Brands in all categories face tough competition on retail shelves. A recent retailer trend toward reducing the number of SKUs on the shelves to focus on high-demand products means getting consumers’ attention is more critical than ever. With packaging as the first introduction to your product, the graphics and print quality play a significant role in getting your brand noticed. However, budgets and ROI must be considered. This is where digital print shines for custom folding cartons.
What is Digital Printing?
Digital printing creates rich, vivid colors with impressive print quality and consistency. With digital printing, electrostatic rollers, called drums, apply toner and full color directly onto the substrate. One drum is required per color. The drum’s electrostatic charge attracts the toner, which is applied to the substrate and passed through a heating unit to fuse it onto the substrate.
A raster file (or pdf if software allows) of the artwork is sent from a computer to the digital press. The artwork must be sharp with a high enough resolution for the print’s size requirements. Your printer can help you determine the size needed.
Advantage 1 – Reduced Print Costs
For smaller quantity print jobs, digital printing can dramatically reduce print costs over other methods such as lithographic (offset) and flexographic, which require expensive printing plates for each color applied. Digital does not require plates, making it more affordable. Also, if changes are needed to the artwork, they can be made quickly. With other print methods, new plates would need to be made. Technology advances are continually improving print quality, and the volumes continue to increase regarding affordability.
With digital print, you can get only what you need. There is no need to store packaging that might become obsolete before it can be used. Avoiding overstock and obsolescence, reducing scrap and waste, and eliminating the need for additional warehouse space saves you money.
Advantage 2 – Faster Turnaround Time
Digital printing needs minimal setup, significantly improving turn-around time compared to other methods. Lithographic printing, for example, requires significantly longer to set up. For each color, a metal plate must be etched and applied to the rollers in the printer. Then the press needs to run, printing scrap, until the plates are adequately inked before beginning the print job. In contrast, a digital printer is ready to print when the file is sent.
Advantage 3 – Powerful Customization with Digital Print
When it comes to print customization, digital printing wins hands down. The level of customization is limited by your imagination. Digital printing can print a single sheet or 1500+, giving you the flexibility to showcase your brand the way you want to.
Digital printing uses variable data technology, which supports tremendous customization not available with the other mass-production printing methods. With variable print technology, static content is combined with the variable data (customization) to provide a highly customizable solution. Although not folding cartons, one of the most memorable uses of variable print was Coca-Cola’s ‘Share an ICE COLD Coke” campaign, which had consumers digging through shelves to find their names. But variable print can also be used for something as simple as adding a unique code to each folding carton.
Advantage 4 – Better For Our Environment
Along with the previous benefits, digital printing is a process you can feel good about regarding our environment. Digital printers utilize less energy than traditional litho/offset printing. Also, the versatility of digital printers allows for the elimination of waste. There are often scraps and un-used/unnecessary leftovers on large print jobs that simply get thrown away. Digital printing allows for complete control over the print job and an exact number of pieces.
Together We Can Create Beautiful Packaging
With a commitment to excellence, a flair for design, and four HP Indigo Digital Presses, we are equipped to bring your packaging to life. As a G7 Colorspace Master Facility, our strict processes for quality and color consistency ensure the packaging you receive is the packaging you envisioned.
At Hatteras, we not only care about the quality of your packaging, we care about its impact on the environment, too. Our focus on sustainability includes using soy-based inks, maintaining Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Sustainable Green Printing (SGP) Certifications, and using 100% renewable energy to fuel our operation! Learn more about our Hatteras’ sustainability initiatives and how we’re making a positive impact for our community, our clients, and our planet.
Ready to start printing? Contact us to create beautiful packaging you can feel good about.