Diversified Labeling Solutions

Why Match Label Supplies to the Right Printer



In the world of label printing, details matter. Every characteristic, from the quality of the material to the printer's capabilities, can make a significant difference in the effectiveness of your customer's labeling process. While to some, it may seem like all pressure-sensitive labels are identical, there are typically several distinguishers in the supplies and printer specifications. Since there are so many options for supplies and printers, it is essential to properly match the two for the best labeling result. We’ve created a guide to help you understand what can happen when your customers' label supplies don't correctly match their printer and how we at DLS can be a resource.

Consequences of Choosing the Wrong Label Supplies

When it comes to the well-oiled machine of your customer's company, every step of getting the product out the door needs to be an efficient one---all the way down to choosing label supplies. Here are some of the most common consequences of using the wrong label supplies and how they can affect your customer's business.

Incorrectly Printed Labels

Since each printer can have different specifications and serve different purposes, the supplies can vary as well. The wrong supplies for the printer can prevent the label from having the desired look, function, or quality. These errors can cause issues with branding, longevity, durability and more. For example, choosing the wrong label or ribbon can lead to poor print quality, resulting in expensive chargebacks or fines.

Increased Cost and Productivity Loss

When there are so many factors to consider for company budgets and productivity, your customers shouldn't have to worry about their labeling. Ensuring the very first step of getting the right supplies can prevent unnecessary costs and loss of productivity in terms of less waste, downtime, reprints, and potential damage to printers.


Excess Waste

If the label doesn't turn out correctly, it would likely create unnecessary waste. Not only is it better for the environment to limit waste, but it also is more budget-friendly to maximize all materials. If labels, ink, toner, or any other resources have to be scrapped, the replacements can be costly.


Loss in Production Time

When printers encounter mismatched supplies, pauses in production and jamming can occur. Troubleshooting these issues takes time away from your customers completing other important tasks.



After discarding labels due to poor print quality, reprints will then have to be made. This process requires more material and time, which slows down production and lead times. Ultimately, the less efficient the production, the more time it takes to get the finished product out the door and in the hands of end users.

Potential Damage to Printers

Not only do incompatible supplies damage the label, but it can also weaken the printer itself. By using the wrong label materials for a printer, jams or misfeeds can occur, requiring more maintenance to prevent future mechanical stress. Continuous use of mismatched supplies can result in long-term damage to the printheads, rollers, or other critical parts of the printer, reducing its lifespan and reliability.

Customer Dissatisfaction

The quality and appearance of labels play a crucial role in your customer’s perception of your company. When labels that aren’t printed correctly arrive at your customer's door, you can almost guarantee that you will hear from them about it. But even worse than receiving potential complaints from your customers, if they aren't happy with their supplies' performance, they may choose another company for their next supply order. Ensuring that the right supplies are being used can be a crucial first step in preventing customer dissatisfaction.

Inconsistent Quality

Labels printed with mismatched supplies may exhibit inconsistent color, clarity, or adhesion. These inconsistencies can negatively impact your customer's brand image and, ultimately, reduce their satisfaction with your company and product.


Miscommunication and Trust

Incorrectly printed labels can also lead to mistrust between you and your customer. Your customers rely on your label expertise. To avoid any miscommunication issues and maintain your customer's trust, choose the right supplies from the start.

Understanding the Role Printer Types Play in Supply Selection

While countless label printers are on the market, each type can offer different benefits depending on your customer's needs. Knowing the kind of label printer and its capabilities helps you match up the right supplies.

Direct Thermal Printers

Direct thermal printers use heat to transfer the label image from the printhead. Since direct thermal printers don't require a ribbon, the only supplies needed are facestocks. For customers whose labels are subjected to abrasion, sunlight, moisture, or minimal chemical contact, may also need a topcoat for added protection.

Thermal Transfer Printers

Thermal transfer printers are similar to direct thermal by using heat but use a ribbon to transfer ink onto the label. To that point--ribbons are one of the most important supplies to consider for this type of printing, and in particular, the correct types of ribbon. Ribbons are available in wax and/or resin varieties and only work in some specific printer types.

Laser Printers

Known for their speed and precision, laser printers use toner to produce sharp, consistent prints. Laser printers typically work well with paper labels. However, it's important to make sure the paper has a high level of heat resistance, since laser printers generate heat. It's also helpful to consider paper materials that are compatible with the toner and the printer. 

Inkjet Printers

Inkjet printing offers versatility and vibrant color reproduction by using liquid ink sprayed onto the label material. Since inkjet printers can accommodate several types of labeling needs, there can be a range of supplies. For instance, label finish options include glossy, semi-glossy, or matte. It is also important to consider how different coatings affect ink performance.

Your Ultimate Source for Label Supplies

Looking for more assistance matching the correct supplies to the printer? We have a team of label industry experts at our fingertips and are happy to help you get the best supplies for your customers' needs. As the OEM supplier for TSC Auto ID, we not only have the resources for top-of-the-line label supplies but can also connect you to TSC's printing experts to help you and your customers have a full-package labeling solution.