Digital Label Printing vs. Flexographic Label Printing

The printing process used to create your labels plays a strong role in determining the flexibility, cost, and quality of the custom labels you receive. Here's a quick rundown on the differences between digital printing technology and off-set flexographic printing technology.

Digital Label Printing

As with any type of manufacturing, the quality and technology of your machine dictate the quality of the finished product. If your digital label printing machinery is of lower quality, it can result in inferior color quality and image clarity when compared to flexographic printing.

At LabelValue, we use the latest digital printing technology. The HP Indigo WS6800 is our top-of-the-line digital label printing press.

With a premium grade press like the Indigo WS6800, the digital press is able to accomplish the even better color, clarity, and quality than a flexographic printing press. There are also many other added benefits of a digital press.

The added benefits of custom labels printed with this digital press:

    • Quicker set up and run times


    • Quicker turnaround for the customer


    • 7-color process accuracy (typical machines can only print 4-color or less)


    • Variable design options


    • Affordable short runs

Flexographic (Off-Set) Label Printing

Flexographic label printing is a more traditional print method and is based on similar concepts used in a letterpress. The flexographic press uses flexible rubber plates that are attached to cylinders used to apply ink to create the image. Each plate has thousands of tiny bubbles to hold ink and apply it uniformly. The press then uses the four-color process (CMYK) to apply each color and create the image on the label as the paper is pressed against each plate

Flexographic printing generally maintains an exceptionally high quality of print. It is ideal for larger runs, as there is a large amount of setup cost, but low cost to run large quantities.

The benefits of custom labels printed with a flexographic press:

    • High image quality, clarity, and precision.
    • Lower per-label costs for larger quantities (e.g. 10,000+).


Ultimately, the best printing process for your labels is determined by a variety of factors. That's why we offer different printing methods to our clients. We can ensure that we have the best printing method for each customer's needs.

Interested in having your custom labels printed? Get started with your live quote here.