Shrink sleeve distortion is a crucial step in shrink sleeve printing applications. Shrink sleeves are labels that conform to the shape of a container when heat is applied, creating a 360-degree coverage of the surface. Distortion designing takes into account the unique properties of shrink sleeves and addresses the distortions associated with the shrinking process.

Trinity Graphic has been assisting flexo printers with various pre-press services for decades. We know a thing or two about the shrink sleeve manufacturing process and have collaborated with printers to achieve perfect shrink sleeve  designs. Here are several reasons why shrink sleeve distortion pre-press design is important.

Container Shape Conformity

shrink sleeve distortionShrink sleeves are designed to shrink and conform to the shape of the container when exposed to heat. Distortion designing ensures that the graphics, text, and images on the sleeve are proportionately distorted to appear correctly when the sleeve shrinks. This is critical for maintaining the integrity of the brand and the visual appeal of the packaging.

Containers come in various shapes and curvatures. Shrink sleeves need to be designed to accommodate these variations, ensuring that the label adheres properly and shrinks uniformly across the container’s surface. Shrink sleeve pre-press distortion accounts for the curvature of the container to prevent uneven or awkward shrinkage.

Maintain Brand Consistency

For products with distinct branding, consistency is key. Shrink sleeve distortion helps maintain brand consistency by ensuring that logos, colors, and other brand elements retain their intended appearance on the final packaged product. This consistency is crucial for brand recognition and consumer trust.

Without proper distortion incorporated, images and text on the shrink sleeve can become skewed and illegible during the shrinking process.  Prepress distortion services from Trinity Graphic ensure that key design elements remain legible, recognizable, and aesthetically pleasing after the shrinkage.

Informed Designing

prepress shrink sleeve distortionDistortion designing allows for the strategic placement of key design elements on the shrink sleeve. Designers can anticipate how the distortion will affect different parts of the label and position important information accordingly.

By accounting for the distortion in the design phase, designers can optimize the resolution, clarity, and color accuracy of the graphics. This ensures that the printed images on the final product meet the desired quality standards.

Minimize Production Challenges

Proper distortion designing can help minimize challenges during the production process. Designing with shrinkage in mind allows for more accurate and predictable results, reducing the likelihood of production errors and waste.

In summary, distortion prepress services are vital for achieving visually appealing shrink sleeve packaging. By accounting for the shrink percentage during the design process, printers can ensure their final design meets both aesthetic and functional requirements. Need assistance with your artwork? Trinity Graphic offers prepress shrink sleeve distortion services to give you peace of mind. Contact our team to request a quote today!

Printing plates are a crucial component in the flexographic printing process.  As a maker and innovator of flexo plates for over 40 years, Trinity Graphic knows what these precious canvases are and how to optimize them for ultimate performance. In this blog, we’ll stick to the basics and walk through what are flexo printing plates and their role in the flexo printing process.

What Are Flexo Printing Plates?

flexo printing plate trinity

Flexo printing plates are flexible polymer sheets equipped with a raised image, like a stamp, to print on a wide range of materials, including paper, corrugated board, plastic, and even metallic films.  How it works is: the plates are mounted onto the printing cylinder of the flexographic press and responsible for picking up a uniform layer of ink from the anilox. The raised surface of the plate will come into contact with the substrate as it passes through the press. As this happens, the ink on the plate’s raised areas will transfer onto the substrate, creating the printed image.

This print application is known for its ability to produce high-quality prints on various substrates, thanks to the flexible polymer plate and other important print innovations, making it suitable for a diverse range of applications.

Your choice of plate provider, material and design will have a direct impact on your print performance, for better or worse. It’s important to choose the right platemaker to ensure print quality and press performance. But first, you must understand the important features of flexo printing plates and their role in the flexo process:

Plate Composition

Material: Flexo printing plates are typically made from flexible photopolymer materials. Photopolymer plates are sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) light, allowing for precise image reproduction during the plate-making process.

Base: The photopolymer material of the plate is mounted on a flexible backing or base, often made of materials like polyester or metal.

Plate Making Process

trinity flexo printing plates making

Imaging: The flexo platemaking process begins with creating a digital image of the artwork to be printed. This image is then transferred onto the photosensitive surface of the flexo printing plate using various methods, such as laser engraving for digital plates or UV light exposure through a film negative for analog plates.

Development: After exposure, the unexposed areas are removed through a special development process, leaving a relief image that corresponds to the design to be printed.

Types of Flexo Plates

Analog Plates: Traditionally, flexo printing plates were made using analog processes, involving UV exposure through film negatives. These plates offer good print quality and are still widely used today.

Digital Plates: With advancements in technology, digital flexo plates have become increasingly popular. These plates are imaged directly using computer-to-plate (CTP) systems, offering more precision over plate details and quicker turnaround times.

Trinity Graphic: Your Flexo Printing Plates Partner

Flexo printing plates play a pivotal role in the flexographic printing process, and the choice of plate material, design and supplier will make all the difference. Trinity Graphic is honored to be a preferred supplier of flexo plates for over 40 years. Advances in plate-making technology continue to enhance the quality and efficiency of our flexo printing and when quality matters, printers choose Trinity. Contact our team to discuss our platemaking products and solutions and see the difference Trinity can make in your flexo print operations.

As quality demands continue to grow, flexographic printing plates can make the difference between happy customers and rejected prints. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a newcomer to the printing industry, choosing the right flexo printing plates is crucial for achieving optimal results. In this blog, we’ll explore the key considerations when purchasing flexo printing plates to ensure that your printing projects meet the highest standards.

Substrate Compatibility

flexographic printing platesA top consideration when selecting plates is substrate compatibility. Different substrates, such as paper, plastic, or corrugated materials, require specific plate materials, durometers, and other characteristics to achieve the best print quality. Understanding the nature of your printing substrate is essential to choosing the right plates that achieve vibrant and durable prints.

Image Resolution and Clarity

The quality of the final print depends significantly on the resolution and clarity of the image on the flexographic printing plate. High-quality plates with fine details and sharp images result in crisp prints. Ensure your plate maker uses advanced imaging technology, whether analog or digital, and evaluate the plate’s capability to reproduce intricate designs and text accurately.

Flexographic Printing Plates Durability

Durability is a critical factor, especially if you have high-volume orders. Look for flexographic printing plates that offer excellent resistance to wear and tear, abrasion, and cleaning solvents. Durable plates not only provide consistent print quality but also provide a longer plate life, maximizing your ROI and reducing plate replacements and downtime.

Ease of Handling and Mounting

trinity flexographic printing platesYour plate handling and mounting processes can easily contribute to the efficiency, or inefficiency, of your print operations. Consider plates that are easy to handle during setup and mounting, as this can save valuable production time. Additionally, plates with visual registration features can help your team mount with precise and consistent results.

Lead Times

If your plates are not made on time, they can hault the entire order prompting some last-minute production schedule changes and a big headache for management and their crew. That’s why it’s imperative to choose a plate provider with great service and fast lead times. Trinity Graphic can create and ship most flexographic printing plates within 1-2 business days.  Contact our team to learn more.


While quality is paramount, it’s equally important to consider the cost-effectiveness of your printing plates. Evaluate the overall cost of plate production, including initial plate costs, cleaning and maintenance, and the number of impressions a plate can produce. A balanced approach that considers both quality and cost will help you achieve the best return on investment.

Choose Trinity Graphic: Your Flexographic Printing Plates Partner

In the dynamic world of flexographic printing, your choice of flexographic printing plates significantly influences the success of your printing projects. For over 40 years, Trinity Graphic has served flexo printers with quality pre-press services including platemaking, design assistance, and process consulting. We are your trusted source for fast, reliable flexo plates delivered on time and on budget. Contact our team to get started with the platemaking experts at Trinity Graphic!

The Flexo industry has changed drastically over the past decade. Technology and processes that were once profitable, are now holding printers back from fully optimizing their shop floor. Printing plates and the flexo plate making process are becoming one of these notably cumbersome processes. With the insurgence of digital technology, along with staff and machine limitations, platemaking in-house may no longer be as profitable as it used to be.

At Trinity Graphic, we’ve specialized in the science and design of photopolymer printing plates for over 50 years. In our experience, there is a clear turning point for when a printer should begin outsourcing their printing plates. In this blog, we discuss the three main factors to examine when considering outsourcing your platemaking.

flexo plate making trinity graphicDoes your machine have reliable service?

Due to lack of support for their in-house machines, multiple printers have migrated to the plate making services at Trinity Graphic. In recent years, many original suppliers have, unfortunately, stopped manufacturing or supporting popular printing plate systems. From replacement parts to onsite service, more and more, printers are lacking the tools they need to create quality plates efficiently and keep operations moving.

Trinity Graphics uses the latest technology suitable for an array of materials and equipment to ensure the highest-level plates for your success. With decades of platemaking under our belt, we know a thing or two about these machines and how to keep ours in top working condition. Don’t let your machine slow you down! Take advantage of our latest flexo plate making technology and receive quality plates with fast turnaround, when you outsource to Trinity Graphics.

Do you have skilled designers in-house?

The infamous staffing shortage in flexo. It’s not only happening with machine operators, assemblers, and production staff; flexo plate designers are in short supply, as well.  Excellent plate design combines the creativity of design with the science and knowledge of the printing process. However, many graphic designers are trained in digital media design and lack the skillset for creating custom printing plates. It is imperative to work with a designer that has experience in photopolymer plate design. Once found, the questions then become: do you have enough work to maintain a full-time in-house plate designer? And do you have a manager skilled in design to step in for oversight and revisions?

flexo plateAt Trinity, we have a full team of on staff plate designers with years of experience in the flexo industry. Our team is trained in both the art of design and the science of print to ensure plate quality and performance is always at a maximum. When you partner with Trinity, you gain access to a full team of skilled designers eager to bring your print to plate.

How much of production is digital?

Digital printing has quickly infiltrated the flexo market as a strategic way to print short runs, prototypes, samples, and more. Digital machines print through inkjet technology and require no printing plates or anilox rolls. Therefore, executives are progressively replacing older flexo machines with digital technologies to diversify their product offerings and customer base. This shift to a hybrid print environment could dramatically decrease the number and frequency of printing plates needed in your day-to-day operations. What once was a profitable in-house investment may now be an obsolete plate-making machine taking up valuable real estate on your shop floor.

Printers operating with a flexo and digital fleet have less plates to produce and a new technology to master. Outsourcing your platemaking to Trinity can help you stay focused on what matters most! Optimize your shop floor for a profitable digital-flexo production mix and keeping customers happy with plate outsourcing.

Outsource Flexo Plate Making to Trinity Graphic

trinity graphic flexo plate makingThe only thing constant in life, is change. That is no different in the world of flexographic printing. Outsourced platemaking was once commonplace in the flexo market. As technology has grown, printers and converters have adapted to the new processes that support them. In today’s print environment, outsourced platemaking can increase uptime, reduce staffing needs, and save valuable real estate on your shop floor. No need to worry about your plate machine going down or finding the best designer for your clients. Since the 1960s, Trinity Graphic has served converters with top quality platemaking, design, and consulting services, diligently. As the industry continues to evolve, our team will always continue our legacy of platemaking so you can focus on your legacy in print. From narrow web to large format, Trinity has the equipment, designers, and experience to handle your plate making needs for years to come. Is it time to outsource your platemaking services? Contact our team to discuss your outsourcing options and get started today!