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Dots Per Inch and Your Thermal Printing Requirements



Dots per inch is the measurement we use for thermal print resolution. “DPI,” (dots per inch abbreviated), refers to the number of dots printed per inch on your print media.  Typically, you’ll see either 200 or 300 DPI in thermal printing.  However, some applications call for 600 dots per inch and even 1200.  Gulton compatible thermal printheads are available in a variety of DPI resolutions to work with a variety of thermal printers and a variety of different applications.

Does your thermal printer determine the DPI measurement of your thermal printhead or can you use a printhead with any dots per inch measurement?

For the most part, the thermal printer you purchase will dictate the DPI of your printheads.  It’s built into the printer logic and you should know at the time of your purchase the DPI your specific model requires.  If you use a higher or lower DPI printhead than is dictated by your printer you’ll know by the labels you’ve printed.  They will look noticeably different than they should and the print will have the appearance of being overly condensed or “shrunken.”  It won’t hurt your printer, but it will hurt your output.

There are now thermal printers available that will switch between 200, 300 and even 600 DPI.  You can choose the DPI based on your application with these newer models.

What DPI measurement is right for your requirements?

The answer is actually another question:  What are you printing?

Keeping in mind that dots per inch is literally how many dots are printed within a one inch area of print media, 200 dots per inch produces an image that is less dense than 300 dots per inch.

For Shipping Labels: 200 dots per inch works quite well here.  A readable address will be produced.  The barcode will be scannable and your package will ship without any difficulties.

For Labels with logos, specialty fonts and graphics: 300 dots per inch is a better option here.  Logos need to be more than readable, they need to be attractive and command attention.  Specialty fonts are thinner and smaller than basic fonts.  These need a higher dot concentration to reproduce correctly.  Graphics generally require more ink and reproduce in shades of black and gray and will benefit from a higher dot configuration.

Advanced graphics:  QR Codes, garment labels and other more complex graphics are best suited to a 600 dots per inch configuration.  These particular printheads are available from the printer’s original manufacturer.


Remember, whatever dots per inch measurement suits your application, Gulton manufactures the highest quality, most reliable compatible thermal printheads that will work with your specific in 200 and 300 DPI resolutions.  Please give us a call at 1-800-356-0399 to find out how we can help you with your thermal printhead requirements.


5/7/2023 4:28 AM
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