What You Need to Know About Digital Printing in Packaging

What is Digital Print for Packaging?

Digital printing is the process of transferring a document on a desktop or any digital storage device to a particular printing substrate through a machine that accepts graphic and text output.

Information on the document is converted to binary code to store the data and reproduce it efficiently.

Purpose of Digital Printing in Packaging

When compared to offset printing, digital printing requires lower minimum quantities.

Short Runs & Sampling

It is typically cheaper to produce small runs in digital printing than offset printing. When an order of fewer than a hundred pieces is required, digital printing is the way to go.

When it comes to custom package sampling, digital printing again beats out flexography printing and other conventional forms of printing.

Thanks to its lower costs, it is easier to create package samples with digital printing.


The drawback to printing digitally is the loss of image quality and, in some cases, only available in smaller paper sizes. It cannot print in the PMS Color System, which in turn cannot compete with the color accuracy traditional printers can produce.

Another disadvantage is the number of stock options. Digital printing can only be produced on certain types of paper materials, while traditional printing can print on more complex and unique substrates such as corrugated, chipboard, grey boards, and other thicker paper stocks.

Flatbed Digital Print for Packaging

Flatbed digital printing typically uses an inkjet printer to reproduce digital images.

Inkjet printing is considered to be the future of digital printing. The process uses ultraviolet (UV) curable inks to print digital images on flat surfaces.

This process is essential as it can print on numerous surfaces such as wood, metal, glass, and tiles. The technology can also print on materials that have varying levels of thickness.

Benefits of Flatbed Digital Printing

  • Consistently have higher quality: True digital flatbed technology does have a higher initial cost than its competition, but it does print in greater detail and has a higher level of accuracy & repeatability.
  • Environmentally friendly: Flatbed printing is also more eco-friendly than conventional printing as it produces a lower amount of waste cartridges and creates lesser air pollution. It leaves behind a smaller carbon footprint.
  • Flexible and low cost: Flatbed printing is excellent for custom and commercial packaging. Its lower cost increases the ease of customization and allows customers to develop their designs at a low price.
  • Quick and efficient production time: It saves a lot of time compared to conventional printing as there is no need to continually change plates, as the technology does not use any plates.

Digital printing does not require the usage of plates as offset or traditional printing requires. The process primarily uses toner and liquid ink.

In many instances of digital printing, unlike conventional ink, the ink used will not permeate the substrate being printed on. The ink creates a thin layer on the substrate, and the ink further adheres to the surface through UV curing or laser heating.

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