Dec 07, 2015 / Written by Matt Adams
RACO Barcode solutions logo

Direct thermal (DT) is a printing process through which a series of heated pins is applied to a label coated in a heat-sensitive layer, burning images and text onto the surface of the label. As such, DT labeling does not require the use of ribbons or ink to print. With thermal transfer, ink from the ribbon is transferred to the label using heat. Direct thermal printing is an easier, lower-cost method of creating labels for temporary applications, but will fade over time and is not very effective in high-temperature environments due to its sensitivity to heat. Thermal transfer printing is a slightly more technical process, but provides a more permanent solution that does not easily fade.