Highest quality print, lowest possible cost

Any business that sells products understands the importance of high-quality packaging but it’s not just about the design and materials used. High-quality print enhances your packaging and speaks volumes about your brand and business.

What is high-quality print? Well, to some degree this is subjective, there are no absolutes here and to an extent it will depend upon what your product is. But it’s true that, to coin a phrase, you only make a first impression once; packaging is potentially the first time consumers make contact with your brand so it’s important to make a good first impression. Make that first moment of truth genuinely memorable and in doing so you’ll encourage to buy more products from you in the future

Building credibility

High quality printed packaging builds credibility. When consumers are exposed to high-quality tangible marketing media, they cannot fail but to be impressed. They can see how serious you are about your product, and they perceive you as a brand which can be relied upon and trusted. It says that you’re professional, that you care about the little things, the details. That you’re willing to invest in the consumer experience. That you value your customers. And all that means that they’ll value you, that they’ll feel confident that the product and the after sales service will be of equally high quality.

Increasing your reach

Another advantage of high quality print is it can increase your brand’s reach. High-quality packaging has vibrancy and real shelf standout. Therefore it’s more likely to attract your target audience. It enhances your reach in other ways too. If your marketing message is good and it’s conveyed on good quality packaging with the highest quality of print then it increases your chance of consumers liking it. If it’s something a consumer likes then they share the message and spread the word. That’s what matters the most.

Pros and cons

Print is quite an extensive subject and picking the right type of printing method for your packaging can be quite confusing if you’re not aware of the pros and cons. The most appropriate print solution for you packaging largely depends on the substrate and format you are using as well as your budget. Other considerations might include the length of print run, the type of artwork or illustration you have in mind and the amount of times you’re likely to redesign the pack in future. It’s important that the aesthetic is right, however, it’s also about finding a balance between affordability and the quality of the print. Generally, a happy medium can be found but you need to choose the most optimum print process for your specific packaging requirements.

Confused about how one printing process differs from another? You’re not alone. Here’s a quick guide to explain the options further;


If your business is looking for reasonably high-quality printing at a lower cost, flexography offers several advantages. It’s a process that uses quick-drying inks and can be used on a wide range of materials including corrugated card, plastic and cloth.

Photopolymer plates wrapped around a cylinder are used to transfer the printed design to the substrate. The design is slightly raised which is why it is often referred to as a modern approach to the old letterpress printing.

The benefits of flexography are that it delivers at a lower cost. The quality of the printing is acceptable for many businesses but not as high-quality as you get with lithography.


Lithography uses an aluminium plate with the design on it which is then applied to the packaging. If you are looking for more professional colour gradients, lithography delivers a very high-quality print but it is limited in the range of materials that can be printed onto.

The other big difference to flexography is that it can cost more. You need a custom plate to create the image for your packaging. It's a process that is most often used for foldable cartons and labels.


Like flexography, rotogravure printing uses a revolving cylinder to place the design. The main difference being that the cylinder is etched rather than raised and you need a different cylinder for each colour in your design.

This is a high-quality print process and can produce photo-quality images for packaging. Because it's a lot more expensive, this is best used with large volume packaging where you want to maintain quality throughout the print. It also works well on thin materials such as polyester and nylon which is why it’s often used for food packaging.

Digital/ink-jet printing

Digital printing has grown rapidly in recent years. Its popularity is due to its precision and efficiency. You may already have these printers in your home, office, business place and other common areas. With the availability of printers and cartridges in the market today, desktop publishing of high quality images has become possible.

Digital or ink-jet printing offers a few advantages. You can create your design digitally and easily change it for the next print which is great for multiple variants and personalised designs. Because of the cost, it works for low volume packaging prints compared to other, more traditional approaches.

Commercial ink-jet printing can, however, be more expensive for larger print runs. The printed packaging also has less of a protective surface, which can have an impact if your products are handled a lot either in transportation or within a store.

Digital printing is becoming increasingly and works for a wide range of packaging materials.

Silkscreen printing

Another printing process that’s more suited to lower volumes is silkscreen. This uses woven fabric to act as a screen as opposed to metal. Parts of the screen are sealed, others allow colour through. While it has lower setup costs for a business, the process is slower which makes it unsuitable for large print volumes. Silkscreen printing is most often used for packaging substrates such as glass and metal but can be used with many other materials including paper, card and fabric.

Good for the planet

Another key consideration when choosing a print method is the effect that process may have on the environment. With continuing pressure on businesses to reduce their carbon footprint, some print techniques and processes are transitioning to solvent-free inks and printing plates. Recycled materials are also becoming commonplace and print machines are constantly evolving to manage these sustainable materials efficiently as well as reduce their carbon footprint. If you’re an eco-brand you may want to factor these considerations into your decision making.

Highest quality, lowest cost

So many factors to consider but don’t worry, your packaging supplier or technologist will help you navigate through the process. With expert advice from a trusted partner, you can avoid the negative impact that poorly printed packaging could have on your brand and identify the best way of delivering great packaging. Key is to develop your printed packaging at the highest quality at the lowest possible cost. Each print process has its strengths and weaknesses so you’ll need to bear this in mind when deciding which method to use.