Packaging Techniques

By shape, colors or finishes, there is something unique in each custom packaging. A dimension that is also found through printing techniques and there are a host of options on this side to choose from! From digital to offset printing via flexography, how to obtain the unique rendering fully adapted to your needs?

Follow the guide, and the printing processes will have no more secrets for you!

Digital packaging printing

Suitable for: Traditional stationery, packaging, books, textiles.

In 1992, the very first Xerox 4700 digital printer appeared. The HP Indigo followed in 1993, and digital printing flourished throughout the rest of the decade.

Digital printing relies on the transmission of computer data between a computer and a printer. Unlike traditional printing, which requires specific accessories that must be changed for each print run, the digital process works in a continuous flow without any preparation step .

We particularly appreciate its print quality and the possibility of modifying its document along the way. Ideal for multiplying the series adapted to certain specific targets without having to start from scratch each time you print!

Mainly suitable for short runs, digital printing is available in two main techniques: 

  • Digital inkjet printing , whereby a jet of ink is projected onto the paper via an electromagnetic charge. If the cost of purchasing the printer remains affordable, the cartridges last less than the toner of laser printers, which could ultimately be more expensive. This is the reason why you will avoid this technique for large series.


  • Digital laser or graphic printing , which is based on the use of powdered ink (toner) applied by static electricity. Here we like the quality and speed of printing despite a higher purchase cost and slightly more complex maintenance. Preferred for large prints, text and graphics.


  • Ease of use.
  • Quick charge.
  • Flexible design.
  • Good resolution.
  • Economical cost for small runs.
  • Reduction of paper waste thanks to the continuous flow.

In addition to a reduction in paper waste, we also appreciate the reduction in chemical waste made possible by this printing technique. And since ecology is a central issue in today’s printing, we will bet on cardboard casing for the lowest possible impact! Discover the range of ecological packaging of Wobro Pack without delay .

The lesser

  • Low print speed.
  • High purchase cost of inks.
  • Limited de-inking capacity.

 You will not hesitate to apply a varnish at the end of printing for a clean rendering and optimal color fastness!

Offset packaging printing

Suitable for: Books, advertisements, posters, catalogs, packaging. 

Offset printing? If it tells you anything, it’s simply that it’s the most widely used printing technique in the world.

Based on a water repulsion process , it reproduces the document or the pattern to be printed on an engraved metal plate. Plate which will be passed against a cylinder covered with rubber (the blanket) in order to eventually transfer the ink to the support.

The number of plates used will depend on the number of colors desired. Generally, four-color printing wins all the votes. This works with 4 basic colors, cyan, magenta, yellow and black.

The transfer will be reproduced several times in order to superimpose the layers of ink and obtain the desired result.

Each printing technique has its particular functions and this one is particularly suitable for large print runs. On the other hand, it will not allow modification along the way, as with digital printing for example. 


  • Good resolution.
  • High production speed.
  • Possibility of printing on paper of different weights for a high-end rendering.
  • Good de-inking ability.

The lessers

  •  Variable cost depending on the inks and plates to be replace.
  •  Relatively slow drying by oxidation-polymerization.
  •  Solvent-based inks.

Flexographic packaging printing

Suitable for: packaging, labels, newspapers. Ideal for polyethylene film , paper, corrugated cardboard and boxboard

Flexography, or flexo for short, is a printing technique based on a flexible printing form in relief called the cliché . Similar to offset in many aspects, the image here is affixed to the support via a cylinder or a polymer photo plate whose dimensions can reach 1.30 mx 2.00 m as well as a thickness of 0.76 more than 6mm.

The print quality depends on the fineness of the plate

Generally not recommended for large print runs, flexography adapts globally to all types of media and all color needs. This is what offers it today great flexibility of use and allows it to have a much wider range of inks than that of other printing techniques (oil-based ink, oil-based ink). ‘water…).

This is enough to forget the sometimes complex realization of the shots which require very important equipment: exposure frame, engraver, dryer, processing unit… 

Flexography is the printing technique that is experiencing the strongest growth today. To be continued !


  • High production speed.
  • Low production cost.
  • Possibility of in-line shaping.

The lessers

  • Difficulty reproducing semitones.
  • Long plate preparation.
  • Long drying due to water-based ink.
  • Limited de-inking capacity.

Screen printing of packaging

Suitable for: Textiles, parts for electronic use, glass jars, plastic, aluminum. Flat or 3D supports .

Similar to the stencil technique, screen printing involves the use of a polyester fabric or metal fiber canvas placed over a wooden frame called a screen printing frame. The ink will be applied using a squeegee, color after color .

The result will be reliable and durable

A very interesting process because it is suitable for many formats and materials, but which will not make it possible to obtain a result as fine as with digital pressure or offset for example.


  • Printing in small and large formats, for small, medium or large runs.
  • Unlimited number of colors.
  • Reliable color rendering.

The lessers

  • Lack of finesse in color rendering.
  • Higher cost beyond the 1500 copies due to the slow printing.

Packaging printing by rotogravure

Suitable for: Photos and images.

Invented in the 1820s, rotogravure or rotogravure is the last step in our tour of today’s printing techniques. Here, the metal cylinder which will allow the ink to be transfer to the support is engrave in hollow unlike the offset which is based on elements in relief.

The inks used, very liquid, will fill the cells of the cylinder before being affixed to the support to print the chosen pattern. It is the depth of these cells that will determine the intensity of the color rendering.

Rather recommended for very large prints due to a sometimes long drying time, this printing technique guarantees you an exceptional rendering of your images , without deterioration of the colors or the finesse of the rendering even in the event of a long series.

To think about the specificities of your product and the quantities you will need for your next campaign!


  • Richness of colors.
  • Photo reproduction quality.

The lessers

  • Difficult fixes.
  • Cost of copper cylinders used.

Highlighting techniques

Want to go a little further in personalization ? There’s nothing like a special touch or a little touch of relief to give an almost 3D effect to your packaging or your labels.

Here again, you are spoiled for choice!

Will it be more of a filming ? This is a thin plastic film apply to all of your packaging to provide optimal protection. Offered in matte, soft touch, shiny or sometimes embossed   to give relief, the visual effect is most impactful.

To highlight only a few elements of your  packaging of custom mailer boxes with logo, you will opt for a silkscreen varnish . Apply it over text or artwork for a nice glossy or matte effect that will help make them stand out.

Invented in 1440, hot stamping has found its letters of nobility in luxury packaging and high-end boxes . The shimmering effect elegantly evokes gold carefully cast in traditional hot stamping. It is now available in a multitude of different colors such as black, copper or silver.

As for the embossing , it is a question here of exerting a strong pressure under the paper to create a particular relief while the microfouling consists of pushing part or all of your box in order to create a unique effect under the fingers.

All that remains to determine which printing and embossing technique will be best suite to your project! Do not hesitate to call on the Wibro Pack team, we will be happy to provide you with our advice and our expertise!

Related: 7 Common problems faces when Pharmaceutical Boxes Production


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