Digital Vs Flexo Printing for Flexible packaging

Last updated: December 23, 2023.
Writen by :
Eric Lu
Marketing at Bagnpouch

Are you curious about the best printing method for your flexible packaging needs? Did you know that digital printing is on the rise, with a growth rate of 13% annually?

In this guide, we'll explore the differences between digital and flexo printing for flexible packaging.

Digital printing uses advanced technology to produce high-quality, vibrant prints with shorter turnaround times and minimal setup costs.

On the other hand, flexo printing offers cost-effectiveness for large print runs and provides excellent print quality on a wide range of substrates.

By understanding the advantages and considerations of each method, you can make an informed decision and achieve the best results for your packaging requirements.

So let's dive in and explore the world of digital versus flexo printing for flexible pouches!

The Basics of Digital Printing

If you're considering digital printing for flexible packaging, it's important to understand the basics of how it works.

Digital printing is a modern printing technique that involves the direct printing of digital files onto various substrates, including flexible packaging materials.

Unlike traditional printing methods, which require the creation of physical plates, digital printing utilizes inkjet or electrophotographic technologies to transfer ink or toner directly onto the packaging material.

This provides several advantages, such as faster turnaround times, reduced setup costs, and the ability to print variable data and customized designs.

Digital printing also offers high-quality results with vibrant colors and sharp details.

Additionally, it allows for shorter print runs and on-demand printing, making it suitable for small to medium-sized businesses or those needing frequent design changes.

The Basics of Flexo Printing

Flexo printing is a widely used method for printing flexible packaging. It's a versatile and cost-effective printing process that allows for high-speed production.

With flexo printing, a flexible relief plate is used to transfer ink onto the packaging material. The plate is made of a flexible material, such as rubber or photopolymer, and is mounted on a rotating cylinder. As the cylinder rotates, the plate comes into contact with the packaging material, transferring the ink and creating the desired image or design.

Flexo printing can accommodate a wide range of substrates, such as paper, film, and foil, making it suitable for various packaging applications. It's known for its ability to produce vibrant colors and sharp images, making it a popular choice in the packaging industry.

Advantages of Digital Printing for Flexible Packaging

When considering digital printing for flexible packaging, you'll discover numerous advantages that make it a compelling option.

Firstly, digital printing offers high-quality results with sharp, vibrant colors and intricate details, ensuring that your packaging stands out on the shelf.

Additionally, it allows for quick turnaround times, eliminating the need for lengthy setup processes and reducing production lead times.

With digital printing, you have the flexibility to print variable data, such as barcodes or QR codes, enabling personalized packaging and enhancing traceability.

Moreover, digital printing is cost-effective for short to medium print runs since there's no need for expensive printing plates or setup costs.

Lastly, digital printing provides greater design flexibility, allowing for easy customization and versioning, which is crucial in the rapidly changing world of flexible packaging.

Advantages of Flexo Printing for Flexible Packaging

To fully understand the advantages of flexo printing for flexible packaging, it's important to recognize how this method offers significant cost savings and production efficiency.

Flexo printing allows for high-speed production, making it ideal for large volume orders. The setup costs are relatively low, especially for longer print runs, making flexo printing a cost-effective option for businesses.

Additionally, flexo printing offers versatility in terms of substrates, inks, and finishes, allowing for customization and creative freedom. The printing plates used in flexo printing are durable and can be easily reused, reducing waste and lowering costs.

Furthermore, flexo printing is known for its excellent color reproduction and vibrant results, ensuring eye-catching packaging that stands out on the shelves.

Considerations for Choosing the Right Printing Method

Consider these important factors when selecting the appropriate printing method for your flexible packaging.

  • First, consider the volume of your packaging needs. If you have a high volume of packaging to produce, flexo printing may be more cost-effective due to its ability to print large quantities quickly. On the other hand, if you have a lower volume or require frequent design changes, digital printing may be more suitable.
  • Another factor to consider is the complexity of your design. Flexo printing is better suited for simple designs with solid colors, while digital printing offers greater flexibility for intricate designs and color variations.
  • Additionally, consider the time constraints of your project. Digital printing allows for faster turnaround times as there's no need for plate-making, while flexo printing requires more setup time.
  • Finally, factor in your budget and desired print quality to make an informed decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Typical Costs Associated With Digital Printing for Flexible Packaging?

The typical costs associated with digital printing for flexible packaging can vary depending on factors such as design complexity and quantity. However, digital printing offers benefits such as faster turnaround times and reduced setup costs.

Digital printing for flexible packaging is a cost-effective option for small to medium-sized runs. It eliminates the need for expensive plates and setup equipment, resulting in lower initial costs. Additionally, digital printing allows for quicker turnaround times compared to traditional printing methods. This is especially advantageous for businesses that require fast production and delivery of their packaging materials.

Another advantage of digital printing is its ability to handle complex designs with ease. Digital printers can reproduce intricate details and vibrant colors accurately, ensuring high-quality packaging. This opens up opportunities for unique and eye-catching packaging designs that can help products stand out on store shelves.

Are There Any Limitations in Terms of Color Accuracy When Using Flexo Printing for Flexible Packaging?

When using flexo printing for flexible packaging, you may encounter limitations in terms of color accuracy.

This is something to consider when choosing between digital and flexo printing for your packaging needs.

Can Digital Printing Handle Complex Designs and Intricate Details on Flexible Packaging?

Yes, digital printing is capable of handling complex designs and intricate details on flexible packaging. It offers high resolution and precision, allowing for sharp and intricate graphics to be printed with accuracy.

Digital printing offers a wide range of color options, allowing for vibrant and eye-catching designs to be produced. It also provides the ability to print variable data, such as personalized packaging or sequential numbering, which can be beneficial for promotional campaigns or product tracking.

Furthermore, digital printing is a cost-effective option for short to medium print runs. It eliminates the need for costly plates or setup fees, making it ideal for small businesses or those requiring frequent design changes.

In addition, digital printing offers quick turnaround times. The absence of setup requirements means that printing can begin immediately, reducing the overall production time. This can be advantageous for businesses that need to respond quickly to market demands or require last-minute packaging changes.

How Does the Printing Speed of Digital Printing Compare to Flexo Printing for Flexible Packaging?

Digital printing offers faster printing speeds compared to flexo printing for flexible packaging.

With digital printing, you can save time and increase efficiency in producing your packaging materials.

Is It Possible to Achieve a Glossy or Matte Finish on Flexible Packaging With Both Digital and Flexo Printing Methods?

Yes, it's possible to achieve a glossy or matte finish on flexible packaging with both digital and flexo printing methods.

Both techniques offer a range of finishes to meet your packaging needs.


In conclusion, when it comes to choosing between digital printing and flexo printing for flexible packaging, it's important to consider the specific needs and requirements of your project.

Digital printing offers advantages such as faster turnaround times and customization options. It allows for quick printing of small to medium-sized orders, making it ideal for projects with tight deadlines. Additionally, digital printing allows for variable data printing, which means each package can be personalized with unique information or designs.

On the other hand, flexo printing is known for its cost-effectiveness and ability to handle large volume orders. It is a highly efficient printing method that can produce thousands of packages in a short amount of time. Flexo printing is especially suitable for projects with high production volumes and repetitive designs.

Ultimately, the right printing method depends on factors such as budget, production speed, and design flexibility. If you have a small to medium-sized order and require quick turnaround times or customization options, digital printing may be the better choice. However, if you have a large volume order and are looking for a cost-effective solution, flexo printing is likely the way to go.

In conclusion, carefully evaluate your project's needs and consider the advantages and limitations of both digital printing and flexo printing. This will help you make an informed decision and choose the printing method that best meets your requirements.

Where Flexible Packaging Comes Alive!


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Creating an eye-catching design for custom packaging can be challenging. Our in-house graphic designers are here to help! Or, take inspiration from designs by our previous customers and create something totally unique.
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