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Quick Guide: Printing Press Pass for E-commerce Packaging

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Image of hands inspecting Pantone colour booklet at a press pass, checking packaging print quality being produced on a flexographic printing press

First time attending a press pass? Attending a press pass as someone inexperienced in printing processes can be a daunting task. This quick guide will help explain and simplify the process, from the context of flexographic printing for bespoke e-commerce packaging, but this will apply to all kinds of press passes, regardless of the industry and end use.

A press pass is your opportunity to ensure the final product aligns with the approved design proofs. This guide will help you navigate the process effectively, from preparation through to execution.

Essential read: Click here for our guide on the basics of Flexographic, Lithographic or Digital printing technology.

Understanding the Press Pass in Flexography

Flexographic printing, a method ideal for corrugated bespoke e-commerce packaging, involves using stereos (aka flexo printing plates) for colour application. When overseeing a press pass, it’s crucial to focus on under aspects like stereo adjustments, colour accuracy, and the overall print quality.

Checklist for a Successful Press Pass

As a non-printer operator, follow this checklist to maximise the effectiveness of your press pass:

  1. Preparation:
    • Familiarise yourself with the basics of flexographic printing.
    • Bring necessary documents: Design proofs, Pantone colour guides or existing packaging to match to, and any relevant paperwork.
    • Understand the specifics of corrugated cardboard grades, and how it impacts strength of your packaging as well as printing colour.
  2. On-Site Press Pass Checks:
    • Colour Accuracy: Focus on Pantone matching for brand colours, as flexographic printing onto postal packaging tends to use a limited colour pallete.
    • Stereo Adjustments: talk to the print operator about how the stereos can be adjusted set for consistent ink application and colour output.
    • Quality Assessment: Inspect for any print defects, misalingments, spots or blemishes, or ink issues like inconsistent application.
  3. Post-Press Pass Actions:
    • Confirm that all adjustments meet the approved proofs.
    • Discuss any quality concerns or adjustments needed with the printing team.
    • Take photos of the approved proof, record notes and be sure to follow up in writing via email when you arrive back at the office.
Man checking colour accuracy on flexographic printing output

Tips for those inexperienced in Print

  • Learn the Basics: Understanding the fundamentals of flexography will help you communicate effectively and make informed decisions during the press pass.
  • Focus on Details: Pay close attention to the details of the print, including colour accuracy, registration, and overall print quality.
  • Ask Questions: Don't hesitate to ask questions to clarify any doubts or concerns, print professionals are very knowledgeable.

Conclusion

A press pass in flexographic printing is a crucial step in ensuring the quality of bespoke e-commerce packaging.

By preparing and focusing on key aspects of the printing process, you can help ensure the final product meets the desired standards and reflects the quality of your brand.

At The Packaging Club, we understand that every press pass is a journey towards perfection in showcasing your brand. Our bespoke e-commerce packaging services are designed not just to meet, but exceed your expectations. With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of flexographic printing, we ensure that every press pass results in packaging that truly represents the essence of your brand.

Why Choose The Packaging Club for Your Bespoke Packaging Needs?

  • Expert Guidance: Our team of experts will guide you through every step of the press pass, ensuring your packaging is a true reflection of your brand’s vision.
  • Quality Assurance: We focus on precision in colour matching, print quality, and material selection to bring your design to life on corrugated materials.
  • Collaborative Approach: We work closely with you to understand your brand's unique needs, ensuring a collaborative and informed process.

Ready to transform your e-commerce packaging into an impactful brand statement? Visit The Packaging Club's Bespoke Packaging Services and partner with us to make your next press pass a resounding success.

This article was written by...

Nathan Calvert

Nathan is Head of Digital at The Packaging Club. He has worked in the packaging sector for over 15 years across food, consumer electronics, FMCG ecommerce and more, both directly in-house or as a freelance consultant.

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