Business owners with little experience in packaging design are often surprised that the final product differs from the original on-screen of custom printed boxes.
Unfortunately, the print will never be 100% identical to what you see on the screen, as there are differences between the color reproduction on the digital screen and the actual print.
The printing process can be controlled to give a result as close to the standard as possible, but this depends on the type of Printing.
Most packaging is printed using digital processes. More detailed explanations can be found in the digital and offset printing chapters. Here are a few examples of Printing.
Offset Printing, or lithographic Printing, uses a metal plate to apply ink to a second printing plate (Offset) before a rubber roller transfers the design to the final substrate. Each design requires
a separate printing plate. It is used a metal plate and rubber rollers.
Digital Printing differs from offset printing in that it is printed directly onto any material. You create the design on your computer and send the file to the printer. With digital Printing, you can print directly on the desired material.
Advantages and disadvantages of digital and offset Printing
Minimum order quantity
One of the main differences between digital and Offset Printing is the minimum quantity required to complete an order. In the long run, Offset Printing is more economical if large orders of the same packaging model are received regularly.
Offset Printing requires high costs to produce personalized printing plates. The minimum order quantity for offset printing is usually a few thousand copies.
Digital Printing, on the other hand, has a lower minimum order size and can often be produced from a single copy. As there are no printing plates to produce, there are also no upfront costs, leading to significant savings. Therefore, this method is much cheaper for smaller orders.
Digital Printing is less labor-intensive and, therefore, much cheaper. It is, therefore, ideal for brands looking to reduce their initial investment.
Difference between Digital and Offset Printing
The main difference between the two printing methods is the initial setup. With digital Printing, you only need to transfer the files from the digital space to the hard copy, whereas offset printing requires many more steps.
First, the design has to be finalized, and the sheet itself has to be produced. This process takes time and is often the most expensive of the whole process.
Remember that this applies to all projects. If changes need to be made after the prototype, a completely new sheet (and a new solvent invoice) must be produced.
Also, only some offset presses print less than 1,000 copies; forget about testing prototypes of 10 or 100, as only these can print as well as the prototypes. Digital Printing, on the other hand, makes it possible to order a small number of prototypes without high initial costs.
Digital or Offset printing: the judgment
Digital prototypes make sense even for brands that plan to use offset printing for their final products. Regarding efficiency, economy, and simplicity, printing packaging prototypes digitally and printing all final products in Offset makes sense.
Timeline for implementation
As mentioned, offset Printing requires time-consuming preparation, so projects can only be started gradually. Offset Printing is designed for mass production rather than for quick deliveries.
However, most SMEs appreciate the simplified process of digital Printing. For short runs, digital Printing is the best option in terms of delivery times.
The unit cost of offset printing decreases over time and can even exceed the unit cost of digital Printing. If the same design is used. The biggest investment is the high cost of creating the first printing plate.
The main difference between digital and Offset Printing is that digital Printing does not require the creation and installation of printing plates, so the initial cost is much lower.
Digital Printing is more cost-effective for brands that update their packaging frequently and rarely order thousands of copies.
Digital Printing Meets the Needs of Small Businesses
Seeing packaging come to life through Printing is a very satisfying process. The journey from design to completion can be challenging but remember the final product.
By paying attention to the packaging materials you prefer, the project’s depth of color and detail, the lead time required, and the budget available for bespoke packaging, you can expect a satisfying result.
Digital Printing of packaging is advantageous for most-commerce businesses due to its ease of use and low budget.
Whether planning mass production or market testing, developing prototypes using digital printing and producing them on a larger scale using efficient lithographic technology is worth it.
Digital Printing is ideal for printing individual packaging prototypes, as the design can be changed many times before it is finished.
Digital printing is cheaper for short runs, even if changes are made in real time. Offset Printing is cheaper for large quantities of the same model over a longer period of time.
Digital printing offers a cost-effective solution for simple designs used in e-commerce packaging.