The Nuts and Bolts of Tire Labeling and Inkjet Print Solutions

Posted by David Coatney on


The tire industry plays a crucial role in several key aspects of modern society by directly contributing to the mobility of individuals and the functioning of economies worldwide. This industry is responsible for advancements in tire design, materials, and technology that guarantee vehicle safety, contribute to the development of eco-friendly tire materials, improve fuel efficiency, and promote tire recycling and sustainability initiatives.

In this article we will explore a necessary component that every tire must have to maintain compliancy with (NHTSA) regulations. That is the tire specification label. In the United States, tire manufacturers are required by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to apply a label to every tire aimed at providing consumers with essential details about the tire's manufacturer, performance, safety characteristics, and compatibility with vehicles.

The label that displays these specifications is usually affixed to the sidewall or tread of the tire or provided on a sticker that accompanies the tire at the point of sale.  These tire branding and information labels are essential for educating consumers, when selecting tires, to ensure compatibility with their vehicles and safe operation on the road. In the past, tire labels were constructed with little concern for integrity. In fact, the harsh chemicals, gases, and particulate matter emitted throughout the lifecycle of tires would cause the label to curl, detach, fade, and discolor before ever making it to the showroom floor. In recent years, the evolution of high quality performance label materials has driven the label industry to construct more durable labels that are unaffected by extreme tire conditions, help maintain strict compliancy with new regulations, and keep abreast of innovative branding demands.

Label Integrity vs Extreme Conditions of Tires

As mentioned above, the exposure to several chemicals, gases, and particles emitted from new and used tires can affect the adhesion, color, and integrity of the labels unless they are constructed using a unique blend of innovative and high performing label materials that promote aggressive adhesion, tensile strength, consistent color and durability. The following describes how toxic pollutants released from tires can compromise the integrity of a label that is not constructed with extreme resistive properties. 

  1. Adhesion: Gases such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and sulfur compounds emitted from tires can create a barrier between the adhesive on the label and the tire surface. This barrier can interfere with the bonding process, leading to poor adhesion of the labels. In some cases, the presence of these gases may cause the adhesive to weaken or break down over time, resulting in labels that peel off or lose their grip on the tire surface.
  1. Color Fading: Certain gases emitted from tires, such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and ozone, can contribute to the degradation of materials, including pigments and dyes used in label printing. Exposure to these gases over time may cause the colors on the labels to fade or change, resulting in a loss of visual appeal and legibility.
  1. Surface Contamination: Particulate matter and dust emitted from tires can settle on the surface of labels, creating a layer of contamination that interferes with the adhesion of the labels. This contamination can also affect the appearance of the labels, making them appear dull or dirty.
  1. Chemical Interaction: Some gases emitted from tires may chemically react with the materials used in the labels, leading to changes in their properties. For example, certain compounds may cause the label material to become brittle or discolored, further compromising its adhesion and visual appeal.

Unique Solutions for Tire Label Printing

There are many different combinations of label materials that are suitable to construct high quality tire labels. It is wise to research how these labels are constructed to confidently identify the best material that satisfies your job specific requirements.  The final step before the tire label can be applied is printing the mandated specification information and branding details.

Preprinted Tire Labels vs In-House Printing with Epson ColorWorks Inkjet Printers

A company’s decision to order preprinted tire labels or print their labels, in-house, depends on key factors such as production volume, customization needs, budget, and resource availability. Using pre-printed labels can be challenging considering higher costs, minimum order requirements, inventory management for unused labels, increased lead times, and limited customizations. On the other hand, investing in an on-demand, color label printer, such as one of Epson’s ColorWorks Inkjet Printers, can be a cost effective and efficient solution for printing custom, high quality tire labels. With many years of experience in inkjet, printer, ink, and label technology, our Mediajet team specializes in custom label materials, and printing equipment that can enhance your control, decrease costs, and improve production efficiency of essential print job demands.. As an authorized Epson ColorWorks vendor, we offer sales, education, and training of Epson’s full line of ColorWorks inkjet, on-demand, color label printers, ink cartridges, and accessories. Each ColorWorks printer incorporates the same inkjet print head technology, with the ability to generate clear and crisp texts, and vivid design colors, on-demand, right at your fingertips. For detailed information about the ColorWorks line of Inkjet printers visit

Purchasing a high-quality label printer, such as an Epson ColorWorks inkjet printer, is an investment that will quickly transform into significant savings, full control of customization and quantities, and elimination of lead times. Several advantages of using ColorWorks Printers for your on-site print operation vs preprinted label ordering include:

  1. Cost per Label: With an Epson ColorWorks printer, you can print labels on-demand, reducing the need to order preprinted labels in bulk. This can result in cost savings, especially for businesses with varying label requirements or smaller production runs.
  2. Elimination of Minimum Order Quantities: When purchasing preprinted labels, suppliers often have minimum order quantities, which may require businesses to order more labels than they actually need. With an in-house printer, you can print the exact quantity of labels required for each batch or production run, minimizing waste and reducing costs.
  3. Customization: Epson ColorWorks printers allow for high-quality, full-color printing with customizable designs and variable data capabilities. Businesses can create labels tailored to their specific branding and product requirements without incurring additional costs for customization or design changes.
  4. Reduced Lead Times: Printing labels in-house eliminates the need to wait for preprinted labels to be produced and shipped, reducing lead times and allowing for faster turnaround times for labeling tasks.
  5. Flexibility: With an Epson ColorWorks printer, businesses have the flexibility to print labels as needed, allowing for last-minute changes, updates, or additions to label designs without the delays or costs associated with ordering preprinted labels.
  6. Reduced Inventory Holding Costs: By printing labels on-demand, businesses can reduce the need to hold large inventories of preprinted labels, freeing up storage space and reducing inventory holding costs.
  7. Waste Reduction: Printing labels on-demand helps minimize waste by printing only the quantity of labels needed for each production run, reducing the risk of unused or outdated labels becoming obsolete.

Owning an in-house printer allows you to print your own labels with greater flexibility to make design changes, customize labels for different products or promotions, and include variable data such as serial numbers or expiration dates.  This way you have full control over the label production process, including quality control and any last-minute adjustments.

Mediajet’s Inkjet Tire Label Solution

As mentioned above, there has been a recent uptick in consumer demand for a solution to independently print inkjet tire labels.  To satisfy this demand our team developed an exclusive inkjet coated tire label that offers the extreme durability and resistance needed to withstand toxic chemicals and particulate matter, released from tires.  These labels are constructed with a proprietary blocking barrier and adhesive blend, that when combined, prevents outgassing properties from affecting the label and delivers strong and durable bonding capabilities.  After vigorous testing we are confident that these high performance inkjet tire labels are suitable to print regulatory specifications, in color, and on-demand, using any of the Epson ColorWorks Inkjet Color Label Printers (C4000, C6000 series, and C7500 series).  Our team is available to help guide you through the process of understanding and selecting the most compatible tire label and inkjet print equipment for your specific print job operation.

Visit our website at: to view our inventory of inkjet stock labels, and Epson ColorWorks products. For custom labels or more information call us at 904-222-6840, or email

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