Off-Set Printing: A Technology for Speed and Flexibility that Picks Up Where Digital Leaves Off

Andrea Tonin, Innovation Director, makes a case for why off-set printing may be the new choice for brands to get packaging on store shelves with speed and agility.

Off-set printing first gained widespread use in the newspaper industry over 100 years ago, thanks to its fast turnaround of large printing quantities. Today brands need to respond almost as quickly as news outlets to put the latest packaging designs in front of consumers. Getting new packaging to store shelves faster is the rationale behind Amcor’s recent investment in EB off-set print technology.

Advancements in off-set technology for packaging offer excellent print quality, flexibility in order size and faster speed to market. It’s the latest technique to consider for promotions, editions and even designing current events into packaging – going from artwork to print in a matter of hours or days instead of weeks.

Andrea Tonin, Innovation Director at Amcor, speaks about why brands are changing how (and how often) they promote via packaging and how Amcor is supporting their ambitions.

AT: Consumers expect more variety and novelty
Younger consumer groups, Millennials and Generation Z, demonstrate less brand loyalty, so the pressure is on brand owners to continuously attract them with new flavours, special editions and great packaging design.

This shift in consumer behaviour has driven a shift in our customers’ packaging purchasing behaviour. Runs are getting shorter; flavour variety is increasing and promotional items are becoming increasingly important to drive novelty at shelf and with retailers.  We see more new product launches per year, creating a long portfolio tail. We also see an increase in seasonal items and packaging for specific retailer promotions.  These influences have led to more frequent requests for small and medium size orders combined with pressure on packaging lead-times.

AT:  Print preparation time can be reduced to days or hours (instead of weeks)
Part of the appeal of off-set, particularly for new designs, is how quickly we can get on press after artwork is finalized.  Instead of waiting weeks for cylinders to be engraved, the plates are created on-site within hours. For getting products to store shelves quickly, off-set cuts down time to press and thus time to market.
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