From shipping labels that are ever more necessary in today’s digital age to eye-catching product labels, small businesses need labels of all kinds. High-quality printed labels can make your small business appear more professional, so a label printer can be a good investment.
If you’re thinking about buying, here are some things to consider before deciding what kind of label printer is right for you.
What are the different types of label printers?
There are two types of labels: direct thermal labels and thermal transfer labels. Direct thermal labels are less durable, but their printers tend to be cheaper. However, if you need something waterproof, scratch-resistant, or longer lasting, thermal transfer labels will be worth the extra cost.
Label printers come in three main sizes: portable, desktop, and industrial. Portable printers are cheap and good for printing labels on the go (such as for shelf edge labelling), but may not make the most durable labels, as most use direct thermal labels. Industrial printers can print faster for longer and in larger quantities, but they’re large and expensive.
For a small business, a desktop printer is likely all you need. These are less durable and need refilling more often, but may be better suited to your needs.
What should I look for when buying a label printer?
The first thing to consider is what you’re planning on using a label printer for, as the required specifications will change depending on your needs.
What kind of label do I need?
One thing to consider is what kind of label you want to make. Most affordable label printers only print one colour — black. This is fine for things like shipping labels, but falls short if you want a design with many colours. At StickerShop, you can print your own designs or work with our professional designers to create your ideal labels — the only limit is your imagination.
Some other things to consider are:
Detail: the smaller and more detailed the label, the higher dpi (dots per inch) you need.
Versatility: If you want to use your printer for a wide variety of labels, you’ll need one that can support several different widths of label rolls.
Connectivity: Most printers use USB, but increasingly printers offer wireless connectivity options such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, which let you move it without worrying about cables.
Material: You’ll need to choose your material carefully depending on your needs. If you need something waterproof, for example, thermal transfer is the way to go.
How often will I need to use it?
Aside from what labels you’re making, you also have to think about how many and how often. If you need a lot of labels, good quality is a must, which may run you some higher costs. Before you buy a printer, you should also check out the cost of labels — they may cost you more than you expected in the long-term, so it’s important to take that into account.
Self-printing vs professional
Buying a label printer could be a cost-effective option for your business. However, if you find that you need to print labels very often, then the upfront cost of a machine and higher prices for stock could mean there are higher costs, time and effort involved.Professional printing services like StickerShop can often be a cheaper and easier option for small businesses and creatives (not even mentioning the high quality of our stickers). We offer custom label printing at competitive prices, no matter what shape, design, or size you may need. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.