What is Gravure printing? The process of Gravure Printing

To better match different needs for material, design and printing speed, there are many different printing methods and techniques. In particular, gravure printing is currently the most commonly applied method, yet, not many know what is Gravure printing, or about the actual gravure printing process. Therefore, New Star Paper will provide you with useful information about this printing technology in the article below

What is the gravure printing technique?

Gravure printing, also known as intaglio printing, is a printing method that uses a plated printing cylinder for image identification layer and a copper layer. In particular, this 100-micron thick copper-plated printing cylinder will engrave the parts that need to be printed such as writing or images deep under the surface of the cylinder, and the parts that do not need printing will be on the surface of the cylinder. The cylinder will then be rolled through ink and printed on the material that needs printing. To accommodate different uses, this gravure printing technique is often used for roll printing on many different materials.


Learn about gravure printing – the most commonly known printing technique

What is the principle of gravure printing?

Gravure printing works on the principle of intaglio printing, which means that the printed elements will be engraved into the metal surface. When the ink is brought to the surface of the printing plate, it then spills into the depressions of the printed elements. Next, the ink scraper will remove excess ink from the surface of the printing plate, and the remaining ink will be in the recesses of the printed elements.

When printing is pressurized, the ink in the depressions will transfer to the surface of the material. After printing is completed, each unit has a drying section since gravure ink has a low viscosity of about 0.1 Pa.s which helps the ink dry quickly and achieve higher quality.


The principle of gravure printing

Gravure printing is widely applied in the packaging industry and is mainly applied in the plastic film packaging industry. All kinds of packaging for products and food such as dishwashing soap, detergents, confectionery or coffee are printed with this intaglio printing technique. Moreover, gravure printing is also applicable on many different materials such as paper, thin metal, flexible plastic film, MPET, PE, OPP, PET…

Advantages and disadvantages of gravure printing

Unlike other forms of printing, Gravure printing has several specific advantages and disadvantages, specifically:


  • It is possible to create a complete print with different layers of ink thickness, depending on the manufacturer’s preferences.
  • Printed elements including colors and images are vivid, attractive and eye-catching.
  • Has high precision compared to traditional printing.
  • Used for easy reprint, true-to-life images with depth due to the highly durable printhead.
  • With modern printers, printing speed can go up to 200m/min.


  • Must be printed in large quantities, with large production costs.
  • High price.
  • The preparation stages are time-consuming.
  • Difficult to manipulate on thicker materials, more suitable for films or product packaging.

Details of gravure printing process

Apart from the definition of gravure printing, its process is also one piece of information that you need to pay attention to. The gravure printing process is carried out with the following 6-step process:

Step 1: Design the model

This step requires the designer’s sophistication to come up with eye-catching images/writing/messages that are appropriate and can create a strong impression for the product.

Step 2: Create prints

When the product design file is available, the printing department will make gravure prints by engraving on the gravure surface.

Step 3: Arrange and position printing mold

This step helps arrange printing materials on the printing molds consistently and optimally to save production costs and reduce printing costs, thereby being cost-effective and providing cheap gravure printing products.


Gravure printing process

Step 4: Print the image

Based on the principle of gravure printing, the machine is started then proceeds to print the images onto the paper materials chosen by the customer. It is worth noting that sample products should be printed first for evaluation and adjustment so that they meet the requirements before continuing to mass print.

Step 5: Make box dies to help shape the packaging

Since gravure printing is mainly roll printing, there is no finished product as often seen with offset printing. The purpose of making box dies is to shape the packaging by mounting the cutters and grooving knives on a piece of wood creating a die, cutting and grooving the printed sheet that is designed as a box, or cutting it into sheets of labels for a particular brand.

Step 6: Process printed sheets to become final products

In this step, the production unit will glue the edges, remove the excess and error, then attach the straps to the packaging to create the final product and deliver it to the customer.


Through the above article, we hope that you have gained an understanding of gravure printing, its principle, structure and printing process. Currently, gravure printing is widely applied in printing packaging for detergents, softeners, confectionery, etc.

Despite that, offset printing, silk screen printing, and flexo printing remain the preferred methods for paper cups and paper boxes printing industry. These are all modern printing technologies, offering clear and sharp printed images while being cost-effective. Therefore, paper cups printed with offset, silkscreen, or flexo printing are the perfect choice for individuals and businesses who wish to create a synchronous brand recognition with customers.

Accompanying and developing with businesses and units in the field of F&B, New Star Paper provides quality and safe printing services of paper cups, paper boxes using offset printing, silkscreen printing, and flexo printing. With a modern technological line that meets export standards, New Star Paper’s products are not only distributed among domestic partners but also exported to the United States.

If you have any questions, please contact New Star Paper via our Hotline: 0364 667 155 for best advice!


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