Direct thermal labels are a cost-effective type of label made with the direct thermal printing process. In this process, a thermal print head is used to selectively heat specific areas of coated, thermo-chromatic (or thermal) paper. The paper runs over the thermal print head then turns black where it’s heated, producing a desired image. Two-color direct thermal printing can create both red and black images by applying heat at two temperatures. Direct thermal labels use no ink, toner or ribbon, only chemically treated, heat-sensitive materials.

Common applications for direct thermal labels

Direct thermal labels have long been used for meat, poultry and dairy products. Today, improvements in thermal papers and direct thermal printers have made the technology a better fit for more products in nearly any market. Some common applications include:

  • ◉ Barcodes for many products, particularly for shipping labels, patient and visitor identification, receipts and ticket printing
  • ◉ Name tags and visitor passes
  • ◉ Coupons
  • ◉Event tickets
  • ◉Cost-effectively printing
  • And more



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