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What Is Flexography?

custom label printing

Custom label printing is the printing of labels of which every aspect is customized (the design, the materials, and the size). They are an important aspect of marketing, as labels provide information and are a great marketing tool. So what is flexography and how does it differ from other types of label printing?

How exactly does someone come up with product labels that can be placed onto products? That is not much of a problem these days, since anyone can easily print labels online with the help of online printing companies.

Now, it is true that digital printing is widely-used, but the thing is, it may not always be the cost-effective option, especially if we are talking about a very large online label printing job. There is, however, the alternative of flexography. It involves the use of a flexible relief plate (hence the name).

Advantages of Custom Label Printing with Flexography

There are lots of reasons why a lot of organizations and businesses go for custom label printing:

Flexographic Cost-Effectiveness

These days, quality custom printed labels no longer automatically come at such high costs. Flexographic printing, for example, is very cost-effective. After paying for the relief plates,  just think about how many are needed to be printed. The more that are printed – the more cost-effective it becomes.

Flexographic Flexibility

Custom label printing with Flexo is easy – and the customer has free rein. It has a rather wide range of applications. Not only is it a viable method for printing on various types of surfaces (i.e. plastic, foil or paper); but there would then be the option to have the design printed on coupons, removable labels, stickers, or to have the labels delivered as rolls or sheets.

Flexographic Speed

It also does not take long for orders for pre-printed labels to be processed. Gone are the days when printing labels with customized designs take eons. Printing companies can now print up to 600 meters of material per minute (they would be cut to the desired sized with the use of slitting machines afterwards). Flexo also uses ink that dries fast. It reduces the total costs and allows for faster production.

Quality Results

Technology has also allowed for better looking custom-labels. Most companies using Flexo, makes use of the standard four color process but some printers make use of additional color stations for more variations.

Disadvantages of Printing Labels Online With Flexo

Companies offering custom print labels services typically use flexographic printing, mostly because it is cost-effective for both the printer and the customer. It still has its downside though.

For one, if the right printing company is not chosen to order from, the results may not always as good as, say, the lithographic process. The image resolution can sometimes not always be as great as digital printing. Still, it is considerably cheaper and the finer presses with the right printing company can produce great outcomes especially when the one operating the machine is an expert.

There is also the matter of cost. Custom labels naturally cost more than their run-of-the mill counterparts – and with good reason. Flexo printing in particular has higher initial costs; after all, there would be a need to pay for printing plates. However, it becomes more cost-effective in the long run, especially if printing a whole lot more.

Here’s a more in-depth look at the differences between digital printing and flexographic printing.

The Bottom Line

We began this discussion with the question, “what is flexography”? Now that we’ve gone through the definition and description of how it works, think about this option versus the other options that are available. All things considered, assess whether the benefits outweigh the costs. Companies like Nova Custom Label Printing offer all types of printing options, from flexo to digital to lithographic, so one can choose which option is best. Still, if the goals are brand building and better market performance, custom label printing is one investment that absolutely has to be thought about.

Written by L. Taylor for Nova Custom Label Printing

I've worked with them twice now for specialty labels and am extremely happy with their level of service and quality. Both times, I was able to pick up in Manhattan and get my prints on-time for my events. Would recommend Michael and the team at Nova to a friend.

Lamar Letts Avatar Lamar Letts
November 21, 2023

We needed a last-minute label for one of our new products, so the turnaround time was quite tight. Nevertheless, Nova Custom Printing did their best to deliver our 500 labels right on time, ensuring the best quality! Michael, the owner of Nova Custom Printing, worked closely with us to ensure everything met our standards. It's definitely my go-to spot for commercial prints when I'm in need. Thank you so much!

Phuong Vo Avatar Phuong Vo
November 16, 2023

Worked with Michael! He was quick to respond and I was on a very tight turn around! He was able to help! Labels came out great and exactly what I ordered.

Neil Ford Avatar Neil Ford
October 30, 2023