When we talk about types of plain labels, we are not referring to the size, width or the type of adhesive they have. Plain labels can be categorized into two large groups that differ greatly from one another. We are talking about labels for direct thermal printing and labels for thermal transfer printing. Plain labels of course, are labels without previously printed content on them, but apart from that, they are pretty similar to pre printed labels in the kind of paper used to produce them.

Labels for direct thermal printing are made of a chemically treated, heat sensitive paper that turns black when it passes under the thermal head of the printer. These kind of plain labels are more sensitive to light, heat and other hard environmental conditions like abrasion and humidity. All these factors contribute to the fact that these labels are not made to last a very long time. This is the reason they are not suitable for applications that need long time storage, or industries that need to label materials that are going to be stored in environments with extreme temperatures or high humidity.

Labels for thermal transfer printing can be made of different materials, like normal paper, polyester and polypropylene media. The idea is to create a more durable solution for the printing industry. In fact, plain labels made for thermal transfer printing still have no match in the industry for their quality and reliability. This kind of labels can withstand extreme temperature, ultraviolet exposure and even chemicals onto them. This is why they can be used inside freezers for example, or to make permanent identification cards. They can be made for outdoor applications due to their durability. Unfortunately, these labels are more expensive than labels for direct thermal printing, so you should consider if you really need them before investing in them.

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