Mommy Katie: Choose a Suitable Printing Method for Your Packaging

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Choose a Suitable Printing Method for Your Packaging


When it comes to printing on product boxes, there are two types of printing methods: direct printing and litho printing. Both of these methods have their advantages and flaws, as well as products which are typically packaged in them.

If you are just starting out and are still looking for your brand’s image, creating the perfect packaging is a great place to start. Not only do you need to pick out the suitable box style, but also what is going to be printed on in and how. This is a big responsibility, so if you are not a designer yourself, perhaps you should consult someone with ample experience in the field.

Direct Printing

This printing method is typically used for mass produced boxes because it is faster of the two methods. Like its name says, this method applies the ink directly onto the cardboard box. This is done by using a printing plate. This method is cheaper and simpler than litho printing.

There are some drawbacks, however. Primarily, if you want to use more than one color, you will need to run the box through the machine multiple times. The graphical capabilities of this form of printing are limited, so if you are looking to use this method keep your minimalist and simple. With these kinds of printing solutions, negative space is a very useful and powerful tool.

The direct printing method is great if you don’t have too much money to spend on packaging, or if you believe that this kind of packaging will appeal more to your customers.

Litho Printing

On the other hand, there is the litho printing. It gives the package a high-end feel with magazine paper quality. This printing method offers a wide specter of colors. The reason it has this high-end feel is that the printing is not done directly onto the box. Instead, the printing plates transfer the design onto a special sheet of material which is then laminated onto your box. The colors are vibrant and sharp, as opposed to direct printing.

It is typically used when you want to print a photographic quality image onto the box. Thanks to the advanced technology available today, this printing method are not as expensive as it used to be, but it is still more expensive than direct printing. If you have plenty of money to spend on packaging, or if you want to impress the potential customers with high-end packaging, litho printing is the best option for you.

Finishes

Apart from printing itself, there are other ways to bring that X-factor to your packaging. Things like UV finishes as described here https://www.boxcoop.com/packaging-university/uv-finishes/ are fairly popular and create an eye-catching reflexive surface.

Apart from the UV finish, you can also choose to use glossy or matte finishes for your product, as well as a combination of these. In the recent years, the matte finish has become very popular with high-end brands, whereas the glossy finish has been seen as less impressive.


These are just some guidelines when picking a printing method for your product. It is derived from previous experience and observation. If you have a fixed idea about what your packaging should look like, follow your idea. If, however, you are a bit lost in the box design world, try to follow these guidelines to ensure that your product packaging sends the right message about your product.



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