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Zebra label types

There are two printing methods used by Zebra label printers. It is important to understand the type of label your printer uses when ordering as some Zebra printers can only operate using one method.

DIRECT THERMAL printing uses chemically treated, heat-sensitive media that blackens when it passes under the thermal printhead. Direct thermal printers have no ink, toner, or ribbon. We stock Zebra Z-Perform 1000D (economy) and Zebra Z-Select 2000D (premium)


THERMAL TRANSFER printing applies heat to a ribbon, which melts ink onto the material to form the image. The ink is absorbed so that the image becomes part of the media. This technique provides image quality and durability that is unmatched by other on-demand printing technologies. We stock Zebra Z-Perform 1000T (economy), Zebra Z-Select 2000T (premium), Zebra Z-Ultimate 3000T (specialist synthetic available in white or silver) and Zebra 8000T Cryocool (polypropylene labels with extreme low temperature permanent adhesive).

Examples of thermal transfer ribbons required for thermal transfer labels.