A printing technique whereby a mesh is used to transfer ink onto a substrate, except in areas made impermeable to the ink by a blocking stencil. A blade or squeegee is moved across the screen to fill the open mesh apertures with ink, and a reverse stroke then causes the screen to touch the substrate momentarily along a line of contact. This causes the ink to wet the substrate and be pulled out of the mesh apertures as the screen springs back after the blade has passed. One color is printed at a time, so several screens can be used to produce a multicoloured image or design. Thick coat of ink for maximum coverage and as such is a good process for colored packaging. Generally, screen printing has lower up-front costs than other decoration methods and can be done in smaller runs (1,000 units).
A decoration technique in which the inked image is transferred (or “offset”) from a plate to a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface. When used in combination with the lithographic process, which is based on the repulsion of oil and water, the offset technique employs a flat (planographic) image carrier on which the image to be printed obtains ink from ink rollers, while the non-printing area attracts a water-based film (called “fountain solution”), keeping the non-printing areas ink-free. Can print up to four or six-color with vibrant color at one time with better graphic flexibility than screen printing. Generally require higher run quantities than silk-screen with higher up-front costs. Designs limited to what can be printed on packaging substrate and still look realistic.
Labels are printed on a flexible shrink film that reduces in size through the application of heat. Once the film shrinks, it conforms tightly to the shape of the container or product, creating a sleek label and product package. With a 360 degree display of brilliant artwork and text, shrink sleeves give products premium visual impact and marketing exposure. Offers maximum artwork area and 360 degree display for complex container shapes as well as tamper evident features. Also allows multiple containers to be packaged/sleeved together for retail.
Heat Transfer Label (HTL)
Heat transfer labels are printed in reverse on a release substrate with a combination of inks, lacquers and adhesives. Rotogravure HTL offers the highest quality label print but generally requires larger volumes and higher setup charges. Flexographic HTL provides smaller run quantities with excellent print quality and lower setup charges. Digital HTL requires small set up fees and offers substantially smaller production runs with a higher per-label charge and are ideal for trial runs or small volume SKUs. Labels are applied to the package with a combination of heat and pressure providing a virtually seamless “no-label” look while offering virtual 360 degree application.
This technology is applicable to a variety of shapes and sizes of containers with consistent accuracy of label placement. Heat transfer affords greater adhesion and durability –even in high moisture environments. These labels are fully recyclable without removing them from the container. They are also squeeze and product resistant, light, fast and have a high degree of ink opacity for colored packaging. Rotogravure HTL offers the highest quality print but generally requires larger volumes and higher setup charges. Flexographic HTL provides smaller run quantities and lower setup charges. Digital HTL requires small set up fees and offers substantially smaller production runs with a higher per-label charge.
Pressure-Sensitive Label (PSL)
Pressure Sensitive labels, or Self-Adhesive labels, utilize flexographic printing for economic short runs and quick turnaround times, and gravure printing for long run efficiencies. Specialty die-cutting is available for unique shapes, backside printing, foil stamping, scratch’n sniff, textured inks, perforations and a variety of additional label enhancements are available. Substrate options include white, craft, and metalized paper; clear, white, and metalized films. PSL’s are an excellent choice for almost any package, and work especially well on contoured and squeezable containers for products in the food, beverage, wine and spirits, household chemicals, and automotive industries with a wide variety of paper and film substrates available including clear film for a “no label look.” Label costs vary depending on substrate, size and quantities per SKU.
In-Mold Label (IML)
This decoration method uses paper or plastic labels during the blow molding, injection molding, or thermoforming processes by utilizing vacuum, compressed air or electrostatic pressure to insert the label at the moment of manufacture. The permanent label serves as the integral part of the final product, which is then delivered as pre-decorated item. Combining the decoration process with the molding process reduces the total cost by not requiring secondary decoration processes and inventory. Label minimums tend to be higher per SKU but digital printing provides opportunities for lower quantities. Production minimums vary but due to the ease of exchanging a magazine of labels versus print setups, per-SKU minimums can be lower. Like PSL, label costs vary depending on substrate, size and quantities per SKU.
Embossed or debossed closures are a cost-effective alternative to a custom designed cap. Embossing is a process for producing a raised design against a background. Manufacturers use custom inserts into stock or custom molds offering an economical opportunity to create brand identification. This decoration method is often combined with Foil Stamping or Pad Printing for enhanced presentation.
Embossed or debossed closures are a cost-effective alternative to a custom designed cap. Debossing is a process for producing a recessed design against a background. Manufacturers use custom inserts into stock or custom molds offering an economical opportunity to create brand identification. This decoration method can be combined with Foil Stamping.
Also called tampography, pad printing is a process that can transfer a 2-D image onto a 3-D object. This is accomplished using an indirect offset (or gravure) printing process that involves an image being transferred from the plate via a silicone pad onto a substrate. Can be used with both embossed or flat substrate surfaces. Similar to offset printing, it is generally used on packaging closures and small parts.