The 21st century has become known as the digital age. Computers are no longer a luxury, but a necessity and considered vital to businesses as well as individuals. Digital is how we communicate, how we take our pictures, how we watch T.V. and at Vibrant Graphics, it is how we print. Vibrant Graphics has always been a solely digital printer. We are on the forefront of the digital trend and fully aware of the many advantages that digital printing has over traditional flexographic printing.
We also recognize that there are still certain jobs that are more appropriate for flexographic printing and if we feel you are bringing in this type of job, we will definitely tell you that. However, when it comes to printing high-quality customized labels; digital printing is your best option. If your labels will not be used at the retail level, then high quality is probably not your top priority and flexo may be a better option. Also, if you need to order in extremely large quantities then flexo may be a better option for you in this case as well.
The difference between flexographic and digital printing can be summed up in one word, plates. Digital printing does not involve any plates; instead it receives its images from a database. This results in lower minimums and a less expensive and quicker turn-around time. It also allows for printing on demand. While the set up time for flexographic takes several hours, the set up time for digital can take as little as several minutes, which means we can turn jobs around in just a few short days.
Digital printing also allows for more customized labels, or variable-data printing. With this technology, every label could be different, seasonal labels could be created easily and deciding to change your brand could be a simple decision. Variable-data printing means that things such as text, colors, images and graphics can be changed from one printed label to the next. Digital printing makes this possible without stopping or slowing down the printing process because it uses information from a database.
The flexibility to have custom labels is among one of the biggest advantages digital printing has over flexographic. Whether you are printing 100 labels or 25,000 labels, each one can be different. This is something that flexo simply cannot offer. When printing digitally, every label could have a different barcode, different name or different date.
Besides flexibility another huge advantage digital has over flexo is quality. Digitally printed labels are produced with a higher line-screen than labels that are printed flexographic. A digital printing press can print 230 lines, whereas a flexographic label press can only print at 133 or 150 lines. This difference in line-screen equates to a big difference in the color, detail and clarity of the label. This is what makes our labels Vibrant. Digitally printed labels are always produced using a 4-color process. This allows our customers to submit artwork using photos or multiple colors.
Along with these color and photo options, digital printing can give you press proofing and sample proofing directly onto your requested material, so you know in advance exactly how the final product will look. We can also quickly provide small sample prototypes to help you bring your next big idea to life. If you’re unsure of how the photo will look on your product label, we can show you in advance so you don’t have to wonder if you will be happy with the end result.
If you want your labels to stand out and want your product to be a ‘shelf talker,’ then digital printing is your best option. Below is a recap of the advantages digital printing has over flexo.
- Lower minimums
- Higher quality
- Quicker turn-around time
- Variable-data printing
- Sample proofing
- Easily handles multiple SKUs