International Print Day – Celebrating the successes of the UK print sector and the important role of prepress

Around the world, the print industry is thriving despite mounting challenges. It’s vital that as the key sectors of label and packaging printing develop and adapt, we are able to take a step back and view the wider picture.

Enter International Print Day, a global awareness day held annually on October 26th. The goal of this event is to celebrate the successes of the print industry, share education opportunities and spark new conversations about the future of the sector.

With International Print Day set to spark renewed interest in the innovation and resilience of the modern print industry, what better opportunity to explore the integral role of prepress in packaging and label printing?

As the market continues its drive for volume, quality and sustainability, the importance of a dedicated repro partner becomes more acute – and the role it serves in the print supply chain is evolving.

When hearing the term prepress, flexo platemaking is often one of the first images that come to mind. It’s no surprise, as this has long been a staple of repro houses and while it’s a vital element, a dedicated partner like Contact Originators brings a lot more to the table.

Effective prepress management sets the right conditions for print success, in line with printers’ strategic goals and the needs of the market. In many cases, it’s a helping hand to guide origination from start to completion, with the expertise visible in the end results.

To be competitive in today’s high-speed, high-volume market, packaging supply chains are under greater pressure than ever to match this turnaround need with quality, efficiency and sustainability. However, printers do not have to go it alone – a dedicated repro partner can help lay the foundations for excellent results.

A great way to envision the wider role of prepress is in translating design from a concept to a finished article that looks outstanding on-shelf. To do this effectively takes experience of the various print methods, inks and consumables, tactile finishes and their behaviour on substrates of every kind.

From a studio file to a complete printed product, the design vision must be articulated precisely – which is where a repro partner shines. Mistakes or miscommunications at the prepress stage can dramatically alter the end result, and with retail competition at an all-time high, that’s a risk no business is willing to take.

Great repro also helps printers adapt to changing market conditions. The e-commerce boom is a prime example of how printers are flexing and adapting to changing consumer needs, driven by their retail customers. With shorter and faster distribution of products, labels and packaging are designed with greater focus on durability and clarity of information.

Here, where the commercial stakes have never been higher, colour management services from a partner such as Contact Originators become invaluable for protecting print quality and brand integrity across expanding retail channels.

E-commerce has also heightened the demand for corrugated substrates. To support its customers in new ways, Contact Originators adapted its cutting-edge OptimusTM plate technology for use on corrugated and the results of this market-led development are clear. Optimus enabled a leading packaging converter to achieve high-performance print on shipping boxes in a recent project for a household-name fashion retail brand.

Integrating Optimus into their print process enabled the client to use a single pass of white to create high quality print, where previously a double hit was required. Proving the powerhouse potential of Contact Originator’s print expertise, not only did this achieve the high-quality design and graphic impact needed, it also delivered significant cost and efficiency savings for the converter.

This International Print Day is an opportunity to get deeper under the skin of the prepress function, often the unsung hero of the print supply chain. Project by project, Contact Originators is demonstrating that for packaging and label printers, repro goes far beyond ‘just’ making labels and packaging look great.

With the right choice of prepress partner, label and packaging printers are better armed to meet tomorrow’s market needs, while supporting their own operations and controlling costs.

Click here to learn more about International Print Day, or click here to get in touch with our team and find out how we can drive more value through your printing process.

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