Print plates are essential investments for high-volume custom packaging production. Print plates are used to apply ink to the box surface to create your custom design. For some print methods, a separate print plate is needed for each color in your design so when overlaid, they can produce the full-color result. It’s important to keep in mind that print plates are custom-made for each design and for the machinery that will be printing your order; any changes in your design or print method will require new print plates.
Cutting dies are used to rapidly cut your boxes, and are also custom-made to your specific box size and shape. If you change your design, but your box size and shape stays the same, you do not need to purchase a new cutting die. However, cutting dies are fragile and cannot be easily transported, and so can’t be transferred to different production facilities.
Depending on the quantity of your order, you can frequently eliminate the cost of a print plate by selecting a digital print method for your packaging. Digital printing offers lower resolution prints compared to litho or flexo, but still provides vibrant and durable print results.
Investing in custom tooling like this helps to decrease your unit pricing in the long run, especially if you plan on reordering the same design or size across multiple orders or thousands of boxes. Cutting dies especially help keep order pricing low by reducing the time and resources needed in the cutting process, even after you factor in the cost of the die tool.