Digital vs. Conventional Flexographic Labels

Digital vs. Conventional Flexographic Labels


Digital Labels:

Digital printing presses deposit toner onto the substrate. Toner does not permeate the substrate, but instead forms a thin layer on the surface using a heat application process.

Fast turn around and flexibility

By avoiding the standard printing plates and advanced setup required with the conventional flexographic printing process, the digital label setup is much quicker. This makes it far easier to change and update label designs. Digital labels are definitely a good option for the shorter printing runs, and ideal for full color (CMYK) jobs, because of the savings in setup and delivery time.

Very high quality print

Digital images are printed as one image, rather than on layers. This results in a higher resolution image with crisp, clean colors, lines and text.

Holds detail down to 6pt text

Excellent registration allows the digital printing equipment to hold detail down to 6pt text.

Ideal for smaller runs

By eliminating the additional conventional flexo set up expenses there is a lower the cost of production for the shorter runs.

Conventional Flexographic Labels:

Flexographic printing is a method that uses flexible printing plates made of rubber or plastic. Each plate is rotated on a cylinder and coated with fast drying ink. The label substrate is passed between the print plate and impression roller.

Smaller text can block up with registration variants

Subtle movement occurs as the label substrate moves from one plate to the next during the printing process, making it difficult to layer colors exactly on small detail items – like fine lines and text; commonly used printing techniques called traps and bleeds are used to minimize this issue, but conventional flexographic printing can lack the high definition results achievable with digital label printing.

Exact PMS spot color matches

Use the Pantone Color Matching System to determine an exact spot colors for branded logos and graphics.

Ideal for larger runs

Conventional flexographic printing has a higher startup cost, with the main expense being the production of the printing plates. This expense can be resolved by have a larger quantity of same label produced – the higher the order quantity of a single label, the more cost-effective the conventional flexographic printing process becomes.


We understand that no two labeling needs are alike. And we can help decide which production method is the most suitable for grabbing the Consumer’s attention!

Can you tell the difference between these digital and conventionally printed labels?


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