What is the difference between digital printing and gravure printing

Food packaging is an important component of a food commodity. Food packaging is to prevent biological, chemical, physical external factors etc to damage the food during the process of the food leaving the factory to the consumer circulation process.

It can have the function of maintaining stable quality of the food and convenient for consumer to eat the food.At the same time, its various appearance design can attract the eyes of consumers. 

There are many methods to classify food packaging. For example, according to the techniques, it is divided into: #moisture-proof packaging, #waterproof packaging, #mildew-proof packaging, #fresh-keeping packaging, #packaging for quick-frozen packaging, #breathable packaging, #microwave sterilization packaging, #sterile packaging, #inflatable packaging, #vacuum packaging, deoxygenation packaging, #blister packaging, #packaging paste packaging, #tensile packaging, #retort pouch, etc 

From the printing methods, we normally have gravure printing and digital printing.

How we can choose the printing method that suit for us. Today we would like to tell you.

Gravure printing,called rotogravure, is the printing way that make the pattern and text by hand or electronic engraving machine carved pattern on the plate and coated with a layer of chromium.

When printing, the surface of the printing plate is immersed in the ink, and the ink scraper removes the ink of the blank part, so that the ink only remains in the mesh of the picture part, and then under the pressure of the roller, the ink is transferred to the surface of the substrate (film) to obtain the printed matter.

Gravure printing belongs to traditional printing. The substrate of gravure printing is the plastic film, which is divided into multiple specifications according to the fixed thickness, and its length is more than several thousand meters.


(1) Its thick ink bring the rich color performance: Protruding and  exquisite print, high color saturation fidelity can restore the design draft of all kinds of colors

(2) High anti-counterfeiting: The difficulty of plate making has a high anti-counterfeiting, suitable for the printing of securities prints.

(3) Strong printing resistance :A  wide range of printed materials is suitable for long-plate printing.

(4)  Continuous printing:The printing drum is completely cylindrical,which can be continuously printed without joints.

Disadvantages: Gravure printing make the substrate roll from beginning to end, so its printing process is a little long.

 it needs at least 1 substrate to calculate the quantity for plate printing.

All colors need to use ink and dilution allocation according to the set plate.

In a word,gravure printing needs the plate making process and pay the plate making fee, which is not suitable for a small number of diversified printed matter.

Digital printing, also named unplate printing. It use a printing blanket to transfer the ink to the medium (hot offset printing principle), which is heated, melts and mixed with ElectroInk particles to form a smooth film.

Determination images were generated on the printing blanket and then transferred onto the substrate by direct contact. Digital printing belongs to fast printing.

Advantages: Short printing time.

The digital printing use ink to print the image on the packaging, laminate the film, bag making, its production period is short.

Without MOQ limited: The qty from one pieces to  thousands of printing can be done soon. Because it is fast printing, there is no any plating making fee.


Its unit price is relatively higher than gravure printing.

It can not use special colors and only use similar colors

For example, rose color may tend to use purple ink to display.Thus,it leads to the lack of color saturation and may cause the color differences.

hongze packaging

In a word, if you plan to launch the new product with small qty to promote, conside the trial and error cost and unsalable risk, we generally suggest you to  the digital printing.

If the sales volume reaches more than tens of thousands, it is recommended to use gravure printing for its low unit price cost, high precious color, which is more conducive to improving the packaging image, product image and corporate image.

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Post time: Aug-14-2023