To Laser or Not to Laser: That Is the Question!

To laser, or not to laser: that is the question.
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous app requirements,
Or to take arms against a sea of business troubles,
And by opposing end them? To laser and have labels fail;
Or to switch to thermal transfer: perchance to succeed?:
ay, there’s the rub . . .

Almost everyone these days has a laser printer, either in their office are or in their home-based business.  Naturally—since you’ve already made the investment in a laser (or inkjet) printer—you want to source labels suitable for this type of printer. Flexibility and low cost generally make sheet-form labels an excellent choice for on-site, on-demand laser printing.

Laser PrinterWe Are Not Your Big Box Store!

Electronic Imaging Materials, Inc. offers a wide variety of laser (and inkjet) labels that are not available at your favorite office superstore. Our years of research and development make us leaders in solving laser and inkjet label applications. Sure, we have your basic matte white paper laser labels, although we’re justifiably proud in saying that our sizes are varied and unique.

Better yet, we offer a dazzling array of laser options—from high-performance polyesters in both clear and white, conformable vinyl, archival-quality paper, removable or temporary papers, water-resistant paper with a cold-temperature adhesive, opaque/block-out paper, frosty-clear or high-gloss paper. We even have a pearlescent paper that looks like a beautiful fabric. For the retail cognoscenti, this is indeed a cornucopeia of choices that is not available down the street or in the mall.

Why Is Laser (or Inkjet) Not Always the Best Choice?

Laser printing uses a heating process that transfers toner to a laser sheet. Unfortunately, this process also heats up the label material itself and causes certain substrates to curl or melt as they pass through the fusing process. There’s also a limitation on how thick and aggressive the adhesive can be, in order to avoid costly damage due to oozing. We’re talking about serious paper jamming or—even worse—dreaded damage to the drum and other internal components.

Inkjet printing uses a wet ink process that requires label sheets to quickly absorb and dry the ink as it passes over the labels. Hard synthetics—such as polyester—simply do not allow the ink to penetrate the label surface. There is a limited selection of label materials and adhesive combinations available to solve unique application challenges.

If your laser labels are failing or you can’t find exactly what you need out there in the laser world, we recommend switching to thermal transfer printing. Thermal transfer (TT) technology uses printing ribbons that come in a wide range of formulas and colors to match label materials and to suit demanding label applications. Thermal transfer printers do not require print temperatures as high as laser printers and hence there is a much wider selection of label materials and adhesives available. That’s important news for many industries, hospitals, research facilities and electronic manufacturers—which have highly specialized application requirements.

To succeed at labeling, your facility may need highly specialized and thick adhesives suitable for temperature extremes, for resistance to noxious chemicals or for labeling textured, rough and dirty surfaces.  This is only possible with thermal transfer technology. With thermal transfer printing, you can achieve high-quality, very durable images that are engineered to withstand water, an assortment of nasty chemicals, the degradation of UV light, cryogenic temperatures and other tough conditions.

As an added incentive, many people actually prefer the roll-form labels used in thermal transfer printing. This allows you to print one label at a time instead of full sheets, thus realizing economies both in time and cost. You get your boss off your back and become a money-saving hero in one fell swoop. What could be better?

Electronic Imaging Materials