Flexo Plate Services

Over time the nature of flexographic printing has become a more refined and precise method of rubber stamping. As it’s evolved, it’s become widely popular in the consumer product and the printing and packaging industries.

Typically, flexographic printing involves a polymer image carrier that is engraved to create the design for the label. These image carriers can include, cylinders, sleeves, and plates to achieve the desired look. The beauty of this type of printing is that it allows for a continuous process with high speeds and maintained accuracy.

However, as the demand for rendering high-resolution images for specific labels has grown, Digital printing has become a great option for smaller-volume jobs that are not required to be repeated over and over again. Currently, Century Packaging & Printing utilizes both digital and flexographic printing to meet customer needs and requirements.

Over the past 25 years of being in the printing industry, CP&P has invested in making its own plates, but with the evolution of the digital press, they no longer need as many plates as they used to. At one point, CP&P was heavily involved in the newspaper business with over 60% of their annual sales coming from this portion of the business. This meant that a large majority of their resources went toward the newspaper market.

One complexity of printing advertising labels for newspapers lies in the fact that they do not often repeat. This process is fundamentally built around a “one and done” thought process and need. After the plate is run once to create the label for the advertiser, it is no longer used again.

As the majority of our society has pivoted digitally to obtain their daily news sources, the number of front pages available for advertising labels has steadily declined. CP&P has adapted to this downturn in demand for advertising labels by pivoting to the food, beverage, and other key markets. They have also leveraged the power of their hybrid press, added in 2022, which has opened up their capacity in plate making.

At this time, CP&P is in a place in their business where they are excited to share the expertise they have accumulated over the last 25 years with other printers in need of a high-quality source of plates. CP&P has put in the time and effort to become distinguished in the plate-making domain.

A significant piece of their success stems from the contract work that was done with Carol Jones– a renowned expert in plate making. Carol worked at Clemson for over 32 years and taught in their graphic communications department. She specialized in Flexography and Electronic Prepress and was devoted to testing and research associated with printing processes and products. Due to their dedication and commitment to putting forth the highest standards, Ben and Neil contracted Carol’s help to strengthen their proficiency in plate making. She came in and standardized their current plate-making process with quality checks to ensure that the quality was not only up to CP&P’s specifications but also held up to high-standard industry specifications. As CP&P’s mastery and aptitude in the world of plate-making grew, they purchased new equipment and established new procedures that would differentiate them from other printers.

Another unique hallmark of CP&P’s plate-making process is that they do not use chemicals. As part of their continued commitment to excellence, CP&P remains clean and environmentally sound with a promise to reduce waste anywhere they can.

The team at CP&P is more than ready to share their knowledge with other printers in the area and will gladly be a resource to anyone who is on the search for a new plate manufacturer. Instead of relying on contracting out to plate-making companies who may not have the same standards as CP&P, Ben and Neil are working diligently on selling their plates to those who are looking for a new plate-making partner.

Use Color and Creative Designs to Stand Out

How many times have you walked by various products at the point of purchase only to go for one that catches your eye because of its packaging or printing? Standing out from the crowd is more important than ever with the competitive markets in which we live today. That said there is no substitute for a product that actually works, performs, tastes, or delivers. So assuming you have a great product consider your printing and packaging look and feel. If you have a tried and true high performer don’t change it up, but change may be a really good thing if your product isn’t getting the traction it used to, or if it is underperforming compared to the competition.

How are you using color? Is your red logo screaming, or shouting at consumers? Consider the same logo but using different colors on different packaging or labels. Mix it up. How does the rest of the label compliment, or take away from your product? If you are producing spicey snacks then red is a great color to convey the fire of your product. However, if you are selling sleep aids red packaging is probably not going to win the day. However, light blue with a hint of gray is a strong performer.

Are your fonts hard to read for your particular product? Too many manufacturers think multiple fonts on a 4” label is creative. Competing fonts in terms of style and color can be confusing and detracting. Resist the temptation to go crazy with fonts. San Serif fonts like Arial/Helvetica are easier to read because the letters don’t have feet on them at the bottom. Making sure you have the right font for the right product and label is incredibly important.

You may have a friend, or neighbor who thinks they are pretty good with graphics, layout, and design, but are not professionally trained. Your printing and packaging look and feel is your brand identity and it’s not something you want in the hands of even the most capable layperson. Invest in professional graphics and design. You won’t feel obligated and you can ask for changes without feeling guilty. Design is not a place to skimp and work the “family deal”. Labels and packaging have to be functional but they are also graphic art.

Your printing and packaging are telling your brand story so invest in them. You won’t regret it. Make sure you have a printer that is versed and experienced in your specific label. If it’s a beer label and needs to perform in various climates (cold, ice, water) then ask how many they have done in the past. If it’s a product like CBD oil that has nutraceutical and performance aspects make sure they are capable of doing it. If it is food-grade, label or packaging you are going to want a vendor that has experience.

At Century Printing & Packaging we have been printing labels that stick, but have great eye appeal and consistently tell your brand story. We are experienced in beer, craft beer, CBD, nutraceuticals, food-grade film, packaging and much more. All we do are labels and packaging so trust us to work with you as a partner instead of a job number.

Ben Waldrop, President
Century Printing & Packaging
Greer, SC 29651