This article is part of the FLEXO FLAW FIXING series

Background ghosting effect

The ghosting effect is a visual distortion when photos or images are printed with a flexible printing press. The distortion results in the loss of details and textures, making it look like the image is melting or moving. 

Ghosting can be particularly noticeable in photos taken with a camera moving when the photo is printed. Ghosting is a common issue with digital printing, where text or images appear partially or entirely missing from a document. Ghosting makes text and images appear as if they’re jumping around the page. 

What is a ghosting effect on flexo printing?

Ghosting is a printing term used to describe the phenomenon that occurs when the ink doesn’t adhere properly to the paper and leaks out, creating a white or light-coloured area on the print.

Printing with flexo has a unique ghosting effect – when light reflects off the printed image, you can see faint lines or trails behind the printed object.

Ghosting can be caused by several factors, but poor ink coverage is one of the most common culprits. When ink doesn’t reach all the areas on the printing material where it’s needed, it leaves transparent spots that reflect light. This makes it easy to see faint lines or trails where images were initially intended to appear.

The ghosting effect is a distortion of letter shapes and sizes when an image is printed on a flexible material like paper. The result is a blurry or fuzzy image that appears as if it’s been copied and pasted several times.

The ghosting effect can be particularly noticeable on prints with large text blocks or graphics and can make it difficult to read the text or see the details in the images.

If you’re concerned about ghosting on your flexo prints, you can do a few things to prevent it:

First, make sure your ink is evenly distributed across the material – too much ink in one spot will cause reflected light to become more pronounced. 

Second, avoid using too many intricate patterns or images – these will require more ink than usual and lead to more ghosting.

There are a few different reasons why ghosting can occur:

-The anilox doesn’t align properly – This is usually caused by inaccurate alignment during manufacturing.

-The feeder belt isn’t tensioned enough – This can be due to incorrect settings in the printer’s software or because something is blocking the belt from moving correctly.

There are a few different ways to prevent or mitigate this problem, and each has its own benefits. Here are some tips:

1. Use a high-quality print substrate: The best way to avoid ghosting is to use a quality substrate. Higher-quality papers have a smoother surface that reduces the chances of trails and blemishes causing distracting lines on the finished product.

2. Use anti-ghosting inks: Another way to prevent ghosting is to use anti-ghosting inks. These inks counteract certain types of ghosting, so your images will stay consistent across all pages of your document.

3. Use correct image resolution: Image resolution is one of the most significant factors affecting ghosting. If your images are too low resolution, they’ll appear jagged and pixelated when printed on a flexo press.

Make sure you’re using images suitable for printing on flexo presses โ€“ higher resolution photos will look better and won’t suffer from the ghosting effect as much.


Monitor prints for any signs of ghosting to correct them as soon as possible.