What is Flexo Print?
Flexo print (or flexographic print to give the method it’s full title) uses photopolymer printing plates to apply your high-resolution design to cardboard packaging materials.
Flexo printing has its roots in letterpress (or rubber stamping) in the 19th century, so it’s been with us a while! Modern printing plate technology however means we can achieve high quality results from this basic principle.
How does flexo print work?
Your design is created on the printing plates in relief (i.e., standing proud). These are then mounted onto backing plates which in turn are mounted onto cylinders. These cylinders ‘kiss’ the ink rollers (or anilox) before transferring your design onto your chosen corrugated cardboard substrate.
Are colours consistent with flexographic printing?
Flexo graphic printing utilises pantone spot colours. As part of the artwork approval process, we will send you colour swatches that show your specific pantone references on the material we will be printing on (e.g. brown kraft, white kraft etc.). We will then use a spectrometer to measure the manufacturing run of your corrugated packaging against your approved colour swatch, only proceeding with manufacture when there’s a match. This helps us ensure we deliver brand consistency for you across every production run.
Is flexo print environmentally friendly?
The inks we use are water based. If you are an end consumer of the cardboard packaging, we can show the FSC® chain of custody details on your packs to demonstrate your responsible sourcing of sustainable packaging.
Are there any set up costs for flexo printing?
Flexographic printing does need a set of printing plates (sometimes called ‘stereos’) per design (and per size). Each colour in your design will need it’s own printing plate. As the size of the printing plates (or ‘print area’) affects the cost, we can provide an indication of how much these will be upon sight of your design.
If it is your first time commissioning your own packaging, this handy guide may assist you with the process.
When should I choose flexo printing?
Flexo printing is a really good value print method. It can deliver fantastic results on a budget. It can also have minimum order quantities as low as 500 lots. Ideal if it’s your first time ordering printed packaging or have limited storage space.
If, however you require really high-quality, high-end cardboard boxes or packaging, digital or litho print might suit your requirements. Both print methods can reproduce full colour, photographic images.
Litho print is the highest quality print type but also attracts the highest unit price. Digital print sits between flexo and litho in terms of quality and has the advantage of very short lead times.
If you still aren’t sure which of the print methods we offer might suit your specific requirements, get in touch with one of our friendly team and they can guide you. Before we speak, consider the following areas:
- How many do you need?
- How quickly do you need your packaging?
- How important is achieving the ultimate print quality?
- Is there a variable element required to the print run?
We look forward to speaking to you! E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 01939 260342