Flexographic Printing: What is it and How Should My Company Be Using it?

Flexographic printing is a hot topic in the world of printing. Using flexible printing plates and high-speed printers, this method of printing has been hailed as both innovative and disruptive and using it properly may be the key to success for printing businesses.

But what is flexographic printing, and how can your company use it?

What Is Flexographic Printing?

Essentially, flexography, also known as flexo, is a modernized and updated version of letterpress printing. Using quick-drying semi-liquid inks, plates are applied to large, powerful rollers and then pressed against the substrate in order to create the image.

It’s a simple concept and one that’s been used since the very first printing press. However, modern technology has made it much easier to create customized printing plates, and the fast rotation of printing cylinders have made flexography unique in the package printing industry.

With flexography, companies can quickly turn out small-batch orders using inexpensive, easy-to-operate machines.

What Are the Benefits of Flexographic Printing?

 Let’s take a deeper look at the benefits of flexographic printing:

  • Great for printing continuous patterns – Because flexographic printing can use a continuous roll of material, it’s ideal for printing wallpaper, gift wrap, and other products that can be printed in a long, continuous pattern
  • Can be used on almost any substrate – Modern flexographic printing can be used on cellophane, plastic stock, metallic film, fabric, labels, corrugated cardboard, and more. This makes it extremely versatile
  • Cost-effective for smaller orders – Flexographic plates can be built quickly and efficiently, which reduces the setup time and costs related to smaller printing projects and increases profitability
  • Smaller, inexpensive machines require less capital – Flexographic machines are typically quite a bit less expensive than other large, industrial printers. This means that they are easier for smaller companies to acquire and run

Should My Company Be Using Flexographic Printing?

Really, this depends on the products that you manufacture and design. Flexo is not right for everyone. However, printing suppliers and vendors are quickly adapting to flexographic printing, and it’s become the de facto standard for many package printing and package design companies in the U.S. and Europe. So if you do not have any flexographic printing machines, they may be worth the investment.