Thermal printing can take the form of either Thermal Transfer (TT) or Direct Thermal (DT). Both Thermal Transfer and Direct Thermal can come either pre printed (with company logo or other imagery) or as die cut blanks.
Thermal transfer printing utilizes a ribbon, along with heat, to transfer a digitally generated image onto a wide variety of materials. Both paper and film materials can be thermal transfer printed provided they are paired with the correct ribbon.
Thermal transfer labels have a broad application including industrial / manufacturing labels, product labels, and shipping labels.
For most applications a standard thermal transfer paper is sufficient but at times a more durable film material may be necessary. Depending on the harshness of the environment, the appropriate indoor or outdoor film can be used.
Direct thermal uses a heat reactive paper material and does not require the use of a thermal ribbon. The application of direct thermal labels are in shipping labels, scale labels, or other internal use labels.