Six Secrets Of Choosing The Right Barcode Labels

It is a crazy world out there and barcode labels are really making an impact on tracking that world. Barcode Labels are tags which have encoded data stored in them. Look around in the store whenever you buy something. There will always be a barcode on it.

These tags are made of vinyl, paper, plastic or metal and are attached to an item's surface by means of their adhesive under surface.

The following six criteria help with the selection of the right barcode label

  • Application

What your barcode label will be used for, and applied to, is critical in the selection of labels. Indoor or outdoor usage, the effect of moisture, and temperature range are questions that you will need to answer to determine the correct barcode label.

  • Durability

Some barcode labels need to last for extended periods of time. Whereas others labels only need to last for a short period (e.g., during the shipment) Not only the labels need to endure, but the printed barcode and verbiage should be given consideration.

  • Environment

Will your barcode labels be exposed to extreme conditions? Direct sunlight, dirt, grease, heat, cold, water, food or something else each of these conditions needs to be considered in order for your barcode labels to perform at their best.

  • Direct Thermal vs. Thermal Transfer

In a nutshell, should you print with or without a ribbon? Again it comes down to Application, Environment and Durability.


Direct Thermal uses a heat activated material to transfer your barcode image to the material. This eliminates the need for a ribbon, and works well in controlled environments where heat and direct sunlight are not an issue.

Thermal Transfer utilizes a wax/wax-resin/resin ribbon that applies a heat transfer process to your label material to increase durability and readability for resilience to heat and direct sunlight.

  • Face Stock

The right face stock is crucial. Choosing between direct thermal and thermal transfer is only the first step. Next, you need determine if you will use a paper label, a synthetic material, vinyl or even plastic. This is determined by your specific product requirements.

  • Adhesive

The right adhesive can make all the difference in whether your barcode label stays where intended. Things to consider are temperature range, where your label will be, and level of permanence.