5 Ways To Use Thermal Product Labels

A Low-Cost, Environmentally Sound Labelling Alternative

Thermal product labels are becoming the go-to choice in a range of sectors. Here are some of their most common applications.

In today’s industrial world, wherever you look you’ll see a dizzying array of labels on anything and everything. They come in a variety of qualities, sizes, shapes and colours, and thanks to simple and relatively cheap printing processes, a print run in the millions can come at a very low cost.

Thermal printing

Of course, the printing requirements for different types of products vary widely, but one of the most popular tools in the label printing industry is the thermal label printer.

Thermal labels are a good option if the goods do not need to be stored for a long time. These labels last for up to six months, although they are not ideal in environments where they might be exposed to moisture, oil or heat.

Direct thermal printing is an inexpensive printing method in which the printer heats certain areas of the printhead that leave a black mark on heat-sensitive paper. Thermal printing allows you to save on consumables – you only need to buy thermal tape.

The end result is highly dependent on the type of paper used. Semi-gloss labels are of higher quality – they look better and last several years. You can even choose direct thermal printing, which uses no ribbon and instead prints directly onto special thermal paper.

So where can you actually use thermal labels? The answer is absolutely anywhere.

Retail applications

Companies use thermal labels in retail for packing and labelling their goods before selling. Such labels are narrow and indicate only the text and barcode. Thermal printing is also used for labelling food or other products in grocery stores, particularly those with a limited shelf life.

Office use

Thermal labels can be used to organize a business’s working space, for example by marking racks, folders, and various accessories. Such labels usually contain low resolution and narrow print, and are more often used by companies operating on a lean manufacturing system.

In online stores

Before being sent to online stores, labels can be attached to goods with a QR code leading to a page with a detailed description, instructions or a special offer. Such labels usually have narrow print. However, for those who need a label with a large amount of text on the package, such as the terms and conditions for return or warranty, a wide seal label is more appropriate, but can still be created by thermal printing methods.


Logistics companies have many orders requiring millions of wide and durable labels. These must contain information about the sender and recipient, order number, barcode and company logo. Here, it is better to use thermal transfer labels with wide print and a resolution.

Production and warehousing

Effective warehousing can make or break a business from an efficiency perspective. This is the perfect example of “challenging operating conditions,” and here, thermal transfer labels can be an absolute Godsend. All those bar codes tell their own story, and each one needs to be right. A large scale thermal transfer printer that uses narrow printing at low resolution is the order of the day.