Digital labels are produced by printing on a digital press through a process of transferring an image or document stored on a computer onto a printing medium such as paper or polypropylene. The image is usually split into four different basic colors (cyan, magenta, yellow and black –CMYK). The four colors are overlayed exactly to reproduce an image on a screen that is digitally printed resulting in a sharp picture perfect label.


Pouches are more complex to produce than labels and shrink sleeves. To produce a pouch requires machinery with a wider web press such as an HP20000. Labels and shrink sleeves can be produced with a narrow web press machine which is more widely found in the packaging industry. There are only a few manufacturers in the U.S. who utilize this technology. Here are the different types of pouches.

  • Stand up Pouches
  • Stick Pack
  • Spouted
  • Box Bottom
  • Slider

Shrink Sleeves

Is a type of labeling application in which labels are printed on film (PVC, PET, PETG, or OPS) and then shrunk tightly around a container (glass, plastic, metal) by either manual application, heat or steam tunnels, conforming to the shape of the receptacle. Sleeves often cover 360 degrees, from top-to-bottom, allowing for a greater area for graphics and content.



Is an evolving printing process that has risen in popularity with low volume runs and seasonal packaging productions. It doesn’t require plates or set up waste with a minimum quantity of 1,000 allowing for reduced costs and lead times. Its quality has grown with technical improvement of CMYK color mixes being able to match a higher number of Pantone inks for full color jobs.


Utilizes flexible plates that transfer the inks onto almost any type of flexible substrates. Film can be printed using a reverse printing process or surface-printed paper using foil or film materials with up to 10 colors. Flexography uses water based and UV curable inks offering great print quality for 4-color process and Pantone matching colors. It is mostly suitable for high-volume printing and for custom packaging that requires special effects and finishes many times impossible to achieve with digital printing.


Is a high-speed high-quality printing process. An image is engraved onto a cylinder and like flexographic printing uses a rotary printing press. It is mostly used for high-volume printing in packaging. It delivers full range of tonal values in photographs and the cylinders can last for millions of impressions.