Digital Printing Inkjet VS Toner: Which is Right for Your Labels?

Digital Printing Inkjet VS Toner: Which is Right for Your Labels?


The two primary methods used for digital printing labels are toner based printing and inkjet printing. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages that should be taken into account when looking for the right printing method for your company’s label needs. The three main factors that should be considered when choosing between these methods of printing are: the required durability of the labels, the substrate that is to be printed on, and the color & resolution of the final label.

What is Digital Printing?

                Digital printing is the method of printing from a digital image file, generally from a computer program, directly onto a substrate. There are a few varieties of digital printing that are used in the label market today. The most commonly used are digital inkjet and digital toner printing.

Digital Inkjet Printing

Digital inkjet refers to printers that use a jettisoned ink to digitally recreate images on the media. Typically the inks for these printers fall into three different categories; water based, UV, or pigmented inks. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, as well as its own pricing structure.

Typically, water-based inks will give the highest resolution, but will give the least amount of durability. Pigmented inks will give a higher durability, but will generally cost more than their aqueous counterparts. UV will typically yield the best results of the three, but provide very little outdoor durability.

Digital Toner Printing

Digital laser and light-emitting diode (LED) printers are very similar. Both can print your labels relatively quickly by melting toner to the paper, and both use a photosensitive drum. Digital laser printers work by using a light beam to track back and forth across the drum to create the image, whereas LED printers use an array of LEDs that flash all at once to create the image.

Toner based printing provides high durability labels since the toner is infused with the substrate rather than printed on top with a receptive coating. Toner based printing also has the added benefit of being water resistant since and UV resistant, and can be GHS and BS-5609 compliant with the right substrate.

Which Digital Printing Technology is Right for Your Labels?

As you’ve seen, there are a number of intricacies for each type of printing. Every customer has their own unique needs for their labels, and these needs will determine what type of printing technology fits best. If you would like to talk with one of our experts to see which technology fits your company’s needs you can fill out THIS FORM and one of our highly trained experts will reach out to you.

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