You’ve likely been to an event that utilized plastic roll banners. They’re cost-efficient and look great, plus they can help you cover a ton of ground. But can you tell the difference between digitally printed roll banners (DPRBs) versus flexographic printed plastic roll banners (flexos)?
How do you know which one is right for you? In this post, we will compare both options and provide some guidance on how to decide which type of banner is best for your needs.
What Are Plastic Roll Banners?
Plastic roll banners are a type of banner that is printed on thin plastic and rolled up on a cardboard core for easy storage and use. They can be used indoors or outdoors, and are extremely popular for events.
The most common material used to make this style of banner is 4 mil or 6 mil low-density polyethylene (PE). PE has many advantages – it’s lightweight but durable, and recyclable. PE is bio-degradable, and like “high-density polyethylene” items (like plastic milk jugs), banners made from PE are recyclable, as well.
There are different ways to print plastic roll banners, with two of the most popular methods being digitally printed plastic roll banners (DPRBs) and flexographic printed roll banners (flexos).
No matter which printing method you choose, plastic roll banners offer a wonderful way to cover events with logos or branding messages. All on a budget! They are multi-purpose, as you can cut the roll banners and distribute sections for various uses, or use one long stretch to cover a large area.
Digitally Printed Plastic Roll Banners
Digitally Printed Plastic Roll Banners (DPRBs) are 4 mil plastic roll banners printed using a digital press. This means the art for the banner is uploaded directly to the print machine, much like many other digital printing processes. Let’s break down some DPRB specifications:
Perhaps the biggest advantage of DPRBs is that this method has no color limitations. That means that no matter how complicated the artwork, there will be no additional charges for the number of colors used. Thus, DPRBs are an extremely flexible design choice.
Unlike traditional printing methods, DPRBs do not use plates. The images are stored digitally then printed directly onto the PE. This means there are no setup fees, either.
Based on a flexo print machine’s capacity, many roll banners have a maximum achievable repeat length. That is maximum length the art can be in each repeated image.
DPRBs have no repeat length limitation. We can do any repeat lengths you need!
While DPRBs tend to be extremely flexible in design options, one limitation is that they cannot be perforated. However, the thin PE material can easily be cut with scissors.
Minimum Order for Digital Plastic Roll Banners
DPRBs are a fantastic solution for budget-conscious small businesses and nonprofits. That’s because this method has a minimum order length of just a single 250-foot roll.
Short on time? Because DPRBs don’t require the extra labor of setting plates, production time is much shorter. This means the turnaround time for DPRBs can be as short as one week.
Flexographic Plastic Roll Banners
For years, flexographic printing has been one of the most commonly used methods for plastic roll banners. We’ll break down its specifications so you can see how this printing method differs from digitally printed roll banners.
Flexo printing is priced based on the number of colors in the art. We can print a maximum of 6 colors per banner. However, we can only print a 28.25″ repeat if the artwork uses all 6 colors. At a 36″, we can print up to four colors.
Flexo printing requires a plate for each color in the artwork. There is a charge for plates the first time you order, but the plates can be reused for future orders of the same art without an additional fee.
Flexos are limited to repeat length. These are based on the size of the drums the print plates are mounted to. We can do an 18″, 24″, 30″, 36″, or 54″ repeat length. However, the 36″ and 54″ repeat lengths have limitations regarding the number of colors.
A big advantage of flexo printed banners is that they can be perforated for easy tearing. Perforated banners are great if you have a large event where you will be handing out sections of banner to many guests.
Minimum Order for Flexo Plastic Roll Banners
The minimum order for flexo plastic banners starts at 2000 linear feet (four 500-foot rolls). Thus, this method is best for when you have a LOT of ground to cover.
The turnaround time for flexo banners is 2 to 3 weeks. While this isn’t a terribly long time, it is longer than DPRBs because it takes time to make the plates and even longer to properly set up each job on the press.
Plastic Roll Banners At A Glance
|Flexographic Plastic Roll Banners (Flexos)||Digitally Printed Plastic Roll Banners (DPRB)|
|Color Limitations||6 color max – Sizing limitations apply for 6 colors. Prices varry based on the number of colors.||No color Limitations, Design does not affect pricing|
|Repeat Length||54″ maximum repeat (With a max of 2 colors), 36″ max repeat (with a max of 4 colors)||No Maximm repeat length|
|Can they be perforated?||Yes||No|
|Minimum Order||(4) 500 ft rolls||(1) 250 ft roll|
|Turnaround time||2-3 weeks||1 week|
Choosing between digital and flexographic banners can be a difficult decision. The two types of banners are different in how they are printed, cost, and what is available. They also have some specifics that make them excellent for certain purposes. Now that you know a bit more about the specifics of each type of banner, you can decide which one is best for your needs. Just reach out to our team to get started today!