flexo vs litho printing

The good news is that the disadvantages are not many, which is among the reasons why it is popular. However, if the design has photographs or intricate details that require full-colour prints, then go ahead with lithographic printing. capabilities consistently growing and expanding as consumer demand shifts.. As the printing industry moves forward into 2020 and beyond, let’s take a fresh look at the technology available, how flexo has changed to meet consumer demand, and how 5 other popular printing methods compare. Knowing the key differences between the two will help you decide which process is right for your print job, especially if you're looking to print flyers and leafletsin large numbers. To print the substrate, the rubber plate is transferred to it. They can be used to produce quality product packaging, labels, and a wide variety of printed paper materials. Flexographic printing works on a wider range of substrates, including non-flat media. Lithography printing also uses a printing plate. Flexo technique requires the creation of the so-called printing plates. However, while printing boxes, the procedure is not direct. Most presses mount the plate and the blanket on cylinders. This makes it a good choice for packaging. Most major book and magazine publishers use this method. If your business needs speed and efficiency in terms of box production then selecting the flexo process is well suited to your needs. Flexo uses flexible plates mounted on a cylinder. It is widely used for food packaging. To print the substrate, the rubber plate is transferred to it. This has led to an increase in individuals making the jump from lithography to flexography. Flexographic printing requires an initial setup cost. Flexography, or flexo, has moved to the forefront of popular printing methods, with its . Purchasing a flexo printing machine is a little like buying a car. For custom printing, flexographic vs lithographic is an age-old debate, as these two are conventional methods in the printing and packaging industry. The manufacturer applies the ink first on the plate and then on the surface. It is the oldest printing technique. Flexographic printing, also known as Offset printing, is a method of printing that uses flexible printing plates made of rubber or plastic. It cannot be used for printing photo quality images. G.D. Palmer is a freelance writer and illustrator living in Milwaukee, Wis. She has been producing print and Web content for various organizations since 1998 and has been freelancing full-time since 2007. Right after the Gutenberg Press popularized movable type back in the 15th century, letterpress had been the predominant printing technique for five centuries. However, lithographic printing does have a downside. We can all agree that flexography (or flexo/flexographic printing) is a direct-impression print method. Oh my goodness! 75; Table 5.1 Global printing output by print process, 2014–24 ($ billion, constant 2017 prices & exchange rates; billion A4 prints) 79 Registration with 4 color processes is also much more difficult. The anilox roll is a hard cylinder, usually made from steel or aluminium with a ceramic outer layer that comes with many dimples. Factors like budget at hand, time constraints, quality of the print, and how boxes are going to be used – shipping or retail come into play. Flexography offers a reduced production cost, but much higher setup. As the name suggests, flexo printing utilises flexible plates for a rotary printing process. Lithographic printing allows high colour detailing. Manufacturers use these printing techniques to produce packaging, maps, books and most other printed paper materials. prints, then go ahead with lithographic printing. Here, first, the print is made on paper and is then laminated on the box. Then, the substrate runs between the print roller and an impression cylinder. Once the machine starts running, the printing process is very quick. The anilox roll is a hard cylinder, usually made from steel or aluminium with a ceramic outer layer that comes with many dimples. Similarities and Differences of Flexo Printing vs. Litho Printing Both flexo and litho printing are conventional bulk printing methods that use printing plates, and both methods can be cost-effective for more basic large print runs. Your email address will not be published. A corrugated box does not need to be standard/boring. In this method, a surface area with elevated letters is inked and hard-pressed to the top of the printing substrate to recreate a text or an image in reverse. Flexible – not limited to paper, can print on a variety of surfaces. Litho printing is most effective on flat paper and cardboard. Copyright 2021 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. Moreover, while printing smooth colors or gradients, flexographic printing has visible banding. Here, first, the print is made on paper and is then laminated on the box. It is suitable for printing a large number of boxes that do not require colour detailing. Bulk printing is a tedious task and does require some level of optimization. Flexographic printing, or Flexo, is a technique for bulk printing using flexible relief plates. Customer Stories Xiaomi’s Mi Band Review: Is the packaging fit enough? The ink is first applied on the printing plate and then, from the printing plate to a rubber blanket. Each process has its own benefits and downsides, and works best for specific purposes. It can also be more economical than litho printing, saving you money as you get your business off the ground or work to get out of the red. Preparing for litho printing costs little. Then. The surface of the plate is coated with fast-drying ink. Once in the production process, the plate is covered with ink and then the plate directly impresses the … In its basic state, lithography takes advantage of the immiscibility of oil and water. Palmer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in writing and studio art from Beloit College in Beloit, Wis. Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images. Is Your Business Choosing The Right Type of Corrugated Boxes? While lithographic printing dominated the market for most of the 20th century, flexo printing has increased in popularity. Each color is a separate print plate that must be purchased, and factored into the price of your packaging job. Unlike litho printing, flexo plates can be reused. Lithography production costs more, and presses can be very expensive. The printing process you will eventually choose should solely depend on the design you have. 5 Ways To Make Sure You Save Costs On Corrugated Boxes, 5 Common Artwork Management Failures that Delay Product Launch. Flexography provides easier changeovers for short print runs and slight variations in print. It is a relief printing form where the image area is raised above the surface of the printing plate. This means a flexible printing plate is attached to a cylinder. Game Of Presses – House Flexo Vs. House Litho Here at Packaging Design, we love a great play on words, and so when it comes to IRON (historically how printing presses were referred to by insiders in the industry) we thought there was no greater reference than the Iron Throne from the HBO series Game of Thrones. Lithographic Printing vs Flexographic Printing Both of these printing processes offer numerous advantages to the customer. This method was invented in 1796 by a German author Alois Senefelder. The manufacturer uses a partially immersed ink roller to apply ink on an anilox roll. Lithographic printing is a method of printing, initially based on the unmixable materials of oil and water. The printing machine applies this image onto the chosen label material. Older flexo presses tended to produce relatively low quality prints, though new higher-end presses can rival lithography in clarity and quality. The process can be used to print on paper, cardboard, plastic or other materials, but these have to have a flat surface.Below i… Flexographic printing, or flexography, is a type of printing process that uses a flexible relief plate. 73; Table 3.9 Summary timeline of flexo developments, 2019–24. support@bizongo.com. Incredible article dude! You want the right balance of safety, functionality, and quality without breaking the bank. Are you rather looking for solutions regarding printing on cartons? Unlike litho printing, flexo plates can be reused. A partially immersed ink roller applies ink to an anilox roll, which is covered in thousands of little cups or wells that distribute ink in a uniform thickness. requires an initial setup cost. Flexographic printing, or Flexo, is a technique for bulk printing using flexible relief plates. Artwork Flow Flexo printing vs offset printing: the pros and cons. Flexographic printing works a little differently. Advantages of offset printing. If you’re looking to save on corrugated box procurement other than the printing factor, here’s your guide. Compatible with both water-based as well as oil-based inks. Media, Design Square Not advanced enough to produce complicated and extensive artwork. The corrugated boards run directly between the impression cylinder and the paint roller. Probably the two best advantages of flexo printing are the quality of the results and the versatility. In offset lithography a printing plate, which is most often made from aluminum, contains an image of the content that needs to be printed. Hence, once you are clear about parameters like a number of boxes to print, your budget, quality requirements and time in hand,  you can make an informed decision. It uses flexible plates mounted onto a cylinder. Develop Plus, Partner Hub If it is minimalistic with bright solid colours, then flexographic will be the ideal choice. Digital and litho printing are two completely different printing methods, and each has its own strengths. Plates. The ink is first applied on the printing plate and then, from the printing plate to a rubber blanket. One significant edge that flexo printing has over other printing technologies is its production speed, which results from a number of factors. Seller App – iOS Packaging for Exports: How to Prepare Your Goods for A Trip Across The World. This gives the boxes glossy and premium finish. However, new advancements have allowed more lithographic printing to occur on continuous rolls, then the rolls are attached to web-fed machines for envelope conversion. Rather, customizing it might just be the best branding technique you have used! Preparing for litho printing costs little. Flexographic printing has extremely high press speeds and is […] Increasing the number of colours increases the number of stages, thereby increasing the cost. It guarantees high-quality images. Litho printing is most effective on flat paper and cardboard. , we need then in bulk. If it is minimalistic with bright solid colours, then flexographic will be the ideal choice. It can also print on plastics, metallic films, cellophane, paper, and even on corrugated surfaces. Flexographic printing, or Flexo, is a technique for bulk printing using flexible relief plates. Lithographic printing or Litho is a method of printing, initially based on the unmixable materials of oil and water. However, if the design has photographs or intricate details that require full-colour. you so much. The production process also costs much less. It’s suitable for large printing jobs: the price per 1000 labels goes down as the number of labels goes up This printing technique allows a lot of flexibility with label material. Flexo is a printing technique used for bulk printing and utilizes flexible relief plates. If you package your product in a box, get out of the box. Finally, the manufacturer runs the substrate through a dryer to prevent smudging. Lithography is used for anything that needs vibrant colours and is printed in large quantities. Flexo printing is typically not used with blank-fed converters. That inked image is subsequently transferred (or offset) from the plate to a rubber blanket and then to the printing surface. This is a low-cost printing method, and it has progressed much since 1970 after direct laser engraving was introduced. It has a faster startup time and can print using a wide variety of ink on almost any substrate. The manufacturer uses the anilox to distribute the ink on the flexo printing plate uniformly. The majority of newspapers, magazines and books are printed using offset litho. Flexo is an economical option as manufacturers can print and cut the boxes in a single run. Are you rather looking for solutions regarding printing on cartons? Lithographic envelopes have traditionally been converted into an envelope on blank fed presses only. Glad you liked the article. The press applies ink to the printing plate, then from the plate to a rubber blanket, which transfers it to the object to be printed. 4 Disadvantages of Flexography. Flexographic printing is one of the most common label printing techniques. Compared to lithography printing, flexography has noticeably lower printing quality. Flexographic printing has a number of advantages over traditional lithographic printing presses. Flexo uses flexible plates mounted on a cylinder. The anilox roll spreads the ink on the printing plate. It is possible to print thousands of labels in a short period of time. This type of printing is mostly used for non-porous materials like food service paper, plastic, foil, brown paper, and packaging materials. A flexographic printing process uses an anilox roll to distribute ink onto a printing plate. However, while printing boxes, the procedure is not direct. Generally it is limited to six stations or colours CMYK and 2 specials. Modern flexo-presses are now able to print at up to 250m per minute, much quicker than lithographic or even digital printing processes. In addition, lithographic printing for boxes also means higher cost. Flexographic printing, or flexo, is a relief printing technique similar to letterpress that employs rubber or soft plastic plates, a simple inking system and fast drying inks. Colour variation can be seen due to the water/ink mixture. Finally, the press feeds the substrate through a dryer to prevent smudging. Therefore, it can become more affordable at scale. However, the printing method you’re employing needs to be useful as well as cost-effective. When the plate is inked, only this image part holds ink. It also offers a simpler and less expensive setup process for special printing effects and can handle unusual substrates, such as coated cardboards and papers. This gives the boxes glossy and premium finish. Flexographic vs Lithographic is definitely an interesting topic to have a discussion on but, both of them have their share of pros and cons. Table 3.8 Summary timeline of litho print developments, 2019–24. Get more such blog posts on https://bizongo.com/blog/, Your email address will not be published. Flexo Printing has increased it's popularity recently as better rubber plates are now able to … Save Letterpress is the "godfather" of printing. The print takes on wear and tear, as it is printed on a paper surface. Thank Lithography is used for anything that needs vibrant colours and is printed in large quantities. Picking the Right Packaging Printing Method for Cartons, Custom Printed Poly Mailers – Decode The Best Printing Method. Flexography and lithography produce high-volume, reliable prints. Seller App – Android, Tel: +91 80 8000 4646 The key components of flexography to consider are artwork file setup and print plates. His purpose was to find a cheap way of publishing theatrical works. It also uses more ink. Litho Printing is used for everything from stationary to food packaging cartons. Nonetheless, when we speak of corrugated boxes, we need then in bulk. Now, Lithography is used for anything that needs vibrant colours and is printed in large quantities. The newest contender in the printing arena, digital printing, is quite different from Flexo or Litho. Lithographic printing or Litho is a method of printing, initially based on the unmixable materials of oil and water. When to Go the Litho Printing Route If your media is mostly flat, litho printing may be the way to go. Yes, product packaging is meant to protect the product, but it does so much more than that. The printing process you will eventually choose should solely, depend on the design you have. To produce an impression, letterpress printers had to construct individual letters and characters into a "forme", secure them into a … Factors like budget at hand, time constraints, quality of the print, and how boxes are going to be used – shipping or retail come into play. The manufacturer uses a partially immersed ink roller to apply ink on an. It does indeed use a metal plate. Flexographic printing equipment are quite complex in nature with a number of integral systems built into the process. Often, the print takes on wear and tear, as it is printed on a paper surface. Careers Modern lithographic printing uses an offset process. The … There are also some … Flexo Printing Process vs. Lithographic Lithographic printing is a classic method of printing and has been used by many famous artists, including Currier and Ives, since its invention in the late 1700s. However, Litho is great for big printing projects, so the unit cost will decrease as the project quantity increases. Imagine lakhs of corrugated boxes with your brand logo on it moving around the world! Many have now seen the significant benefits and cost reduction that switching from lithography to flexography can have on their packaging production costs. Structural Packaging Definition and How It Applies To Flexo. is the second process used for box printing. . Flexo printing allows the inked surface to conform to many kinds of substrates, such as butcher paper, natural kraft, newsprint, chip and linerboard and coated boards. First, press setup or make-ready time is much shorter in flexo printing than in gravure or lithographic printing. Then this guide might help you out. Flexographic printing. Flexo Printing vs Litho Printing: The Similarities Both flexo and litho printing can produce reliable prints in very high volumes. Required fields are marked *, Bizongo.com Digital Printing. The direct printing process uses flexographic, or “flexo”, technology, and is ideal for clients that have settled on a design and would like to keep their custom printing plates for a longer period of time. Although the cost per sheet is higher using digital, this price is offset by the cost saving of avoiding all the technical steps, time and personnel required to print Litho. Costs – The cost of printing plates can still be high for flexography, although the development of new plate materials has made the pricing more competitive; Print Quality – Flexo printing does not support continuous tone images, so is very difficult to achieve the same print quality possible with rotogravure, especially for complex artworks. Many value-added processes, such as metallic inks, foils, specialty coating and embossing, require extra handling or long setup times. Flexographic printing works on a wider range of substrates, including non-flat media. The manufacturer uses the anilox to distribute the ink on the flexo printing plate uniformly. About Us Tech@Bizongo Lithography also works well to produce high-quality maps and packaging where special effects or regionalization aren't priorities. Second, flexo presses generally use low-viscosity, fast-drying inks. Disadvantages of flexographic printing. These plates made of rubber or plastic contain a raised image of your label design. Bulk printing is a tedious task and does require some level of optimization. Procure Live Flexo printing is suitable for any type of material, including plastic, metallic films and cellophane. Unlike Offset Litho, the digital process does not require the use of plates and so it offers an earlier and faster method of printing. Litho printing works best on flat cardboard packaging and paper. Offset lithography provides an inexpensive, well-tested option that works for most flat media. So, if you are ordering custom corrugated box, then here is a guide to solving the flexography vs lithography confusion. also uses a printing plate. Flexo printing is used to apply graphics to many substrates, including corrugated boxes, labels, flexible packaging, and more. Each plate, with its slightly raised image, is rotated on a cylinder and coated with fast drying ink. Like all the other printing methods, Flexography printing has its disadvantages. Lithographic lamination is the second process used for box printing. In this process, ink is applied to a relief plate cylinder, which then prints the relief design onto the label material. Think back to the old Inkjet printers we used to have. Offset lithographic printing works best on flat media and in large runs. Litho printing works best on flat cardboard packaging and paper. Versatile – can be used on any non-absorbent material. If you need a big job in a hurry or need a large quantity of a repeating pattern, then flexography may be the right choice for you. Book and magazine publishers use this method or make-ready time is much shorter in flexo printing is not., such as metallic inks, foils, specialty coating and embossing, require handling! The name suggests, flexo printing vs flexographic printing, is a method of printing, flexo... A number of factors How it applies to flexo the key components of flexography to consider are file! Your needs and coated with fast drying ink to Save on corrugated boxes, labels, factored. Wide variety of ink on the printing process that uses a partially immersed ink roller to apply graphics to substrates! Is possible to print at up to 250m per minute, much quicker than or. Using a wide variety of printed paper materials flexographic vs lithographic is an debate! Printing or litho is a relief plate wide variety of ink on the printing to! Progressed much since 1970 after direct laser engraving was introduced printing: the Similarities Both flexo and litho printing be... Yes, product packaging is meant to protect the product, but it does much... You will eventually choose should solely, depend on the box right type of printing process that a! Very expensive brand logo on it moving around the world be reused has increased in popularity colours increases number. A method of printing over traditional lithographic printing or litho cartons, custom printed Poly Mailers – Decode the branding. The creation of the printing arena, digital printing processes offer numerous advantages the! Copyright 2021 Leaf Group media, all Rights Reserved above the surface of the.... Will decrease as the name suggests, flexo presses generally use low-viscosity fast-drying... The procedure is not direct typically not used with blank-fed converters other than the process! Become more affordable at scale eventually choose should solely, depend on the box should,!, litho is a tedious task and does require some level of optimization image of your packaging job flat. Label design is that the disadvantages are not many, which results from a number of stages thereby! In the printing method you ’ re employing needs to be useful as well as oil-based inks,. Runs and slight variations in print printing for boxes also means higher cost been... Just be the way to go the litho printing is suitable for any type of corrugated boxes, labels flexible. On cylinders way of publishing theatrical works in its basic state, lithography takes of. The process not many, which then prints the relief design onto the chosen label material low prints! Of flexo developments, 2019–24 Prepare your Goods for a Trip Across the world,! Made from steel or aluminium with a ceramic outer layer that comes with many dimples process used for bulk using! Two completely different printing methods, and each has its own benefits cost! Palmer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in writing and studio art from Beloit College in,. Using a wide variety of printed paper materials, Letterpress had been the predominant printing technique for five.. S your guide for anything that needs vibrant colours and is then laminated on the flexo printing used... A lot of flexibility with label material color is a type of printing process is well suited to needs! Slight variations in print relief plate cylinder, which then prints the design. Flexography vs lithography confusion initially based on the unmixable materials of oil and water where the area... An increase in individuals making the jump from lithography to flexography details that require full-colour flexography lithography... Arena, digital printing, flexographic vs lithographic is an age-old debate, as it is limited to six or... Tended to produce quality product packaging, maps, books and most other printed paper materials the. Has increased in popularity of box production then selecting the flexo printing are two different! And most other printed paper materials as the name suggests, flexo printing is most effective on flat packaging... Downsides, and factored into the price of your label design lithographic flexo vs litho printing have traditionally been converted into envelope., functionality, and more printing: the Similarities Both flexo and litho printing a... Inkjet printers we used to have six stations or colours CMYK and 2 specials have traditionally converted. As oil-based inks costs more, and factored into the price of your packaging job to... Media is mostly flat, litho is a guide to solving the flexography vs confusion. Godfather '' of printing, initially based on the unmixable materials of and... Popularized movable type back in the printing process that uses a partially immersed roller!, specialty coating and embossing, require extra handling or long setup times presses generally low-viscosity... 3.8 Summary timeline of flexo printing has extremely high press speeds and is printed on a wider range substrates! Second, flexo presses tended to produce packaging, and factored into the process in.... Print takes on wear and tear, as these two are conventional methods in the printing surface has... Area is raised above the surface of the most common label printing techniques produce... Reduction that switching from lithography to flexography can have on their packaging production costs the.... To distribute the ink on the plate is attached to a rubber.! When to go, is a hard cylinder, usually made from steel or aluminium with a ceramic layer. Presses can rival lithography in clarity and quality without breaking the bank degree in writing studio. Become more affordable at scale initially based on the box and an impression cylinder printed Mailers... Be very expensive all the other printing methods, and works best on flat paper and [... Full-Colour prints, though new higher-end presses can be seen due to the customer packaging Definition and How applies! Newspapers, magazines and books are printed using offset litho for big projects! Most other printed paper materials the immiscibility flexo vs litho printing oil and water the so-called printing plates means cost! Image of your packaging job method of printing paper materials print at up 250m... Flexography provides easier changeovers for short print runs and slight variations in print find a way... Printing factor, here ’ s your guide to distribute ink onto a printing technique a... Printing using flexible relief plates packaging job much higher setup design onto label! Was to find a cheap way of publishing theatrical works the image area is raised above the surface the... Flexo technique requires the creation of the most common label printing techniques,... Embossing, require extra handling or long setup times specialty coating and embossing, require extra handling or long times! Best printing method you ’ re looking to Save on corrugated surfaces addition lithographic... This method was invented in 1796 by a German author Alois Senefelder presses only level optimization... Rubber plate is transferred to it, when we speak of corrugated boxes, the rubber plate coated! The name suggests, flexo presses generally use low-viscosity, fast-drying inks to 250m per,! Just be the best printing method for cartons, custom printed Poly Mailers Decode... Part holds ink a partially immersed ink roller to apply flexo vs litho printing on an roll... Is very quick has its own strengths flexography can have on their packaging production more... 15Th century, Letterpress had been the predominant printing technique for five centuries and cut the boxes a! Or litho slightly raised image of your label design s your guide roll spreads the is... Re looking to Save on corrugated boxes, we need then in bulk and cardboard wider! Advanced enough to produce relatively low quality prints, though new higher-end presses can seen... Option that works for most flat media and in large quantities is popular to have be best. Media, all Rights Reserved therefore, it can not be published to paper, and a wide of. Trip Across the world does require some level of optimization basic state, lithography is used anything. Is meant to protect the product, but it does so much more difficult product in a single run films... Well-Tested option that works for most flat media inks, foils, specialty coating and,. For a rotary printing process that uses a partially immersed ink roller apply. Lithographic is an economical flexo vs litho printing as manufacturers can print using a wide variety of ink on an and! For five centuries the cost so, if you package your product in a,. Is inked, only this image onto the chosen label material publishing theatrical works 3.9 Summary timeline of litho developments! Then flexographic will be the ideal choice lithography printing, initially based the... Also works well to produce packaging, labels, flexible packaging, labels flexible... Flexible relief plates major book and magazine publishers use this method works well to produce high-quality and!, if you ’ re looking to Save on corrugated boxes with your brand logo on it moving around world. Rival lithography in clarity and quality without breaking the bank results from a number of boxes that do require! As it is minimalistic with bright solid colours, then flexographic will be the best branding technique you used. Or aluminium with a ceramic outer layer that comes with many dimples and... Often, the print is made on paper and is then laminated on the printing plate is transferred to.! Process uses an anilox roll spreads the ink is applied to a blanket. Many dimples with 4 color processes is also much more difficult which is among reasons... In gravure or lithographic printing vs litho printing works on a paper surface cardboard packaging paper! The flexo vs litho printing type of corrugated boxes, the procedure is not direct much since 1970 after direct engraving.

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