How to do the digital, flexo, or litho dance!

How to do the digital, flexo, or litho dance!

If you are a food and beverage start-up, you already know that packaging development is not for the faint of heart.

If anything can go wrong, it will. Ugh!

Help is on the way.

I’m writing this blog with you in mind.

Seriously, read on to learn why food and beverage makers don’t need to have all the answers.

You just need to know where the library is.

TIP: Surround yourself with knowledgeable and trusted advisors.

For best results, lean on trusted advisors and experts in the packaging community to help you engage the right packaging supply chain for your product.

Trusted advisors are consultants, package design firms, printers and their supply chains.

I’ve been asked several times:

“We are launching our first major product at-retail. How do I know which packaging format and printer are best suited for my application?

I mean, how do I choose between digital and legacy flexo or litho suppliers?”


“It depends.”

Digital, flexo, litho, (and roto) formats have different specifications, capabilities, guard rails, and guidelines.

You’ve done your homework and completed a visual category analysis. You know which packaging components you need, right? Labels, bags, bottles, cartons, closures ……

During the product development process, reach out to a consultant, agency partner, or package designer. After answering a few questions, they will know how to get you on your way to achieve packaging goals.

Today, everyone is talking about digital package printing. Read on to learn why and get a few pointers on digital in 2018!

TIP: Don’t underestimate the power of flexo and litho to help you express your brand personality and stand out at-shelf.

5 things to know about digital package printing:

  1. Digital presses (with the help of hyper-customization software) give marketing teams the opportunity to launch personalized and customized marketing campaigns. I know you’ve seen Diet Coke’s “One of a Kind” program. Here is a photo reminder:

digital print, coca-cola diet coke one of a kind, personalized graphics

Have you seen the Nestle KitKat personalization campaign launched in the UK? Here is a link to their digital personalization story.

Digital has been making a quite a splash in packaging!

You don’t have to be a consumer goods giant to take advantage of digital capabilities though.

And it’s important to know that digital is not “one size fits all”. That’s why you need a trusted advisor to help you know when digital is the right fit for your product packaging project.

Here are 4 more reasons to qualify digital package printing in 2018:

  1. Today’s digital print can achieve rotogravure quality, apply a hit of white with better opacity than ever, and print repeatable, accurate graphics.
  2. If time is not on your side, small run digital usually turns around quickly vs legacy presses. (without upsetting the apple cart)
  3. All in, smaller run digital production (especially with more changeovers) typically costs less than legacy flexo or litho printed packaging. Particularly where there are many flavours or versions.
  4. A printer with both digital and conventional capabilities in one building may be better equipped to help you innovate,  lower your overall print costs and, show you repeatable dazzling print effects.

Ask their client services team!

Schedule business reviews with your packaging supply chain to better understand how digital capability fits into your line-up.

I hope you found this blog useful.

Karen Blumel Consulting is a firm that specializes in packaging innovation. I help makers leverage the power of their packaging supply chain to lower costs, improve turnaround times and sell more product.

Be Well,