Traditionally, before the digital press for labels made its printing advantage so clear, label printing has been done on big, mechanical flexographic printing presses. This has always been a complex and expensive process, involving outputting your artwork to film to create flexographic printing plates – which are then loaded onto the printing press, the inks are mixed and the machine is calibrated. All this must take place before you can print a single label. The digital press for labels changes all this – it brings custom label printing into the 21st century.
4 Main Advantages of Digital Printing
With no plates to create and very little setup of the machine, a custom label job printed on a digital label printer can be printed in minutes – not hours. Many flexographic printing presses can take several hours to set up for a four-color process job, whereas our digital printing press is ready to go almost immediately. Using our digital printing process, we can have 4 or 5 jobs for digital product labels out the door while the old-style printing press is still being set up!
If you want high-resolution and vibrant colors then you need digital printing. Our HP-Indigo digital printing presses can print at 230 line screen, whereas most flexographic presses print at 133 or 150 line screen. You can really see the difference in the custom labels’ detail and color. If you are selling your products at the retail level, you really should consider digital label printing just for the quality of the label it produces.
Because there are no plates to create, no film to output, and minimal machine setup, fixed costs for the digital printer are very low in comparison with flexographic shops. So if you want to print a relatively small number of custom labels (say less than 25,000), you will always get a better price with digital printing. This way you can order only the products you need, rather than a huge number of custom labels just to get the best unit price – which obviously affects your cash flow in a positive way.
Additionally, custom label designs and content can change frequently. With digital printing, you simply submit new artwork and we can start printing your new custom labels, whereas in flexographic printing you would need to have new plates made every time you make a change to your label or sticker. So if you have multiple label or sticker designs the plate charges can add up very quickly.
Perhaps digital printing’s greatest power is its flexibility. With digital printing, you can print 1,000 custom labels and every label can contain different data. That’s right – completely variable data printing. Whether you want to include names from a database, consecutive numbers, multiple barcodes, or just several versions of the same label, digital printing can handle it with ease.
HP® Indigo® is the market-leading narrow-web printing solution for digital labels and packaging production. The Indigo delivers unparalleled quality, wide versatility with the broadest range of applications. Finish options include lamination for extra scuff resistance, custom die-cut shapes, and overprint and spot varnish in gloss and matte to give your label that extra POP.
The Xerox® Iridesse® combines the value of highly automated, agile digital production with exceptional image quality and complex metallic and white ink effects, making it easier to unleash the potential of print and achieve remarkably brilliant results. The Iridesse® is the perfect choice for booklets, brochures, posters, and marketing collateral. Finishing options include trimming full bleeds and half folds.