Custom and branded packaging is a good way for you to advertise your business and your products, and cardboard boxes can be printed especially for your products. If you want boxes that are especially made to show off your logos and slogans, then you should understand that there are different printing practices that made be used to create the boxes. Keep reading to learn a little about the different techniques so you can pick the boxes that are right for you.
If you know a little bit about the old-school printing practices, then you may understand that printing plates were often used to create either single or multi-colored prints. Plates are still used in printing processes today and aluminum plates are sometimes used when lithography printing is the best option. This is often the case when larger runs of fliers or magazines are ordered. When it comes to custom boxes and other smaller print runs, plastic plates are often used. These plates are flexible and the printing process is called flexographic printing.
Flexographic printing plates are constructed with the assistance of laser etching machines. The image, like your logo, is imprinted into the plastic plate. For the image to be created successfully, the plastic is cut out around the graphic. A plate is made for each color that needs to be placed on the box, and ink is passed over the plate where it sticks to the raised portion of each plate. The plate is moved through a press along with the box and the image is printed on it.
Flexographic printing creates an image that looks a lot like a stamp. The printing process is relatively quick and inexpensive. However, you will need to pay for the plate or plates to be created. This is typically a one time fee, but it can add to the cost if you are only investing in a small run. The printing process is cost effective though if you want several hundred boxes printed at a time or if you want to consistently order boxes each month or several times a year. Also, you need to keep in mind that you will need to pay for each of the plates that are created for printing purposes. Since a single plate must be created per color, this can increase your overall costs significantly.
If you have seen boxes with bright graphics, gradients, and high-gloss print elements, then you have likely seen boxes created with laser-printed images. Digital printing or uses printers that are similar to the varieties used in homes and offices. Like home and office printers, the printshop ones may be either inkjet or laser printers. This means that liquid printer inks are used to create the images or powder inks are placed on the boxes and then set in place with the assistance of a laser.
Large format printers are typically used for this process and the printing avoids the creation and use of plates. This means that the more technical printing practices can be completely avoided. A single digital file is all that is required to prepare for the printing process. One of the main benefits of investing in digital printing is the fact that variable images can be used. This means that different pictures, slogans, and graphics can be printed on boxes based on the products that you ship or the location where you send items.
Since digital printing requires very little setup, besides color calibration and proof creation, print runs can occur quickly. This means that last-minute jobs and boxes create under serious time constraints are an option. While this is true, you should understand that digital printing is likely to cost more than other types of printing. The use of the printing equipment as well as the ink can increase your costs.
If you are unsure about the type of printing that is best for your boxes, click to find out more and speak with a custom packaging business.