Variable Barcode Labeling

Variable Barcode Labeling

The right barcode and variable data labels will empower you to improve profitability and efficiency to support the growth of your business. In addition, you will gain visibility into your supply chain. They are also suitable for tracing and compliance when meeting customer and regulatory requirements. Getting all this benefit depends if you have the best barcode label.

Choosing the right variable data and barcodes for your application can be daunting. You need to examine many factors dictating the type of label that works for you. With a few considerations, you will be able to choose the right variable barcode labels.

Tips for choosing the best Variable imaging data and barcodes

Product movement

Consider where your product will spend time. For outdoor products, you will need thermal transfer synthetic material. The material ensures flexibility and durability when moving the product.

Environmental needs  

Environmental conditions around your application will determine the optimal solutions to apply.

  • Weather and temperature. The adhesive is essential with labels. Labels’ efficacy reduces with extremely high or low temperatures.
  • Chemical resistance and abrasion. 

Thermal transfer material is ideal for materials that encounter weak or moderate chemicals. However, if exposure involves harsh chemicals, such as acetone, alcohol, and bleach, a resin material will keep the label durable. Abrasion renders labels illegible and useless. Choose a ribbon with a strong resin concentration to keep the label strong.


Direct thermal works best with labels with a lifespan of up to six months in a dry environment and standard temperatures. Specialty thermal transfer labels are ideal when dealing with harsh chemicals, extreme temperatures, and moisture.  

Surface type

Smooth surfaces, whether flat or curved, have a different challenge from a rough surface. The surface will also determine the adhesive to choose. Plastic, paper, metal, and corrugated have different adhesion characteristics.

Label quality and printer

There is a relation between the printing speed and label material. For fast printing, ensure enough darkness to get better barcode quality. Since the print darkness should be high for high print speed, high-grade ribbons will use more energy and ink.

You will need a glossy or smooth synthetic material for labels that have detailed graphics or small fonts.  


Use specific adhesive for the barcode depending on the duration to save money. The resistance of the material will determine the adhesive to use. Adhesives can be:

Removable. They have different aggressiveness. While you can remove others once or twice only, some can be removed and replaced multiple times.

Permanent. These are long-term though they might not stick well to some surfaces and materials.

Aggressive. They are strong and used in some specialty applications.

All temp. It is ideal for environments with extreme temperatures.  

Across industries, identification and data acquisition of any item are essential. Errors in barcode labels can lead to extreme consequences. Utilizing the right ribbon, material, and adhesive for the barcodes prevents misreads. The correct custom barcode labels and variable data printing minimizes errors in identification, replacement cost and reduces the risk of endangering customers’ safety.

Please contact Acro Labels Inc at 1-800-35-LABEL for the best custom label printing available online.


Variable Barcode Labeling
Acro Labels Inc
Variable Barcode Labeling
2530 Wyandotte Rd
Willow Grove PA 19090 US

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