There are two types of thermal printing methods commonly used to print barcodes: Direct thermal and Thermal transfer. Each method of thes e methods uses a thermal printhead that applies heat to the surface being printed. Direct thermal printing does not require the use of a ribbon(ink) for printing, it uses a heat activated direct thermal barcode papers for printing. Print color is limited to black, and over time the barcode labels will darken and fade, when it is subjected to heat or sunlight.
Thermal transfer printing on the other hand uses a carbon ribbon which gets transferred onto the barcode labels via heat to produce durable, long -lasting images on a variety of label materials. The ribbons also comes in different colours and users are not limited to monochrome colour( black print colour). This type of printing is required for application that needs durability and long lasting image.