Transitioning to Digital Package Printing, from Substrates to Finishing

Package printing is a sector of the digital print world that is a great and profitable business venture for print providers.  But transitioning from being a commercial printer to digital package printing is a difficult change if one doesn’t know how to start and doesn’t know the details.  Producing packaging prototypes once needed special proofing equipment or quick press stops to run just a few samples.  New printing technologies are making this prototyping easy and convenient, streamlining the process of substrate choice and design.  Wide format digital printers are a very popular choice for those entering the packaging world, especially those producing flexible packaging and folding cartons.  Rather than dealing with the resets and technical issues of traditional printers, digital is creating savings of time and cost, and creating a straight shot work flow with no stops required between the printing and finishing process.  Other digital printer advantages include easy production changes, variable data printing, and on-demand production for quick turnaround.

Features of Digital Package Printing

  • Prototyping
  • Proofing
  • Short Runs
  • Labels
  • Unique opportunities

Digital also enables presses to print on nearly any stock, from shrink films to heat sensitive materials and all natural materials, like wood.  Specialized ink from digital printers on these materials creates amazing looks, textures, and sheens, such as leather, sequins, and many more.  The beginning of the digital printing cycle starts with choosing the correct substrate for the application and then choosing graphics and effects to draw an audience.  The design is then printed and converted into the finished application. Any kind of packaging will require die cutting after printing in order to get the correct shape.  Sheets of printed material become boxes and labels with round or sharp corners when put through a die cutter.The great thing is that with a die cutter, not only is the packaging and labeling getting done, but it opens doors to other markets such as greeting and business cards, direct mail pieces, and more.  While these items are traditionally printed by commercial printers, many commercial printers outsource die cutting and finishing.  Package printers with a complete workflow can do this all in house and save time and money.

A printed sheet simply isn’t finished until it is converted. Overall digital package printing is leaning towards shorter runs and higher color quality and ink adhesion in these runs.  This makes digital printing the logical choice, and is a great option for variable data printing that is often used as well.  Differentiating oneself in the world of package printing is important as well.  Creating packaging that is memorable and creates customer interest and brand loyalty is key.  This is also important to consider during creative selection of substrates and designs.  Whether you’re using wood, silver or gold PVC, metallic boards, or 3D and lenticular materials, choosing a material to fit the design helps create an overall effect.  For more information on digital package printing materials please contact us so we can help you create a packaging masterpiece!