In-Depth Guide to Printing Techniques for Packaging: What You Need to Know

Printing for packaging is an important aspect of printing that needs to be taken into consideration. There are many printing techniques that can be used in this field. However, it’s important to understand the differences between them. So, you know which one will work best for your project.

Each technique has its own advantages and disadvantages, which make them suitable for the packaging of various products. You cannot use the same technique for every packaging box. So, thoroughly consider each technique and choose the best one for custom printed packaging boxes.

In this blog post, I’ll briefly explain each technique and its pros and cons, so you can find out what printing technology is right for your project!


Lithography is a printing process that uses stones to transfer the image onto paper. The lithographic stone transfers ink from the surface of the image onto sheets of paper, and then the machine presses the images against blank surfaces in order for them to leave an impression. Lithography became popular because it’s cheaper than other methods at that time.

This technique is suitable for printing large quantities of the same image, but it’s not suitable for printing a variety of images.

Advantages of Lithography

The technique gives an excellent result- very clear and sharp, with high contrast between colors. Also, it’s cost-efficient. It doesn’t use a lot of ink, and the printing press is easy to maintain.

The images are very durable, as they have high resistance against chemicals and sunlight.

Disadvantages of Lithography

Lithography has limitations for how many colors that you can print at once. This affects reproduction accuracy with different color schemes. You can’t use this process on paper that is easily usable because there will be traces left from previous prints.

The printed images are not as durable against scratches or moisture, so they don’t work well for packaging that needs to be handled a lot.

Screen Printing

It is another printing technique for packaging printing, but it requires a screen and some other materials.

You can use this technique to print on any material that is porous because the ink seeps into the fabric. Screen-printed images are very durable against moisture or scratches, as long as you use high-quality inks.

The colors would stay bright over time if they were applied with precision and care from start to finish of the process.

Advantages of Screen-Printing

Screen printing is a versatile process that can be used for many different purposes.

Good quality and detail are possible with screen-printed images because you have some control over the thickness of your inks, as well as their placement on the fabric or other material.

This technique is also inexpensive upfront cost but can take time to produce before the delivery to a customer.

Disadvantages of Screen-Printing

Screen printing is not the best choice for large quantities. In addition, it needs an expensive investment upfront which includes a good quality screen and screen setting equipment. It doesn’t work well for large quantities either because there’s not enough space under the screen to layout all prints at once. It starts overlapping them onto each other while still seeing what you’re doing clearly.

Flexography Printing

This technique is economical and efficient. It’s also very good with detail work for many products. It gives more flexibility to print small fonts and images on the packaging material. It provides more accurate results than most other printing techniques do.

Advantages of Flexography Printing

The process is faster compared to screen-printing but not as fast as offset litho or digital printing. The upfront cost is low, which means you can order small quantities. You don’t need a lot of space either since this type of printing isn’t too detailed. So almost anyone can produce these prints in large numbers without any problems. Compared to some forms of package printing that require an expensive investment as flexography does, reorders are easier. There’s no need to produce new plates.

Disadvantages of Flexography Printing

The disadvantage of flexography printing is that it’s not as diverse in terms of the type of colors and graphics you want to print on the packaging. But it is a very popular form of printing because the graphics are three-dimensional.

Another disadvantage to flexography printing is that there’s no way for you to make changes if you need to reprint your product package. So, you cannot fix the mistakes in production. You have one shot, and when that goes wrong, then all you can do is throw out what was created. You need to start over again with new plates, which cost more money upfront.

Digital Printing for Packaging:

Digital printing is another form of packaging printing. This type of printing has a high resolution. You can use it to print full or partial color with a wide range of materials, including paperboard, fabrics, PVC films, and metal foils.

The digital printer uses toner to print the desired image onto the material. It means you don’t need plates like flexography that require extra cost for each new plate created. You just have one plate at your disposal, so any mistake made will not result in wasted money on reprinting goods. There are no mistakes while using this method as long as the original design was done correctly before putting into production. There’s also little waste when doing digital printing because all you’re left with after producing the packaging is a stack of decals.

Advantages of Digital Printing

This technique is advantageous for various purposes. This method is less expensive. It is easier to use than other printing methods. You can use it for a variety of types of packaging, from labels on beer bottles to boxes with gadgets in them. The best part about digital printing is that it’s cost-effective and time-efficient as well.

Disadvantages of Digital Printing

The disadvantage of digital printing is that it’s not as durable as other methods because the ink can fade and blur over time. Furthermore, there are more limitations when using this method compared to offset printing.


Every technique has its own pros and cons. Choose a technique that suits your product boxes and cross-check each detail before making your final decision. You will find these techniques at custom packaging manufacturers USA, contact them to get their services.


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