Adding print to your packaging can help your business differentiate from competitors, stand out on the shelf and build brand recognition. Here are three printing options to consider:
A commercial digital printer is similar to your home printer, just much bigger. It prints by spraying millions of ink dots in different colour combinations directly onto the substrate, no plates required.
For our guidelines to print Digitally, click here.
The name flexographic comes from the way this printing process works. You create flexible plates with raised plastic or rubber that stamp your graphic onto your substrate (e.g., a corrugated cardboard box). You mount what are essentially large rubber stamps, called plates, onto cylinders that roll the ink onto whatever is being printed. Flexo print is the most common printing method as it is economical, versatile, and a high quality process.
For our guidelines to print with Flexography, click here.
For high-impact graphics, lithographic printing is a a great option. This process is involves printing onto a layer of cut sheets that are applied to a corrugated box. With photographic quality, this method allows for a range of stunning visuals, colours, and finishes. Ideal for high volume premium packaging.
Understanding Colours in Printing
CMYK , often referred to as “process colours” or “four colour process”, stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. This process utilizes these four colours at one time to create almost any colour imaginable.
Pantone Matching System (PMS or Spot Colour)
The Pantone Patching System (PMS) also known as spot colours, numerically codes and systematizes various colours to create consistency. The Pantone company created this system to create consistency across the industry.
Coatings can be applied to help protect your packaging while achieving eye catching visuals that enhance your brand. Here is a breakdown of coatings to consider when creating your packaging.
Lamination – Enhances visuals and creates a tactile feel on the packaging. It can also serve as a protective layer to withstand scratches and any other damages that may occur during shipping. Two types of lamination to consider: Matte and Gloss.
Matte Lamination: has no sheen when light shines on the surface. Colours are commonly muted but showcases as high end and sophisticated.
Gloss Lamination: has a high, impactful shine. Creates a lustrous quality when light shines on the surface of the package and the effect is vibrant, image contrast quality is better, and it displays a bright depth of colour. Gloss lamination also provides better protection against moisture and dust.
Aqueous (AQ) Coating – is the most common coating available today. This water-based coating provides protection from fingerprints and other blemishes. An environmentally friendly option, this is best suited for food, household, and fast-consuming products.
UV Coating – has a similar look to lamination but UV can be applied directly to the material without an additional film layer like lamination.
Varnish – is the most cost-effective compared to other coating types but has the least efficiency with durability. It can also produce matte, gloss, and other coating effects but varnishes may yellow with time.
Specialty Coating – If your budget allows and you would like to invest in your packaging design with unique elements, special coatings are an interesting option. They are recommended for long-run orders due to extra set up costs. Some options include: Metallic, pearlescent, foil stamped, embossing, debossing, and soft-touch coating.