There may have been a time when conventional thinking applied to conventional printing for packaging and labels, but those days are over.
Offset lithography and flexography have reinvented themselves to a point where they’ve almost ceased to resemble the lumbering, messy processes they used to be. Now, they’re precise, nimble, versatile and fully capable of meeting whatever new requirements that fast-changing packaging and label markets send their way. They don’t need to fear replacement by digital alternatives — if anything, it’s the digital solutions that are having to defer to the conventional or analog methods that got there first.
The fact that offset and flexo have been in use for as long as they have turns out to be one of their main advantages.
“Analog systems are established and very cost effective for medium to long runs,” says Sean Smyth, a print analyst for Smithers Pira. “They are brilliant at delivering low unit costs of production.”