A printing system is disclosed wherein ink is emitted from a nozzle as entrained in a jet of air. The ink is introduced onto an ink wall from an ink passageway and a fluid passageway has an outlet directing air at an angle onto this ink wall to cause ink to flow along the wall and form into ligaments and eventually part from that wall as droplets. The droplets part from the ink wall primarily at a tip wall which diverges out of the air stream. In a preferred embodiment there are two such ink walls and the two flows of ink droplets converge to form a single stream. A printing head contains a plurality such as seven such nozzles in a row and then relative movement of the printing head and the printing surface together with controlled pulses of the emitted ink will cause alphanumeric characters to be imprinted on the printing surface. This provides a means for direct printing of pertinent label information on the surfaces of production items such as rolls of paper, pulp bales, paper board bundles or other unitized commodities with a suitable exterior surface.