Do Shipping Labels Have To Be Black/White? (Explained)

You may have already noticed this, but shipping labels normally come in black and white. They are commonly printed on white paper with black ink for the font and the markings.

Is it necessary for shipping labels to be black and white? The short answer is no. It is not a requirement.

However, there is a good reason why it is common for shipping labels to be black and white.

Here is What Color your Shipping Labels Need to Be:

The more contrast shipping labels have, the easier it will be for the scanner to read the barcode. This is why shipping labels normally come in white backgrounds and black markings. You can use any color for your shipping labels as long as the markings are in a contrasting color.

Do Shipping Labels Have To Be On White Paper?

When you look at shipping labels, it is common for them to be printed on white paper, but this is not a requirement.

Shipping labels do not have to be on white paper, but most shipping companies recommend that you use white paper when creating your shipping labels. This is because it will be easier for the barcode scanner to read the barcode if there is more contrast between the markings and the background.

Black markings on white paper have the most contrast, so it is the easiest to scan.

When you use colored paper, there will be less contrast between the paper and the markings, making it more difficult for the shipping company to scan the barcode on the shipping label.

When you use colored paper, the barcode scanner may encounter errors and issues which can cause a delay in the shipment of your parcel.

So while white paper is not required, most shipping companies and carriers recommend it.

Do Shipping Labels Have To Be Printed In Black Ink?

Most markings and barcodes come in black ink, just like white paper, but this is not required.

Shipping labels do not have to be printed in black ink, but this is the recommended ink color.

When creating shipping labels, the basic requirement is that there is good contrast between the paper and the ink. This is why black ink is recommended.

Black creates the most contrast with other colors that helps make the barcode easier to read by the scanner.

Can Shipping Labels Be Yellow?

Some people and businesses want the shipping labels to be colorful. It can be part of their company’s branding, or it is mainly just their preference.

Shipping labels can be yellow. Shipping labels can come in any color.

However, shipping companies recommend using lighter shades when using colored paper.

If you want to use yellow paper for your shipping label, choose one that comes in a soft yellow color so there will be a good contrast with the ink.

Can You Use A Color Printer For Shipping Labels?

When creating a shipping label, any regular printer should be fine. You can use an inkjet printer or a laser printer. You can also use a thermal printer that uses heat instead of ink.

You can use a color printer on shipping labels.

Color printers can print colored markings and black markings. The output of these printers depends on the settings.

So if you have a color printer, you can use that to make your shipping label. You can set it to print black markings, and you can also set it to print colored markings.

When opting for colored markings, make sure that you use darker colors that will be in contrast with the paper. Use dark shades of blue, red, green, or purpose, so the barcode is easy to scan.

Can Shipping Labels Be Printed On Colored Paper?

There is no general requirement when choosing a paper for printing your shipping labels.

You can print shipping labels on colored paper. The rule of thumb is that there has to be a contrast between the paper and the ink so that the barcode scanner can easily read the markings and the barcode.

Some people claimed that they used colored paper for their shipping labels and did not have any problems with the courier.

Even the US Postal Service does not require a certain color of paper. It just has to be in a light color with dark ink so that it is easily readable by the scanner.

So if you will opt to print on colored paper, choose one that comes in light colors like light yellow, light pink, light blue, or light green.

The closer the color is to white, the easier it will be for the barcode scanner to read the markers on the shipping label.

Can You Print Shipping Labels On Regular Paper?

While most shipping labels are printed on sticker paper, no rule says they have to be. Most couriers like USPS, UPS, and FedEx do not require shipping labels to be on sticker paper.

You can print shipping labels on regular paper. The important thing is that the shipping label meets the required size of 4 x 6 inches and that the paper is in a light color with a lot of contrast with the ink.

You can use regular printing paper for your shipping label. Make sure you use strong adhesion, like packaging tape, to stick it to the box.

Using packaging tape, you can ensure that the shipping label is securely attached to the parcel and prevent it from detaching and getting lost in transit.

If you will be using regular paper, shipping companies would also recommend putting tape over the barcode to protect the markings and prevent them from getting smudged, making them unreadable.

What Happens If The Shipping Label Cannot Be Scanned?

Most carriers and shipping companies do not have a perfect success rate for package deliveries. This applies to the biggest carriers like the US Postal Service, UPS, and FedEx.

The numbers and other details are entered manually if the shipping label cannot be scanned.

Scanning is very important to carriers, especially to the US Postal Service. So if the shipping label cannot be scanned, they will use other means to enter the tracking details into their system.

Even though the barcode may not be scanned, the package can still be delivered successfully if the address is completely readable. You just would be unable to track it as it goes in transit.

As a general rule, shipping labels do not have to be black and white, as long as there is a good contrast between the paper and the markings.


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