June 30, 2020 / Label Production

Digital Inkjet vs. LED Toner: How to Pick The Right Digital Printing Technology for Your Business

Digital Inkjet vs. LED Toner: How to Pick The Right Digital Printing Technology for Your Business

Now more than ever before, your label counts—especially when it comes to attracting consumers’ attention online, and on crowded retail shelves. 

That’s why short-run, custom, and flexible in-house label printing has become a crucial tool for producers, helping to achieve stunning, memorable, and effective brand labeling to match changing buyer expectations. For producers working on improving their label printing process, in-house label printing is your best option for maximizing efficiency and minimizing your average cost-per-label. 

But for businesses looking at buying their own digital label printer, there are a lot of options—especially when it comes to choosing the specific type of printer technology you’ll use for your process. The two main choices on the table: digital inkjet, and LED toner.

If you’re not sure which to choose between inkjet or LED toner for your digital printer, it might help to get a better understanding of the unique differences and benefits of each. That way, you can take stock of exactly what you need to achieve your goals, and choose the printer technology that works best for your bottom line. 

Here’s a closer look at these two popular types of printer technology, and how you can determine which is right to meet your digital label printing needs.

Inkjet Printing: Superior Quality for Crisp, Unmissable Graphics

Perhaps most well-known for its popularity among small desktop printers, inkjet digital printing technology utilizes relatively simple technology to produce highly-detailed, richly-colored results for a wide variety of label applications.

The inkjet printing process utilizes pigmented inks, which are distributed by nozzles onto the printing media to match patterns determined by the digital input. By distributing ink directly to the media, inkjet printers are able to produce fine, crisp details and a broad range of colors—making inkjet ideal for creating complex, detailed graphics or imagery.

Many inkjet printers, like our iTech Cypher printer, also allow producers to specifically choose inks designed for fade, water, and abrasion resistance, helping to preserve the integrity and beauty of your labels across many environments. This makes inkjet printing a great option for printers worried about water resistance (like brewers and bottlers), or for items requiring durable label integrity during handling or shipping.

Inkjet printers are also designed to be highly adaptive to a variety of print media, and many inkjet printers are compatible with paper, polyester, polypropylene, and vinyl label stocks. That way, you can feel free to find the ideal media for your process without having to worry about constant readjustment or frequent misprints.

LED Toner Printing: Affordable, Reliable, and Lightning-Fast for Short Runs

When choosing the right digital printer technology for your business, it all really comes down to what will work best for your process, and for your budget. That’s where LED toner printing can make a big difference.

LED printers, like our iTech Spectrum printer, utilize a broad array of thousands of LEDs to produce small negatively-charged areas on your printing media, which then attract droplets of toner to produce the image. This process allows businesses to print custom designs on a wide variety of materials, and is especially ideal for producing bold colors for text across a wide spectrum of colors.

Printers utilizing LED toner technology are highly compatible with a variety of printing media, including papers, polyesters, and vinyls. And, because LED printers utilize toner to produce imagery, printers also have the option of choosing full-color CMYK or CMY+White toner options to produce vivid colors, even on metallic, dark-colored, or transparent backgrounds.

Because LED printers utilize advanced technology to quickly distribute toner across the image surface, LED printers generally require fewer moving parts—which can often equate to a longer lifespan and unmatched reliability at an affordable cost of acquisition, helping you achieve ROI quickly and efficiently.

Plus, thanks to the extremely fast pace of operation offered by the LED process, businesses who choose an LED printer can often achieve rapid production for quick adjustment and fast turnaround. That way, you can maximize short-run efficiency for optimal cost-per-label.

We’ll Help You Choose the Right Option for Your Needs

We know that choosing the right printer can be a difficult decision for business owners. There are a lot of options on the market, and finding the right one for your business really comes down to understanding your needs, understanding your process, and understanding how your options can best match your expectations.

We should know—our team at Allen Datagraph Systems has helped customers in a wide variety of businesses and industries find the ideal digital label printer to match their process. We offer both inkjet and LED options to help you find the solution that’s best for your needs, and our team of experts can help you break down exactly what you’re looking for to find the right solution for your process.

Our digital label printers are American-made and built to last, and we manage all of our customers’ support, shopping, and repair needs from right here in our Salem, NH headquarters. That means we’re here to help if you run into any problems, and we’re just a phone call away when you have questions. 

Plus, we specialize in making all of our printers easy to combine with our digital label finishers to help you build a complete, start-to-finish in-house labeling process, so you can take control of one of the most important parts of your production line. 


Take a look at our digital printing technology offerings on our website, and don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team if you have any questions. We’re here, and we’re ready to help.

Tags: Digital Printers, Label Printers, Short Run