Blanco Labels Blog

Online Label Manufacturer - Direct Thermal Labels and Thermal Transfer Labels & Ribbons

  • Trends in Food Packaging and Fulfillment

    Trends in food packaging and fulfillment

    Woman shoppingThe food industry is always going through changes and improvements, in the attempt to keep pace with the everchanging consumers and their behavior. It’s not surprising that consumers have more control over the food and beverage industry than they’ve ever had before, and a large part of this power comes from the latest improvements in technology.

    Social media sites, blogs and apps are all common platforms that give consumers the opportunity to share their experiences with others when it comes to the latest food crazes, trusted brands and new items on shelves. Customers can use these easy sharing tools in an attempt to award or punish food and beverage companies for their efforts. Whether a customer likes the packaging or is impressed with an item’s nutritional value, others will certainly hear about it. This kind of change in the food industry has many companies scrambling, not only to please their current consumers but to also keep up with current trends and intrigue new customers as well.

    In a world where we are more aware than ever about what we are putting into our bodies, food companies everywhere must keep up with the latest trends in order to maintain the consumer’s confidence in their brand and what they have to offer.

    If you’re curious about the latest developments in the food industry, the following are some of the most prominent trends in the food packaging and fulfillment:

     Accurate and Informative Labeling

    Nutrition LabelsNo longer can a food company put something on grocery store shelves without being completely transparent about their products. Where consumers may have been more worried about taste than nutritional value in the past, opinions have changed drastically—and for the better.

    There are a few factors that might have had a hand in swaying consumers to be smarter food shoppers, including online sharing, accessible information, personal experiences or family genetics. Whatever the source for the shoppers’ change of heart, there is no denying that more and more people around the world are becoming increasingly food-conscious.

    Blue label inforgraphicIn terms of food packaging, this change has meant that companies are now responsible for being completely up front about their food, starting at the labeling. Effective labeling should inform customers about the nutritional value of something, as well as any added information that can give them a leg up over competitors that are offering the same kinds of items.

    Food companies will also want to package their items with labeling that informs shoppers of any requirements they’ve met, which allows them to be considered “healthier options”. For example, President’s Choice incorporated a “Blue Menu” label for their packages, which informs shoppers that food items have less fat, less sodium, more fiber and more omega-3’s, along with other nutritional benefits as well.

    Quality food labeling is very important for this food packaging trend. Consumers rely on this aspect of packaging, in order to tell them everything they need to know before they can make decisions about which items are best for their needs. Labels that are hard to read, damaged or damp won’t be effective, and companies should be just as invested in using labels that are durable as they are about offering simple, nutritional information.


    Connecting to customers through packaging

    Companies that are transparent and accessible are the ones that garner trust and respect from their consumers. Unfortunately for most food companies, they don’t have the chance to speak face-to-face with every customer about their items and why they should choose them. It’s not as easy to create that connection between business and customer, but that need for relationships is a growing trend in the food industry.

    Man looking at packagingTo help food brands create a better connection to potential consumers, a recent trend has been accessibility through food packaging. This means that packaging will contain various ways for customers to connect with a brand, to learn more about who they are and what their brand values. This could be in the form of social media usernames, employee photos or even barcodes to scan for more information.

    The idea here is to utilize packaging as a means of opening up the lines of communication between consumers and suppliers. Giving people the chance to learn more about a company, to read employee bios or to educate them on how their product is made is extremely valuable to gaining consumer trust and appreciation.

     Automoation in Fulfilment

    The more accessible food information becomes the more consumers have the ability to develop opinions and preferences in every aspect of the food they’re buying. From the packaging material to the treatment of the animals, consumers now have the opportunity to compare very miniscule differences between products and make decisions based on factors they take very seriously.

    Customers are now much more aware of the differences between name brands, and often prefer items that are of higher quality, more fairly-priced and that are more sustainable. The list of “must-haves” as it were, are growing, and companies now are trying to find ways to meet these needs without jeopardizing the success of their food items.

    This is why automation is one of the major trends in food packaging and fulfillment, as companies tackle ways to increase operational efficiency and distribution while also maintaining quality and food safety. Automation is now a common tool in food production, in order to cut back on line time, to increase worker safety and to decrease contamination.

    Gluten Free Organic

    Food labeled as organic or gluten free receives more interestCurrently, one of the most popular trends in food packaging and fulfillment is the increased demand for products that are organic or gluten-free. As an extension of the health food craze, many people are beginning to learn more about gluten and some of the negative effects it may have on the body. While many people have recognized their intolerance to gluten, others are simply making the personal decision to avoid products with gluten in them.

    Organic IconsSimilarly, products that are organic are also trending at the moment, with consumers looking for food items that are free from harmful chemicals such as pesticides, fertilizers, GMO’s and radiation. Food packaging that is labeled as “Gluten-Free” or “Organic” are much more likely to receive interest from large groups, so companies now must be mindful of whether their food products have these kinds of options and how they can incorporate that information into their packaging effectively.

     Waste Free

    Not only are consumers becoming more engaged in making smart food choices, but they’re also becoming more aware of the impact that food production has on the environment. As a result, another one of the prominent trends in food packaging and fulfillment is offering waste-free products.

    Going waste-free is beneficial not only to the environment, but it also has the potential to be very advantageous for production companies themselves. This is because waste-free doesn’t just cover the scope of wasting large amounts of food, it also covers the scope of wasting less valuable resources such as water and energy.

    Companies are now going through each of the stops in their supply chains looking for ways to cut back on waste, as a means to turn loss into value. Sustainable packaging is just one of the ways that companies are trying to reduce their carbon footprint and please the growing demands of their consumers to be more environment-aware.

    Many food products are now stored in smaller, lighter packaging options that can either be recycles or reused. The end result is lower manufacturing costs for companies, less garbage going into the landfills and decreased transportation needs. For those companies who short lifespan items, having re-sealable bags that can be re-used helps to fight food waste and lessens the spending on package waste.

    It has been reported that almost 1/3 of the food produced worldwide ends up in the garbage, which means that this food packaging trend is extremely important to making our food purchases really count.

     Transparency in Packaging

    Noodles in plasticThe reason why online shopping is so difficult, is because people often can’t see or touch the merchandise that they want to buy. Oftentimes, consumers will end up with a product that was nothing like they imagined and they’ll end up sending it back or throwing it out.

    The same thing occurs for many food items that don’t embrace transparency. Customers want to know and even see what they’re going to be purchasing, especially if it’s a new product they’ve never tried before. If they can’t use the packaging design to get an idea of what’s inside, they may be more likely to choose another competitor that is more informative.

    Marketing trends quoteHaving transparency in food packaging is another current trend, and many companies have taken this quite literally by incorporating transparent packaging or detailed imagery to their products. The idea here is that companies have nothing to hide—what you see in this bag is what you get, and often times this kind of advertising can gain the trust of customers who have a hard time trying new items.

    Transparency is all about a company being proud to display their food, incorporating it into the actual packaging and giving customers a chance to ‘take a look under the hood’ before making the purchase. It’s a motion of good will, and customers appreciate this kind of transparency with their food now more than ever.


    No purchase feels quite as special or unique as when it comes decorated with your personalized name across it. Take Coca-Cola for example, who recently began a new marketing campaign that dressed the traditional Coca-Cola drinking bottle in personalized names for everyone to enjoy.

    The latest marketing trend for this dominating beverage company saw Coca Cola sales rise by 2% in the United States alone, increasing revenue tenfold and winning back some of the soft drinkers of the past. This tactic has proven to be an effective one, as many customers value a unique touch such as this, that makes a great personal purchase or fun gift for a friend.

    With the successful marketing, it’s no surprise that customization has become a popular trend in food packaging for other companies as well. However, it’s not necessarily just personal names that will do the trick. The main idea is that companies are reaching out to customers by creating unique packaging and labels, which make the purchase more exciting and interactive than before. It creates an experience from the moment you receive your food, taking advantage of packaging as a further marketing tool as opposed to only being a vessel for something.

    Another great example is from McDonalds, who every year give customers the chance to play Monopoly every time they purchase an item off of their menu. The labels on their merchandise can be peeled off and collected, with the chance for consumers to win different prizes throughout the promotion. The idea is to get more traffic into the stores, to increase conversion and to get customers trying new menu items.

    Other popular interactive or customizable packages have included fortunes, unique quotes and hand-written letters. This is one of the more fun trends that rely heavily on marketing teams to make their products stand out among the rest.


    Packaging may have been nothing but a vessel for food in the past, but today it holds a lot more responsibility. Food companies need to take their packaging decisions very seriously, as consumers will make very quick decisions about a company based on their first look at a product.

    With this in mind, it’s clear that trends in food packaging are all based around the concept of being see-through; companies shouldn’t hide what they’re feeding us, and putting in a little extra effort will always go a long way when it comes to pleasing the consumer. Businesses should consider their food packaging as an appetizer to the main meal inside; it will set individuals up for the main dish, and have them feeling confident about the choice that they made.

    If you’re just beginning to choose labels and packaging for your products, be sure to consider the advice provided here to make the most of your advertising real estate.

  • How to Use Labeling to Keep the Warehouse Efficient

    There is nothing worse than having a warehouse of inventory in complete disarray. When your inventory rooms are unorganized, there’s a very good chance that items go missing, shipments aren’t dropped off in the right place and customers aren’t getting what they want on time. A well-run warehouse is imperative to the success of any business. Continue reading

  • Customer Spotlight: Nootropics City

    nootropics-labelsThose looking to push educational or workplace performance to the next level depend on Nootropics City.

    The Canton, Ohio, company is one of the largest and most popular on-line distributors of cognitive enhancers.  It sells specialty substances and supplements to improve cognitive functions – including executive, memory and motivation – among healthy individuals.

    Nootropics City earned its market presence by offering a wide range of cognitive enhancement products sold at competitive prices and manufactured under strict cleanliness and hygienic guidelines.

    Nootropics City creates its products with assistance from BLANCO, a leading adhesive label manufacturer and ink supplier for customers striving to print their own labels in-house.  One of BLANCO’s most popular in-house printing systems is Primera brand printer equipment and ink cartridges.  BLANCO also manufactures labels for using in Primera printers in semi-gloss, high-gloss and matte finishes.   BLANCO’s manufacturing facility is located in Salem, Virginia.

    BLANCO has recently expanded their inventory to include labels and ink cartridges for Primera’s new LX500 and LX2000 printers. Pigment ink cartridges are available for the LX900 printer and the LX2000 printer.

    “We are pleased to help Nootropics City present their products in an attractive and colorful manner,” BLANCO’s President Kurt Webber said.

    “We offer labels for all applications, including product identification.”  In addition to these Primera compatible labels, we manufacture direct thermal and thermal transfer labels, as well as label sheets for laser printers and label sheets and rolls for inkjet printers” Webber said.  “We offer a quality product at a competitive price.  Our staff is knowledgeable and helpful.”

    Nootropics City currently orders BLANCO’s BL-PR-74893 2-1/2-inch x 7” High Gloss Labels and BL-PR-74804 3” by 2-1/2” High Gloss Labels for Primera LX2000, LX900, LX810 and LX800 printers.

    Click here to visit the Nootropics City website.

  • Customer Spotlight: TruColor


    Making edible creations pop with brilliant colors found in nature without affecting their nutritional makeup is a passion for TruColor.

    TruColor provides a healthy alternative to food colorings that use synthetic ingredients with artificial preservatives. Its natural colors are free of FD&C dyes, artificial preservatives and “Big 8” allergens, which include milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shell fish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soy. TruColor products are Gluten Free and do not include Genetically Modified Organisms.

    TruColor reaches shelves with assistance from Blanco Labels, a leading adhesive label supplier who helps you print your labels when you need them, instead of carrying inventories or waiting for production schedules. One of Blanco Labels’ most popular offerings is Primera brand printer equipment, including Primera compatible semi-gloss, high-gloss and matte finish labels, as well as ink cartridges for all the Primera printers.

    Helping TruColor reach new customers seeking to embolden their edible creations without artificial ingredients is exciting, BLANCO’s President Kurt Webber said.


    “Our labels help them distinguish themselves from competitors in a tight marketplace,” Webber said. “We have good customer service and we ship them exactly what they need in a timely manner.”

    “Our products are reliable and they do what they are supposed to do, whether they are applying them to their product or purchasing shipping labels,” Webber said. “Customers use our labels for the price, selection, quality and customer service. Our experts specialize in helping determine what label would best fit their application.”

    TruColor currently orders BLANCO’s 3" Circle High Gloss Labels for Primera LX 800, LX810 and LX900 printers (Item Number BL-PR-74828). When asked why they chose BLANCO for their labels, William (Bill) Donaldson, General Manager, had the following statement: “There are a lot of choices out there, we choose Blanco because their customer service is excellent, they really care about your projects and work with you to get the right material the first time. They offer the highest quality labels that enable us to print in brilliant hues and shades to represent our brilliant state of the art natural color products and at a very reasonable cost!”

    Click here to visit BLANCO’s PRIMERA category.

    Click here to visit TruColor’s website.

  • Thermal Printer & Printhead Maintenance Tips

    Thermal printers are manufactured to generate crisp, clear images and text in high volume environments. Properly maintaining the printer is critical to ensuring that your printer continues to generate high quality images and text.

    There are two main types of thermal printers.

    • Direct thermal printers generate the desired printed image by heating coated thermal stock. A printhead is used to apply the heat in the desired shape for text or images, turning the paper black where heated.
    • Thermal transfer printers print by melting a coating of thermal ink onto the paper. Here too, a printhead is used to apply heat to a thermal transfer ribbon, melting the ink in the desired pattern and depositing it onto the paper’s surface.

    Maintenance of Thermal Printers

    There are a number of factors that an impact the performance of your printer – humidity, dust, heat, wear on the printhead and printer components, and the quality of the thermal transfer ribbons and paper stock used when printing. It’s important to keep the printer’s environment as clean as possible and to use high quality supplies and materials for the best results.

    The most critical element to ensure clear, high quality printing is the performance of the printhead. If it is dirty, clogged, worn or abraded, the quality of the printed product will degrade. Cleaning and maintaining the printhead will extend the useful life of the printhead, and your printer. And, as printheads are expensive, maintaining it and extending its useful life will result in cost savings for your operation. Some maintenance tips are:

    • Clean the printer frequently to remove dust and residue from paper, foils, and the environment. It is recommended that the printer be cleaned two to three times a week in moderate use operations.
    • Clean the printhead to remove ink residue, paper dust, or coating residue to prevent streaking and incomplete printing. Cleaning will also help prevent clogs which can permanently damage the printhead. Printheads should be cleaned when the thermal transfer ribbon or thermal transfer label roll is changed. As the printheads (and rollers) are fragile, you should avoid touching them anywhere expect on the edges and use only approved cleaners. The most common methods for cleaning printheads are using isopropyl alcohol wipes or swabs or cleaning cards.
      • Isopropyl alcohol cleans the printhead, dissolving any residue without leaving residue from the cleaner. It’s important to make sure that the alcohol fully evaporates (dries) before using the printer.
      • Cleaning cards clean the printhead and remove any build-up on the rollers. They should be used for periodic cleaning, as they can abrade the printheads and rollers, damaging them.
      • Some thermal transfer ribbons have built-in printhead cleaners, providing continuous cleaning and maintenance for the printhead.
    • Replace printheads that have become worn or abraded.

    Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations for your printer, including regular preventative maintenance. Periodic inspections of the equipment can identify potential issues before they become problems and can minimize downtime while reducing the cost of repairs and service and, most importantly, extending the life of your thermal printer.

    Blanco Labels carries a supply of printheads, thermal transfer ribbons, and labels for a wide range of thermal transfer and direct thermal printers. We are known for the quality of the printer supplies we carry and our stock and custom labels for thermal printers. Our customer service representatives are available to help you with your labels and printer needs – and to ensure that we meet or exceed your expectations.

  • Label Removal Process, Tools & Applications

    Today’s labels are manufactured using a range of adhesives to provide the level of adhesion required by the application – whether it is to keep the label attached permanently, such as a safety label or product label for a bottle or jar, or a label designed to be removed after purchase, such as a label for kitchen and bath products. Removing these labels and the underlying adhesive completely requires care to ensure that you do not damage the surface material or, if needed, the label itself.

    The key elements to consider when removing a label are:

    • Label material
    • Surface material
    • Type and strength of the adhesive used to apply the label
    • Whether you are interested in preserving the label

    Industrial Label Removal

    Label Strippers

    Laboratories, bottling plants, and processing plants need to remove labels from reusable glass, plastic, and metal containers. High volume label strippers remove the label and adhesive in one process using air-cushioned blades. These machines are custom-designed for the surface material and the level of adhesion of the labels, removing the label and adhesive completely while protecting the surface material.

    Friction Removers

    Label removers designed for recycling processes use friction to remove labels. These machines can handle a range of labels, from wraparound labels with spot adhesive to single labels with full adhesion. These machines are engineered to fully remove the label and adhesive without the need to protect the surface material.

    Small Volume and Personal-Use Label Removal

    Soaking the label

    The easiest way to remove a label is to soak the bottle, jar, or product in hot water. This will loosen the adhesive and the label can be removed. Adding ammonia or other solvent to help dissolve the adhesive can speed the process. This method can be used for most surface materials. Soaking may damage the label, so if you are interested in preserving the label, this is not the best method of removal.

    Label Remover Applications

    If you are interested in protecting the label during removal, the best solution is to use a label remover application. These applications are easy to use and provide maximum protection for the label itself. A label remover application kit contains clear plastic sheets coated with an adhesive remover on one side. The plastic sheet is applied to the label, allowing the remover to dissolve the adhesive. The plastic adheres to the label, protecting it during removal and allowing you to peel the label off intact.

    • The plastic can be left on the label for a period of time if the adhesive is strong

    This method is used mainly for glass surfaces.

    Many label collectors use this method to remove labels, as it not only keeps the label intact, but also helps to preserve the colors and patterns of the label.

    Solvent-based label removers

    Solvent-based removers break down the adhesive so the label can be removed completely. Available in liquid or aerosol form, solvents provide fast removal and are useful for removal of older adhesives. Special formulations are designed to protect metal and plastic surface materials, allowing the container to be reused. Solvent-based removers generally do not protect the label.

    Steam label removal

    Steam can be used to remove labels from glass, metal, and plastic surfaces. The steam dissolves the adhesive, making the label easy to remove. If the steam is applied carefully, the label can be preserved. Alcohol or a solvent can be added to the steam to help dissolve the adhesive.

    Blanco Labels

    Blanco Labels offers both stock and custom labels to meet the needs of customers from small specialty orders to full production runs for manufacturers. Our modern printing facility has the capabilities to manufacture full-color labels that meet your exact specifications. Blanco is known for the quality of our labels and our superior customer service – ensuring that every project meets or exceeds your expectations.

  • Permanent & Removable Adhesive Labels

    With today’s adhesives, labels can be manufactured to provide permanent adhesion when applied or allow the label to be removed and, if needed, reapplied. When determining which type of label to use, it’s important to understand the uses and benefits of each.

    Both permanent and removable labels can be produced using direct thermal, thermal transfer, laser, and inkjet printers, with clear, sharp images. They are available in semi-gloss, high-gloss, and matte finishes.

    All adhesive labels are pressure sensitive, and both permanent and removable labels will perform better if properly applied.

    • Apply the labels firmly and be sure to apply pressure over the entire label surface. Using a roller to apply pressure evenly over the label surface will ensure a secure bond.
    • Apply labels to a clean, dry surface. Moist surfaces interfere with the adhesion and the label will not bond with the surface. If your surface is dusty or dirty, the label will adhere to the dust or dirt particles, not the surface of your product.

    Permanent Labels

    Designed for a one-time application, permanent labels use a strong adhesive that creates a strong, or permanent, bond between the label and the surface. The degree of “permanence” is determined by a combination of the adhesive, face material, surface application, environment, and time. The adhesive used for the label should provide the peel, tack, and shear required to provide a secure bond to the surface material while accommodating the environmental conditions for the application, such as resistance to heat, cold, moisture, chemicals, and solvents.

    Most stock labels used a permanent adhesive.

    If permanent labels are removed, they will leave an adhesive residue on the surface, may pull or tear the surface during removal, and the label itself may tear, leaving pieces of the label on the surface. This is commonly experienced when removing permanent labels from bottles – adhesive is left on the surface or the label cannot be completely removed, or removing a label from a box or carton – the surface of the cardboard is removed with the label.

    No label is completely permanent, and time will diminish the effectiveness of the adhesive, as will moisture.

    Permanent labels are used for applications that require a secure, one-time label such as:

    • Shipping labels
    • Box labels
    • Container labels
    • Bottle labels
    • Packaging labels
    • Envelope labels
    • Identification labels
    • Barcodes
    • Long term and permanent storage labels
    • Safety labels & tags
    • Equipment labels & tags
    • Specimen and laboratory labels

    Removable Labels

    Removable labels use specialized adhesives that provide a secure bond to the surface material yet allow the label to be removed without leaving adhesive residue, damaging the surface, or tearing the label. With the range of adhesives available today, removable labels can offer light provide light, temporary bonds to those that can withstand the rigors of shipping or product labeling and still be easy to remove without leaving residue or causing damage. In addition, some labels can be removed and re-used. Removable labels are more expensive than permanent labels.

    Removable labels can be used with most surface materials. The adhesive used for the label should provide the peel, tack, and shear required to provide the adhesive bond to the surface material that meets the application requirements. Rougher surfaces allow for easier removal of the label, but do not allow for as secure a bond as smoother surfaces. In addition, most removable labels do not perform well in applications with exposure to moisture, heat, cold, or corrosive materials.

    Over time, the adhesive used for removable labels begins to act more like a permanent adhesive and the label can become difficult to remove. It is important that the adhesive used provide easy removal for the period of time required for your application.

    The applications for removable labels range from labeling office folders to attaching “use-now” coupons to retail products. Some of these applications include:

    • Masking tapes
    • Office labels
    • Inventory labels
    • Retail product & bottle labels & coupons
    • Laboratory & sample labels
    • Temporary equipment labels
    • Labels for reusable containers and cartons
    • Packing slips and shipping labels

    Blanco Labels

    Blanco Labels offers a wide selection of permanent and removable labels.

    For detailed information, see thermal transfer labels, direct thermal labels, and inkjet and laser labels.

    Blanco is known for the quality of our labels and our superior customer service – ensuring that your labels will meet your requirements.

  • Inkjet vs Laser Printers & Labels: Pros & Cons

    Inkjet and laser printers offer printing solutions for small volume printing. They provide good quality printing and are most often used for low-volume office and personal use.

    Inkjet Printers & Labels

    Inkjet printers print by spraying ink onto the paper or other media. The ink is absorbed into the media to produce the type or images desired, requiring slightly porous media for best results. Due to the porosity of the media, the ink spreads slightly, resulting in a slight feathering at the edges. Inkjet printing does not produce images with sharp edges.

    • Smooth (bright) paper is the best media and coated papers allow for sharper images
    • Non-porous media, such as metallic and polyester papers or labels, do not absorb the ink and will smear

    Inkjet printers are slow. The costs of inkjet printers may be lower initially, but the ink cartridges can be expensive.

    Laser Printers & Labels

    Laser printers use toner – electrically charged powder – to print the type or images required. A laser passes over a drum in the printer, creating a static charge on the drum that attracts the toner, coating the drum in the desired type or image. Paper is passed around the toner-covered drum and then through a heated fuser that bonds the toner to the paper.

    • Laser-printed images are clear, with sharp edges
    • All types of media, paper, and labels can be used

    Laser printers are faster than inkjet printers and can handle larger volumes.

    Inkjet vs Laser Labels

    Most general purpose paper and coated labels can be used in both inkjet and laser printers. Laser printers also use clear, color, metallic, and weatherproof (polyester) labels. Blanco Labels offers a full line of labels for inkjet and laser printing.

    • General purpose paper labels are available for inkjet and laser labels, including semi-gloss, high-gloss, and matte finishes
    • Clear, color, and weatherproof labels are available for laser printers
    • Label widths from 2 5/8” to 8 1/2" and lengths from 1” to 10 7/8”
    • Avery compatible sizes and media for label sheets

    Blanco’s labels are designed to be used in HP®, Canon®, Epson®, Xerox®, Apple®, and other inkjet and laser printers. We manufacture matte, semi-gloss, and high-gloss labels for use in LX200, LX400, LX800/810, and LX900 Primera printers and other inkjet printers that use roll labels.

    We also offer ink and laser cartridges to be used in Primera printers and most inkjet and laser printers.

    See details on the inkjet and laser labels

    Blanco is known for the quality of our labels and our superior customer service – ensuring that your labels will meet your requirements and print easily with your printer.

  • Direct Thermal vs Thermal Transfer Printers

    Direct Thermal Printers

    Direct thermal printers use heat-sensitive, chemically treated paper or media that turns black when it is exposed to a thermal printhead. The type or image is printed directly onto the paper or media. Direct thermal printers are easy to use and less expensive to operate than most other printers. However, since the media turns black when exposed to heat, the printer does not print in color. Direct thermal printers do not use ink, toner, or ribbon.

    The images produced are sharp, with precise edges. Direct thermal printers are used for a wide range of applications, including shipping labels, ID bracelets, event tickets, name tags, and parking tickets. The printed material is more sensitive to light, heat, and abrasion than printed material from thermal transfer printing and is not used for lifetime identification or extreme environment applications. Direct thermal printers are also used for privacy-related and medical printing because they do not use ribbons, which can retain sensitive information.

    Labels used for direct thermal printers are coated to react to the thermal printhead. The labels may be additionally coated for waterproofing and chemical resistance.

    Thermal Transfer Printers

    Thermal transfer printers use a heated ribbon to print the type or image on the paper or media. The ribbon is coated with ink that melts when exposed to the thermal printhead, forming the type or image. The ink is absorbed into the material, becoming part of the material. Thermal printers can be used with a wide variety of materials, including paper, polyester, and polypropylene and use specialty adhesive backing. The use of thermal transfer printer ribbons allows for color printing.

    The printed images are precise, meeting tight tolerances and are durable and long-lasting. They can withstand extreme temperatures, ultraviolet exposure, chemicals, and sterilization. Thermal transfer-printed materials are used for lifetime identification applications, such as barcodes, asset tags, archival labels, circuit board tracking, certification labels, lab specimens, chemical and pharmaceutical labeling, safety labels, and equipment labels.

    Labels used for thermal transfer printers need to be matched with the type or ribbon used to provide the best printed result.

    Choosing the right label

    Choosing the correct label for a direct thermal or thermal transfer printer requires matching your application requirements and the capabilities of your printer.

    • Match the labels with the print speed to ensure a clear, clean result
    • Choose a high quality paper or media so that the media will perform well in the application environment. For example, paper labels will perform well for tickets, but not for equipment labels in processing environments

    Blanco Labels manufactures high quality direct thermal and thermal transfer labels. Our labels are manufactured with high quality paper and a general purpose permanent adhesive.

      • Roll labels have a 3” core with an 8” overall diameter. Most sizes are also available with a 1” core and 4” overall diameter
      • Rolls are perforated between labels
      • Labels are wound out
      • Color and weatherproof thermal transfer labels are available
      • Designed to fit most thermal printers, including Zebra, Sato, Fargo, Intermec, Datamax, and others
      • Custom sizes, adhesives, and core sizes are available
      • Full line of thermal transfer printer ribbons

    Blanco is known for the quality of our labels and our superior customer service – ensuring that your labels will meet your requirements and print easily with your printer.

  • Customer Spotlight: Mattie's Mountain Mud

    mountainmud_1In the wild's of Virginia there is a farm. It is a good farm, surrounded in native forest. There are cows and pigs...honeybees and chickens...coyotes and blue herons...and a coffee roastery. Mattie's Mountain Mud artisan roasts, fresh crop, sustainable coffees for folks all across the United States, from coffeehouses and bakeries to Ms. Ema in Iowa. High quality, seasonally fresh, co-operative and small farmed coffees arrive at the roastery weekly and are roasted to order with great care and expertise. Mattie roasts every half pound with over 25 years of experience and with a cheerful heart just for you. There are so many folks that make this possible.

    The farmers in distant lands that produce an excellent product, the logistics team that freight these precious crops to the roastery, all of the individuals that purchase Mattie's artistry, and label experts. For the first time in twenty years,I am proud of my product labels. They truly represent the heart of my business and are of such high quality that it sets my mind at ease. Life's Wild...Hang Onto Your Mug, and team up with a great label supplier like Blanco.

    Cheers, Mattie

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