Custom label printing can be done a number of different ways. Each way has its own unique set of pros and cons. It's important to know as much as possible about the various printing techniques that are available so that you can make an informed decision when purchasing custom labels.

I've compiled this easy-to-use guide to help you understand the many printing methods available to you in today's competitive custom labeling market.

Ink Jet:
Ink jet printing is a system that transfers images directly onto paper from digital information using finely controlled drops of ink. The drawback to this printing method is that it is generally not waterproof, has a tendency to smear, and does not produce clear images.

Thermal Printing:
This method utilizes a wax-based ribbon to apply images to the label surface using heat and pressure. This printing method yields labels that are waterproof and will not smear, but the images tend to be fuzzy or pixelated.

Flexible printing plates made of rubber or plastic are used with this printing method. A plate is made for each CMYK color and the plates are combined to produce the desired image. You can use flexography on a variety of materials, and the images are clear and waterproof. Because each plate is custom-made for the image, this is a very expensive printing method.

Digital Press:
Electronic images are transmitted digitally directly to the printing press using this method. The digital press analyzes the images, filling in gaps and blanks where necessary, to produce clear, waterproof images on a variety of materials. Because no custom plates are required, this is an incredibly economical way to produce high-quality labels. This printing method is particularly effective in printing custom water bottle labels, personalized wine labels, custom beer labels, and any other custom labels where waterproof crystal-clear images are desired.

If you're looking for affordable, high-quality labels, you really can not go wrong with digital printing.