Thinking Inks – Solving common printer challenges

10 Oct 2021
Ink 3

Inks, comprising of a varnish, oil and pigment, are a critical component of packaging and label print – but they can also be one of the most complicated aspects for printers to manage.


At Creation, our customers rely on us, as a dedicated reprographics specialist, to understand inks and their behaviours better than anyone. This means that regardless of the substrate or packaging complexity, every single item produced is a great reflection of the brand, its identity, and the printer that has manufactured it.


Our team of packaging professionals can support printers on all inks matters, from selecting the right types through to management of supply.


What do common ink challenges look like for printers?


Too much ink is being used

To tackle this challenge, Creation can supply AWP™ flexo plates, developed by specialist Asahi.


The plates are water-washable, allowing printers to cut harmful solvent washout from the pre-press process. Crucially, the plates enable kiss-touch printing with pinning dot technology. This creates more consistent laydown of ink on the substrate, reducing waste and cutting the need for print reruns – all while supporting a strong sustainability story.


Inks behaving differently across substrates

An ink can look outstanding on a given material – but that’s no guarantee it will look just as good when the substrate is different. Of course, this presents a major challenge in terms of brand consistency across multiple SKUs and packaging formats.


Creation offers full colour management services for printers, with unrivalled technical expertise. By focusing on inks and evolving as ink technology does, our team can anticipate how inks will register under different conditions, ensuring that no matter the material, every colour is brand-precise. To support this, our team uses a suite of proofing software including GMG and Esko, which ensures packaging looks just as good on-shelf as it does on-screen.


Our ink inventory is too large

There is pressure on printers on all sides, including physical resources, space and inventory. One of the most effective ways for printers to secure lower cost eco-conscious printing from the outset is with Fixed Colour Palette printing, also known as Extended Gamut. Done right, this approach can dramatically cut down the amount of ink needed in inventory.


This technique replaces the need for spot colour inks by using a fixed ink set, most commonly CMYK or CMYK/OGV thereby reducing ink inventory, downtime in changeovers and waste.


We want our inks to be more sustainable

Naturally, as such an important part of packaging design, inks have a role to play in sustainability. Brands should be selecting inks that reflect their sustainability goals, because they’re not all created equal.


Our role as a reprographics specialist requires means we don’t just provide pre-press deliverables, software and services – we provide advice and guidance that draws on our team’s experience. This includes technologies such as UV curable inks, which are VOC and solvent-free. In addition, the UV lamps required use considerably less energy than more traditional drying lamps, cutting overall energy use.


Looking to learn more? Get in touch with our team! Creation Reprographics is a dedicated prepress partner, comprising a team of packaging professionals that help to turn ‘good on-screen’ to ‘outstanding on-shelf’.


With unmatched expertise in inks, equipment and origination, Creation can support printers of every size and help to deliver the print excellence demanded from today’s fast-paced market.


Looking to learn more? Click here to contact our team.

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