Print at Home vs. Professional Printing

It is an age-old question: should you print your labels at home or send them to a professional? Whilst it may be tempting to design and print your labels from home, you may want to give it some thought before you do.

Think about what you’re selling

Professional printing isn’t always necessary. For example, if your child is planning to run a lemonade stand or provide a car washing service during the summer, it’s highly unlikely that professionally-printed labels will be necessary. However, if you are running a business, the requirements can be quite different.

Any business that wants to elevate or maintain its professional image would do well to outsource their printing of inkjet labels to a company that specialises in this.

Which is Cheaper?

A common belief is that printing at home comes in at a much lower cost. The truth is that there is far less of a difference between the cost of printing at home and getting your labels printed by a company than you may have initially thought. In fact, there is a only about 7 pence difference between printing on an office laser printer and professional digital printing, and only about 3 pence difference between office printing and professional lithographic printing.

The good news is that the higher the number of labels you get professionally printed, the lower your final cost is likely to be.

The Time Factor

One thing to consider is the length of time it will take to print the labels you need. Using a home printer may take less time, as you are the only person using it. However, the office laser printer may take a bit longer. Getting your printing completed by a company will likely take longer, as a company will have a number of clients needing printing done.

Another consideration is the type of printing chosen. For example, lithographic printing can require up to 3 days to complete. This is because lithographic printing requires the making of a plate. This plate will transfer your label text from the ink rollers it uses to your labels. Many say that the quality of labels and other materials printed using the lithographic process is worth the waiting time required.


Professional printers know about the ideal paper and ink type to use for each project, because it’s what they do each and every day. It’s this sort of expertise that can end up saving you much time and frustration, especially when you need your labels to be printed immediately. There’s little that can be more stressful than not printing often, then all of a sudden needing to produce a professional product in a small time frame with a limited amount of knowledge.

What’s your Competition Doing?

Your labels and other printed materials will say a lot about your business. A good way to help you decide about whether or not to choose professional printing is to look at what your competitors are doing. If they are having their materials printed professionally and you are not, see if you can get a copy of their material. When you do, take a good look at both. Can you see a difference between them? If your competitor’s material looks more professional, it might be time to change things up and begin comparing printers in your area.


Once you’ve decided on professional printing and have narrowed your list, asking for samples is the next step. This will tell you without a doubt which company is best for your label printing and other requirements.

You may find that the samples you receive vary widely. However, they provide a tangible means by which you can compare the quality offered by each company.

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