December 22, 2020

The use of technology in printing custom printed boxes is a new trend in the packaging industry. This is because it makes the boxes look classy and visually more prominent. The printing technologies shade the packages with beautiful color themes to enhance the graphics and aesthetic appeal of the products. They are also utilized for printing different kinds of abstract patterns to capture the heed of potential customers in the very first look. They are not only restricted to some color schemes and patterns. They can be used in a way to create a versatile brand identity in the competitive packaging industry. Look at the implicit guide below to grasp the knowledge of all the important printing technologies being used for manufacturing the custom packaging.

An Overview:

It is a common belief among the people that the evolution of printing technologies being used in the packaging industry was all of a sudden. This is not the case as technology advancement was an evolutionary and slow process. At first, it used to be expensive, more time consuming, and less efficient. But with the progression of time, it became advanced, and efficiency was increased to maximum limits. As compared to the past, advanced technology now can print more custom packages in a short span of time.

3D Printing technology:

3D, also known as three-dimensional printing, is one of the greatest advancements in the packaging industry. In this process, 3D solid models of computerized digital files are created. The quality of the prints and images is top-class, which instantaneously grabs the attention of potential customers. This process can be used to print any kind of texture, pictures, designs, and styles without any complexity. This method, when applied to the custom printed boxes, increase the visual appeal and graphics of the inside products. It works best for meeting the personalized demands of the consumers. It also contributes to reducing the overall packaging waste by a great amount. The only problem in using this kind of technology is that it is time-consuming and prove very costly for mass production of the custom packages. 

Digital or inkjet printing:

Inkjet or digital printing works best for a smaller number of prints. Its efficiency reduces with the larger volumes of the custom packaging. Mostly, it is used to produce some eye-catchy prints on paper items. The labels and films applied to the custom packaging also use this type of printing technology. It can be used to print a mixture of different colors as it supports full-spectrum color models like CMYK. It helps in fine-tuning the design of your custom packages, which can ultimately provide you with a good design. For printing any kind of imagery or complex artwork, it will give you better results. But it is not considered a viable option for designing the logo and different kinds of texture. For short runs or smaller volumes, it proves very cost-competitive. But for larger volumes, its cost will increase up to a larger extent. This method can sometimes produce imperfections if used for flood coating.

Gravure printing process:

If you want high printing speed as well as durability, no method is more effective than the gravure printing process. The ink layer of the gravure method is thick as compared to other processes. This helps in drying the inks at a faster pace, and the printed stuff becomes strong and visually more prominent. This method is commonly used for printing folding cartons and stand-up pouches. You will be surprised to know that the gravure method is not as common as other printing processes are, but it is still used in commercial printing. The enhanced graphics of the custom packaging is guaranteed as this process produces high-quality prints. It supports both color models, i.e., PMS and CMYK. It can prove costly for low order prints so, it is better to invest in a high print volume. 

Offset technology:

Perhaps, this method is best among all the printing technologies for custom printed packages. It is a common choice of manufacturers in the packaging industry due to its multiple different benefits. The working principle of this process includes the transfer of an inked image from the plate to the blanket. After that, the inked image is shifted to the printing surface. Another added benefit is that this process is applicable to different kinds of materials such as cardboard, corrugated, paper, etc. It is most commonly used to print labels (litho-labels) and folding cartons. The offset method is most economical, so the packages printed with this technology are lower in cost. The life and quality of printed stuff are more as compared to other processes. It makes your custom packages more alluring and attractive in a quick time.


If you desire to print the larger areas of the custom printed packages in one single color, the flexographic method is the finest choice. It works best for:

  • Corner-to corner printing
  • Flood coatings
  • Text-based styles

It can print the glossy as well as rougher surfaces of the cardboard. No matter whether the materials are print absorbent or not, it will work best. When compared to the lithographic method, the flexography results in lower print quality. It has limited use of colors and cannot produce high-quality images sometimes.

There is a wide variety of printing technologies to choose from when it comes to the designing of custom printed boxes. The best printing solution clings to your budget and requirements. If you wish for an accurate color combination, gravure printing is the best. For smaller volumes of custom packages, digital printing is a good option. Similarly, flexography should be your preferential choice if you want high-quality prints.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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