To print your roll banners with plates, or not – that is the question! While you may not spend all your time questioning printing methods, if you’re wondering what type of plastic roll banner printing will work best for your business or event, we’ve got answers.
There are two plastic roll banner types that should be at the top of your list: Digitally Printed Plastic Roll Banners (DPRB) and Flexographic printed Plastic Roll Banners (PRB). We’ll explain a bit about each type and how you can best decide which is the right fit for your needs. And yes, we’ll weigh in on that question about if your roll banners need plates, too!
Flexo Printing – When Roll Banners Need Plates
Traditional printing for plastic roll banners DOES use printing plates. Did you know that the first printing plates can be traced back to China nearly one THOUSAND years ago? While the method has evolved and improved since then, it’s still relatively simple.
For example, when it comes to PRB printing, flexography (flexo) is the most common method. A flexo print is achieved by creating a mirrored master of the required image as a three-dimensional relief in a rubber or polymer material. Unlike the porcelain of ancient China, these rubber molds are the “plates” used to print your image.
A measured amount of ink is deposited upon the surface of the printing plate using an anilox roll. The print surface then rotates, contacting the poly which transfers the ink. This method requires individual plates for each color that is mounted on the press.
Digitally Printed Plastic Roll Banner – Printing Without Plates
Unlike flexo printing, DPRB is a digital process. Thus, the art is uploaded to the machine then printed onto the plastic without needing plates. This means that no matter how many colors your artwork features, you don’t need to create separate plates.
How to Decide Which Roll Banners You Need
Each printing type has its strengths and weaknesses which you should consider when deciding what plastic roll banners will work best for your needs.
How many linear feet do you need?
If you need less than 2,000 linear feet, DPRBs are a more affordable option. If you need more than that, either printing method could work.
A lot depends on the complexity of the art you’ll be printing. If the art has few colors, PRBs may be more cost-effective. However, if your artwork features lots of colors and gradients, printing digitally without plates is the better option.
Do you need perforations?
If you need “perfs” (perforations to allow you to tear away sections of the banner), then you need to order PRBs made with plates. If you do not need perfs, we can print your banners digitally without plates.
Bottom Line for Roll Banners
Do my roll banners need plates? It’s a question many people ask themselves before investing in their printed banner rolls. The answer is not always straightforward, but it can be determined with the guidelines above to help you better understand the types of plastic roll banner printing. If you’re interested in ordering plastic roll banners for your business or event, contact us to discuss whether or not you need plates for your project. Our experienced team is happy to help!