As a business owner, your profitability hinges on your ability to create a stellar first impression through your product packaging. One of the most effective ways to achieve this goal is to use digital printing to personalize your product packaging. In addition to enhancing the color accuracy and quality of your final printed design, digital printing can be an affordable and environmentally-friendly solution.
Below is a look at the top 10 advantages of using digitally printed packaging.
1. Speedy Turnaround Time
"The speed of digital press technology means that 'sell it first then make and pack it' is fast becoming a new philosophy considered by brand owners and retail groups."
- Digital Print for Packaging (DPP)
Today's business professionals have higher expectations than ever when it comes to delivery speed. Gone are the days when packaging customers would place a large, costly order and be willing to wait for weeks to receive their printed product. Because there is reduced tooling (such as print plates) involved and the number of manual pre-press procedures is greatly reduced, digitally printed packaging offers an expedited production process that delights business owners with its speed.
2. Superb Color Accuracy
Digital printing can match up to 97% of the Pantone color spectrum and allows you to easily adjust colors and their properties so that your final packaging mirrors your vision. Printing a short run or small batch of your product packaging empowers you to test and refine your design and color scheme with ease.
Additionally, the growing popularity of digital printing has paved the way for ongoing technological improvements to maximize image clarity.
3. Easy Artwork Updates
"Smaller batch sizes, mass customization, frequent artwork changes, better graphics and product differentiation are some of the market forces that are driving this technology. The lack of tooling like screens or plates allows us to change artwork easily."
- Jack Oh, President, Omega Packaging
Rarely are brand owners fully satisfied with the very first product packaging sample they see. In most cases, tweaking is required to produce a final product that delights clients. With digital printing, these tweaks can be made quickly, and an updated design can be produced in short order.
4. Increased Brand Protection
Digital print packaging helps protect your brand by making it challenging to replicate certain features of your packaging design.
In a world of counterfeit products, companies are increasingly seeking ways to protect the integrity of their products and consumers want to avoid a fake. Digital printing inks can produce marks or microtext that are virtually impossible to copy.
5. Outstanding Quality
"Digitization also impacts the quality of the press run, as converters and manufacturers can view what's happening on the press in real time, allowing for quick adjustments and improvements, while removing waste and improving quality efficiently in the overall workflow."
- Jaron Lotan, President/CEO at Advanced Vision Technology (AVT)
Increased automation is one of the hallmarks of digital printing. Once you place your order and your design is uploaded, your packaging will pass through a series of automated steps that help to ensure the quality of your packaging. There is less chance for human error to impact your artwork, fostering continuity of design across your packaging.
"Many digital presses are designed from the earliest stages with the environment in mind, considering the full product lifecycle, supply chain and end of life."
- Mach Machikawa, Indigo Division of HP
While digital printing still requires the use of ink and chemicals, the impact on the environment is substantially reduced because the need for pre-press procedures is eliminated. Additionally, digital printing reduces the amount of packaging that is prepared but never used.
A growing number of price-conscious businesses are giving digital printing a try because the cost per unit is significantly less than the cost of using offset printing for low and mid-volume orders. Money is saved on the front end because of reduced setup costs and tooling (print plates and dies). Additionally, there are no order minimums, allowing you to only pay for the printing that you need - even if your needs are modest. Companies also enjoy a healthier cash flow because the printing process is faster, and products can ship more quickly - thereby improving stream of revenue.
8. Small Batch Printing is a Breeze
The setup costs associated with offset and flexo printing can be intimidating to owners of startups or small businesses - especially if you only require a small batch of packaging materials. In some cases, offset printing costs might exhaust the majority of a small company's marketing budget. Digital printing, on the other hand, enables you to easily and affordably print in several small batches without having to worry about overwhelming setup costs or managing an obsolete packaging inventory.
9. Greater Flexibility
Attempting to use traditional print plates with flexible packaging materials can present challenges to business owners. In contrast to traditional printing methods, digital printing can be easily applied to both rigid and flexible media. Digital printing capabilities extend far beyond flat cardboard boxes to apply to wood, rigid plastic, cotton, and metal. Digital printing can also be used with clear films, which are often used to package fruits and other foods.
"Providing a personalized packaging experience enhances the value of your brand by making it relevant in the life of the individual. The mass production of traditional print methods says to the consumer, 'You need to fit in with us.' Digital print says, 'How can I fit in with YOU?'"
- The Box Maker, Inc.
In contrast to offset printing, which features physically set content, digital printing permits you to customize print units with minimal effort. For example, you can custom print a client's name on a subscription box while keeping the rest of the packaging decoration consistent for all recipients.
The Bottom Line
A prospect's first impression of your brand is heavily influenced by the packaging you choose. Digitally printed packaging offers a host of benefits, including impressive accuracy, flexibility, and speed to market. As you evaluate prospective digital packaging providers, make sure you request references and inquire about each provider's level of industry experience.