Methods You Can Use For Printing On Poly Mailers
A lot of companies like to use poly mailers in preference to boxes. This is especially true for the retail world and those involved in eCommerce. But a lot of companies have questions about the printing on poly mailers. What are their options and how easy is the process to perform? In this article we will answer those questions.
One of the benefits of using poly mailers is that it makes establishing a brand identity a lot easier than other forms of packaging. But printing on polythene is not the easiest thing to do so not all conventional printing methods will work. But here you will find the solution to effective printing on poly mailers so please read this entire article.
Poly Mailers defined and your Options
The reason that poly mailers are so popular is because they offer really good protection despite being lightweight and thin. Made from polyethylene they have moisture resistant properties and are very durable as well.
You can purchase poly mailers in many different sizes and it is possible to buy custom poly mailers wholesale. If you have unique requirements where the standard sized poly mailing envelopes do not fit the bill then you can have them custom made.
The colors of poly mailing envelops are usually grey or white but there are also clear versions available. If you like the idea of using clear poly mailers then you need to ensure that you obtain USPS approved clear envelopes.
Are poly mailers recyclable? Yes you can recycle poly mailers made of 100% low density polyethylene (LDPE). You can actually recycle your poly mailers by using the same recycling facilities offered for recyclable grocery bags that you see at a number of the larger grocery stores.
The Benefits of Using Poly Mailers
There are a number of benefits to using poly mailers for businesses and ordinary individuals. They are very flexible and you can use them in a number of different situations. A business can use them for product packaging or to send brochures or catalogs. Individuals can use them to send items to their family or friends through the mail.
One of the most important benefits of poly mailers for businesses is their durability. If a business does not protect their products and other items properly then they can lose a lot of money. Using substandard materials is never a good idea as items can get lost or damaged. You have a much better chance of items arriving at a customer’s address with poly mailers.
If customers receive products in a damaged state, or don’t receive them at all then they are going to complain and you will have to send the item out again which will cost you more money. It is not worth damaging your reputation and losing money in this way by saving a few dollars with inferior packaging which offers little protection.
Being water resistant, poly mailers will prevent items contained in them from damage by rain water or liquids spilled on them. Sometimes a package has to remain in an external mail box until they are collected and heavy rain can damage inferior packaging.
Poly mailing envelopes are light and therefore the postal costs tend to be less than when using heavier packaging such as a box. All companies need to pay attention to the bottom line and saving money on shipping costs while maintaining protection of the sent items makes a whole lot of sense.
Common Methods for Printing on Poly Mailers
We will look at the most common methods of printing on poly mailers here. You need to bear in mind that any kind of printing on a poly mailer needs to be durable and waterproof. Also the ability to create an impressive design and print this on your poly mailers will enhance your brand and help to retain customer loyalty.
Here are the most common methods of printing on poly mailers. We will look at each one in turn and look at the pros and cons of each method:
- Screen Printing
- Offset Printing
- Inkjet Printing
- Rotogravure Printing
- Flexography Printing
Screen Printing for Poly Mailers
Screen printing is a technique used for many years and is still effective today. It is an ideal method for bulk printing. To print using this method you have to create a “screen” that is a combination of a mesh and a frame.
The mesh used in screen printing is a polymer material that has a number of very small apertures. To print on the poly mailer you need to place the screen onto it and then spread ink across the screen. You will need a screen for each color used in the poly mailer printing design.
Pros of using Screen Printing for Poly Mailers
- Once you create the screen or screens for the print task you can use these over and over again. This makes the method an economical proposition if you want to perform printing on poly mailers in bulk.
- You can print successfully on any type of poly mailer using screen printing. It doesn’t matter how thick the envelope or the size of it. You can even use screen printing on poly mailers that contain padding.
- If you want a custom mailer with your company logo then screen printing is a good option for this.
Cons of using Screen Printing for Poly Mailers
- Screen printing is a time consuming process.
- It is best to use screen printing on poly mailers if you only want one or two colors. There is prepress work involved in screen printing and the cost rises significantly the more colors involved.
- Usually with screen printing it’s only possible to print on one poly mailer at a time.
Although screen printing is still in existence today it does require human input and effort and more automated printing processes appeal these days.
Offset Printing on Poly Mailers
The technique of offset lithography is a very popular printing method. You can obtain images in high definition with offset printing and it is a good technique to use when you want to print on a large volume of poly mailing envelopes.
Like with screen printing there is a pre-pressing setup required but instead of creating this manually computers create the necessary plates. This leads to more accurate printing and it is a lot more accurate.
Pros of using Offset Printing for Poly Mailers
- You can obtain a really high definition image with offset printing methods.
- Offset printing tends to be the cheapest method for printing on poly mailers especially if you require large quantities.
- The prepress process and tooling are simple and fast.
Cons of using Offset Printing for Poly Mailers
- Although the image quality with offset printing is good for poly mailers it is not as good as with the rotogravure printing process. It is more economical than rotogravure printing though and it is often worth it to put up with a slightly lower image quality to save money.
Inkjet Printing on Poly Mailers
Using inkjet printers to print on poly mailers is another common practice. An inkjet printer creates digital images on materials. You will use a computer to setup the image and send instructions to the inkjet printer. The printer propels ink droplets on to the poly mailer. There are many different inkjet printers available from professional use to home use.
You cannot use standard water based ink when inkjet printing on poly mailers. This will not work on the plastic so you have to use a solvent based ink instead. Using solvent based inks ensures smudge free and waterproof printing on poly mailer envelopes.
Pros of using Inkjet Printing for Poly Mailers
- If you do not need to print large quantities of poly mailers then inkjet printing is a good option.
- Inkjet printing is a fast method for poly mailers.
- A lot of retail companies find inkjet printing the best solution for poly mailing envelopes.
- It is very easy to use a new design for printing on poly mailers when you use a high end model of inkjet printer such as a semi professional model. You don’t need to find an external printer to perform your poly mailer printing so you will recoup your investment in the inkjet printer quickly.
Cons of using Inkjet Printing for Poly Mailers
- Inkjet printing is not cost effective for bulk printing.
- Inkjet printers will not always provide the level of detail required on poly mailers.
Rotogravure Printing on Poly Mailers
With rotogravure printing you need to engrave an image of the print on a cylinder. You then add the cylinder to a rotary printing press which transfers the image to the poly mailer. Rotogravure printing creates the highest quality images on poly mailers.
Pros of using Rotogravure Printing for Poly Mailers
- You can use the rotogravure printing method on poly mailers that vary in thickness.
- The cylinders create the highest quality images and they will last a long time even after continuous use.
- If you need to print in bulk then rotogravure printing can be a good option.
Cons of using Rotogravure Printing for Poly Mailers
- There is a high setup cost involved with rotogravure printing. Unless you want to print several thousand poly mailing envelopes then the method is cost prohibitive.
Flexography Printing on Poly Mailers
Flexography printing is the upgraded version of letterpress printing and is ideal for non porous materials such as poly mailers. You need to use a flexible plate to add the design using the relief carving process. The plate transfers the design to the poly mailer. Flexography printing is great for the bulk printing of poly mailers.
Pros of using Flexography Printing for Poly Mailers
You get a color durable print with flexography due to the use of heat rollers. With flexography you can even use water based ink for poly mailer printing and for the highest definition result you can use UVC inks.
If you want to use solid colors over a large area of your poly mailer then flexography printing is the best option.
Cons of using Flexography Printing for Poly Mailers
- There is an expensive prepress and tool setting setup process involved.
- If you want more than three colors for printing then flexography is not the best choice.
So there you have it the best methods for printing on poly mailers. You need to decide which of these options is best for your business by taking into consideration the design of your print and the quantity of poly mailing envelopes you require the printing for.