All that time spent at the drawing board has created a compelling, valuable brand. Logos, color schemes, and catchy copy will set your company apart from the rest, whether your product is on store shelves or online.
But when it comes time to put that artistry into action, how do you actually print those eye-catching designs and colors, while also meeting compliance with regulators and regional standards?
The key is to print on Mylar, and take full advantage of this material’s strength and customization capabilities. Let’s find out what makes Mylar unique in the world of packaging, and the top ways to print on bags, pouches, and other formats that bring your brand to life.
What Is Mylar?
Mylar is a branded polyester film with impressive properties for a broad range of industrial and consumer applications.
First engineered back in the 1950s, researchers found that drawing or stretching polyester film imbues unique properties of strength and barrier abilities. While the name “biaxially oriented polyethylene terephthalate” wasn’t quite snappy enough, BoPET caught on quickly and took on the brand name Mylar soon after.
Now, Mylar is universal, serving industries from construction and engineering to consumer goods, foodstuffs, and everyday storage needs. You can find Mylar in science, electronics, and even aeronautical applications. The material is built to last and delivers on all fronts.
What Are the Benefits of Using Mylar for Packaging?
Leading brands have used Mylar packaging solutions for years, pointing to numerous benefits. Here’s why so many rely on Mylar to package their best-selling products:
- Strong barrier properties to excessive heat, cold, moisture, and air
- Highly customizable sizing and dimensions for unique products
- Broad surface area for printing and custom branding elements
- Ideal for creating child-resistant mechanisms that meet strict regulations
- Variable in terms of thickness and density to meet precise specifications
- Perfect for long shipping journeys and complex logistics
- Semi-rigid in pouch or bag form, allowing products to stand on shelves
- “Crumple-proof” construction for max durability and shelf-life
- Protect and contain everything from medicine and vitamins to cleaning supplies, personal care products, collectibles, toys, and more
As customers start to embrace Mylar packaging and prefer it to standard paperboard and other rigid containers, brands are moving more in this direction. Every product type can benefit from Mylar uniquely, whether through strong barrier properties or appealing glossy exterior.
Why Should You Print on Mylar Packaging?
The strengths of Mylar as a packaging product are apparent to brands and customers alike. The look and feel of Mylar pouches and bags are unmatched by any paperboard, metal, or standard plastic wares.
With regard to printing, we encounter a new set of questions. What makes Mylar so great for printing, and what properties are most important to making your brand loud and clear?
Here are the three reasons why you should print on Mylar, and how they feed into your brand’s success on multiple levels.
Branding is a practice of personalization, creating unique assets from scratch and appealing to a target audience as no one else can. The vision that starts in your mind is transferred from thought to reality through tools and techniques that work best without limitations.
Just as you want graphic design software to include as many customization tools as possible, the same goes for your packaging format. Mylar material is highly customizable, allowing you to express your grandest branding ideas without limitations.
With more customization options at your fingertips, the more accurately you can represent your brand vision. That goes for everything from logo design to the level of clarity and color schemes that can be applied to Mylar substrates.
Mylar is even suitable for different finishes, including matte, gloss, kraft, clear, and more. This gives your product an instant one-up in a visual appeal that attracts customers far and wide.
The look and feel of Mylar make it prime for printing, but from a business standpoint, colors and designs are just the beginning.
You also want a product that meets your manufacturing requirements, including shapes, sizing, child-resistant mechanisms, barrier properties, and much more.
The next level of customization is control, and it’s all about putting your business at the helm. Mylar printing ensures you get exactly what you pay for, on time, on track, and aligned perfectly with your goals as a company.
This also goes for compliance and regulations, which can come back to bite certain brands dealing with sensitive products. Cannabis, for instance, is regulated differently in each state, and you can’t afford to take risks with factors like child-resistant bags and proper labeling.
Since Mylar printing offers maximum control and leaves nothing to chance, you never need to roll the dice when bringing your big ideas to the marketplace. That’s what it means to be in control of your package printing and business at large.
How do you know you’re getting more efficiency with Mylar printing? Just look at costs, production lead times, order sizes, and other factors that go into the logistics equation. These are the behind-the-scenes numbers that make your business viable and take your ideas from theory to profitability.
Efficiency is a matter of resources, including time, money, and effort. Mylar printing provides an edge across all three and cuts out much of the risk that comes with outdated methods and materials.
For example, Mylar packaging uses significantly less raw material compared to traditional paperboard and plastic boxes that require extra folding and configuration. Every square inch of Mylar can be fully utilized, and each surface can serve a useful purpose.
In terms of timing, the top Mylar packaging printers can work within production lead times of five weeks or less, based on order size and specifications. That rapid creation cycle would be unheard of not long ago with other materials.
Finally, the process of ordering Mylar packaging with your perfect labels has never been more streamlined and efficient. Working with innovative manufacturers like Dymapak will save you time and energy that you can allocate to building your business above and beyond.
How Do You Print on Mylar Packaging?
The details of printing on Mylar packaging can be complex, but three primary methods are most common in the industry today. Here’s an overview of the big three techniques and the pros and cons they offer.
Some of the highest quality, longest-lasting prints are achieved with rotogravure technology, which involves running the printing substrate between two cylinders, along with a steady supply of colored inks.
One cylinder, the impression roller, is designed to apply soft pressure to the substrate, while the other cylinder rotates a relief of the print design to press ink in the right locations. Think of pressing a piece of paper down on an intricately carved stone surface to transfer an image to the paper with ink.
This approach is slightly more expensive upfront because gravure cylinders must be engineered with precision. However, the result is a more efficient printing process once up and running, and offers excellent reproducibility for longer print runs.
Compared to rotogravure, flexographic printing is a more agile and rapid production process that still delivers great results on Mylar substrates. The concept is somewhat like roto in reverse, this time with acid-etched printing plates applied to a roller in tandem with the impression cylinder.
As the substrate moves between the two cylinders, the ink is applied to the Mylar directly with the plates after they’re applied with ink. Because plates can be manufactured more rapidly and with lower overhead, the flexo approach is best for shorter runs and tests.
Nevertheless, flexo printing makes for efficient, convenient, and relatively low-cost Mylar printing for brands at any stage.
Modern digital label printers take the flexographic approach and digitize it with photo imaging cylinders and direct ink applications. Consider your household or office copy machine or printer, and peek inside to see the cylinders and ink wells work in unison.
The photo-imaging cylinders make for near-instant results without additional hands-on labor, yet this technology is still prone to errors and accuracy issues.
Digital printing is great for the occasional test sheet or trial run, but a more stable analog format like flexo or roto is optimal to take your brand to new heights.
The Bottom Line
There’s a time and place for each type of Mylar package printing strategy, so make sure to work with brands that know best for every scenario.
Working with Dymapak ensures your designs, logos, colors, and copy will come to life exactly as you planned, with max efficiency and minimal downtime.
Dymapak also covers child-resistant requirements and meets compliance needs with labeling for any industry, in any region. From snacks and supplies to cannabis and candy, your product will be compliant and approved.
You have every reason to choose Mylar as your ideal packaging format, with bags and pouches now considered consumer favorites. Now it’s time to put your brand to work and execute with package printing that meets a higher standard.
Gravure Printing Overview | Science Direct
History of Printing Timeline | American Printing History Association