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Why is my label printing faded?


Check your heat settings, the printer ribbon, and the power supply.

Printing a faded label can be frustrating. Everything was working great the last time you used the printer.

There are three main reasons for a faded print.

Heat and Speed Settings

Check that the heat or darkness is set to a high enough temperature. Too low a temp can create a faded print. This is especially important for thermal transfer printers, because the ribbon needs enough heat to melt onto the label.

Thermal Transfer Ribbon

If your thermal transfer printer uses a ribbon to print, you'll want to double-check a few things.

  • Age: Your ribbon might need to be replaced if it is more than 6 months old, or has been left in a hot/humid location. Try replacing the ribbon.

  • Movement: If you accidentally install the ribbon wrong the printer won't be able to move the ribbon over the label. This will cause the ribbon to "print" in the same location each time, and all the "ink" will be used up.

  • Installation: I know this sounds funny, but make sure you haven't installed the ribbon upside down. It seems like every printer is different, and ribbon is often not marked clearly... double-check which side is the "ink" side.

Power Supply

If you have more than one label printer at your location, you might have accidentally swapped power supplies. Some printers will still power-on with the wrong power supply, but it will have trouble reaching full power for your label. Most printers will have the DC power requirements printed on the bottom. Make sure these match the power supply DC output.

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