Product Label News

Which Label Material is Right for You?

Labels | August 17 2021

When it comes to thermal labels and custom product labels, the materials you use are extremely important. The wrong materials can put you at risk of damaged, peeling, unreadable, or missing labels depending on your work environment. To ensure that you comply with any relevant standards, it is important to know which label material is right for you and your products. As leading providers of quality labels for food, beverage, and pharmaceutical applications, West Coast Labels understands how some materials are more suitable for some applications over others. That is why we have compiled a list of different types of paper face stocks and film face stocks to help you make an informed decision for your products and environment.

Learn about the different types of label adhesives.

Types of Paper Face Stocks

Paper stock labels are a cost-effective option that produces a sharp print. Compared to film, however, they are not as flexible, durable, or resistant to the elements. Types of paper face stocks include:

Thermal Transfer

This stock is created by a printer that utilizes a thermal ribbon. The thermal print pad heats the back of the ribbon, melting it and creating marks on the label.

Direct Thermal

Direct thermal labels are sensitive to heat. Instead of melting a ribbon, the print head directly heats the label, causing the appearance to change.


A type of paper stock that has a slight sheen without looking fully glossy. Information is printed directly on the semi-gloss paper via laser or inkjet systems.

High Gloss

This type of paper face stock is nearly identical to semi-gloss, but the paper has a much higher level of shine and reflectiveness.


A type of paper that is meant for use in laser printers instead of inkjet or thermal units.


This type of paper is designed to absorb ink from inkjet label printers to dry quickly and prevent smudging.

Types of Film Face Stocks

Film face stock labels offer enhanced durability, flexibility, and resistance to the elements when compared to paper, though they are also more expensive and do not produce as sharp a print. Types of film face stocks include:


A rugged material that is highly resistant to tearing and scratches.


A material that is more malleable and pliable than polyester. It is ideal for labelling rounded surfaces like bottles and cans.


This heat-resistant material is often used to label electronics and other surfaces that may face extreme temperatures.


A commonly used and inexpensive type of film that is used for short-term labelling.


Vinyl is a durable and flexible material that can be used in outdoor applications and on products stored in extreme temperatures.

To learn more about the different types of label materials available or for assistance choosing the right material for your needs, get in touch with the team at West Coast Labels. We can be reached through our online contact form and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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