Perception and impression are the keys to any brand’s success. While quality products are important, it is not enough to make your brand stand out from the rest.
This is not good news for businesses. The packaging is a simple but effective way to improve your business’s standing. Most businesses ship their products in cardboard boxes.
It is economical and ensures that the product will survive the long journey. Personalized packaging will leave a lasting impression on the buyer from the first time they touch it.
This article will discuss the many ways that cardboard boxes can be printed to add personalization and credibility to your products. Let’s jump right in, without further delay.
How to Print On Cardboard boxes – Easy method
Whether you’re a brand, a print shop, or whatever the case may be, if you’re shipping products to customers having some sort of custom packaging is very important.
The package is their first impression of your brand and their brand. It arrives on their doorstep as their first visual. Let me show you how easy printing cardboard boxes is.
Here is a quick reminder:
There are many ways you can print your own custom boxes and don’t need a crazy expensive printing setup. This can be done using the minimum of equipment.
If you really want to, you can do this with just ink, a sponge and an exposed screen. I believe that you should use a single-station, entry-level screen printing press.
This way, you’re going to get much cleaner, much more consistent, and much more professional results out of it. Without further ado, let’s get to printing cardboard boxes.
Things You Will Need
Step 1: Choose the right size cardboard
First, you must determine the size of the box you will need to ship your items in. This is important because it will determine the size of your design. Measure all the areas printable on the box.
Step 2: Measurements
Measure the outside edges. If it’s a universal-sized box, it will be 18×14-inch. A T-square is ideal for this task. Also, measure all individual pieces.
Step 3: Illustration
Now you will need to draw the design. You can use any type of illustration software to do this. You can also use any illustration software if your design is already in place. There are many tutorials online that can help you with this.
Step 4: Choosing Your Mesh Screen & Ink
For your screen, you’re going to want to go with anywhere between a 280 to a 305 mesh because we’re printing onto a somewhat harder surface that doesn’t absorb a lot of ink. Next, print your mesh screen with the design.
And we don’t want to lay too much down on there. What we’re looking for is a nice, thin crispy ink deposit. As I mentioned earlier, we’re going to be using water-based ink for this.
Step 5: Get started printing
You can either use a push stroke to print or a pull stroke to print. It really doesn’t matter. When you are printing boxes, it’s much faster to do a push stroke. Once you are done, it’s time to cure the print.
Step 6: Curing Time
There are many options. But I’ve found that using a heat gun is the easiest way to cure a print if you don’t have a dryer machine. A heat gun is easy to use. Turn on the heat and blast away! The paint will dry quickly.
That’s how easy it is to start printing your own branded cardboard boxes. If you’re a company of some sort and you want to start stepping some things up, this is definitely a route to take because these little details really add up.
Different methods to print cardboard boxes
There are four options for printing cardboard boxes. Each process has its pros and cons. After looking at how they work, it should be easy to choose the best one for you.
There are many options for printing cardboard boxes.
- Screen Printing
- Flexographic printing
- Lithographic printing
- Digital Printing
We will briefly describe each one in the next section. these techniques works These are the benefits and disadvantages they offer the user.
1. Screen Printing
Screen printing, despite being the oldest method of printing cardboard boxes is still widely used for packaging, especially for small-scale startups. This printing technique uses mesh for ink transfer. This printing technique is barebones and can’t work with many images. It typically only uses one or two colors.
Screen printing is incomplete without stencils. Multiple stencils are required to print multiple colors. This is a way to cover areas that you don’t want to print with a mesh. polyester screen The ink will not pass through these areas. For ink flow, porous material is used for areas where you want the image to be printed.
Screen printing is an option if you only need to print a small number of copies. It is very affordable and easy to do. It is however quite time-consuming to set up and the majority of the work is manual. Screen printing is used mainly for transit packaging.
Advantages of screen printing
- Capable to produce high resolution prints
- It can be used on almost all print surfaces
- Low volume runs at a low cost
- Prints with decent durability
Screen Printing’s Disadvantages
- It takes a while to set it up
- Not suitable for large volume printing
- Not suitable if you desire multiple colors
- Image size limitations
2. Flexographic printing
Flexographic printing offers modern-day letterpress technology. Flexographic printing uses a flexible relief plate to transfer the printed image onto cardboard boxes.
It can be printed on a wide variety of materials, including cardboard boxes and plastic, brown paper, and other packaging substrates.
The first step in flexographic print is to create the plate. This plate has a raised image. Only the raised portion of this plate is allowed to touch the printing surface when printing the design. transfers the design Deposits the ink on the substrate
Flexible plates are made from different materials such as photopolymer and rubber to attach to a rolling device to apply the ink.
This type of printing also dries quicker because it uses low viscosity ink. This is a great choice if you’re printing medium to large volumes of cardboard boxes.
Flexographic Printing: The Advantages
- There are an almost limitless number of color options
- Due to the low viscosity, the ink can be produced quickly
- Suitable for food packaging
- Cost-effective option for large production runs
Flexographic Printing: The disadvantages
- Not suitable to create complex images or graphic designs
- For short production runs, it is not cost-effective.
- The shadow quality is not very high
- There is a possibility of ink bleeding or pin-holing.
3. Lithographic printing
If you are a large-scale company, lithographic print is the best choice. It is ideal for high-volume, commercial printing and is used by large companies to print their packages. It produces a precise image and can be used in a variety of colors.
The image you wish to print is first transferred from your computer to a printing plate. To achieve the best quality and color, the image is printed on the plate by using a laser. This image is coated using ink from the rollers. The areas not to printed are coated by water to prevent ink stains.
Instead of printing the image onto cardboard boxes, it can be used as packaging. printed on paper and laminated Add the cardboard to the top.
The traditional way of printing cardboard is not the best because it is a thicker type paper. This is why lithographic printing, also known as litho laminated printing for cardboard boxes, is called lithographic printing.
Advantages of Lithographic Printering
- High-quality images are consistently produced
- All colors can be used without any problems
- Cost-effective for larger volumes
- This is suitable for special finishes like metallic or Pantone spots
Lithographic Printing’s Disadvantages
- It is expensive to set it up
- After printing, there is no way to alter the image.
- Not suitable for short volumes
- It takes a while to print large batches
4. Digital Printing
Digital printing is without a doubt the easiest method to print cardboard boxes. It uses the CMYK color range and produces quick images on a printed surface. Digital printing is known for its speed and accuracy.
This process has its challenges. First, there are some issues. need a large format inkjet or laser printer for this printing method. To print on cardboard, you will need to use design software.
Another issue is the higher cost per printed item. This shouldn’t be an issue if you are producing small quantities of packaging. This process is free from any mechanical setups, so you could actually be saving money.
Digital Printing: The Advantages
- Easy to use, set up and maintain
- It does not require plates or laminating
- You can easily alter the image between prints
- Inexpensive for short volume printing
Digital Printing’s Disadvantages
- Not suitable for large volumes
- Inconsistencies in quality
- There is a smaller range of colors you can use
- It is difficult to achieve finishes such as metallic or Pantone colors.
Which printing method is best to print cardboard boxes?
Now that you are familiar with the four methods available today, which one should you choose?
It all depends on several factors such as how fast you want to print and the quality you desire. It also depends upon how much you are willing spend on printing cardboard boxes.
Check All Available Printing Options
You can get an idea of what to expect from each printing method by looking at their strengths and weaknesses.
If you want the best quality without regard to volume or budget, then lithographic printing is the obvious choice.
Screen printing is not recommended unless you are using protective cases or Correx materials. It is also an acceptable choice for plastic packaging. Its limitations in colors and volumes make large-scale printing a difficult task.
The Viable Choice
Flexographic printing offers a compelling choice because of its striking and bold color output. It is an excellent choice for those on a tight budget because it offers a good balance between price and print quality.
However, unlike lithographic printing, printing low volumes will result in a higher cost. Digital printing is the best choice for low volume printing.
It is very cost-effective as you can print at home and don’t need to invest in expensive plates. Its limitations in volume and color inconsistencies could be a problem for any running business.
Cardboard boxes are the most popular and widely used packaging. You can also use printed cardboard boxes to increase your brand awareness. This is possible with the right printing process.
We hope that our article on printing cardboard boxes can help you decide which method is right for you. Each technique offers something different so you can choose the one that is right for you.