Product packaging is frequently your first opportunity to make a good impression on customers. Whether your products are on a physical shelf in a physical store or a digital shelf in an online store, their appearance can make or break a sale. Digital printing for product packaging allows you to fully utilise this valuable real estate, providing an exciting way to maximise advertising space and engage your target audience with your brand messaging. Digital printing on boxes also enables brand owners to quickly change the design of their product packaging in a more timely and cost-effective manner than traditional printing methods. 


What Is Digital Packaging Printing?  

Digital printing is a direct print process that uses ink that is applied directly to the product packaging. In contrast to traditional printing methods, most digital printers use toner and liquid inks that do not soak into the material to which they are applied. To ensure a crisp, quality finish, UV curing, or laser heating adheres the ink to the product packaging.

Traditional print methods, such as litho lamination and flexology, on the other hand, use prepared print plates and cylinders to transfer ink to the surface of the packaging. The inks are then partially absorbed by the substrate to which they have been applied. Because digital printing does not necessitate the creation of a print plate prior to printing, it is ideal for short-run packaging printing.  


Is Digital Printing Good for Packaging?  

Digitally printed cartons can have stunning visual effects that faithfully reproduce the gradient and details in original design files. Digital printing produces the full CMYK colour spectrum and works on a variety of paper materials, but it is best suited for use on certain types of paper, such as folding cartons. Traditional print methods may be preferable for more complex, textured materials such as corrugated cardboard or chipboard.  


The Benefits of Digital Printing for Packaging  

Digitally printed boxes have several advantages. The quality and flexibility of this new, more modern approach to printing product packaging are growing in popularity as digital printing methods improve. Here are a few reasons why digital printing for packaging might be a good fit for your printing and packaging requirements.  


Digitally printing your product packaging rapidly accelerates the time it takes to move from the design concept to the finished product.  

Because digital printing does not necessitate the creation of a print plate, a time-consuming process is avoided. Digitally printed cartons can also be produced on-demand as they’re needed — no waiting required.  


Creating print plates and setting up a traditional printing process takes time and effort. This extra effort lengthens the time it takes to complete a product and adds a significant cost premium.  

Rapid Prototyping  

Digital printing enables the rapid production of product packaging prototypes, making it easier to test different designs and packaging configurations in a timely and cost-effective manner. It is critical to get your product packaging just right, and digital printing technology allows you to experiment freely so that you can be confident that the finished product is the version most likely to resonate with your target audience.  

Designs That Respond to Customers  

Top brands today recognise the value of relationship marketing. Companies that succeed in forging strong bonds with their customers thrive. Modern consumers want products (and the packaging that goes with them) that are tailored to their specific needs.

The digital printing process is naturally suited to small, customised product packaging production runs. This makes it simple for brand owners to create digitally printed boxes that are tailored to specific holidays, promotions, or customer demographics.

Digital printing also facilitates the rapid production of packaging prototypes, allowing packaging designers to iterate new product packaging designs quickly and affordably. This liberation fosters creativity and innovation, which are difficult to achieve with traditional printing techniques.  

Remove Minimum Order Thresholds  

Digital printing technology allows you to create small batches of product packaging on demand with no complex setup. Your product packaging design is printed directly to the board with digital printing, significantly reducing the complexity of a production run. In contrast, almost all traditional printers require a minimum order to justify the time and effort required to prepare the printing equipment.  

Allows for Just-in-Time Inventory  

The ability to print small batches of product packaging quickly and affordably helps brands run leaner and more efficient operations. Keeping less inventory on hand allows businesses to make better use of their operating capital while remaining responsive to their customer’s ever-changing demands.  

Reduced Waste  

Excess printed packaging can be avoided with digital packaging printers. Traditional package printing techniques, on the other hand, produce a lot of waste. These methods favour larger runs, which frequently result in product packaging that is never fully utilised.

When branding or product specifications change, obsolete product packaging is either discarded or recycled. Digital printers, on the other hand, excel at producing small runs of product packaging to meet the current demand. Keeping less product packaging in stock lowers costs and preserves operating capital.  

Environmentally Conscious  

Digitally printed boxes are not only better for the bottom line; they are also better for the environment. This method generates fewer spent ink cartridges that will spend eternity in a landfill and emits less pollution than traditional printing processes.  


Rise of Digital Printing in Australia  

Some of the digital packaging design trends we can expect to see in Australia over the next few years are as follows:  

  • Embellishment 

In Australia, the year 2022, an embellishment trend is on the horizon. Premium packaging with special inks, embossing, metallic foils, and UV coatings is becoming more popular.  

The lustre of embellishments is critical in attracting and keeping customers. It improves a product’s design and functionality.  

Embellishment does not have to be complicated. A simple design with gold or silver foil can add an exclusive touch to the product presentation.  


  • Individualization 

Another trend that is gaining traction in the Australian print packaging industry is personalisation. Consumers have become more selective about the products they buy in recent years. 

Online print businesses are incorporating personalisation. According to research, 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a company that provides a personalised experience.  

Customers can now personalise designs with the help of packaging box design software integrated into an E-commerce website. They can customise the packaging by changing the colours, fonts, and sizes, as well as adding custom messages.  


  • Orders for on-demand packaging printing 

The days are gone when printers prepared bulk products, resulting in waste of product, time, and energy. Print packaging companies now manufacture products on demand. This reduces processing and labour costs while also eliminating material waste. 

Multiple orders can be combined and printed at the same time. You can also customise each product’s design and print only what you need when you need it. On-demand print packaging is also appropriate for short-term seasonal and promotional design packaging, which is now the norm in marketing.  


How Has Web-to-Print Affected Australia’s Print Industry and People?  

With over 65,000 printing companies in operation, Australia’s printing sector contributes to many aspects of the Australian economy. Understanding people’s changing behaviour has prompted many prints E-commerce stores to make necessary design changes. 

Several Australian print companies went digital during and after the pandemic. It not only saved money, but also provided enough opportunities for them to continue growing in the face of lockdowns.  

What was once unattainable is now Australia’s most thriving business due to fewer imports and more packaging required for takeaways and online shopping.  

Customers have also come to appreciate the web-to-print business models. It enables them to customise templates from the comfort of their own homes using web2print packaging design software.  


What benefits does digital printing have over other printing methods?  

Companies have traditionally used SKUs with high bids as loss leaders, but now they can not only make money on larger SKUs and be more competitive, but they can also make money on shorter SKUs digitally.  

Offset printing is the traditional printing method in folding cartons; digital printing offers the unique ability to print on the substrate with the coating and provide the customer with an actual piece rather than a proof. Furthermore, rather than putting all of your eggs in one basket by selecting a design, the flexibility that digital provides in printing many SKUs and seeing which works and fine-tuning as you go is truly game changing.  


Is there any new technology that improves the appearance or texture of the printed package?  

There are a few different areas that have an impact on digital packaging (folding carton). With the addition of laser die-cutting, you can do some very intricate die-cutting without having to send out a die. Furthermore, with the addition of systems such as Scodix, you can spot gloss, spot foil, and add tactile feel to your carton, each of which is unique. Adding embellishments is critical to the folding carton market’s success. All embellishments add value!  


What do you think the future holds for digital printing?  

As we plant the seeds with digital presses today, we believe you will see excellent growth in packaging leveraging digital presses over the next 5 years in the folding carton space and introducing the concepts to brands about the unique possibilities.  

There are numerous features and capabilities that many of us have grown accustomed to using over the last two decades. Different markets in digital printing are now ready to be leveraged in the packaging space. Web-to-print, automation via JDF, and even using tools like HP’s PrintOS are all game changers. There is no better time to test the waters than right now. 


Is Digital Packaging Printing Right for You?  

For business owners looking for new, more cost-effective ways to improve the consumer appeal of their products, digital printing on cartons offers numerous advantages.

However, this adaptable alternative to more traditional product packaging methods isn’t always the best option for every application. We have years of experience with product packaging and industry knowledge to help you realise your vision. Please contact us if you have any questions about digital printing for product packaging. Our team is eager to assist your company with care and excellence.  



Australia has the world’s 11th-largest e-commerce market. The print packaging industry is expanding due to an increase in on-demand print designs.  

Various factors, such as the rising population and covid, have also influenced consumer purchasing behaviour. Because of this, print companies are transitioning their operations to online web-to-print stores and implementing sustainable and reusable packaging designs.  

People want a low-cost design solution. This has given rise to digital printing integrated with packaging design software, which provides customers with a personalised experience. 


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