What’s The Difference Between Sheet Labels And Roll Labels For Small Businesses?

Making the decision to print your own labels means getting to grips with the various technologies and consumables; requirements differ significantly from one business to the next such as a clothing design label. This makes for a surprisingly diverse and often complex market for sticky labels.

What seems to be something quite simple on the surface quickly turns out to be anything but when shopping for label materials for the first time.

One immediate decision you will face is that of sheet labels vs. roll labels, both of which have a long list of practical applications along with their own unique benefits. This will certainly apply to retail stores, as well as the best manufacturing businesses.

Sheet Labels

As the name suggests, sheet labels are those that are printed on a standard sheet of paper. They are compatible with most laser and inkjet printers, typically supplied in A4 sheets. These are the most popular choice for most DIY and home online printing applications due to their compatibility with standard printers.

Roll Labels

The biggest difference with roll labels is how they are designed specifically to be used with direct thermal printers, thermal transfer printers, or inkjet roll printers. These fantastically cost-effective labels are supplied wrapped around a cardboard spool, and can be ordered in a wide variety of shapes and sizes to suit most requirements.

Choosing Labels for Your Business

Neither of the two options is strictly ‘better’ or ‘worse’ than the other, as they are both designed with different applications in mind. Hence, making the right choice means carefully considering your objectives and requirements for the labels you buy.

For example:

If Every Label Needs To Be Identical

Where you plan on printing an extensive run of identical labels like return address labels, going with sheet labels is advisable. You can print a whole bunch of identical labels on a single sheet, ultimately taking less time and proving more cost-effective.

Where Each Label Needs To Be Different

Labels that have to be different each time such as when printing barcodes or QR codes are better suited to roll labels. The printing process will be much faster and cheaper than putting out a whole sheet of A4 for each unique label you need to print off, adding up to considerable savings.

For Printing Colourful Labels

One of the biggest points of appeal with sheet labels is their extensive compatibility with most types of laser and inkjet printers. Consequently, they can also be used to produce colourful and eye-catching labels, incorporating things like brand logos, images and other attractive visuals. Standard black and white printing is also an option if preferred.

If Printing Exclusively In Black And White

With label rolls, thermal transfer and direct thermal transfer printers can be used to print text and create attractive visuals in a monochrome format. As an added bonus, any text/image printed using thermal printing technology will be highly resistant to smearing and smudging, as there is no wet ink involved.

Where Time Is Of The Essence

Roll labels are the preferred choice in all scenarios where time is a factor; precisely why they have been used for decades when printing receipts at store checkouts. In fact, some of the more capable thermal printers on the market can churn out more than 70 high-definition labels per minute. Inkjet, laser, and 3D business printers are also faster than they used to be, but offer nowhere near the same kind of speed as a thermal printer.

If You Are Concerned About Ink Costs

Something else that has not changed over the years is the expense associated with printer ink, toner cartridges and business printing costs. Even today, printer cartridge ink remains one of the world’s most expensive liquids by a considerable margin. Laser printers can be cheaper than inkjet printers, but remain far more expensive.

When You Need To Create A High-Impact Result

Technically speaking, both options can open the door to highly attractive printed labels. The only difference is the colour reproduction that is possible with a standard sheet labels. With no constraints regarding the colour or complexity of the design you choose, sheet labels are great for making a lasting impact.

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