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Barcode Labels

Guide to the different types of label and adhesives available. 


  Click to receive a PDF version of our Beginners Guide

 

Use the quick links to find the information you need faster:

What is a label?

What is the difference between direct thermal and thermal transfer printing?

What label materials can I choose from?

What label adhesives can I choose from?

Where do I start?

labels

What is a label? (top) 

A label also known as a sticker is a self adhesive material, typically cut to your desired size. A label is made up of (1) face material, (2) adhesive, (3) release coating and (4) backing paper. Labels are either made from a direct thermal or thermal transfer material.


What is the difference between direct thermal and thermal transfer printing? (top)

  • Direct thermal printing uses heat sensitive paper by transferring heat through the print head of a direct thermal printer burning an image (text, images and barcodes) directly onto a label. The print lasts 6 - 12 months before fading unless exposed to direct sunlight.
  • Thermal transfer printing uses heat to transfer an image (text, images and barcodes) using an ink ribbon onto a label. Heat from the print head melts the ink on the ribbon which is deposited onto the label surface to create the image. The print creates a permanent image on the label.

 

What label materials can I choose from?(top)

Direct thermal

  • Standard paper
  • Top coated paper (provides resistance to smudging and scratching)
  • Top coated polypropylene
  • Card tags

Thermal transfer

  • Standard paper (matt, semi gloss or gloss finish)
  • Card tags
  • Synthetic e.g. polyester, polypropylene and polyethylene
  • Specialist – there are many specialist materials to suit a variety of applications whether it be low temperature such as cryogenic labels, tamper resistant for asset tracking or fast tyre for labelling tyres.

Click here to view a selection of label materials available online.

If you have a specialist application, please call the sales team and we will source the most appropriate material for your application.

What label adhesives can I choose from? (top)

  • Permanent adhesive is suitable for the majority of applications that require a label to be applied and not removed.
  • Removable adhesive is suitable for the majority of applications that require a label to be applied and removed at a later date.
  • Freezer or deep freeze adhesive is a permanent adhesive designed for companies that are labelling items that need to be stored in cold storage, fridge or freezer environments.
  • High tack adhesive is a strong permanent adhesive that is used when you have difficult surfaces to apply onto, e.g. plastic surfaces, or if you need the label to be extremely difficult to remove, e.g. asset labelling.
  • High temperature labels require specialist permanent adhesive that will withstand high temperatures for many specialist applications. High temperature labels can withstand temperatures up to 150°C.

Where do i start? (top)

Decide whether you want to print via direct thermal, thermal transfer, laser or inkjet methods. If you have an compatible printer then click here to choose from our online labels or call the sales team on 01536 414222 for a quote.