So, you’ve been tasked to source the most cost-effective packaging, without compromising pack quality. Trying to find the perfect format, features, materials and finishes can be a headache. Add to this the crucial decision on printing methods and we can understand why you’d feel a bit lost.
Flexographic printing, also known as flexo printing, is a relief printing technique, similar to letterpress whereby the ink is transferred from a raised printing plate using fast drying inks onto the chosen substrate. Flexographic printing is continually advancing, with improvements in the presses, plate making and ink technology all of which has increased demand for this method of printing in packaging.
Gravure printing or rotogravure is an intaglio printing process that uses rotary printing capable of producing continuous tone images. Large copper plated steel cylinders are engraved with the chosen design using a laser or diamond tipped stylus. The engravings are referred to as ‘cells’ and are etched in differing depths, with deeper cells providing more intense the colour.
We admit it can be difficult to understand the real difference between flexographic print and gravure print. Unless you have a sample of an identical artwork in flexo and another in gravure you won’t always truly appreciate the vast improvement gravure print can make to the overall look and feel.
The balance between cost and quality always involves difficult compromises for brands. At Law Print Pack we use up to 12 colour flexographic printing in the manufacture of paper bags. However, when it comes to flexible packaging we believe that the finished quality of gravure printing far outweighs what can be achieved by flexo.
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