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Flexographic or Digital Printing? The right consultant has the answer

Custom labels offer a wide variety of options because they are built specifically for your intended use. Two of the most common printing processes used by manufacturers today are flexographic and digital printing; however, not all manufacturers can produce both at high quality. There are countless articles comparing the technologies, and while the two offer different strengths and weaknesses, the right consultant will determine which process is best suited for your job.

Here are some things a manufacturer might consider when determining which process to utilize:

1. What is your ideal turnaround time? Digital printing offers a quicker turnaround time due to the fact that there is less setup involved, and no plate changes are required. Your timeframe will help your manufacturer choose a best fitted solution.

2. Is there going to be a detailed image? Digital printing tends to be more accurate because the entire image is printed directly onto the label in one step as opposed to the layered technique used in flexographic printing.

3. Do you already have a specific preference? If you are comfortable and experienced with a printing process, your manufacturer can easily continue to utilize the same one. If you change your mind in the future, the option will still be available, and a reliable manufacturer will be able to assist in the transition.

Notable differences:

  • Digital printing tends to be more effective for short run jobs with quicker turnarounds and lower costs
  • Flexographic printing becomes more cost effective and efficient as the order quantity increases
  • Flexographic printing offers more accurate color precision
  • Digital printing offers more convenience in terms of adjusting and updating label design
label on printing plates

“Flexo and digital have long been thought of as competing technologies, but in reality, they should be thought of as complementary technologies… it doesn’t have to be this or that. It can be this and that.”

-Bill Meyers, Domino North America

The bottom line: Custom labels entail a wide variety of specifications and requirements, and you should not have to determine all the technological details. Consult with a label manufacturer who prioritizes customers’ needs in order to provide them with the best possible solution.