What is the Difference Between Direct Thermal and Thermal Transfer Labels?
Northern Label Systems, specialists in supplying high-quality labels explain the differences between Direct Thermal and Thermal Transfer Labels.
Thermal Transfer printing uses an ink ribbon to transfer the printed image from the heated printhead of the label printer onto the surface of the label while Direct Thermal printing transfers the image directly onto a heat-sensitive material.
Direct Thermal label printing does not require a label printer that uses an ink ribbon, therefore making it a cheaper label printer. Direct Thermal label printing also requires the label printer's printhead to be in direct contact with the label itself. If you are printing high volumes of labels you will find that the printhead wears out quicker than one used for Thermal Transfer label printing.
These printed labels will also be different in terms of quality. Direct Thermal label printing is usually only used for labels that will have a short shelf life such as shipping labels, packaging labels (https://www.northern-
Direct Thermal Labels (https://www.northern-
Thermal Transfer label (https://www.northern-
Northern Label Systems was founded in 2003 by Simon Brown who started working in the label industry in 1988 when he was a field service engineer for Toshiba which involved the on-site repair of label printers (https://www.northern-
They supply label printers by Zebra Technologies (https://www.northern-