Color Label Solutions

Color Label Solutions

Friday, January 31, 2020

Printing ZPL With The C6000

With Epson’s new C6000 color label printers, you can “colorize” ZPL to increase the readability, improve the look of your labels and even decrease the latency of your printing operation.

ZPL Printed With The C6000A
ZPL Printed With The C6000A

“Zebra Programming Language (ZPL and ZPL II) is a page description language from Zebra Technologies; and is used primarily for labeling  applications” says the Wikipedia page for ZPL.  Wikipedia says also, “A page description language (PDL) is a computer language that describes the appearance of a printed page in a higher level than an actual output bitmap.”

Zebra Printers Use ZPL
Zebra Printers Use ZPL

When introduced to the market, thermal transfer and direct thermal printers utilized these types of languages to produce the text and objects printed on the label.  To compete in the market, competitors to Zebra developed emulations and/or interpreters to enable their printers to “plug and play” in environments driven by software using only ZPL.  Now, Epson offers this capability in their new C6000 series printers without requiring the Windows driver.

Epson C6500P
Epson C6500P

Bill Vasques, Vice President, Software and Systems Development for General Data, demonstrated the different ZPL printing capabilities of the C6000A printer recently.
  • Printing native ZPL
  • Adding images/logos in ZPL
  • Adding color images/logos in ZPL
  • Printing objects (text, lines, logos, etc.) in color in existing ZPL

Watch Bill print these types of situations here: 

According to Bill, “Epson’s Escape Label is very similar to ZPL, but provides additional commands to add color to the ZPL.  And the additional code required to add color is very small.”  For example, Bill added a PNG image to the image itself to print the logo in the video; and he did not have to load the code into the printer itself.  Some time ago, I discussed uploading an image to the C7500 and running ZPL: 

Bill continued, “what is great about the Epson printer, the ZPL should produce label output that is no different than with Zebra printers. Now you can get higher resolution labels, eliminate the hassle of loading thermal transfer ribbons and save money compared to using resin or even wax/resin ribbons when printing black, text only labels.”

The new C6000 series printers offer other features that make replacing Zebra printers easy to do:

  • Peel and present
  • Remote printer management
  • SAP direct integration
  • I/O integration for print/apply and other applications

Learn more about the new C6000 series printers here:

Color Label Solutions merged with General Data in March of 2019 to gain access to the capabilities offered by our new parent; like what Bill shows with ZPL in the video.  Learn about our merger here:

The C6000 printer opens up the black only, thermal transfer printing world to color.  If you run Zebra printers in your factory, warehouse or other facility, now you should consider how colors, logo’s and images can improve the look of your labels; and make your labeling operations easier to do.  Contact us to discuss how moving to color will fit your operation.

Guy Mikel