How to Choose the Right Color Label Printer for Your Business

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By John Wick

Most businesses, large or small, face the problem of whether or not to outsource their label printing. Color Label Printers are indeed a considerable investment, and choosing the right printer that will best serve your company’s needs is a crucial choice that will have a lasting impact for years to come.

To help, we’ve compiled this guide to help you find the perfect printer for all of your company’s label printing needs. And what are some of the essential benefits of having your own in-house color label printer, you ask?

  • Flexibility - Having a color label printer in-house lets your business print labels when you need them, eliminating the need to wait for online orders and ultimately giving you greater flexibility. 
  • Control  - Bringing your label production in-house puts you in control over your label inventory, reducing waste and saving space.
  • Money-Savings - By not outsourcing your label printing, you save both time and money in the short and long term.

Let’s run through a list of factors you should consider when buying a label printer for your business. You’ll also get some valuable tips and links to products you can order right now.

#1 — Ink and Label Types

Depending on the specific application, consider the type of label you need for your particular application. Paper is ideal for most applications that do not require water resistance, and synthetic materials such as polyester and polypropylene are best suited for applications like bath and beauty products and wine and beverages that require some level of water resistance.  There are also various finishes across paper and synthetic material, including matte, satin, and glossy. Different printers also handle different ink types, including dye, pigment, and even edible inks.  When paired with synthetic materials, pigment inks offer the most water resistance. Dye inks also tend to yield the brightest colors. It’s essential to pinpoint what types of labels you will use and the level of water resistance you require before choosing your label printer. 

The LX600 Color Label Printer is a versatile and value-priced professional printer that offers both dye or pigment ink in a single tri-color cartridge. You can also print up to 3000 labels/day with fast print times and the opportunity to print on a wide variety of material types. An excellent choice for any company that needs to produce high-quality labels with the flexibility to switch between pigment or dye inks. LX600 Color Label Printer

Have a catering business, food service company, bakery, or planning an event with cookies or macarons for dessert? Try Primera’s newest technology, Eddie®, the Edible Ink Printer. Print your edible graphics, images, logos, and messages directly onto various food items, including cookies, macarons, marshmallows, fondant, and more. You can innovatively elevate your products while providing a delicious and lasting memory for your customers. 

Eddie is also the first and only edible ink printer approved and certified by the NSF® (National Sanitation Foundation), a USA-based company that certifies hundreds of thousands of items used in food preparation. 

#2 — Speed & Volume

If you plan to print a large volume of labels, you’ll need a high-speed color label printer. Before investing in a highly durable, high-volume printer, you should map out how many labels you plan to print over the next couple of years to determine which printer will be the most cost-effective choice.

For those in definite need of high-volume printing, though, look no further than the LX3000.

Offering the highest quality printing in its class, the LX3000 prints up to 7,500 labels per day, is also highly durable, and with its large ink tanks, has one of the lowest per label printing costs. LX3000 is also easy to set up and use. A worthwhile investment for any business looking for a label printer with many years of longevity and plans for frequent usage.

#3 — Label Size

Different printers also have different label size limitations, so it’s essential to choose the color label printer that can accommodate all of the various label sizes you require. For instance, Primera’s LX500 Color Label Printer has a maximum print width of 4.25”, and their LX3000 Color Label Printer has a maximum print width of 8.25”.  If you need labels in various shapes and sizes, check out LX610 Color Label Printer with a built-in plotter/cutter that can cut your labels in basically any size or shape. By incorporating precision die-cutting into the printing process, the LX610 will save you a vast amount of time and allow you all the customization your creativity desires.

#4 — Inkjet vs. Laser vs. Thermal

The type of printer you buy depends on how big your business is and how many labels you plan to print consistently. For example, a smaller business would probably be better suited for an inkjet printer, as they‘d get high-quality, high-resolution printing but with a lesser printing volume. On the other hand, a laser or thermal printer would be more suitable for a bigger business with a larger volume of printing. And because there’s a more considerable upfront cost that comes with buying laser or thermal printers, a startup or new business might not have that amount of capital just yet to spare. Some pros and cons of each printer type can be found below.

Inkjet Printers

  • Pros — high-resolution; high-quality prints; vibrant colors
  • Cons — dye-ink is less water-resistant; however, pigment inks are more durable.

Laser Printers

  • Pros — faster printing; low cost per label; high volume
  • Cons — costly; lower resolution image quality, higher equipment cost, maintenance for fusers, etc. 

Thermal Printers

  • Pros — great for shipping labels and receipts; the fastest printing option
  • Cons — fewer colors to choose from; can melt or fade dependent upon the weather; uses only thermal paper

Label Laser Marking Systems

  • Check out the Catalyst Laser Marking Systems (using fiber-optic laser diodes) for the fastest printing of the most durable and long-lasting barcode labels. Typical applications include industrial, automotive, and instrumentation labels that withstand rough environmental conditions for years or even decades. 

#5 — Continued Maintenance

Maintenance of your new printer will also be an essential factor in the long-time value of the device. If you’re planning to print large volumes of labels regularly, you will want to purchase a printer that will be low maintenance and has parts that don’t require frequent replacement. Some printers need the replacement of the print head; however, Primera printers have the print head built into the ink cartridge, so there is no added cost. Also, consider a printer with an extended warranty and positive reviews through third party reviews platforms

#6 — Operating Systems and Software

It’s important to think about which device (Mac or PC) and operating systems you will be printing from, and whether your current computer meets the minimum system requirements of the printer you’re considering. Also, be sure to review the features of the software included with the printer. For instance, Primera’s label printer software includes a job costing tool.

  The LX610 PTCreate Pro Software Bundle includes advanced software for printing and digitally die-cutting unique shapes, features, and functionality for macOS and Windows users.

#7 — Ease of use

An often-overlooked factor in purchasing a printer is the device’s ease of use. It is important to have a printer that is easy to set up, troubleshoot, update, and operate. Look for your printer’s brand to provide extensive customer support and a knowledge base like the Primera Knowledge Base to allow you to gain immediate access to all help you might need while using your new printer.

By carefully considering the seven essential factors when buying your next color printer, you can ensure that your business continues to create products that will delight and entice your customers for many years to come!