The Ultimate Showdown: Comparing Litho, Screen Printing, Digital Printing, and Flexo for Corrugated

The Ultimate Showdown: Comparing Litho, Screen Printing, Digital Printing, and Flexo for Corrugated

For shipping, a variety of consumer products are packed into corrugated containers. Many businesses ship products in shelf-ready packaging to save money. The demand for shelf-ready shipping packages necessitated direct printing onto corrugated materials to create brand-specific colors, eye-catching graphics, and clean text to capture consumer attention.

However, printing on corrugated substrates presents several challenges. The lightweight construction of the material is ideal for reducing freight, but it can barely withstand the pressure of a printing press. Furthermore, the corrugated medium creates ridges beneath the linerboard, resulting in an uneven printing surface.

Technological advancements in printing materials, mediums, and substrates have transformed how we now print on corrugated materials. By combining the right substrate, ink, and image carriers with the right printing process, businesses can now print brilliant graphics directly onto corrugated materials.

Discover the Best Way to Print on Corrugated Substrates: Four Options to Consider

1. Unleash Your Creativity with Offset Lithography (Litho Lamination) Printing

Lithography is not a direct printing technique, but rather involves pre-printing images onto linerboard before attaching it to the corrugated substrate. Although this approach is available for all printing methods, it is the exclusive way to print on corrugated using lithography, which involves an additional production step.

This technique offers flexibility for incorporating embellishments like foil stamping, spot gloss, and embossing, and it produces high-quality images with excellent resolution. However, lithography’s extensive customization options come at a cost. The setup process, the incorporation of embellishments, and the pre-printing method all contribute to increased expenses.

2. Elevate Your Designs with Vibrant Colors and Sharp Details: The Magic of Screen Printing

In screen printing, a squeegee is utilized to push ink through a screen, resulting in the deposition of color on the substrate. The negative space is protected from ink by stencils or masks, enabling the ink to pass through and create colored areas.

For each color, a separate stencil is produced and applied individually. This procedure is typically manual and time-intensive. While screen printing yields vibrant and colorful images, it is better suited for producing small volumes of prints.

3. From Zero to Printed in Seconds: The Amazing World of Digital Printing

The operation of digital printing presses is similar to the printers found in households. However, unlike other printing methods, digital printing does not necessitate the creation of printing plates. Instead, electronic files are employed to print images.

Digital printing can produce high-quality, high-resolution images. Despite costing more per print and being slower than other methods, its setup costs are less expensive since printing plates are not required. As a result, digital printing is an excellent choice for small-volume printing, as well as for producing samples or conducting test marketing.

4. Take Your Packaging to the Next Level with Flexography (Flexo) Printing

Flexography is the top choice for printing on corrugated substrates, employing an inked image carrier to transfer graphics onto the substrate. This method is gentle enough to avoid damaging the corrugated substrate while still achieving vivid graphics.

Set up for flexography involves the creation of printing image carriers for each color, resulting in some initial costs. However, once these image carriers are available, flexography is a cost-effective and speedy method for printing large volumes of orders with eye-catching graphics.

The Ultimate Guide to Perfectly Printed Corrugated: Key Considerations You Can’t Afford to Miss

Printing on corrugated packaging materials has transformed thanks to advancements in technology and materials. With the aid of modern printing technologies and the ever-expanding capabilities of flexography (flexo), brands can enhance product visibility and boost brand recognition while benefiting from the material’s lightweight durability, which is ideal for shipping.

Numerous techniques and materials are available for printing on corrugated material, including flexography (flexo), offset lithography (litho), screen printing, and digital printing. Due to its versatility, flexographic printing has become one of the most frequently used methods.

Revolutionizing the Printing Industry: The Versatility and Efficiency of Flexo Hybrid Presses

The demand for more complex and durable prints in the consumer products industry has led to a rise in the popularity of hybrid presses in the commercial printing industry. As a result, printers have adapted their capabilities to meet these demands.

Hybrid presses offer the benefits of various printing methods, providing the best of both worlds without compromising on quality or efficiency. This has prompted many printers to opt for hybrid presses to meet the growing demands of the consumer products industry.

The Future of Printing: Unleashing the Power and Precision of Digital Flexo Hybrid Presses

The ability to accommodate shorter runs without compromising the quality of the final flexo print is one of the primary reasons printers are turning to digital flexo hybrid presses. These hybrid presses integrate digital inkjet technology with an existing flexo press, enabling full-color printing capabilities. Alternatively, new digital presses that incorporate flexo printing stations are also available.

Read next about: The complete guide to flexographic printing on corrugated packaging

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