Mastering the Art: How to Print on Plastic with Precision

how to print on plastic


In today’s dynamic world, printing on plastic has become an essential skill for various industries. Whether for creating durable signage, custom packaging, or innovative prototypes, knowing how to print on plastic opens up a world of possibilities. Join us on a journey as we explore the techniques, tips, and considerations for achieving impeccable prints on plastic surfaces.

Understanding the Basics: Printing on Plastic

Printing on plastic involves transferring images or text onto plastic surfaces using specialized techniques and equipment. This process requires careful preparation and attention to detail to ensure the ink adheres effectively and produces a lasting, vibrant result.

Selecting the Right Printing Method:

  1. Screen Printing:
  • Ideal for high-volume projects and detailed designs.
  • Requires creating a stencil (screen) for each color in the design.
  • Offers excellent color saturation and durability on plastics.
  1. Digital Printing:
  • Suitable for shorter print runs and intricate, full-color designs.
  • Utilizes inkjet technology to directly apply ink to the plastic surface.
  • Provides high-quality, photo-realistic prints with minimal setup.
  1. Pad Printing:
  • Perfect for irregular or curved surfaces.
  • Uses a silicone pad to transfer ink from an etched plate to the plastic.
  • Allows for precise, detailed prints on three-dimensional objects.

Preparation and Surface Treatment:

  1. Cleaning and Degreasing:
  • Ensure the plastic surface is free from dust, dirt, and oils that could hinder ink adhesion.
  • Use specialized cleaners designed for plastics.
  1. Primer or Adhesion Promoter:
  • Apply a primer or adhesion promoter to enhance ink adhesion, especially on smooth or non-porous plastics.

Choosing the Right Ink:

  1. Solvent-Based Inks:
  • Ideal for screen printing on plastics, providing excellent adhesion and durability.
  1. UV-Curable Inks:
  • Commonly used in digital printing, these inks cure instantly under ultraviolet light, resulting in vibrant, high-quality prints.

Curing or Drying the Ink:

  • Depending on the printing method and ink used, curing can involve air-drying, heat curing, or UV exposure.

Post-Printing Considerations:

  1. Quality Control:
  • Inspect the prints for consistency, color accuracy, and overall quality.
  1. Finishing Techniques:
  • Depending on the project, consider additional processes like laminating, cutting, or shaping the plastic.


Printing on plastic is a versatile skill that unlocks a wide range of creative and practical applications. Whether you’re in the business of signage, packaging, or innovative product design, mastering this art opens up new avenues for creativity and innovation.

Just as Print Shop London is dedicated to transforming ideas into tangible prints, the knowledge of how to print on plastic allows you to bring your designs to life on this versatile and durable material. Embrace this skill and let your creativity shine on plastic surfaces.