So you have decided to order a custom box and are now looking at the different options of printing your custom box. Most people want to know what are the printing methods and how are they applied on the boxes. Well, there are three main printing methods used in the production industry. They are Flexographic printing, digital printing and litho laminating. These methods are used and applied to your logos and your creative artwork in relation to what is needed. The first way and the cheapest way is Flexographic Printing.
Bend It Till You Make It
Flexographic printing is a type of printing procedure that uses a flexible plate. It has been compared to being a "modern version of the letterpress" and it can be used on almost every type of material such as plastic, metallic cellophane, paper etc. It is also the most basic form of printing available because it comes in 1 to 3 colors. Flexographic has built a reputation for being used in simple projects.
Let's Go Digital
Then we have Digital printing, one of the latest forms of printing. It was invented in 1991 and can be broken down into two more subcategories, inkjet and xerographic. Digital printing is still considered very cost effective, the main difference between digital and flexographic is that digital applies a full range of colors onto the printing.
The Double L
Finally there it Litho laminating, often considered the most high quality and expensive. When you litho laminate you glue a printed press sheet to the board and then continue to die- cut it and process it to the box. With litho laminating, you receive much higher quality than digital printing and flexographic printing.
It is All About The Money
However, after you choose a type of printing your main concern becomes cost. Adding a type of print to your box usually, costs less than people generally think they do. Research shows that adding one color print results in a 10% in comparison the price of the actual box. Higher quality printing does in fact usually cost more but in the long run, paying for the printing will probably be one of the cheaper bills. Also, when you are considering a type of printing to use you should think about how fast you need it done. Research has shown that Flexographic has a high press speeds ( how fast something is pressed) ranging from 200 to 300 fpm ( feet per minutes) while digital printing has low press speeds that run on average at 50 to 100 fpm One of the important questions that you should ask the manufacturer is how long does it take and then compare it to other manufacturers to see a total price estimate. In the big picture of things over the years, it can be seen that the total average time to produce custom boxes is now down to 3 to 5 business days.
There are alternatives to printing methods such as
- Drawing on the design yourself
- Using stickers
- Printing at home
Buy if you would like to look as professional as possible then I suggest you join the mass of people who are using manufacturers to print up designs for them. Technology is changing exponentially fast, no one knows where it is headed so maybe the future of printing will changing and these methods might become considered old.