Corrugated packaging has come a long way in recent years. Traditionally, this type of packaging was designed solely for efficiency and durability to protect its content. But with more brand competition than ever before and advances in modern printing innovation, your packaging now plays a key part in promoting your brand.
What is flexographic printing
Simply put, flexographic printing (sometimes referred to as surface printing or flexo printing) is like a modern version of letterpress printing. It’s commonly used for printing on packaging and materials with uneven surfaces and uses rubber and plastic plates to ink the surfaces.
This type of printing has become the standard for packaging companies - accounting for 40% of packaging printing across the globe - seeking to print imaging quickly and on a variety of substrates. When compared to other methods, flexographic printing offers more diversity, higher quality, and a lower cost.
Why is it the most effective printing process for packaging?
Printing on rough materials
Materials such as corrugated cardboards can be a challenge to print on due to uneven and rough surfaces. That’s where flexographic printing presents a great advantage! The printing method uses rubber and flexible plastic plates which allows high quality imaging to be printed and finished onto uneven surfaces. Flexo also uses quick-drying, water-based inks which can accommodate printing on number of packaging substrates including cardboards, kraft paper, chipboard, linerboard, film, and even cellophane.
The printing process itself is well suited for packaging applications due to that fact that it offers high speed production. This is because flexo printing uses low-viscosity, fast drying inks and the machinery works at extremely high speeds - up to 2,000 feet per minute - when transferring images onto packaging material.
Fast drying and versatile inks
Flexographic printing machines allow for printing in a wide range of ink types including fluorescents and metallics which are available as water based, solvent and UV curable. Not only this but inks are relatively inexpensive as well as incredibly durable. This means that you’ll get a solid ink coverage for effective and attractive graphics and that they will last for a very long time. Flexo printing also has the advantage of producing a finished product at the end of the process without having to wait for inks to dry.
All of these add up to one defining factor that makes flexo printing a great option for your corrugated packaging - low costings. As well as the elements mentioned above, the flexo printing process allows printing, coating, die-cutting, foil stamping and more all in one pass through the machine. This provides a huge economical advantage versus some of the other lengthier printing and cutting processes.
Flexographic (flexo) printing is the most common form of printing on corrugated materials, due to the price of production and excellent image quality. This makes it suitable for large jobs which require printing in fine details using a range of colours.
Need help finding the perfect packaging for your product?
Whether you’re looking for help with design or material choice for your shelf ready or transit packaging, our team of experts are on hand to advise you on all aspects of your packaging needs. Get in touch with our team today or call us on 01942521919.