How to Select a Name Tag Printer

Posted on February 07, 2018 by pc/nametag
Investing in a printer isn’t something you do every day. That’s why we want to help you make the right decision when the need arises. To help you get started, we’ve answered some common questions about printers.

⟶ Before you dive in, be sure to grab our free guide filled with everything a meeting planner needs to plan the perfect name or event badges:

Take a look at: The Meeting Planner's Guide to Panic-Free Name Badge Preparation

Printer Basics

What does a name tag printer do that a desktop printer can’t?

If you’re pre-printing all of your name tags – logos and names – before your event, you can certainly do this on your own desktop printer using our free insert templates. Some of our customers are do-it-yourselfers and prefer to go this route. Desktop printers require you to print out name tags on a full sheet of paper, typically containing around six name tags per sheet.
But with a name tag printer, you can print complete name tags “one up” or one at a time. So the name badge printer is ideal if you want to print each name tag on-site as each attendee checks in. You also have the ability to address last-minute registrants or changes with a name tag printer, instead of resorting to handwriting names with a marker on adhesive labels.

What is the difference between a label printer and name tag (stock) printer?

We offer name tag printers that fall into two categories: adhesive label printers and name tag stock printers. Depending on your needs, you’ll want to choose one or the other. For instance, if your event is smaller or less formal, you may opt for adhesive labels that our budget-friendly Brother® Wireless Label Printer can produce. Keep in mind that most label printers are black and white only.
If it’s a larger, full-day or multi-day event, a thermal black & white printer like our Datamax or color printers like our Epson® Name Tag Printers can print badge stock which is then inserted into a vinyl holder. Inserts combined with holders are considered the more typical or traditional name badges.

What is “direct thermal” printing?

Direct thermal printers, like our Datamax and Brother® Wireless printers, depend on a thermal print head that selectively produces black print on heat-activated paper. And, since they don’t use a ribbon, ink or toner there are fewer supplies to worry about. No need for ink cartridges also makes them lighter and more compact. Many are very budget friendly, too. Can’t beat the Datamax and Brother Wireless printers for speed: each prints out one name tag per second.

What if you have a need for full-color artwork but have a black & white printer?

If you want the ability to feature full-color artwork occasionally but prefer an economical black & white printer, consider our Custom Services. We can preprint your full-color logo and artwork on your name tags, and set up the template so that you can print the names on your black & white printer.

Should you choose a black & white printer or a color printer?

Which printer you choose depends on a number of factors, including what you’re typically going to be printing on your name tags. If you have a color logo or artwork, you’ll want to consider full-color name tag printers like our Epson printers which use inkjet technology to ensure crisp, easy-to-read graphics. If you have very detailed artwork, or need to print photos or bar codes, you’ll want to choose a hi-resolution printer like our Primera, which prints up to 4800 dpi, or dots per second.

However, if you don’t have a need for color, a black & white model printer is ideal: it prints faster and is a budget-friendly investment.


Printer Speed

How fast do you need name tags? Are you printing before the event or on-demand?

If you’re printing on-demand, the size of your event and how many check-in stations you will need helps determine how fast your printer should be to keep registration lines moving.

How fast do our printers print?

Both our black & white Brother Wireless Printers churn out one name tag per second. And our Epson® Color Name Tag Printer (UEPM) prints five full-color name tags per minute.


Portability and Setup

How will you be traveling to your event and how many printers will you be transporting to serve all of your attendees?

Some of our printers are extremely lightweight and compact such as our Brother Wireless Name Tag Printer, weighing as little as 1 -1/4 lbs. It stows easily in a cargo case, and then sets up without a hitch at your registration table. Our Datamax and Datamax Pro, weighing in at just 5 lbs. each, are easily portable, too. Plus, our Epson Color Name Tag Printer (UEPM) weighs just over 6 lbs. – small but mighty! We also offer cargo cases in three sizes specifically designed for transporting printers and supplies.

How easy is it to set up a printer at
your event?

Regarding set up, each printer connects to your attendee list a little differently. No matter which one you choose, setup is relatively fast and easy. For instance, our DataMax hooks up to your laptop using a USB cord. Our Datamax Pro features a visual screen that lists preloaded templates that you can choose from to easily print your name tags without a laptop. Just plug in a USB keyboard (sold separately).
Our two Brother Wireless Printers are used with an exclusive iOS app, so you can print name tags on-site directly from your mobile device or tablet. Our Epson Color Printer (UEPS) can accommodate Ethernet hookup, so you can print to one printer from multiple check-in stations.

How much printer equipment will you need or want at your event?

Some printers require a connection to a laptop, whereas others can be used with just a keyboard, a USB or even a mobile app. Our Datamax Pro includes stored preloaded templates and offers a USB keyboard (sold separately), eliminating the need for a computer.

Will you have wireless connection at your venue?

If so, our Brother Wireless Label Printer connects to WiFi anywhere you need to get online; what’s even more convenient, our Brother Wireless Name Tag Printer has built-in WiFi hotspot. Both include free downloadable apps for printing on the go without a computer.


Printer Versatility

How else can you use your printer, before, during and after the event?

Our adhesive label printers, for instance, can print labels for meeting materials, not just name tags. Or if you have last-minute attendees, you can print off their names on clear labels and stick on our pre-printed Event Badges right at the registration table. That way, their name tags look exactly like those of pre-registered guests.

We also offer Document Printer Kits – mobile offices for the meeting planner on the go. The Brother PocketJet Printer Kit churns out full-page documents like invoices, agendas, menus, etc., via Bluetooth or USB connection. And, the Primera Trio® All-in-One Color Printer Kit uses 8-1/2” x 11” paper for not only creating full-color name tags, but also printing, copying and scanning documents.

Will you need different-sized name tags to accommodate different types of events?

Many of our printers offer name tags in many sizes. The Datamax and Datamax Pro Printers accommodate fanfold stock in different size options as well as wristband stock. And, with our Epson Color Printer, you’re not limited to a 3” high name tag; its built-in auto cutter lets you create name tags of different heights from a 4” wide roll stock.
Learn more about each printer we offer by downloading our Printer Comparison Chart and grab our free guide below to get everything you need to plan, design, and order name badges for your next event.

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