Labels are an important part of many businesses. However, there are so many types of inkjet labels that it can be hard to keep track. Let's talk about the various label types and their uses in business settings.
Labels often don't get as much attention as graphic design, color, or print resolution do; however, without proper labeling, it would be difficult to know what each product is. Labels provide information about what something is and where it should go. Without labels, there would be chaos in every warehouse, store, and shipping center.
Inkjet Labels and Color Label Printers
Inkjet-based color label printers should be used with labels designed for their specific inks and underlying inkjet technology. The inkjet printer uses a print head to produce liquid ink droplets that are sprayed onto the surface of a label.
Color inkjet label printers typically use either pigment-based or dye-based inks. Pigment-based inks are more durable than dye-based inks and are generally used for printing labels that will be exposed to outdoor conditions, water, UV light, chemicals, oils, or rough handling.
Dye-based inks are typically used for labels that do not require the same level of durability as pigment-based inks. Unlike pigment based ink, dye-based ink can fade over time if not properly protected from UV light exposure.
The leading pigment inkjet color label printers in the market are: Epson TM-C3500, CW-C6000, CW-C6500, and TM-C7500; Afinia L502 Pigment; Primera LX2000; and NeuraLabel 300x.
Types of Inkjet Label Materials
Modern color inkjet label printers are great for printing detailed graphics as well as small text. Here are some of the different types of labels that can be printed with dye-based or pigment-based inks:
- Polyester — Glossy finish, durable synthetic labeling material for a wide variety of industries including: automotive, electronics, retail packaging, shoes, and apparel. These labels generally work best with dye inkjet printers and work with some of the pigment printers.
- Paper — These are the most common type of labels and can be used for a variety of purposes. Available with matte and glossy finishes, paper labels great for wine labels, food labels, product labels, and general purpose labels. These labels generally work with both dye and pigment inkjet printers.
- Polypropylene — Glossy finish, great for toiletries, horticulture. Matte polypropylene work with both dye and pigment inkjet printers. Glossy polypropylene work best with dye inkjet printers and some pigment printers.
- GHS BS5609 Chemical Labels — Made from polypropylene and certified for use with specific color inkjet printers, GHS BS5609 chemical labels are the most durable labels you can buy. These labels only work with pigment inkjet printers.
- Vinyl — These types of labels are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and have a matte finish that makes them durable, easy to apply, and waterproof. These generally work with dye and pigment inks (for waterproof, pigment is recommended).
Color Inkjet Label Use Cases
There are so many ways you can use color labels in your business including:
- Product labels —Printing high resolution color labels in-house provides cost savings and quality control benefits for many businesses.
- Identification labels — Identify product types or categories in your warehouse.
- Retail labels — Retail labels and tags help customers easily find the products they want to purchase at a store.
- Barcodes — Barcodes can track inventory and help identify when an item is misplaced within your facility.
- Name tags — Adhesive name tags or badges are a great way to identify individuals at meetings or conferences.
- QR codes — Put QR codes on your labels and tags for an even more powerful tool to connect with customers online in case they need product information, instructions, or customer service contact information.
- Shipping labels —With a color inkjet printer, you can print shipping labels with custom branding elements to give shipments a personal touch.
- Color-coded labels — Color-coded labeling can help differentiate between departments within your business, or to differentiate between different types of products.
The way you present yourself to the world will make a lasting impression on customers and potential clients, so it's critical to get your message across clearly and concisely. One of the best ways to do this is by using a color inkjet printer and blank inkjet labels engineered for its ink and technology.