By: Hadyn Oliver
5 Minute Read
As you would know, having print on your packaging plays a huge part in what consumers think of your brand. It also helps you stay ahead of your competition and stand out from the crowd.
Taking time to design your packaging and introducing new designs every now and then is a great way to make your packaging unique and attractive. Like Christmas packaging at Christmas time, Easter at Easter Time, Summer in summer time etc.
When you’re ready to place your order, it’s important to know the printing techniques your suppliers use. With new technology changing so regularly, you need to choose the right way to print your packaging.
But first, let’s discuss why printing is important for your packaging.
A branded box helps connect with your customer and improves their shopping experience. It may not even be a box, it could be a bag with a logo, or a “thank you” printed on. The unique design helps to create a more memorable purchase for your customers.
Let’s look at a few advantages of branded packaging:
Adding printing to your packaging is only going to be a benefit to your brand.
Right, let’s go talk about what we are really here for:
Cardboard is one of the most popular materials used in packaging these days due to its durability and stability. Plus, it’s cost-effective and easy to print on.
There are 2 main ways to add graphics to cardboard packaging:
Kinda obvious right?
Now, choosing the printing method that suits your brand can be confusing. Maybe the logo on your packaging is the key feature, so you may choose a method which prints high quality colouring. Or if being eco is your number 1 priority, a sustainable ink may be a good choice. Either way, it’s best to start with what you want your packaging to feature.
Let’s dive in ….
It’s a big word I know, but it’s one of the most popular choices of printing. It uses printing plates to transfer your design onto the packaging. It uses a quick-drying ink, which helps print fast at a cost-effective price.
Because of the wide range of capabilities, you can use flexographic printing in many different packaging products. For example:
Why do people choose flexographic printing for their packaging?
Although, like everything, it does have it’s drawbacks.
Onto number 2 …
You may have heard of this one as offset printing. It uses an aluminium plate with a mixture of oil and water to create a print. The design is transferred onto blanket rollers which print the ink onto your box, or bag. As the name shows, your design is “offset” unlike flexographic which is applied direct.
This technique does require a more extensive setup, but provides a highly detailed, vivid image once complete. If you’re printing a photograph, lithographic would be your best option. However, due to the extra set up, costs tend to be higher.
What’s it used for?
When should you choose this technique?
If you’re packaging design is heavily detailed and you’re needing a large quantity printed, this is a great printing option. It’s also great for printing onto different materials like wood, stone, and cardboard.
What about the bad bits?
A well-known choice for many creating branded packaging. The process is simple, in many ways it works like your work printer, simply reproducing digital prints using a printer. The design is then copied onto the cardboard.
People use it for:
Brands choose to use digital printing as there are no set-up costs or printing plates required. This pushes the pricing down and makes it easier to print smaller quantities for a good price.
Another popular technique used for cardboard printing. It uses a rotary printing press by engraving an image onto a copper cylinder. The prints are highly detailed, showing even the tiniest of details on your packaging.
This method has many benefits, but the vivid design has to be one of the top. The process means you can print even the smallest of details in high quality, and the print will last for years. The technique is rapid, which is great for urgent orders.
Although, it’s not all good ….
And that’s it, 4 different, most common, printing methods for your packaging.
But hold on a minute, there’s more ….
What about inks!
Despite cardboard being a popular packaging option because of its eco properties, it can sometimes be difficult to print onto. It’s brown colour and porous nature makes it tricky to apply the exact design.
Let’s take a look at the different inks which are commonly used in cardboard:
There’s 2 main colour schemes used in inks:
Hopefully you’ve learnt something new today and can now understand a little more about what your supplier is saying when quoting on a printed piece of packaging!
If you are still struggling, have any questions, or looking for some printed packaging, feel free to reach out to our friendly team.
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