How can printers reduce costs with smarter packaging and label reprographics?

26 Apr 2022

Today’s printers have more plates to spin than ever before – please excuse the pun!

Regardless of run length, quality has to remain at exemplary levels, while speed, innovation and sustainability must also stay firmly on the agenda.

It’s vital that brand customers’ needs are met, and with speed, precision and ‘greener’ print in firm focus, there often needs to be a compromise somewhere. For many printers, this comes in the form of added cost and overheads, most commonly in machine investments, ink and material supplies, or labour.

With a dedicated reprographics partner, cost control can be made simple for packaging printers. A business with the experience and expertise of Creation Reprographics can help printers make best use of resources and minimise waste, helping to drive up the bottom line and reduce the risk of waste.


Explore Fixed Colour Palette printing

In today’s print and packaging sector, specific brand colours are often achieved using spot colours. Spot colours are inks used for a singular purpose, which usually arrived at the printer pre-mixed to a given specification, matched exactly to brand colours.

As press technology has developed, spot colours are no longer the most cost-effective or sustainable way to print. Large quantities of inks pre-blended for a specific purpose mean that the ink cannot be used elsewhere, limiting its use and creating potential waste.

Until recently, print technology could not provide the versatility and flexibility to meet the needs of printers and brand customers without the use of spot colours, but Fixed Colour Palette printing (FCP), also known Extended Gamut printing, challenges this notion.

So, what is Fixed Colour Palette printing? With a fixed gamut of up to seven standard colours, FCP can replicate around 90% of Pantone colours using a set palette of CMYK/OGV inks, standard cyan, magenta, yellow and black (key), with the extension of orange, green and violet.

Brand customers are rightly protective of their brand colours – after all, quality and accuracy are how strong brands are built, which in turn supports their value proposition and brand equity. However, an increasing number of leading companies are taking fixed colour printing into account at the brand identity stage, ensuring their colour palettes can be achieved with more eco-conscious ink colour gamuts and choices. This, of course, creates a stronger market foundation for FCP printing and accelerates its use.


Increased productivity with extended gamut printing

As well as lowering ink purchase demands, another significant cost-benefit to FCP printing lies in better use of resources.

Switching spot inks for an extended gamut approach gives printers more flexibility from their existing ink inventories and eliminates the need to store and handle individual spot inks – particularly valuable in print houses where space is at a premium.

In addition, printing using a fixed palette of CMYK/OGV inks has added benefits in terms of time – job changeovers are quicker as inks do not need to be reset or changed, with eradication of frequent cleaning down. Overall efficiency is improved with fewer press stops and wash-ups, as well as dramatically reduced make-ready waste, since printers do not store excess amounts of any particular ink.


Supporting the print bottom line

As packaging designs become more complex, the advantages of FCP become clearer than ever. It is not uncommon for larger brands to host upwards of 40 individual spot colours within a brand range, which adds complexity and costs at every stage of production. This can be one of the biggest culprits in print and packaging costs.

One of the best ways to cut down packaging costs is with intelligent use of standard CMYK/OGV inks. Printers can protect their bottom line with speed, efficiency and sustainability, offering a true best of both worlds.


In summary

As printers look to provide their brand customers with quality, consistency, speed and sustainability, it is essential that costs do not spiral out of control in a bid to meet these demands. Extended gamut printing is a fantastic way to reduce the cost burden of print while remaining agile and responsive.

A dedicated reprographics partner like Creation can support printers of every size in delivering fixed colour palette printing that impresses on print runs of any size and complexity, reducing ink inventory and supporting the bottom line.

To find out more about Creation and its team of packaging reprographics experts, click here to contact our team today.

Contact us on +44 (0) 1327 312444  or
and we’ll be happy to help