Labels are crucial in the packaging of products. They not only provide necessary product information, but also significantly contribute to the product’s branding and marketing appeal. With various types of labels available, it’s important to understand their features and finishing options and determine the best type to suit your product packaging needs. This article outlines the differences, features, and applications of two popular types—roll and fanfold labels.
Labels help identify products, shipments, inventory, hazardous materials, and much more. Two of the most common types are fanfold labels and roll labels.
Fanfold labels, sometimes called pinfeed labels, are continuous sheets of labels that are folded in a fanfold or accordion style. The labels are connected together with perforations and holes/notches along the edges for pinfeed printers.
Fanfold labels are available in a range of standard sizes like 4 x 6, 4 x 2, and 2 x 4 inches. You can also find options for larger shelf or warehouse labels. They usually come packed in boxes containing multiple fanfolded stacks.
Roll labels come wrapped around a central core, similar to a roll of tape. The backside of the labels has a strong adhesive, so they can be easily peeled off the liner and applied. Rolls come in varied lengths and widths.
Some common roll label sizes are a 2-inch core with rolls from 250 to 1,000 labels. Rolls can also have a 3-inch core and range from 2,000 to over 15,000 labels. The exact length depends on the label size and layout.
While both fanfold and roll labels serve the same general purpose, there are some notable differences between the two formats:
- Fanfold labels have perforations and pinfeed holes for continuous printing. Roll labels are wound around a core.
- Fanfold labels allow printing of one or multiple labels in batches. Roll labels are often pre-printed.
- Fanfold labels work with pinfeed printers. Roll labels work with thermal transfer printers.
- Fanfold labels are better for variable data printing. Roll labels are ideal for large pre-printed jobs.
- Fanfold labels take up more storage space. Roll labels have a smaller footprint.
Fanfolds provide a variety of benefits in performance and customization. Let’s examine some of the key features of fanfold labels:
One of the benefits of fanfold labels is the wide selection of sizes and shapes available. Here are some of the common options:
- Standard rectangles and squares ranging from 1 x 1 inches to 4 x 6 inches
- Ovals, circles, diamonds, and triangles
- Binder spine labels in longer strips
- Shipping and warehouse labels in larger formats
- CD/DVD labels in a fanfold sheet
This extensive variety makes it easy to find the perfect label for any application. Fanfold layouts allow custom labels on demand.
There are several notable advantages of using fanfold labels, including:
- Efficient variable data printing: Fanfold labels feed continuously through pinfeed printers, allowing easy batch printing of variable information on each label.
- Less waste: You can print the required number of labels instead of using full rolls.
- Cost effective: Fanfold labels provide economical small-quantity label runs.
- Specialty label materials: Fanfold labels are available in weatherproof, freezer, and security label stocks.
- Easy organization: The boxed fanfold stacks keep unused labels neat and protected.
Fanfold labels are a versatile option suitable for many labeling applications and printer setups.
Roll labels offer many advantages that make them a versatile and popular label format. Some key attributes of roll labels include:
Roll labels come in a continuous format on a roll, which allows them to work with high-speed auto-applicators and printers. This makes them highly versatile for large-volume labeling projects across many industries. Roll labels can be cut to any length and printed with variable information like barcodes, ingredient lists, and more.
Roll label materials range from paper to flexible films like BOPP, vinyl, and polyester. With options like direct thermal, thermal transfer, laser, inkjet, and flexographic printing, roll labels support virtually any need.
Compared to other label formats like sheets or fanfolds, roll labels offer advantages like:
- High-speed printing and application
- Very high label counts per roll for large-volume runs
- Flexible films offer durability for tough environments
- Range of adhesives available for different surfaces
- Variety of materials and print methods for any labeling need
- Efficient storage saves space
- Lower material waste compared to sheets
- Cost-effective choice for high-volume labeling
With this combination of efficiency, versatility, and convenience, it’s easy to see why roll labels are a top choice for many industries and applications.
Ready to move your labeling project forward? Schedule a free consultation with Accu-Label so we can discuss your options between roll and fanfold labels.
When considering a label printing project, one key decision is whether to choose roll or fanfold labels. While both offer advantages, some key factors can help determine which is the better fit. With 30+ years of experience as an industry-leading label designer and printer, Accu-Label is here to help you make the critical decisions.
Roll labels are ideal for high-volume label runs, as they offer more labels per roll and faster printing/application speeds. However, fanfolds take up less storage space for lower volume jobs. The optimal choice depends on your typical order volumes and production environment. For example, a contract packager producing 50,000+ labels per order for various food companies would benefit most from roll labels. But a small brewery printing 500–1,000 labels at a time may find fanfolds more practical.
We provide both options and advice on which solutions are best for your specific application.
When it comes to packaging, one size does not fit all. Your industry has its own rhythm and demands, and that’s where the choice between roll and fanfold labels comes into play. With nearly four decades of helping customers make the right decision for their brand, Accu-Label can offer invaluable insights into which label format is best for you.
Let’s delve into the specifics and discover which format is your industry’s ultimate choice.
Imagine your delectable creations flawlessly packaged and labeled. Roll labels are the unsung heroes of the food and beverage industry, seamlessly handling the rapid pace of bottling and packaging lines. Plus, they’re resistant to humidity and meet the challenges of refrigerated and frozen storage. Your culinary masterpieces deserve nothing less.
Crafting liquid poetry? For boutique wineries and artisanal brewers, fanfold labels offer the ultimate flexibility. But if you’re a titan in the world of beer, wine, and spirits, roll labels streamline your production line for optimum efficiency. Cheers to finding the label that matches your spirits, no matter the size of your batch.
Chemicals demand precision and durability in every aspect. Roll labels have the specialized materials to meet GHS regulations, ensuring compliance while avoiding the notorious gaps that fanfold labels can sometimes bring. When safety and compliance are paramount, roll labels are the way to go.
From inventory management to tiny yet crucial warning labels, the automotive industry is a realm of diverse labeling needs. With expansive rolls, large barcode labels maximize efficiency for inventory control. But for those small warning messages, fanfold labels are the winning ticket. Your vehicles deserve the best in every label.
Ready to select the label format that elevates your product and meets your industry’s requirements? Accu-Label is here to help. We offer custom design services, efficient and high-quality printing, and meticulous pre-press proofing to give you confidence in your product labeling. Contact us today to find the roll or fanfold label solution that’s right for your packaging, business, and budget.