When choosing barcode labels for your business, you should consider several factors to ensure the labels meet your specific needs. This blog will share with you the most important factors and all the information you need to make the best decision.

  • Zebra Z-Perform 1000D
  • DuraFast Chemical-Resistant Polyester Labels
  • Brady B-427 Self-Laminating Vinyl Labels
  • Dymo Rhino Industrial Labels
  •   Code 39
  •   Code 128
  • Retail and Inventory Management
  •  Warehouse and Logistics
  • Asset Tracking and Identification

Label Material and Durability

The label material you choose is crucial, as it determines the durability and longevity of the barcode labels. Consider the environmental conditions in which you will use the labels.

If your business operates in harsh or demanding environments, such as warehouses or outdoor settings, opt for durable materials that can withstand moisture, temperature variations, and physical stress.

Some of the popular label materials you can look into include:


Dymo Barcode Labels

  • Specifically designed for industrial use and are made of durable materials that can withstand moisture, temperature fluctuations (-40°C to 150°C or -40°F to 302°F), and physical stress.
  • Barcode Labels from Dymo are resistant to water, chemicals, UV exposure, and abrasion, making them ideal for applications where durability is crucial.


Zebra Barcode Labels

  • Zebra Barcode Labels are made of a durable direct thermal paper material that offers good resistance to moisture and moderate temperature variations.
  • Suitable for applications where the labels may encounter occasional exposure to moisture or moderate temperature changes (-20°C to 60°C or -4°F to 140°F).


Brother DK Labels

  • Brother DK Labels can withstand demanding environments, including moisture, UV light, and other environmental factors that can compromise label integrity. 
  • The labels can operate within a temperature range of -20°C (-4°F) to 80°C (176°F),  making them suitable both for indoor and outdoor applications.


Sheet Labels

  • These labels are made from high-quality materials, ensuring exceptional durability and performance for various labeling applications. 
  • They can operate within a temperature range of -10°C (14°F) to 40°C (104°F), ideal for both indoor and outdoor uses.
  • One of the biggest advantages of sheet labels is their compatibility with standard printers, making them very easy to integrate into existing labeling systems. Whether using an inkjet or laser printer, these labels deliver consistent, high-quality printing results that meet professional barcode labeling standards.

Visit enKoProducts.com or call at  +1-(877) 465-2823 to order your labels or get a free consultation on the best options for you.

Barcode Symbology and Readability

Barcode symbology refers to the specific barcode format used, such as Code 39 or Code 128. Evaluate the symbology requirements based on your industry standards, inventory management systems, and scanning equipment compatibility.

Here’s what you need to know about the two Barcode formats:


Code 39 Format

code 39i
  • A widely used alphanumeric barcode symbology.
  • It supports uppercase letters (A-Z), numeric digits (0-9), and a set of special characters (.$/+%, and space).
  • Each character has five bars and four spaces, with three out of the nine elements being wide bars or spaces.
  • It offers a variable length format, allowing flexibility in encoding data of different lengths.
  •  Is easy to generate and decode, making it a popular choice for general-purpose barcode applications


Code 128 Format

code 128i
  • A high-density, variable-length barcode symbology capable of encoding the full ASCII character set.
  • It supports uppercase letters (A-Z), lowercase letters (a-z), numeric digits (0-9), and a wide range of special characters.
  • Uses three barcode character sets (A, B, and C) to efficiently represent data by optimizing the encoding of numbers, letters, and special characters.
  • It offers high data density, allowing you to encode more information in a smaller barcode space than other symbologies.
  • Widely used in logistics, shipping, and product identification applications where you need to encode a larger amount of data in a compact barcode.

Both Code 39 and Code 128 have their strengths and are suitable for different applications. Code 39 is simpler and widely supported, while Code 128 offers higher data density and a wider character set.

Barcode Format
Distinct Strengths
Suitable Applications

 Code 39

  • Widely supported by barcode readers
  • Alpha-numeric character set


  • General inventory and asset tracking
  • Retail and product labeling
  • ID badges and membership cards
  • Industrial applications

 Code 128

  • High data capacity
  • Supports full ASCII character set
  • Variable length barcode
  • Shipping and logistics labels
  • Manufacturing and supply chain management
  • Healthcare and Pharmaceutical labeling
  • Packaging and Product identification

Ensure that the scanning devices commonly used in your business operations also easily read the barcode labels.

Label size and Adhesive Strength

When selecting the size of barcode labels, you must consider what items you will use them on. It’s important to balance the available space on your products or packaging and the need for the barcode to remain scannable.

Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:


Available Space

Evaluate the surface area where you will place the barcode label. Ensure the label size allows for sufficient visibility and doesn’t overcrowd the product or packaging. Consider any design elements, product information, or regulatory requirements that must be strictly alongside the barcode.



The barcode must be easily scannable by barcode scanners or mobile devices. If the label is too small, it may result in scanning errors or difficulty capturing accurate data. Conversely, if the label is too large, it may not fit properly or require additional adjustments in scanning distance or angle.


Barcode Specifications

 Different barcode symbologies have specific size requirements and recommended dimensions for optimal scanning. Refer to the guidelines provided by the barcode symbology you are using to ensure the barcode size meets the specifications for reliable scanning.


Font Size and Legibility

Along with the barcode, consider the legibility of any accompanying text or numbers. Ensure that the font size and readability of human-readable information on the label are appropriate for easy comprehension.

If you want some versatility for your barcode label sizes, you can opt for Brother DK continuous labels that allow you to cut your labels for any length. In this case, the Brother DK2225 Continuous Labels 1-1/2” x 100′ may be the ideal option for the job.

Additionally, choose labels with adhesive strength suitable for the intended application. Labels applied to different surfaces, such as cardboard, plastic, or metal, may require different adhesive properties.

 You may need a stronger adhesive for rough or uneven surfaces to ensure proper bonding.

  • 1.5” (38mm) x 100 feet (30.4m)
  • Cut labels to any length
  • 6 rolls include 2 cartridges

Selecting the Appropriate Label for Specific Applications

Different industries and applications have unique requirements when it comes to barcode labels. Here are some tips to help you select the appropriate label for specific applications:


Retail and Inventory Management

In retail environments, barcode labels must be visually appealing, easily scannable, and capable of withstanding frequent handling. Opt for labels with a clean design, clear printing, and the ability to accommodate pricing information, product descriptions, and other relevant details. 


Direct Thermal Labels

Cost-effective options for retail and inventory management. They utilize heat-sensitive paper and do not require ink or ribbon, making them convenient and easy to use. Direct thermal Labels are ideal for short-term applications where durability is not a primary concern.

  • 1-1/4″ x 1″ (31.8mm x 25.4mm)
  • 1,300 labels for every roll
  • Bright white for professional-looking labels


Thermal Transfer Labels

More durable compared to direct thermal labels. They require a thermal transfer ribbon to transfer ink onto the label, resulting in a longer-lasting barcode. Thermal transfer labels are suitable for retail and inventory management applications requiring moisture resistance, temperature variations, and physical stress.


Synthetic Labels

Synthetic labels, such as polyester or polypropylene, are highly durable and resistant to moisture, temperature fluctuations, and tearing. They offer excellent longevity and withstand demanding environments commonly encountered in retail and inventory management. The labels are ideal for long-term applications where robust durability is essential

Also, choose labels that adhere well to various product surfaces and packaging materials.


Warehouse and Logistics

In warehouse and logistics settings, barcode labels should be durable and capable of withstanding the rigors of transportation, stacking, and handling. Consider labels made from tear-resistant materials, such as synthetic films or vinyl, which can endure rough conditions.

Labels with strong adhesive properties must remain securely attached to products and packaging throughout the supply chain.


Asset Tracking and Identification

For asset tracking and identification purposes, barcode labels should be long-lasting and resistant to fading or deterioration over time. Labels with high-quality print resolution are essential for accurate scanning and data capture.

Depending on the assets you are tracking, consider labels that can stick to various surfaces, including equipment, furniture, or IT devices.


Selecting the right barcode labels for your business is essential to ensure efficient and accurate data capture, inventory management, and product identification. 

By considering factors such as label material, durability, barcode symbology, and readability, you can make informed decisions that align with your business needs.

Finding the appropriate label for specific applications is crucial. Opt for visually appealing labels with clear printing and durability in retail and inventory management. Direct thermal labels, thermal transfer labels, and synthetic labels are suitable options.

In warehouse and logistics, choose tear-resistant labels with strong adhesive properties. For asset tracking and identification, prioritize long-lasting labels with high-quality print resolution.

Implementing a robust barcode labeling system can help your business tremendously. It reduces labeling errors, minimizes product returns and customer complaints, protects brand reputation, and mitigates the risk of counterfeit products entering the market. 

By prioritizing the selection of appropriate barcode labels, you can uphold quality standards, enhance operational efficiency, and safeguard your brand’s integrity.

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