Packaging Innovation
April 10, 2015

Designing and printing high quality flexible packaging

Delivering topnotch, high quality flexible packaging is a real challenge. Shopping bags, food bags, hygiene bags, sacks or disposable drinking cups are all common types of flexible packaging you see every day. Printing flexible food and beverage packaging can be problematic, both from a designer’s and a printer’s point of view. Luckily there is a potent solution: flexographic printing.

Flexible packaging design solutions

The problem with flexible packaging is that the design is done in 2D, while the end product is in 3D. In other words, graphic designers who are creating images for bags and other flexible materials work blindly, so to speak. They have to make an educated guess as to what the final product will look like. When something goes wrong during the design process, the printing quality will suffer significantly – it’s as simple as that.

Flexographic printing software gives designers full control during the creative process. Products such as Studio Toolkit for Flexibles make it possible to create 3D models of flexible pack designs. And with ArtPro or PackEdge graphic designers can see their artwork in 3D on the packaging. They can then find and correct mistakes before sending the project to the printing press.

Flexible packaging printing solutions

Flexo has had a reputation of being a low quality printing technique compared to gravure and offset. Typical flexo challenges are:

  • hard edges in gradients
  • lack of color density and brilliance
  • and limited detail in small type or picture details

However, with HD Flexo, Esko has raised the bar for high quality flexible packaging printing. Better still, implementing HD Flexo can be done without scrapping equipment. The benefits of HD Flexo:

  • standard imaging resolution up to 4000 PPI with smaller beam focus
  • higher screen rulings: up to 250 LPI without loss of gray levels
  • increase in quality of small details
  • smooth gradients fading to zero
  • strong and consistent solid areas

Would you like to know more? Visit our flexible packaging solutions page.