To print your own self adhesive labels, your labels must be compatible with your printer - here's why.
All of our label products are listed along with their printer compatibility; laser, inkjet, or both. While some of our label products can be used with laser AND inkjet printers, there are a number that can only be used with ONE type of printer.
Why is it important to only use laser labels with a laser printer and inkjet labels with an inkjet printer?
Laser printing and inkjet printing are two VERY DIFFERENT methods of printing; products that are intended to be printed using laser or inkjet printers only will be manufactured using materials that work specifically with that particular printing method, in order to get the best possible print.
What are the differences between laser and inkjet printing?
Without getting buried in detail, these printing processes work like this:
- LASER: static electricity is used to attract (or repel) toner so that it forms the image to be printed on an image drum, before the toner is transferred to the medium being printed and bonded into place using heat and pressure.
- INKJET: droplets of ink are deposited from a printhead onto the medium being printed, where they dry in place to form the final printed image.
So how do the materials differ?
Materials designed for use with laser printers will have good heat resistance and will allow the toner to be bonded in place on the surface of the material being printed, while materials designed for use with inkjet printers will have a slightly absorbent surface, which will absorb some of the ink droplets and so allow the ink to dry in place more efficiently and accurately, which helps to create a higher quality, higher resolution print.
Alright, but what would happen if I used the wrong material in the wrong printer?
At best, you would end up with extremely low quality print results. If you use laser materials in an inkjet printer, the materials won’t absorb the ink and the ink will fail to dry properly, which could result in smearing and smudging. If you use inkjet materials in a laser printer, the toner won’t bond with the material properly, which will likely result in the print cracking or flaking away entirely.
While you may simply find that your print results aren’t very good, you could also end up with bigger problems as using the wrong materials with the wrong printing method can cause damage to the materials you are printing (such as shrinking or curling) and may even result in damage to your printer.
Therefore, you should ALWAYS check that the labels you are printing are compatible with your printer; our List Of All Material Types page lists the printer compatibility for each of our materials – this information is also available on our product Range Pages and our individual Product Pages.