Cable and Wire Labeling
Standards and Applications

The Importance of Labeling Standards and Applications

Cable and wire labeling is critical for locating, upgrading, and repairing electrical, datacom and telecommunication systems. It is an upfront cost that saves money and time when changes or repairs need to occur to the systems you work on.

Some of the benefits of cable and wire labeling include:

  • Increased productivity
  • Improved profitability
  • Better organization

Want to learn about the real value of cable and wire identification and how it goes beyond simple wire and cable labels?

Download our guide, Get Real Value from the Right Labels

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How to Select a Wire or Cable Marker

There are several wire labels that you can choose from which include, heat-shrink sleeves, tags, clip-on markers, self-laminating labelcs, and wrap-around labels.

Here are four key questions to answer that will help you decide what kind of marker or label is best.

  1. Are you marking before or after termination?
  2. What is the gauge of the wire you are marking?
  3. Are you printing your own labels or using pre-printed wire markers?
  4. What environment will the labels be exposed to?

For more on this, visit our How to Select a Wire Marker page, or download this helpful infographic: Guide to Selecting the Right Wire Marker.

Similarly, some of these questions can be asked for cable labeling as well, although they are not directly applicable in all cases. For instance, getting a heat-shrink sleeve on a network or Ethernet cable is not very feasible. Our recommendation for these applications is a wrap-around vinyl, nylon cloth label, or a self-laminating label, if it needs extra protection.

How do I select the right marker size?

The Best Way To Label Cables

In our guide to getting real value from the right labels, we recommend following the ANSI/TIA-606-B standard for labeling.

ANSI/TIA-606-B is a voluntary standard that provides uniform labeling and record keeping guidelines for telecommunications and network systems in all types of facilities. It identifies what needs to be labeled and provides a recommended identification scheme that is compatible with the legacy ANSI/TIA/EIA-606-A Addendum 1 and the ISO/IEC TR14763-2-1 international identification scheme.

Key Guidelines For Producing Labels Include:

  • The size, color, and contrast of labels should allow identifiers to be easily read and visible during normal maintenance
  • Labels should be resistant to the environmental conditions at the point of installation and should last as long, or longer, than the labeled component
  • Text on labels should be machine generated

Datacom, Telecommunications,
and Electrical Labeling Application Examples

Heat-shrink sleeves



Ideal for un-terminated wires or needing abrasions and chemical resistance

Wire and Cable
Wrap-Around Labels



Ideal for marking terminated or un-terminated cables and wires. Use self-laminating vinyl for labels that may need abrasion or chemical resistance.

Patch Panel and
Terminal Block Labeling




A nylon cloth or vinyl material will do the trick in these areas.


Labeling In and Around a Control Panel

Get a more visual look at the different ways you can effectively label wires, cables, and components, in this handy infographic.

Wire and Cable Labeling Products

Desktop Printers
and Applicators
Wire ID PrinterLearn More

Portable Printers

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Labeling Software 

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