Are your labels the right resolution?

Does label resolution really matter?

When discussing the term resolution, most people think of fuzzy images on poorly designed websites or watching older television shows filmed before high-definition TVs and cameras were readily available. Image resolution deals with pixel count – the more pixels there are, the more detailed the photo will be. Meanwhile, fewer pixels on a larger image means the photo may look grainy or even unrecognizable.

In the printing world, manufacturers use dots per inch to measure a printer's resolution. Like with pixels, the higher the DPI number, the more precise the print will be. Depending on the labeling application, manufactures must consider what type of printer they need, along with what resolution will be most suitable. 

Resolution is extremely important for scanning thermal transfer labels.
Resolution is extremely important for scanning thermal transfer labels.

What should you ask before buying a thermal transfer label printer?
When considering what kind of printer will be best for company operations, manufacturers must consider costs, compatibility and labeling application. Depending on the scope of a company's business, the size or number of printers used daily will change dramatically. Smaller enterprises may not need larger printers, while those reliant on printing hundreds or thousands of labels a day may need industrial-sized or strength machines.

Manufacturers must also consider the compatibility of their thermal transfer label printer with their choice of label ribbon and material. Before purchasing barcode labels from a provider, manufacturers should speak with with a customer service representative to ensure that the product will be compatible with their particular printer.

Finally, the label's application is of the utmost importance as to what thermal transfer printer manufacturers should purchase. Manufacturers must consider what size their label will be, where it will be applied and the life span of their label. As stated previously, the higher the resolution, the better the image quality will be.

"No matter what the industry, label resolution is vitally important."

Should you choose high or low-resolution?
No matter what the industry, label resolution is vitally important. While some manufacturers may not see the necessity of investing in a high-resolution printer, this poor calculation may cost them far more than the price of a thermal transfer printer in the long run. Essentially, barcodes must be clear, durable and easy to scan. If they are not, employees throughout the entire supply chain process will be unable to easily or effectively scan products, leading to losses in time and resources.

For example, if a barcode is printed at a low-resolution, distributors or retailers may not be able to scan the products or packages, causing them to either not record these shipments or waste time typing in barcode data manually into the system. Instead of benefiting from the ease-of-use barcodes normally offer, workers will be losing productivity, which can cause eventual customer dissatisfaction.

Depending on the size and nature of the barcode label, some may be legible at 200 to 300 DPI. Meanwhile, manufacturers that print extremely small or precise labels (around less than an inch in size), such as in the printed circuit board industry, must use printers with resolutions ranging from 300 to 600 DPI. Otherwise, images will print fuzzy and unreadable. Businesses that use labels with fine fonts, graphics or other unique attributions, should consider higher resolution printers as well.

To avoid consumer dissatisfaction and losses in profit and productivity, make sure to invest in the right, high-resolution printer and labels. At Stranco, our top-coated polyimide material is thermal transfer printable with resin ribbons up to 600 DPI, making it one of the best choices for high resolution barcode label printing. Our labels are also compatible with many of the top printer brands in thermal transfer label printing, ensuring that you can print with ease. Contact us today to speak with one of our knowledgeable customer service representatives. 

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