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Labels - Variable Printed

What is a variable print label? Variable print means that the information on a run of labels changes with each label. A simple example is a label where numbers increment (001, 002, 003…etc.). This could be on a printed label with a company logo and an incrementing barcode and/or number that increments or changes each time a label is printed creating a unique label.

Common requirements for variable print labels include ~

  • Tracking labels for freight or manufacturing
  • Transport and Logistics labels
  • Warehouse labels
  • Supply Chain or SSCC Labels commonly known as EAN128 barcodes
  • Asset register numbers
  • Serial numbers
  • Testing tags
  • Agricultural or bagging tags
  • Video barcodes
  • Pathology labels

Creating, manufacturing or printing variable print labels

The print production process for variable print labels consists of three general categories:-

1.    Overprinted – Manufacturing computer generated print for barcodes or text using thermal transfer printers.  This print method is used across many applications including: records management, asset, supply chain and test and tagging.  Overprinting onto plain or pre-printed labels, allows the user to reduce stock holdings as they print only as required and there is no plate or set up charge applicable.  Print production is fast and on demand.

2.    Printed off the Press – A low-cost alternative for the production of high volume variable data labels.  Extremely cost effective for large runs of variable barcodes and serial numbers and can include logos and graphics if required.  Applications include Serial Shipping Container Code labels (SSCC), freight tracking labels, pathology labels and mail out labels. No printing plates are required.  This method of manufacture has minimal human intervention compared to other methods of variable printing, ensuring much higher levels of accuracy and offers the security of 100% verification.

3.    Asset – Asset labels are used to keep track of property or equipment and applied directly to the asset. In both indoor (office furniture, fixtures and fittings) and outdoor (vehicles, gas and pipes) applications.  Asset labels usually consist of a variable barcode which is scanned for inventory checks or a unique serial number. Asset labels are custom made and can be produced onto materials such as vinyl “no-scratch off print”, polyesters, tamper evident labels and stronger metal style labels.

Variable Print Label Materials


  • Matt/Thermal Transfer Paper
  • Direct Thermal (both coated and uncoated)
  • Gloss Paper
  • Fluoro Paper
  • Synthetic (outdoor material)
  • Metal (Adhesive and non adhesive)
  • Polyester
  • Plastic
  • Specialty adhesives

Why use a BCP Media variable printed label?


  • We use only premium quality raw materials
  • Manufactured with the highest attention to detail
  • Free pre-production proofing prior to manufacture
  • Ability to print from your database exports using .csv and .txt files
  • Small to large variable print volumes
  • Internal auditing processes in place to ensure accuracy from ordering to delivery
  • Our experience and investment in specialised print technology and processes, makes BCP Media one of the leading suppliers within this industry.  We are able to offer customers unique, innovative solutions.

Request a label quote for variable printed labels