Sturdy built and suitable for all forms of industry and office use

In a Nutshell

Direct thermal and thermal transfer label printers in Australia or elsewhere have peculiar features that suit various industries. We must understand the characteristics of both these printers and then decide which one best suits our needs.

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