The Cost Calculator for Digitally Printed Custom Packaging
A few months ago we featured a blog post dedicated to simplifying and explaining the process of factoring cost for custom printed packaging. As cost is such an important factor in balancing your packaging wants against packaging needs, we always highlight the benefits of making well-informed decisions, and look for ways to supply the information to you in a clear and understandable way. While previously we have done so for flexographic printing, we now have the ability to do so for digital printing as well.
Below is a good starting point or guideline to understanding what information is factored into pricing for digital printing, and how each component may impact your costs and decisions.
Box Dimensions-As is true of flexographic printing, selecting a box size is the first step for digital printing as well. We have well over a hundred existing cutting dies which may suit your needs and save you the cost of purchasing a new cutting die ($600-800 one time initial investment on average). Knowing a box size will help us determine not only whether or not a new cutting die will be needed, but also help us zero in on a per box price.
Box Quantity-While our minimum for digital printing is the same as it is for flexographic printing (1,000 boxes) digital printing is unique in that it will usually make more sense financially at very low or very high volumes. What may not work at a price structure for 1,000 may start to work at quantities of 3-5,000 or higher (depending on other factors such as your graphics/design). But knowing if your needs are hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of boxes is key in determining how flexographic printing may compare to the cost of digital printing, especially given the all-important print plate factor.
The Print Plate Factor-One of the benefits of digital printing is that, unlike flexographic printing, it does not require the purchase of print plates. While most print plate costs will fall between $400-600 per color inside and outside, there are some designs that run print plates up into the four-digit territory, and if you have multiple colors, multiple sizes or multiple designs, you may be looking at several thousands of dollars in start up costs alone. For this reason, digital printing may offer huge savings, especially if you plan on changing your box design from one run to the next, or have a design that is more than 2 colors inside and out.
Flexographic/Digital Combination-Yes, it is possible to have a digital design outside and a flexographic design inside your box (or visa versa). While this can result in savings and also create a unique appearance and style to your packaging, whether or not this is the right option for you will of course depend on your design and other factors.
If you are unsure if digital printing makes sense for your custom packaging needs, many frequently asked questions can be addressed here Digital Printing FAQ
Page, or call our office 630-551-1700 with any questions or needs you may have.