Advanced Labels Blog

9 Questions About Digital Label Printing, Answered

Nov 21, 2016 11:06 PM

Frequently Asked Questions Digital Label Printing

We recently announced the installation of our HP8000, the world's best digital label press. Digital labels are certainly nothing new, but with the release of the HP Indigo 8000 Digital Press we can confidently proclaim they have never been better. The technology and press speeds continually increase.

Of course, digital label printing is not the only service Advanced Labels NW has to offer. Our digital printing capabilities are complimented by our award-winning flexographic printing expertise. As we promote our latest investment in digital label printing, it is a great time to revisit the 9 most common questions we are asked about digital labels.


1. Is HP Indigo digital label printing more expensive?

No, but this is a common misconception. The cost of a conventionally printed label is typically much higher than HP Indigo in the lower quantities, even up to 100,000 labels.

Consider this: HP Indigo offers fast press speeds, the elimination of printing plates, ink color changes, plate changes, and extensive art file adjustments. There is far less material usage and press setup waste.

At some point there is what we call a "crossover", where it becomes more practical and cost effective to run your labels conventionally using flexography. This crossover point is different for every order, depending on each projects unique specifications.

We will always select the print method that delivers the highest quality and best value for your project. You do not have to request digital printing or flexographic printing when you order with us. We utilize all our resources to provide the best possible label packaging for your brand!


2. Should I expect lower quality with HP Indigo printing?

Absolutely not! We produce the highest quality labels, and it is often impossible to see the difference between our digital and conventional printing. Even under a magnifying glass it takes a trained eye to see the difference.

Many legacy digital presses produce what we consider 'mid-range' print quality. Unfortunately, the phrase "digital printing" can conjure images of ink-jet desktop printers or color laser printers. Our HP Indigo digital press is the very best in the industry for highest quality printing and color reproduction.

HP digital inks produce the sharpest, finest dots and fonts in the industry today. The misconception that digital print quality is not very good simply does not apply to our HP Indigo press. We encourage our new and existing clients to review samples of our labels printed with our HP digital press as proof of these statements.

Award Winning Labels

3. Is HP Indigo label printing better than your flexographic printing?

There are many advantages to printing your labels digitally, but it is not always the best option. It really depends on the unique requirements of each label order. We have the ability to produce the highest quality label products on both our conventional flexo and HP indigo presses. We take everything into consideration when engineering your labels, and will recommend the best possible solution, taking into account quantity, quality, color matching, special finishing, and cost, as well as your schedule and deadline for deliverables.

When you order labels from us, you can rest assured that no compromises will be made and no corners cut. With most labels we produce our customers will not be able to discern between print methods with the naked eye!

Label Design Services in Seattle

4. How closely will my printed label compare to my original artwork?

Labels produced with our HP Indigo press will provide you with the most accurate reproduction of your original artwork possible. It's likely the final printed label will exceed your expectations.

Our digital workflow results in a nearly exact color reproduction, and we have the ability to quickly make minor adjustments on press as needed.

HP Indigo Inks

5. What type of ink does the HP Indigo press use?

HP proprietary inks are completely different from conventional inks. HP inks exceed all print performance parameters of flexographic inks. They are also fully recyclable, user-safe, and user-friendly. It is a truly green printing process since all of the ink is recycled back through the press to be reused, never wasted or discarded.


6. I've seen digital printing where the inks run when exposed to moisture. Is this true?

Our ink doesn't run! This is only true of other types of ink jet printers. This is absolutely not the case with our HP printing press inks, whether they are varnished, laminated or neither.


7. Can HP Indigo print custom colors, fluorescent colors or metallic inks?

We can print many custom inks, but in our experience it is not required for an overwhelming majority of label projects. Custom digital inks are costly and rarely necessary.

Fluorescent inks and metallic inks are not compatible with any digital printing process. However, we have equipped our finishing press with the ability to print these types of inks utilizing either water-based inks, UV-based inks, or both. Of course this would require printing plates to be made for a nominal fee.

Our press has the unique ability to print 7 colors: white, yellow, magenta, cyan, black, and HexaChrome or IndiChrome. Hexachrome is CMYK print (4 color process; Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black) plus orange and green, which allows us to cover more than 70% of the Pantone color chart. Indichrome is a combination of CMYK plus orange and violet, which allows us to cover another 70% or more of the pantone book. We can match a Pantone color utilizing either CMYK, Hexachrome, or IndiChrome within 80% accuracy.


8. What type of proofs do you provide, and what can I expect this proof to look like compared to the actual digital printing?

We offer complimentary digital PDF proofs via email with every label order. HP press proofs are available for a premium at your request, as are on-site press checks that may be scheduled at our production facility.

Our HP Indigo label printing is as good or better than offset or lithographic printing - essentially exactly how your art file and photography is intended to look.


9. Can I request an on-site HP Indigo press check?

Yes, we offer digital press checks and welcome visits to our production facility. When requesting a press check we request clients provide us with everything required for color matching: collateral printed pieces and a completed Press Expectations form (available from your account manager), which we must receive at least 3 days prior to production.

Often times, providing clients with a PDF color proof or HP press proof is all that is required. Press checks, where the client wants the freedom to make adjustments to their file, fonts or colors, are complimentary for the first 15 minutes. Press checks require an extra billable charge after the first 15 minutes of revisions to cover the time and materials required.

At Advanced Labels NW, each label project is engineered to produce the best looking, longest lasting label, within your budget and deadline. Wether we decide to print your labels digitally or flexographically, our goal will always be to deliver fantastic labels that honor your brand.

For more common label printing questions, visit our general FAQ page, sorted by industry:


Topics: Digital Labels, Technology

Join Out Team
Label Questions?

    Stay Up to Date

    Recent Posts