Thermal Transfer & Direct Thermal Labels

Thermal transfer and direct thermal labels are used in countless applications, from shipping packages to marking high-performance car parts. Due to this wide range of uses, thermal print labels have to be tough enough to withstand all types of use and abuse, as well as harsh environments, without significant damage or loss of readability.

Grand Rapids Label’s thermal transfer label blanks and direct thermal label blanks are durable and versatile solutions for all applications.

Types of Custom Thermal Labels

Both thermal transfer labels and direct thermal labels are durable labels that provide great print quality, but there are a few differences in the way they’re made and their applications. The main difference is the way ink is applied when going through the printer.

Thermal Transfer Labels

Thermal transfer labels require a ribbon for printing. Heat is applied to the thermal print head which transfers the image through a wax or resin ribbon to the label. They are durable and scratch-resistant, making them ideal for applications where the label will be exposed to the elements.

Thermal transfer labels provide excellent print quality with accurate, clear graphics. They are easy to read and won’t rub off, even when exposed to high temperatures or moisture.

Typical applications of thermal transfer labels include:

  • Product identification
  • Asset tagging
  • Inventory identification
  • Certification labels as UL/CSA
  • Outdoor applications
  • Cold storage and freezers

Direct Thermal Labels

Direct thermal labels are made using only heat and heat-sensitive material. A printed applies heat to the material, causing specified areas to darken, printing the desired image or text. There is not ink involved in direct thermal labels.

Direct thermal labels are simple to use, and they cost less to operate and maintain in the long-term than thermal transfer printing. However, they are not scratch-resistant, and, because the material is heat-sensitive, the labels can be harder to read when exposed to bright light or extreme heat.

Typical applications of direct thermal labels include:

  • Shipping labels
  • Compliance labels
  • Receipts
  • Pick tickets
  • Patient wristbands
  • Coupons

The Reliable Thermal Labels You Need

Any label supplier worth their salt can provide thermal label blanks. Because these labels are often printed with barcodes that must be laser-scanned or other critical information, you need labels that won’t be rendered unreadable by daily wear and tear. What sets Grand Rapids Label’s products apart from the competition is their unrivaled performance characteristics.

  • Superior durability to last the life of your product, even in challenging conditions
  • Specialty adhesives that can withstand continuous water or chemical exposure without releasing
  • Materials and proprietary top coatings that provide outstanding ink adhesion and prevent smearing/smudging
  • Wear and abrasion resistance to the highest automotive standards and beyond

Custom Thermal Labels for Your Application

 With precision die-cutting, unique adhesive solutions, proprietary top coatings, and more, Grand Rapids Label can produce custom thermal label blanks that meet your performance specifications. We provide thermal labels that provide high heat resistance and other critical performance characteristics, as customer applications require. Our expert team will work closely with you to develop the perfect thermal labels for your needs.

We offer blank thermal labels in a variety of stock sizes and shapes, as well as custom thermal label blanks that are die-cut to your specifications. Our thermal label options give you the versatility to print any information you need (barcodes, serial numbers, etc.). Grand Rapids Label uses specialty adhesives and proprietary top coatings to provide the durability needed to survive intact through the most demanding applications.

Depending on your printing needs, we can also provide pre-printed variable data labels that include the barcodes, serial numbers, or other info you need.

Patented Adhesive—A Custom Label Solution for the USPS

When the search for a better bulk mail label brought the USPS to us, we began the collaboration process immediately. We developed a new, custom adhesive that would remain firmly affixed to corrugated boxes, envelopes, and other mailing materials, but that could also be easily removed without leaving residue or destroying the label or any information beneath it. By formulating this new adhesive and re-engineering the standard coupon construction to remove the middle layer, we achieved heightened performance and efficiency—with a significant cost advantage. The USPS utilizes this custom label solution to this day.

Thermal Label Certifications

We can provide blank thermal transfer labels or direct thermal labels to meet a variety of quality certificationsContact us  to discuss your quality requirements.

Thermal Label Printers

To give you a complete labeling solution, Grand Rapids Label also offers thermal label printers.

Contact Us for Thermal Labels & More

We are Michigan and the Midwest’s leading provider of custom labels of all types: thermal labels, security labelsRFID labelssubsurface labels, and more.

Request a quote on blank thermal transfer labels or direct thermal labels, or contact Grand Rapids Label for more information.