Digital vs Flexo, an Introduction
All things Labels & Stickers
There isn’t a straightforward answer to this, even “versus” would be the incorrect term when comparing digital and flexographic label printing; one of these production methods aren’t fundamentally superior or inferior over the other.
What does determine which production method to use is dependent on many brand-specific variables, including quantity, printing promotions, deadlines, design intricacy, to name a few. In turn, due to there being so many variables that come into play… there is no quick and easy solution. “If X, then digital is the best production method for your brand, though if Y, then flexo is the better option.”
So how do you choose?
To start, it necessitates a chat with an experienced sales person that has been involved in printing labels via both digital and flexo means. They will provide unbiased insight to best suit your brand’s unique needs.
This blog will provide you with some background knowledge and assist in communicating your needs across. So let’s carry on.
Dissecting the “digital vs flexo” comparison.
Conventional “digital vs flexo printing” debates centre around quantity & cost, these play one of the largest roles when settling on a choice.
Digital printing is a plate-free production method that involves almost no setup time. Eliminating the need for time-consuming setups and plate making makes it viable for small to medium size label runs — but due to its slower production speed, Flexo is the better choice for large runs
Flexographic printing requires more setup time and artwork preparation. Minor differences between kinds, be it a font change or 1 ingredient change would require a totally new set of plates to be made. Where Flexo presses do beat digital is having a superior throughput speed, they’re well-positioned to produce large orders cost-effectively en masse. The larger the quality, the faster the preliminary investment in setup and plate-making is nullified.
Within every brand’s labelling requirements there exists a crossover point. When it comes to larger label runs Flexo is hands down the better choice justifying the cost of plates and setup, and in turn digital will be better for anything under that threshold.
Although quantity and cost play a major role and provide a great baseline when deciding between the two production methods it not the end of this debate. Look out for our next blog post where we go more in-depth into their respective use cases.