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Professional Label Printing vs DIY Labels: Which Is Better for You?

If you need product labels, you might be considering whether DIY labels or professionally printed labels are better for you. A good label can go a long way in helping your product sell, so it’s important to weigh your options carefully. Take a look at our guide on professional label printing vs DIY labels to see which is right for you. 

DIY Labels

One of the benefits of DIY labels is the amount of flexibility you have in printing your labels. Because you are doing it yourself, you can print as few labels as you need and make changes right away. If you are just starting your business, printing your own DIY labels may be the best choice for you. You won’t have to hold onto a vast inventory of labels while you wait for your business to take off. Plus, you can print labels as orders come in.


  • Print labels as you need them.
  • Changes can be made almost instantly.
  • Great for short runs, test runs, and seasonal labels.
  • You don’t have to wait for the labels to ship to you.
  • DIY labels may fit your budget better than professional labels.


  • There are a lot of overhead costs–from ink and labels to printer maintenance.
  • Doing it yourself costs you time. 
  • The quality may be considerably less than professional labels.
  • Limited options with size, shape, and color. 

What You Should Know About Printing Your Own Labels

If you decide to go with DIY labels, here are some things you should know. First of all, you’ll need to purchase a printer. Some kinds of sheet labels can be printed from a standard printer. You just have to use a template specific to the size of labels you’re using. There are also a variety of label printers to choose from. Most of them are thermal printers, which means you’re usually limited to printing in one color. Some, like the Brother VC-5002, allow you to print in full color. If you need industrial labels for labeling wires or other in-the-field tasks, Epson and Brady both have handheld models that also connect to a computer. 

Another thing you’ll have to consider when printing your own DIY labels is the time it takes to create the labels. It’s not just a matter of touching a button and beautiful labels appearing. To make labels that are professional and eye-catching, you’ll need to spend time designing the labels, printing test runs, and configuring your label printer so that everything prints correctly. 

You’ll also have to make continual supply purchases to keep your label printer running. That includes rolls of blank labels, ink cartridges, thermal cartridges, and more. You’ll also need to install software on your computer or laptop, which may or may not come with an added cost. And if your printer gives out, you may have to pay to get it repaired. This can leave you in a lurch when you’re trying to ship products to customers. 

Professional Labels

If the thought of DIY labels seems overwhelming, professional label printing might just be your best option. With professional labels, you’ll have a higher degree of customization without the cost of new equipment or software. Professional label printers will have more options for the materials used for your labels as well as the adhesive. This means you can design labels specific to your products and be sure they will adhere properly, even in extreme conditions. Here are some of the pros and cons of professional label printing.


  • Professional labels are higher quality than DIY labels.
  • You don’t have to deal with the overhead costs of DIY labels.
  • More customization–including size, color, shapes, materials printed on, adhesives, etc. 
  • Lower costs on larger runs. 
  • Consultation from experienced professionals, including for industry-specific label requirements.


  • Wait time for labels to be printed and delivered.
  • May not be able to do small runs.
  • You have to store your label inventory.

Professional Label Printing vs DIY Label Conclusion

The best choice when it comes to DIY labels vs professional labels is really going to depend on your business needs. If you’re just getting started, printing your own labels can be exactly what you need. You can print as you receive orders and make changes to your labels as you go. But there are costs to printing your own labels that you’ll have to consider. 

Professional label printing comes with some major benefits over DIY labels, especially if you need a higher number of labels. You’ll get higher quality labels without the overhead costs of industrial label printers, and you’ll save on large runs. Plus, you can customize your labels to the exact degree you need. 

If you’re looking for custom labels, contact Coast Label today for a free proposal. We’ll help you through every step of the design process for truly durable labels that fit your needs. 

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