Offset printing labels
Offset printing Advantages
• High Quality: The process of offset printing means that you are left with beautiful images of the highest quality. In some ways this could be seen as a more ‘premium’ option than digital. Offset printing will also give you the best colour matches since it uses actual Pantone ink.
• Versatile: Unlike with digital printing, offset can work on a surprisingly wide range of printing surfaces. These include paper, wood, cloth, metal, leather and plastic. This gives you more options when it comes to the design of a package so it allows you to be more imaginative.
• Cheaper For High Volumes: Whilst the set-up costs for offset printing are higher than with digital, the per-unit costs are significantly lower. This means that for very high volumes of products it is much more economical overall to choose this option. Digital is beginning to catch up in this regard but it still can’t quite compete with offset in terms of unit costs. Bear in mind also that digital uses four-colour printing so if you only want to print in black and white it may be cheaper to use offset.
Flexographic labels are a highly versatile label solution that can be applied on nearly all packages. They can be printed on a wide variety of materials, including metal films, plastics and papers.
Digital label printing
Digital label printing is a rapidly developing technology that’s changing the label industry. Each year, new printers hit the market, improving the quality of labels available while reducing printing costs and turnaround times.
• Fast: Digital label printing offers much shorter turnaround times so it’s useful for those last-minute orders or for when you have a very strict deadline. This is because the image can be created directly on the screen without the need for producing a plate image.
• Cheaper For Low Volumes: If you only want a small run of labels – perhaps for a limited edition product or for a one-off promotion – then digital printing is probably the more economical option. This is because, whilst the cost of individual units tends to be higher for digital labels, the initial set-up cost for offset is higher because you have to factor in the creation of the image on the plate. Most of the mechanical processes involved in offset set-up are not present in digital. If you take all of this in total, digital works out cheaper for low volume orders.
• Uniform Images: With digital printing, you can be sure that the image will be the same every single time. This will make your overall product look highly professional and it also means that there is less waste – leading, of course, to lower costs. This high level of accuracy is mainly owing to the fact that, with digital, you do not have to think about getting the correct balance of ink and water during the press run.
• Customisable: With digital you also have the option of variable data printing. This is a form of customisable printing which, using information from a database, allows for text and graphics to be changed on each individual piece without stopping the press. For example, you might want to personalise a product by printing each person’s name on an individual label for them. This would generally be used for direct marketing purposes.
Gravure printing labels
Gravure printing, photomechanical intaglio process in which the image to be printed consists of depressions or recesses on the surface of the printing plate. The process is the reverse of relief printing, in which the image is raised from the surface of the plate. The printer forms the image by cutting into the plate by hand or by using acids or other chemicals to etch the plate along the lines of the desired image. The printer then covers the plate with ink and wipes the ink from the higher surface, leaving the depressions, or intaglio areas, filled with ink. Paper pressed to the plate then absorbs ink from the depressed areas. Varying the depth of the depressions provides tonal gradations in the printed image.
Direct thermal labels are a cost-effective type of label made with the direct thermal printing process. In this process, a thermal print head is used to selectively heat specific areas of coated, thermo-chromatic (or thermal) paper. The paper runs over the thermal print head then turns black where it’s heated, producing a desired image. Two-color direct thermal printing can create both red and black images by applying heat at two temperatures. Direct thermal labels use no ink, toner or ribbon, only chemically treated, heat-sensitive materials.
Screen printing labels
Screen or rotary screen print labels are a flexible way to help many products come to life on the shelves. Screen printing is a technique that involves applying a mesh pattern to a product surface, then pressing or pumping ink through the mesh openings and onto the product to produce the image.
Cold foil labels
Custom foil labels are a useful tool for captivating customers as they browse store aisles. There are two main types of foil labels: hot foil labels and cold foil labels. Hot foil labels are made by pressing metallic, dry ink onto label material using a heated, engraved plate. Cold foil labels are made using a press to apply a thin foil sheet onto label material with cold printing plates and a UV curing lamp.
Embossed labels allow you to add custom design, lettering, decoration or pattern effects to your product packaging.
Variable printing enables us to print large quantities of labels while changing elements of the content on an individual level. At Resource Label Group, we’re able to print the content changes without stoppage or a slowing of the printing process.