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  1. RFID Labels

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    As businesses continue to look for ways to enhance operational efficiency and precision, radio-frequency identification (RFID) labels have emerged as a game-changing technology. These labels are equipped with electronic chips and antennas, enabling wireless communication with RFID readers. It has transformed how businesses in various sectors operate and how consumers experience products and services.

    This article discusses the basics of RFID labels and their impact on operational management in the modern business environment.

    Barcodes vs. RFID: Whats the Difference?

    Barcodes and RFID labels are technologies used for tracking and managing inventory, but they operate in distinct ways. A barcode consists of a series of lines and spaces of varying widths that represent data. It is inexpensive and widely used but requires a line-of-sight between the scanner and the barcode to read items.

    On the other hand, RFID tags use radio waves to transmit data between a tag and a reader. This allows for non-line-of-sight scanning, enabling quick and efficient tracking of multiple items in a single pass. It is also capable of storing more data and offers a higher level of automation compared to barcodes.

    Components of RFID Labels

    RFID labels consist of several essential components that work together to facilitate the communication between the RFID system’s readers and tags. Here’s an overview of the key components:

    1. Chip

    At the core of the RFID label lies the microchip, forming an inlay alongside the antenna. They have memory storage that holds different types of information, including data about the tracked asset and the tag itself, such as the manufacturer’s details. Additionally, the chip may store essential data required for the tag’s operation, such as access and kill passwords.

    2. Antenna

    The antenna enables communication between the RFID label and the reader. It comes in diverse shapes and sizes, tailored for specific applications. Factors such as the microchip type, the material on which the inlay is applied, and the operational environment influence the optimal antenna design. These impact how data is transmitted and read.

    3. Inlay

    The inlay combines the microchip and antenna, mounted on a flexible substrate. It forms the core functional unit of the RFID label, enabling wireless communication and data transfer between the tag and the reader.

    4. Carrier

    The carrier encapsulates the inlay in a suitable format for the intended application and item being tagged. It can range from adhesive labels to non-adhesive tags, varying in size and rigidity. Choosing the right type is essential to ensure that the RFID label can be effectively affixed to the target object or surface.

    Benefits of RFID Labels

    RFID labels offer various benefits across industries:

    • Provides efficient data collection: RFID tags enable automated data collection without direct line-of-sight scanning, resulting in faster and more accurate data capture.
    • Allows real-time tracking and monitoring: These labels offer real-time visibility into the movement and location of items in a supply chain or within a facility. It enhances the decision-making processes and enables proactive responses to issues such as stockouts or delays.
    • Reduces labor costs: Automation provided by RFID labels minimizes the need for manual labor in tasks such as inventory counts and asset tracking. This helps save money while allowing employees to focus on more strategic and value-added organizational activities.
    • Enhances security: RFID tags can be used to implement anti-counterfeiting measures and to improve product security.
    • Boosts customer experience: In retail environments, RFID labels enable quick and accurate inventory checks, reducing customers’ time waiting in queues. It also supports features like self-checkout, enhancing the overall shopping experience.
    • Integrates with IoT and AI: RFID tags can seamlessly integrate with other emerging technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI). This ensures more intelligent decision-making processes, predictive maintenance, and dynamic routing, leading to further efficiency gains.
    • Promotes environmental sustainability: By optimizing inventory management, RFID technology helps reduce unnecessary production, transportation, and waste, leading to a more eco-friendly operation.
    • Ensures compliance and regulation: In industries like healthcare, pharmaceuticals and retail, RFID labels improve shipping accuracy, enable accurate tracking of products through the supply chain and improve inventory management processes all while ensuring adherence to safety standards and regulations.

    Simplify Data Collection with FOCUSales

    RFID labels are a great way for companies to speed up and make data collection more accurate. At FOCUSales, we are experts in RFID technology. We have various materials and components to make custom RFID labels, including those that work well with heat and pressure. We collaborate closely with companies who are experts in RFID label tag printers and encoding equipment.. This teamwork allows us to provide our clients with numerous ready-made or customized labels.

    Contact us today for your specific RFID label or request a quote tag requirements! Were also happy to discuss how to incorporate our solutions into your existing systems and help you find the best option for your needs.

  2. How To Buy Shrink Sleeve Labels

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    Shrink sleeve labels are a popular product labeling solution because they provide full-color, 360-degree coverage. They make the products stand out from the rest on the shelves, especially simple items requiring visual appeal to attract customers. These versatile labels also offer eye-catching designs, increasing business sales and brand recognition.

    This article dives into shrink sleeve labels — from how they work to a guide on the standard steps in purchasing shrink sleeves.

    How Does Shrink Sleeve Labeling Work?

    In shrink sleeve labeling, a pre-printed film sleeve is placed on a container and shrunk to fit the shape using heat. It starts with generating a digital design, subsequently printed onto a flat film. Next, the printed film is cut and joined to form a tube, which is then wrapped around the container and heated. The type of film used determines the heat source utilized, which may be a heat tunnel or a steam tunnel.

    This labeling technique offers numerous advantages over other methods. For one, it enables complete coverage of the lid and bottom of the container. Shrink sleeves can also be printed with high-quality graphics and text, making them ideal for branding and promotional purposes.

    Step-by-Step Guide to Purchasing Shrink Sleeves

    It is important to understand the process involved in shrink sleeve labeling to ensure the procurement of high-quality labels that meet specific needs and budgets. Here is a walkthrough of the process:

    Step 1: Determining the Label Needs

    Determining the label requirements involves identifying the type of product being labeled, the material of the container, the label size, and the desired visual design. The product type will specify the label materials and durability requirements, such as moisture or abrasion resistance. On the other hand, the label size is determined by the container and any legal requirements for labeling.

    Step 2: Finding a Shrink Sleeve Label Manufacturer

    Working with a reliable and experienced manufacturer can ensure that businesses receive high-quality shrink sleeves. This can be done through online research, recommendations from colleagues or industry associations, or attending trade shows and events. When selecting a manufacturer, it is crucial to consider their experience and expertise in producing labels for the specific product type.

    Businesses should also review the manufacturer’s quality control processes and certification. Other key considerations are the production capacity and lead times to meet the required production volume and delivery timelines.

    Step 3: Requesting a Quote

    Obtaining an accurate and detailed quote involves providing the manufacturer with specifications like label size, material, finishing requirements, and the quantity needed. This information enables them to give an estimate that covers all the necessary expenses. If assistance is needed to determine the shrink sleeve label size that best fits the container, there are several options.

    One option is to send containers to the manufacturer that can be properly measured for the best fitting sleeve. Another option is for the manufacturer to provide film, called grid film, that can be applied to the product then it can be easily measured for the lay flat and cut length requirements.  A quote usually includes material costs, printing, and additional services such as pre-press work or design.

    Step 4: Placing the Order

    Once a suitable manufacturer has been selected based on the quotes received, the next step is to place the order. The manufacturer usually requires a deposit to initiate printing, typically a percentage of the total order cost. The deposit amount often varies depending on the order size and the manufacturer’s policies.

    Step 5: Providing Artwork and Approving Proofs

    After placing the order and paying the deposit, the manufacturer will require the artwork for the shrink sleeves. The manufacturer can provide a design template that allows artwork to be properly placed for printing and finishing the sleeves so that all the artwork aligns correctly on the container when it is applied. Providing them in the required format and dimensions ensures a smooth printing process. Some manufacturers also offer design services but may charge an additional fee.

    Once the artwork is ready, the manufacturer will present a digital proof for the client’s approval. The proof is a final product model, including the design, size, and finishing details. It is essential to thoroughly review the proof and confirm that it meets all requirements. Any design modifications or adjustments made at this stage may incur additional reprint charges.

    Step 6: Receiving the Labels and Applying Them to the Product

    The manufacturer will provide a delivery date when the labels will be ready for shipment. Upon delivery, the customer should inspect the labels to ensure they meet the agreed-upon specifications. After that, the application process starts, depending on the product and the available labeling equipment. Some businesses use manual application methods, while others use automated machinery.

    Trust FOCUSales for High-Quality Labeling Solutions!

    FOCUSales is your reliable go-to source for high-quality and customized shrink sleeve labels! We offer various printing options — including digital, gravure, and flexographic printing — catering to different shrink sleeves. Our commitment to excellence in quality and service has made us a trusted partner for businesses of all sizes!

    Contact us or request a quote to start your shrink sleeve labeling project.

  3. What To Look For When Purchasing Folding Cartons

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    Click to ExpandWhat-To-Look-For-When-Purchasing-Folding-Cartons

    Folding cartons have gained popularity as a packaging option across various industries, including food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and electronics. Besides being cost-effective, they are preferred for their versatility and convenience. However, it is important to note that the cartons are not a one-size-fits-all packaging solution.

    Knowing what factors to evaluate when selecting folding cartons is essential to ensure they align with your unique needs and expectations. Read on to learn the advantages of using this packaging option and the critical factors to consider when purchasing them.

    Benefits of Utilizing Folding Cartons for Your Business

    Folding cartons are a packaging option created from paperboard, which is printed, die cut, scored, folded and glued to form a box. These cartons are available in different dimensions and can be tailored to meet specific product requirements.

    Here are some benefits of utilizing folding cartons for product packaging:

    • Can be produced at a relatively low cost compared to other packaging materials
    • Applies to a wide range of products and goods
    • Offers excellent printability, allowing for customizable designs and branding information
    • Provides adequate protection for products during shipping and storage
    • Helps businesses save on shipping costs
    • Reduces carbon footprint and promotes eco-friendliness

    Essential Factors To Consider in Folding Carton Selection

    Choosing the proper type of packaging carton is important to ensure your products are packaged firmly and effectively. Before making a purchase, you should note the following considerations to make an informed decision:

    Product Size and Weight

    Create the right carton that fits your product perfectly and provides adequate protection without being too heavy or oversized. For example, creating a folding carton that is either too small or utilizes the wrong structure may not offer enough protection for your product during storage and transportation. Conversely, designing it too large, or using a light weight material, can lead to excessive bulkiness, possibly higher shipping costs and potentially damaged contents.

    Material and Design of the Carton

    The primary consideration when selecting cartons should be the protection level they can provide for the product. Purchasing cartons made from high-quality, durable materials is essential to ensure maximum security. Their design is equally crucial, as it should match the product’s size and shape to prevent any potential damage or movement during transit.

    Additionally, a well-designed folding carton can enhance the product’s overall appearance, making it more attractive and visible to potential customers on the shelf. It will also help establish brand recognition and customer loyalty by providing a consistent product packaging solution.

    Printing and Customization Options

    Incorporating a custom design with logos and product information, differentiates  your product from competitors and makes your brand stand out. Customization options can also draw customers’ attention, increasing sales and revenue.

    Aside from logos and product information, you can print other design elements, including graphics, illustrations, and promotional messages. This can enhance the product’s visual appeal and convey key messages to potential customers.


    You must strike a balance between the price of the carton and its features, ensuring that you are getting value for your money. Cost-effective options can be sought to minimize packaging expenses while assuring your product is well-packaged. This can involve considering different vendors and materials to identify the best alternatives for your budget.

    One option is to choose standardized carton sizes, which are produced in larger quantities and are usually more affordable than custom-made cartons. You can also choose a supplier who offers competitive pricing, and discounts for bulk purchases can help reduce overall packaging costs.

    Partner With FOCUSales for Premium Custom Packaging Solutions

    Let one of our structural design engineers and creative design team members assist you in designing your new folding carton!

    At FOCUSales, we provide unique packaging solutions that meet or exceed customer expectations! We also pride ourselves in our state-of-the-art equipment and high-quality materials, ensuring that we offer prompt, accurate, and durable packaging products. In addition, we cater to a diverse range of industries, from food and beverage to manufacturing.

    Contact us today for more information! You may also request a free quote, and we will get back to you soon.

  4. Finding Your Flexible Packaging Solution

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    Click to ExpandFinding-Your-Flexible-Packaging-Solution

    Over the years, good and economical packaging has become a leading indicator of product quality. It is one of the most important factors influencing consumer base expansion and widespread acceptance of a brand or product. However, one technique that stands out and has one of the highest growth rates across all sectors is flexible packaging.

    Whether running a small business or a large corporation, it is essential to explore various packaging options to present your products and merchandise more effectively. This article will walk you through flexible packaging and its applications.

    What Is Flexible Packaging?

    Flexible packaging is a method of packing products using non-rigid materials, enabling more cost-effective and customizable alternatives. It is a fairly new packaging technique that has gained popularity due to its low cost and high efficiency. In addition, it applies to any package or packing materials whose shape can be easily altered when stuffed or in use.

    The technique incorporates the most beneficial qualities of plastics and films. These durable and flexible components are functional with low production expenses. Examples of this packaging method include bags, shrink films, tubes, sleeves, and carded wrapping.

    Applications of Flexible Packaging

    Understanding this packaging technique’s various applications and purposes is essential to find the optimal solution for your product. Here are some of the most common applications of flexible packaging:

    Food and Beverage

    Shelf life is a main consideration for food and beverage establishments, especially in managing products and goods. These solutions usually include barrier materials that prevent UV rays from damaging the package and its contents.

    The most frequently used flexible materials for food and beverages are stand-up gusseted and pillow pouches because of their high barrier properties against oxygen and moisture. Other options include sachets, plastic wrappers, and foil wrappers.

    Healthcare and Cosmetics

    The healthcare and cosmetics industries benefit from this packaging solution because of its durable and lightweight material that can be produced in many shapes and sizes. Moreover, these markets provide the opportunity to expand into the manufacturing of high-quality packaging options for toiletries, shampoo, liquid soaps, creams, lotions, cosmetics products, and others.

    Common packaging options include flexible pouches and roll stocks filled with difficult-to-hold items and dense liquids. There are also airtight pouches that are ideal for packaging skincare products.

    Medical and Pharmaceutical

    Flexible packaging is utilized in the medical and pharmaceutical industries to protect and preserve products. It is also preferred because its production requires less energy and generates fewer landfill-bound byproducts.

    Medical device packaging ensures that the device remains sterile until it is used. Barrier pouches are used for stents, sutures, surgical tools, and other critical devices. They also utilize three-dimensional packages for surgical gloves and drapes.

    In the pharmaceutical industry, blister packs are intended for packaging tablets and capsules, whereas IV bags are for fluids and medications.

    Animal Care

    Flexible packaging offers puncture-resistant protection for pet food products. Its durable construction and proper seals also aid during distribution.

    The pouch is the most prevalent option, which can bend and move during shipment. This reduces the risk of product damage and waste associated with wooden tubs and cardboard boxes.


    Various packaging solutions protect automotive fluids from leaking while allowing easy dispensing. It typically consists of different film, fittings, and filling equipment to provide a sustainable solution designed to protect products from filling to final dispensing. Automotive fluids are usually packaged in bag-in-boxes and pouches.

    Choose FOCUSales for Your Labeling and Packaging Needs

    FOCUSales is your one-stop shop for label printing and packaging requirements! We use cutting-edge equipment and materials for packaging to serve clients from multiple industries, and our highly skilled team offers quick and precise service for custom solutions.

    Contact us today for inquiries! You can also request a free quote, and we will gladly get back to you as soon as possible.

  5. How To Get Your Custom Label Printing Project Done Right

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    Your brand’s logo, colors, and design create an identity that helps customers and potential buyers recognize your business from other products or services. Custom labels add to this branding. They provide descriptive information about your brand’s size, content, and how to use it. Essentially, they are a printed communication between you and your target market.

    Knowing how indispensable custom label printing is for your business, it is important to do it right the first time. This article will dive into the benefits of having a quality product label and the steps to produce or acquire one.

    Importance of Custom Packaging in Marketing Products

    First impressions last; the same is true when marketing a product. Memorable custom packaging labels help create an engaging and consistent brand experience for your target market.

    Here are more reasons why investing in good custom labels for your brand is critical.

    Improves Brand Awareness and Recognition

    As a business, you want your product to stand out from the competition. Custom labels and packaging, when done right, is a game-changer that can transform your product, making it unique and noticeable over similar products and direct competitors.

    Amplifies Customer Experience

    Your product labels and packaging are a medium capable of speaking directly to your audiences. Looking at the content, images, and information that your label and packaging features offer customers a first-hand glimpse into what they can expect from your product.

    Increases Brand Value

    Custom labels shape the audience’s expectations of a product. Thus, offering a comprehensive and aesthetic label does not only inform your target market of who your brand is. It also builds your audiences’ familiarity and trust in your brand.

    Steps for Custom Label Printing Success

    A systematic process is necessary to manufacture quality product labels. This section will guide you seamlessly through the process.

    1. Choosing the Right Material

    Product labels are printed on various materials: white papers (gloss, matte, thermal), specialty papers (wine, laid, wove, recycled, compostable) or films (BoPP, vinyl, polyester, clear, metallic). Choosing the right type of material affects your custom label’s overall aesthetic and functionality.

    The material you choose depends on the message you want to convey. For instance, recycled content materials or compostable materials are for a more environmentally-conscious marketing approach. Luxury items can be best presented using high quality wine label materials, foils, embossing and custom varnishes. The more concrete you are with how you want your audiences to perceive who your brand is, the easier it will be to come up with a custom label material that is visually appealing and well-performing

    2. Developing an Ideal Graphic Design

    Consistency is one of the challenges when designing labels and packaging for products. Thus, work with a professional graphic designer to create a cohesive design for your brand for all marketing aspects — packaging, website design, social media, and other campaigns. Your brand colors, font, logos, and other design elements should represent your brand and appeal to your target market.

    3. Choosing an Economic and Efficient Printing Process

    Custom label printing and marketing materials are costs included in products. You need an efficient printing process to increase ROI without sacrificing the quality of your labels and packaging. You can choose from a wide array of printing processes, depending on the material of your labels and packaging. The size and shape of your tags and packaging also affect your printing options.

    4. Working With a Reliable Custom Label Printing Provider

    Working with an experienced and reliable printing company helps you find a custom label that meets your requirements and needs. Hence, partnering with a manufacturer capable of delivering quick turnaround times for high-quality prints is crucial. In addition, a reliable printing company can support you long-term for scheduled orders and last-minute needs.

    FOCUSales for Reliable Custom Label Printing Solutions

    Stand out from your competition with FOCUSales’s wide array of digital and traditional printing technologies for all your product packaging challenges! We are your one-stop printing solution for custom label printing needs. Our team provides quick and accurate labels for all your packaging and branding needs, from simple to complex custom labels and packaging solutions.

    Contact us to solve all your custom labeling printing needs! Free estimates are available when you call (919) 614-3076.

  6. Step-by-Step Label Printing Process

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    Click to ExpandStep-by-Step-Label-Printing-Process

    Businesses need more than quality products to generate the desired sales. In most cases, compelling labels play a vital role in raising brand awareness and forming a loyal customer base. These pieces of paper — no matter how simple they appear — significantly influence the overall image of your product and brand.

    Labeling is critical to increasing your product’s visibility, dependability, and market potential. It also aids in ensuring that you meet your sales expectations while adhering to multiple labeling requirements. This article will go through the label printing process, its definition, various methods, and step-by-step instructions.

    What Is Label Printing?

    Label printing is the technique of creating customized labels using different methods, including digital, flexographic, and wide-format printing. These methods produce varying results regarding the label’s look, feel, and purpose.

    When designing high-quality product labels, you must first consider the consumers’ tastes. Take into account the demographics you want to target with your product labels: What are their preferences, dislikes, and product considerations? Then, create something that reflects the message you want to send to the customers. You can also hire a graphic artist and request mockups to ensure everything is consistent with your brand.

    What Are the Different Label Printing Methods?

    There are several methods to choose from, each with its applications. Here are some examples to help you decide which one is appropriate for your product and brand:

    Digital Printing

    Digital label printing, also known as “direct from file to print” or “direct from art to print,” involves sending images made with graphics software applications — such as Adobe Illustrator or InDesign — directly to a print machine. Then, the images are transferred or printed on a substrate without using plates or screens.

    This method performs best in the following configurations:

    • Unique and complex designs
    • Process color, pictures, and vignettes
    • Small runs with intricate designs or ordinary spot color overlays
    • Small runs with different copy changes
    • Any size runs with many colors
    • Any design where variable serialization, barcodes, or personalization is required

    Flexographic Printing

    Flexographic printing, sometimes referred to as “flexo label printing” or “rotary relief printing,” transfers ink onto a substrate using soft, flexible plates. Then, the raised, inked image on the plates is printed onto the material with the printing press’ stations, each producing a single color. After adding the colors, you can further personalize your label with die cutting, sheeting, embossing, or perforating.

    This printing type is a versatile technique that can be utilized in various labeling applications, including the following:

    • Prime product
    • Industrial
    • Tamper evident
    • Danger and caution
    • Barcode and serialized
    • Medical
    • Large Volumes

    Wide-Format Printing

    Wide-format printing, also known as “large-format” and “grand-format printing,” is used for printing images larger than the standard 8.5 in. by 11 in., with some accommodating up to 18 in. by 100 in. called plotters. This method initially used pens inside the printer to create the design on paper or vinyl, but it soon evolved into inkjet and lasers for faster and more efficient printing.

    Here are a few examples of wide-format printing applications:

    • Large-scale labels
    • Blueprints
    • Car labels or Vehicle Wraps
    • Floor and window graphic
    • Banners, signs, and posters

    How Are Labels Created?

    Each label, whether simple or decorative, undergoes a process that results in a specific finished product. Here’s how to transform your design into a product label:

    1. Getting the Material Ready

    The first step in creating a label is obtaining the necessary material to print on, known as “facestock.” It acts as the primary substrate, with a liner beneath it from which the label is peeled. An adhesive layer is also underneath, attaching the label to the surface. Next, a coating is applied if extra protection or finish is required.

    2. Printing the Label

    The labels are printed with the design and other pertinent information. The process is primarily done on massive industrial printers that produce thousands or millions of labels per day. They are frequently printed directly onto the primary substrate. But, in some cases, other materials are used for printing and added to the facestock. You can use different methods — such as digital, flexographic, wide-format, thermal, or inkjet printing.

    3. Cutting and Finishing

    After printing, the labels are thoroughly inspected for quality before being cut or laminated. Finishing refers to all processes after printing, such as die-cutting, perforation, waste stripping, quality inspection, packaging, and delivery. Some manufacturers also use lamination, which adds a protective coating against shipping damage, moisture, UV radiation, or chemicals. Furthermore, labels are subjected to stringent quality regular checking to ensure that they adhere to the required standards and print quality in terms of dimensions, colors, and adhesive capacity.

    4. Applying the Label to the Product

    This procedure is frequently automated and carried out by label applicators, which can accurately cater to hundreds of items in minutes. Manual label application is feasible but not advisable due to time constraints and unreliable consistency.

    Choose FOCUSales for Custom Printing Solutions

    Since 2004, FOCUSales has been providing various products and print technologies to fulfill the increasing demands for custom applications. We can print labels for almost anything, from cosmetic products and food to consumer goods and automotive undercarriage.

    FOCUSales is your one-stop shop for custom labels, folding cartons, shrink-sleeve labels, commercial printing, packaging solutions, and more! Contact us today for more information, and we will be delighted to assist you with your next project.

  7. Direct Thermal Labels vs. Thermal Transfer Labels

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    Thermal labels on rolls

    There are multiple types of thermal labels, each relying on heat from a printhead to create images. However, slightly different processes are used to create each type. Direct thermal labels and thermal transfer labels and ribbons each feature unique characteristics and are used in different types of applications. When selecting a label for your application, it is important to know the strengths and limitations of each type to ensure your label effectively fulfills its purpose.

    What Are Direct Thermal Labels?

    Text and images on direct thermal labels are created by applying heat to the label’s surface which features a special surface coating that reacts to heat from a printhead. Images can be printed on direct thermal labels using heat alone.

    Each type of thermal label features differing print quality, longevity, and durability. Both paper and synthetic materials are used as thermal facestocks to create labels. Paper labels can be coated or uncoated are best suited for indoor, short-term use. Synthetic materials, such as polyolefin, polyester, or polypropylene, do well in extreme temperature environments and can last up to several years, depending on the material.

    Thermal labels have a wide variety of uses, from printing barcodes, receipts, shipping labels, and food packaging.

    What Are Thermal Transfer Labels and Ribbons?

    Thermal transfer labels are a widely used type of thermal label that features many benefits. In thermal transfer printing, a special ribbon is passed between the printhead and label to create the printed images. Thermal transfer ribbons are made from a thin film featuring a black coating on one side. The coating, typically made from a resin or wax, is heated by the printhead and transfers onto the label. Thermal labels and ribbons are available in many sizes and diameters. The ribbons are sold in wound rolls that come in many color options.

    Key Features: Direct Thermal vs. Thermal Transfer Labels

    Direct thermal labels and thermal transfer labels and ribbons are created differently, feature different characteristics, and are better suited to different uses and environments. Let’s take a closer look at the characteristics of each type.

    Thermal Labels:

    Thermal labels are useful for printing information on demand. Ingredients, dates, and barcodes are just some of the many uses for these labels. Direct thermal labels are typically used in short to medium-life applications, where they will not be exposed to moisture or heat after application. Direct thermal labels are highly cost-effective and create clear, consistent images that can be easily read and scanned.

    In comparison to the longer-lasting thermal transfer labels, direct thermal labels can fade in as little as 6 to 12 months. They also do not stand up well to high levels of abrasion. However, they are well suited to applications such as shipping and logistics, price tags, meat labeling, and more.

    Thermal Transfer Labels and Ribbons:

    Thermal transfer labels and ribbons are useful for creating barcodes, QR codes, and sequential numbering applications. In comparison to direct thermal labels, they have the unique benefit of being chemically resistant. These labels can be exposed to substances ranging from water, oil, bleach, and even acetone due to the highly durable resin ribbon with which they are made. They are also resistant to UV light.

    Thermal transfer labels and ribbons are well suited to long-life applications and are available in a large selection of materials to meet the demands of many environmental challenges. They can also be backed with an adhesive if required by the application.


    Due to their inherent differences, direct thermal and thermal transfer labels are better suited for different applications.

    Thermal Labels:

    Direct thermal labels are best suited to industries that don’t involve exposure to high heat or moisture levels. They do well in chilled environments, such as labeling frozen foods, and are used throughout applications spanning many industries including:

    • Event ticketing
    • Coupons
    • Healthcare industry applications, including visitor passes
    • Name tags
    • Barcodes for retail products and shipping labels
    • Receipts
    • GHS-compliant labels

    Thermal Transfer Labels and Ribbons:

    Thermal transfer synthetic labels perform well in outdoor applications as well as those featuring high moisture and abrasion exposure. They are an excellent choice when direct thermal labels are unsuitable or when high print quality is desired. They are used in applications such as:

    • Creating high quality, long-lasting images
    • Medical applications involving chemical exposure
    • Warehouse shelf labels
    • Chemical and industrial labels
    • Laboratory labels
    • Applications requiring color, such as for branding or promotional uses

    FOCUSales: Your Source for All Label Solutions

    FOCUSales stocks an extensive selection of direct thermal and thermal transfer labels and ribbons. We carry thermal transfer ribbons for all the leading thermal printer manufacturers, as well as hundreds of ribbon varieties. To learn more about our products or talk to an expert about finding the best solution for your application, contact us or request a quote today.

  8. What are Pressure-Sensitive Labels?

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    Dickey's brisket rub with label on display

    There is a good chance that most of the products you purchase and the packages you receive have pressure-sensitive labels (PSLs). PSLs are incredibly versatile and make up over 80% of the labels on the market. PSLs can be found on almost every type of product, from medicine to toys to shipping boxes. They identify products, decorate bottles, and display branding.

    PSLs are constructed from paper, film, or foil and are compatible with various inks. One of the advantages of PSLs is they don’t require water, glue, or heat to activate. Light and pressure are the only elements needed to adhere them to a product or surface. They come in large rolls or sheets and can be applied by hand or machine. Pressure-sensitive labels offer a range of benefits from saving time and labor to creating visually appealing packaging.

    Components of a Pressure-Sensitive Label

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    Components of a Pressure-Sensitive Label infographic

    Pressure-sensitive labels are fairly simple in construction with only five basic components:

    • Liner: The liner is a sheet of paper or plastic film that covers the adhesive backs of the labels, allowing them to be stored without sticking to each other. It is essential in the machine application process as it carries the label to the applicator and releases the label, placing it on the product. The liner protects the label until it’s to be applied. Once a label has been removed, it can be discarded or recycled.
    • Release Coat: The release coat is applied to the top of the liner and is designed to resist the adhesive to allow the liner to easily slip away from the PSL during the application process.
    • Adhesive: The main benefit of pressure-sensitive labels is that you only need to apply pressure to adhere them to surfaces. The type of adhesive used is determined by several factors, including desired label texture, the storage temperature of the product, the material to which the label will adhere, the environmental conditions the label will need to withstand, the amount of residue left after removal, the amount of pressure needed to apply the label, and if the label is intended to be permanent or removable.
    • Face Stock: The face stock is where the ink is applied and what people will see when the label is applied. It can be made of paper, foils, laminates, plastic films, or fabrics. Brands work with PSL manufacturers to find suitable materials and textures that will enhance the artwork on the face stock.
    • Topcoat: The topcoat is added to the face stock to protect it and improve clarity and legibility. Top coats help the printing on the PSL stand out and can have a UV coating to ensure the label doesn’t fade.

    How do Pressure-Sensitive Labels Work?

    Earlier forms of label required solvents, heat, or extreme pressure to make it stick to the product. The reason PSLs are the preferred label is because they only require a light or moderate amount of pressure to apply, and they come in rolls, so they are easy to store.

    Since pressure-sensitive labels have the advantage of pre-applied adhesive, they can be simply peeled away from the liner, either by hand or machine, and applied directly to the product or package.

    Pressure-Sensitive Label Applications

    PSLs are versatile and can be applied to almost any product you can imagine, from wine bottles to toys to shipping boxes. They can also be applied to virtually any surface, including glass, plastic, and cardboard. Some of the most common applications include:

    • Automotive Labels: Automotive labels need to withstand extreme environments and tough surfaces. Selecting adhesives and materials that are corrosion resistant and durable is key.
    • Chemical Labels: For products containing harsh chemicals, it is important to clearly list product information to meet industry regulations and standards.
    • Household Product Labels: Labels on household products need to withstand frequent handling and provide clear information about their intended use.
    • Food & Beverage Labels: Food and beverage labels need to be eye-catching to stand out on the shelf. Die-cutting and specialty prints can help these products engage consumers. They also need to be temperature and moisture resistant.
    • Wine & Spirits Labels: Like food and beverage labels, wine and spirits labels need to stand out and convey important brand information.

    Contact FOCUSales for a Quote on Pressure-Sensitive Labels

    FOCUSales specializes in pressure-sensitive labels and can create one to perfectly suit your product. From prime labels to extended content labels to domed labels, FOCUSales can customize a label solution to your specifications. To learn more about our pressure-sensitive label offerings, request a quote from us or contact us for today.

  9. Custom Label Options for Breweries

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    Custom Label Options for Breweries

    Custom label solutions for breweries

    With breweries selling numerous brands at retailers, consumers have a seemingly endless choice of beer to choose. The increasing competition has made it hard for products to sell without proper branding and packaging. The shelf space is at an ever-increasing premium and package differentiation is the key to retain consumer attention. A custom brand label that tells the story of your personalized brand is vital to the success of your brewery. Here are some of the options you have while selecting the right material and finish for your label.

    Choosing the custom label base material


    The white semigloss paper material is great for cold beverage labeling. It acts as a perfect canvas for the label design as it has ideal opacity and brightness. The drawback of the white paper base is that it does not hold on well in ice buckets or damp conditions. Because it’s economical, you can opt for this if your brewery is just starting out.

    White film

    The white flexlyte film is a great choice because of its durability. Apart from being a great base for the label design, it offers better abrasion resistance and improved moisture resistance. No matter it’s a bottle or can, this material works well on both.

    Metalized silver paper

    The metalized silver paper is one of the premium base label material option that you have. Specific areas in the label can be provided more shine while offering matted effect on others. If you want to make an impact on the shelf, this is the perfect choice for you.

    Choosing a custom label finish – Either varnish or overlaminate

    Gloss clear UV varnish

    This is a protective coating with additional shiny effect. On top of the primary coating, it offers durability and protection from moisture. No need to worry about your brewed products that are placed in damp conditions.

    Matte UV varnish

    This is also a protective coating with a matte and dull effect. This is a great base for the printing and also offers durability to moisture.

  10. What to Look For in a Label Printer

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    What to Look For in a Label Printer

    Thermal Transfer Label PrinterIn case you are considering buying a label printer for your business, you are certainly on a right track to gain more independence and control over your business. There are many issues that arise while using an outside printing source. Delayed shipments and the costs could really go out of control. Now the real question is what you really have to look for in a printer.

    Every business has its unique labeling needs, which means that the perfect printer for every business will vary. However, there are certain requirements and specifications that your printer must meet if you want your products to be competitively placed among others.

    Size of the labels

    Printers come in all shapes and sizes, therefore, it is important to identify the right size before making the buying decision. The width and length of the labels depend on the type of products they need to be used for. A label for an e-liquid bottle of e-cigarettes will require a printer that can print a smaller label of up to 2.48 inches in width. Similarly, a label for a beer bottle would be considerably larger in size.

    Meeting Regulations

    There are certain requirements by FDA that your labels must comply with. Depending on the type of your business, the requirements may change and you must check with the associated government regulatory authority to see the regulations. Nutrition facts, warnings, expiry dates and other alerts are an integral part of labels, which must be complied with. Your label printer must be able to clearly print this information over designated space without interfering with the creative element of your design.

    Do you have to print barcodes? 200dpi or 600dpi

    Retail products mostly come with a bar code as it is prerequisite to have one printed. A 600dpi barcode label printer is for sure better than a 200dpi as it has a higher quality print and consumes less space on a label because of a smaller print. However, these can be expensive, which makes the 200dpi printer to come into play. You can improve its quality by printing a larger label but of course, this will result in overutilization of space. You can do your own cost-benefit analysis and choose the right option for yourself.