Not all label printers on the market have the capability to print colours on the labels. So if you need to use colours for some reason on your products, you will need to find devices that can handle this procedure. There are basically two types of label printers in the market, those that use direct thermal procedures and those that use a technology called thermal transfer. The first set of label printers use heat sensitive paper to print the labels, like the ones used in fax machines. This procedure is easily explained and will serve us for a better understanding of why handling colour is not an easy task. Heat sensitive paper uses a material that turns black upon contact with a hot source, like an iron bar for example. This has some benefits and some disadvantages too. First, it is no necessary to employ ribbons or ink in the process, but it is only possible to print labels using black characters. Normally this special paper is completely white and is different from the one employed by machines that use the thermal transfer method.

Thermal transfer printers are more sophisticated but at the same time more expensive. As they use ink to print the labels, they can use coloured ink, but they will also need help of advanced software to tell them the distribution of those colours onto the labels. That is why these printers commonly have internal memory and powerful micro processors. Colour laser printers are the most advanced label printers of this type. They are the most accurate and also the fastest ones. Their high reliability makes them the perfect companion for heavy industrial duties. They have a small number of moving parts which is also a reason to their low maintenance cost. Unfortunately for many companies, this kind of label printers is also the most expensive one on the market today.

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