Digital Packaging Vs Litho Printed Packaging

When it comes to packaging your products, there are a number of factors to consider. From the material and structural design, to the graphics and print method, one choice may influence another. Quality counts when it comes to packaging, and, in the competitive world of retail, many customers will initially judge a brand based on the way they design and package their goods.

Traditionally, lithographic (litho) printing is the most popular go-to solution for printed packaging such as labels and folding boxes. This is because, until recently, it was the only method that could print at a high quality for high-volume runs. However, there are other innovative print methods, such as digital printing, that can compete with litho.

We're going to look at the pros and cons of both printing methods to help you understand which print will best suit the needs of your packaging...

What is Digital Printed Packaging?

Digital printing is when the artwork is directly printed onto your chosen substrate using a four-colour process. Using electronic files and dots of colour, a digital printer will produce your image using toner or ink.

What is Litho Printed Packaging?

Litho uses printing plates and wet ink. Each colour in the artwork will require its own individual plate which will be loaded into the printing press. The image is then transferred onto a sheet before being transferred onto your packaging.

You will normally be charged for your printing plates. This cost will depend on the amount of colours used in your design and the size of the plate.

Benefits of Digital Packaging

  • Digital printing can print in full colour at no extra cost per each colour.
  • No print plates are required which reduces tooling costs.
  • Shorter lead time as there is no need to manufacture printing plates and drying time is reduced.
  • Many companies have a lower minimum order for digital printing.

Benefits of Litho Packaging

  • Litho printing allows pantone matching if you require a certain level of colour accuracy.
  • Litho presses can handle a wide range of materials.
  • Good for large runs. The cost generally decreases as the quantity increases.
  • Offers a variety of print finishes such as spot UV and metallic.

When it comes to choosing between digital and litho printing for your packaging, there are a number of questions to ask, such as what quantity do you wish to print? Is the artwork the same across all of your packaging? How complex is the artwork? And do you require photo quality print? The best solution for your packaging will depend on your overall requirements and budget.

Here at Perfect Colours, we have a range of printers, software and finishing items that will ensure you receive high quality printing that will show off your packaging in the best possible way. If you would like to find out more about how you can print your artwork using our high-quality products, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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