Barcode Label Solutions Blog

A quick guide to ordering custom labels

Posted by Susan Fields

custom barcode label

Reordering labels is easy. You just use the information on your current labels. But when you decide that a custom label will provide a better fit for your needs, do you understand all of your options?

Here’s a guide to what you need to know for ordering custom barcode labels.

1. Type of barcode printer
Your barcode printer uses either direct thermal or thermal transfer printer technology. Direct thermal requires a specially coated paper that reacts to heat, which causes a chemical reaction to create the image. Thermal transfer uses a printer ribbon to transfer ink to the paper. Because the direct thermal process requires the printhead to contact directly with the label, the paper can cause abrasion and wear down the printhead, which is an expensive replacement part. So be sure you are using the right label material to match your printer type.

2. Size
Printers are configured to handle different sized label widths. Some people use a smaller label because it was either more available or seemed like a better deal. In the end, they replace the rolls more frequently and waste time by not using the full width. With custom labels, you can get your labels configured exactly to your printer—with multiples per width if necessary.

3. Coatings
The facestock for custom labels will be either paper or synthetic material, depending on the use for the labels you’re printing. The facestock can be coated to meet specific conditions that the label will have to endure: moisture, dirt, sunlight, chemicals, scratches, smudging, or any other potential risks that could damage the label.

4. Adhesive
Label adhesives are available in removable, repositionable, and permanent formulations, so you need to know the surface the label must adhere to and how long it needs to stay there. A removable adhesive is formulated so that the label can be removed easily, such as a label for a plastic tote. A repositionable adhesive can be removed and reapplied.  After a period of time, the repositionable adhesive becomes permanent. Permanent adhesive provides lasting adhesion upon the initial application.
Even within these three categories of adhesives, there are different formulas, depending on the way you are planning to use your custom barcode labels, such as high tack and low tack, extreme low temperature and high temperature and even a tamper-evident adhesive. IntelliTech International can help you decide about the specific requirements for your custom labels to make sure that they will adhere as needed.

5. Label liner
The label liner is the backing on the label and is usually made of silicone-coated paper. The release liner carries the label through the printer. The liner can be perforated or non-perforated. The release liner may also be edge notched on one or both sides of the label liner, hole punched, or printed with a black stripe on the back for the printer to sense the break between labels.

6. Printer sensing method
A barcode printer is set up to sense the label media for the start print position according to a particular format. Your custom labels can come in rolls or fan folded stacks that feature release liner edge notches, holes, printed black stripes on the back, or gaps between labels that your printer will use to sense the break between labels. Depending upon the sensing capabilities of your printer, order a sensing feature format that will work with your printer.

Contact us at IntelliTech International to discuss your custom label requirements, or take a few minutes to complete our on-line Custom Label Request for Quote.

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Tags: Custom barcode labels