Shipping Things

Lithographic Printing for Packaging

Jesse Genet · November 29, 2017

In the packaging world, there are four dominant printing methods —flexographic, rotogravure, digital, and lithographic. Lithographic printing is based on the premise that water and oil don't mix well together. 

Lithographic print plates are made with sheets of metal and the design is put onto the sheet of metal. The negative and positive parts of your image are all on the same plane, the only difference is that the positive parts of the design attract ink while the negative parts of the image attract water. So, only your inked design is transferred onto the final material. 

In packaging, lithographic printing is most used often for boxes. But here’s the thing — you can’t apply lithographic printing directly to corrugated sheets, so your design is printed on regular paper and laminated to sheets of corrugated.

On this episode, we dive into how the process works, how does it look, how much will it cost you, and what is it really best for.

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