Want to Print EDP Labelstocks on Your Laser or Inkjet Printer? You May Want to Reconsider

In our last post, we mentioned that customers often ask us what type of pressure-sensitive material should be used for laser printing. Another question we are commonly asked is: “Can EDP labelstocks be laser and/or inkjet printed?”

And, the answer is maybe.

EDP or ‘electronic data processing’ labelstocks are uncoated, making them much more forgiving than coated labelstocks. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean they can be laser or inkjet printed.

Why not? EDP paper was designed to accept dot-matrix or impact printers, which are printers that work by creating direct contact between ink ribbon and paper using mechanical moving parts. So, if EDP papers print on your laser or inkjet printer, you can consider it a bonus!

The most ideal papers for laser printing are designed with xerographic qualities, such as specific smoothness, and electrostatic properties, to image and fuse toner. An EDP labelstock may not have these qualities and, if it doesn’t, the printed results will likely have poor image or fuse quality. A clear ink or varnish that promotes toner fusion can be applied to improve quality; however, doing so will essentially ‘tint’ the sheet.

With inkjet printing, inkjet papers are designed to dry fast and hold the image with minimum bleed. These papers have sufficient smoothness to avoid the ink scattering as it impacts the face. EDP stocks may not dry fast enough or they may bleed or splatter ink, which would result in poor print quality.

In addition, when sourcing media facestocks for laser and inkjet print methods, labelstock suppliers source materials that are known for good layflat stability. Chances are, an EDP labelstock in a cut sheet layflat application may not perform to satisfaction.

If you want to print EDP labelstocks, it’s best to stick with the most compatible print technologies, such as dot-matrix or impact printers.

View Mactac’s EDP labelstocks!