The different printing methods for custom paper bags

The different printing methods for custom paper bags

At Paper Bag Co we use a range of different printing methods depending on the desired design, the speed of production, and the bag that we are printing on.

By having different printing methods and machines, we are able to offer the highest quality custom paper bags to our customers.

We’ve outlined the printing methods below and explained how they work.


Screen Printing

Screen printing, also known as silk-screen printing, is one of the most popular printing techniques and is good for printing on a variety of materials of different sizes.

In order to print using the silk-screen printing technique a printing frame is created. This has the design printed on to a sheet so that the ink can be transferred. The different colours (up to four) are then screened over the material with a scraper.

After applying a layer with the frame ink, it is left to dry and then can be used for another application.


Foil Printing

Foil printing is a speciality method of printing which uses heat, pressure, and metallic paper to create shiny designs and graphics which create a focus point on the chosen design.

The foil has a heated die applied to it, which makes it permanently stick to the chosen material underneath. Foil printing can be done with a selection of colours and finishes, offering just as much flexibility as some other printing methods.


Litho printing

Lithographic and offset printing, or litho printing for short, is where the image of the content you want to produce is placed on a plate which is then covered in ink and used for printing. This method requires great skill, as the inks must be mixed correctly and placed in the right order.


Flexo printing

Flexography is a modern version of letterpress printing and can be used on most materials. For this method of printing, flexible photopolymer printing plates with ink on are wrapped around rotating cylinders on a web press.

Flexography allow large orders to run with few interruptions and is a great method for packaging and labels.

Digital printing

Digital printing is the process of printing digital-based images directly onto a variety of media substrates. There is no need for a printing plate, unlike with offset printing. Digital files such as PDFs or desktop publishing files can be sent directly to the digital printing press to print on paper, photo paper, canvas, fabric, synthetics, cardstock and other substrates.

Instead of using metal plates to transfer an image, digital printing presses print the image directly onto the media substrate.

 Bespoke and express paper bags

The material, design, and speed of delivery often determines which printing method is used for our custom-made paper bags.

For express bags, we commonly use screen, digital, or foil printing as these methods are easier to set up and allow for faster printing with a great finish.

For bespoke printed bags, we can use a variety of methods, but litho printing is common as we have more time to perfect the set up and the design. For our folded handle and twisted handle bags, we will usually use lithography or flexography as the Kraft material lends itself well to these methods.


For help choosing the perfect bag, and printing method, for your needs. Get in touch with the team at Paper Bag Co today on 01373 825 834.