At Jim Dandy Boxes, we use several printing methods, based on the requirements of the project. So you can better understand how your project requirements affect the overall cost, we offer an explanation of each printing method, and the effect it has on your project cost.
Flexographic Printing This is the most basic and cost effective method for printing on boxes. It utilizes water-based inks that are transferred directly onto the corrugated material, using photopolymer printing plates, which are similar to rubber stamps. The quality is clean and crisp, but there is no finish or gloss to the print. Printing is limited to line art (Logos) and text, and is available in one or two colors. The cost to print using this method is generally low, but can range from a few cents to over $1.00 each, depending on the type of box, the number of colors, and the quantity required. Click here to see examples.
Lithographic Printing Lithographic printing is the type of print quality that appears on retail products such as kitchen appliances, power tools, toy boxes, etc. This is the method that is used to produce rich colors and photographic images, as well as that semi-gloss or high gloss finish. Lithographic printing utilizes offset printing presses that can run at speeds of up to 20,000 sheets per hour, and therefore are very expensive to set up and run for small quantities of labels. A typical minimum project cost for lithographic boxes is $4,500-$6,000, based on an opening quantity of 1,000 units depending on the size and complexity of the box. Although this seems like a lot of money for a box, you’ll find the unit cost will go down substantially in higher quantities, due to the cost efficiency of printing at high speeds. Click here to see examples.
Digital Printing Digital printing is used for printing very small quantities of boxes in place of lithographic printing, and uses an oscillating carriage system similar to an inkjet printer. We use this method only when the quantity is 50 or less units, and the unit cost will run into the tens of dollars, depending on the size and quantity of boxes required. This is not for the budget minded, but if you need high quality prototypes for an important presentation or event, this is your best option. Click here to see examples.
A Last Note About Lithographic Printing We understand that many of you are in the startup stages of your packaging projects, and that you may not need 1,000 or more boxes now. However, if we were to make as few as 500 units using lithographic print, the overall project cost will change very little, due to the fact that it costs almost the same money to print 500 labels as it does to print 1,000, and that’s where a great deal of your costs are. There are other options, such as using partial labels in place of labeling the entire box, or using a combination of flexographic print and partial labels. Give us a call at 800-451-2579, and let one of our Packaging Consultants evaluate your project to see what options will work best for you.
MEMJET Direct Printing Micro Electro Mechanical Systems is the latest print technology, also called "Waterfall" technology, 8 times faster than traditional inkjet technology.
We are capable to print directly full 4-color jobs up to 42" x 96", 6" or 12" per second on the following materials:
Most types of paper, all uncoated corrugated types, foam core, etc. up to 5/8" thickness.
Print quality depends on the type of print media materials, for instance: If printing on corrugated, you can get high quality print when using a bleach white corrugated, or a lower/economy print if you use plain Brown/Kraft corrugated, but still, MEMJET economy print quality is higher than regular flexo printing. Click here to see examples