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DPI stands for Dots Per Inch which means how many dots of printing you get per of inch.  It is also known as resolution.  A higher DPI printer will also be a higher resolution printer.  In other words a 300 DPI printer has a higher resolution than a 200 DPI printer.

A higher DPI means a clearer and crisper print. When it comes to thermal label printers, 203 dpi is standard but there are higher DPI printers – 300 dpi printer resolution is common but you can also buy 600 dpi printers.

What DPI Printer Resolution Do I Need?

Deciding the print resolution you need is something you need to do before choosing a printer.  You need to consider:

  • Clarity and readability – the higher the resolution or DPI the sharper the image printed.

  • Print speed – the higher the DPI, the slower the print speed.

  • Size of text – the smaller the print of the text or symbols used, the higher the DPI needed to ensure legibility.

  • Cost – higher DPI resolution printers cost more and replacing the printhead costs more.

How Are You Using Your Labels?

As a rule of thumb:

  • If the person looking at your labels is thinking of buying the item (i.e. you want to present your products in the best light), choose 300 DPI printer resolution. 

  • If the label is a packaging label used by the warehouse or used in an industrial setting then choose 203 DPI. 

  • If you are printing a small label and you need text smaller than 7 point then go for 300 DPI.


  • If you are printing small labels (typically less than 10mm wide or tall) and you need a 1D or 2D barcode (QR Code or Datamatrix code) on it, consider a 300 DPI or 600 DPI printer.

600 DPI printers are not widely used but can be essential in electronics or sometimes jewellery and pharmaceutical industries.

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