Direct Thermal and Thermal Transfer Labels

You need a clear and consistent way to keep track of your inventory when you work in a warehouse or other industrial setting. Two of the most reliable ways to label your inventory and make it stick are direct thermal labels and thermal transfer labels.

These are two printing methods that create high-quality, long-lasting labels and barcodes. At Informs, we offer products that print both of these kinds of labels so you can choose the labeling system that works best for your company.

Understanding the Difference

While direct thermal labels and thermal transfer labels might seem like the same thing, they have a few subtle differences. Here’s a more in-depth look at these labels.

Direct Thermal Labels

Direct thermal labels are created through the process of thermal printing. The paper for these labels is heat-sensitive and includes a combination of dyes that change color when they melt. When the printer head moves over the paper, tiny heated dots turn on and off to heat the paper and release the dye.

Direct thermal labels usually come on large rolls. Thermal printers that use rolls can be made small and portable, and the rolls are easy to change when you run out of labels.

Thermal Transfer Labels

Thermal transfer labels also use heat as part of the printing process, but that is where the similarities end. Thermal transfer printing uses a ribbon coated with carbon ink. The thermal element moves over the ribbon and transfers the ink onto the paper, label, or other surface.

Thermal transfer labels are an excellent choice for heat-sensitive material or if you need a more durable printed label.

Working With Informs

At Informs, we offer both printers and labels for all your industrial labeling needs. We have headquarters in Michigan and offices across the United States, from Oregon to Connecticut. Find the phone number for your closest office on our contact page, or fill out our contact form for more information.