Western States offers a variety of printing methods for your convenience. The method of printing used depends on the customers exact need and budget. There are three ways that Western States can print envelopes for you:
Flexography, typically referred to as "flexo", is ideal for quality printed pieces that need to be completed quickly, economically, or in large quantities. An offshoot of letterpress, flexography uses the same raised image area, which is inked by an anilox roll. The roll is pressed directly against the envelope die cut to produce the image. Unlike heavy paste inks used on a traditional letterpress, flexographic ink is very watery. Consequently, the inks system consists of only two rollers rather than multiple-form rollers with heavy inks. Photopolymer plates are used for flexography printing. Whether water- or alcohol-based, flexographic inks enable high-speed print runs that dry instantly.
When letterpress quality is not acceptable, lithography or "offset" printing is a wise choice. Lithography delivers exceptional print quality, but is not as economical as letterpress or flexography. Using a flat printing plate, lithography relies on the principle that the non-image area has an affinity to water and the image area has an affinity to paste inks. The plate transfers ink to a rubber blanket, which then transfers the ink to the paper and produces the image. We also offer UV drying capabilites on select four-color printing jobs.
The oldest of the modern printing processes, letterpress printing uses a raised surface as the image area. This image area is inked by form rollers and is then pressed directly against the envelope die cut, thereby transferring the ink to the die cut. Although many plate materials are available for letterpress printing, we use flexible photopolymer plates exclusively. We use direct-to-plate technology to make the plate as much like the original art work as possible. The result is very good quality printing, at an economical price.
Please note that all of our printing prices are per 1,000 plain envelopes, unless otherwise specified. Since there are several options and specifications to consider when printing envelopes, please contact us first to discuss how we can best meet your needs and find the most economical solution.
Also see: How to specify your copy position.