How to Print on Poly Mailers?

WH Global Pack blog

Poly mailers have revolutionized the world of shipping, offering a cost-effective and convenient solution, particularly for online orders. These lightweight, waterproof, easy to seal and durable envelopes provide an efficient way to protect your products. However, their plain appearance might not always align with your brand’s identity or your desire for uniqueness. If you want to make your poly mailers more attractive and personalize, you can print on them with your logo, design, or message. This can help you stand out from the crowd, impress your customers, and increase your brand awareness. In this comprehensive article, we’ll explore five distinct methods to print on poly mailers, helping you leave an unforgettable mark on your customers while boosting brand recognition.

1. Inkjet Printing: Combining Simplicity and Precision

For smaller quantities of poly mailers, inkjet printing is an accessible option. This technique involves projecting ink droplets onto plastic surfaces, translating digital images into vibrant visuals. Whether utilizing a standard inkjet printer or a specialized model for thicker materials, inkjet printing allows for diverse ink types, like dye-based or pigment-based, catering to desired effects and durability.


  • Ease of Use: Inkjet printing is user-friendly and requires minimal setup.
  • Detail: This method can reproduce intricate designs and fine details.
  • Variety of Inks: Different ink types, such as dye-based and pigment-based, offer versatility in effects and durability.


  • Higher Ink Costs: Inkjet printing can be costlier due to the consumption of ink.
  • Speed and Resolution: Printing speed and resolution may be lower compared to other methods.

2. Screen Printing: Efficiency Meets Creativity

When dealing with larger batches of poly mailers, screen printing emerges as a favored choice. This method requires constructing a screen from a frame and mesh, then applying ink and transferring it to the polyethylene. The process offers rapid results and economic advantages. The thick and opaque ink creates vivid prints, allowing for intricate designs with various colors and patterns.


  • Economical: Screen printing is cost-effective for larger quantities.
  • Vivid Prints: The thick ink allows for vibrant colors and bold designs.
  • Design Freedom: Various colors and patterns can be used to create unique designs.


  • Skill and Equipment: Screen printing requires expertise and specialized equipment like screens, a squeegee, and stencils.
  • Limited Detail: Fine details might not be as accurately reproduced as with other methods.

3. Flexographic Printing: Speed and Efficiency in Bulk

Flexographic printing, an ideal choice for high-volume poly mailer production, employs flexible plates on rotating cylinders to apply ink. This method guarantees swift and efficient outcomes, suitable for mass quantities. The use of thin and flexible ink types, such as water-based or solvent-based, ensures high-quality prints. This approach is a go-to for balancing speed and quality in large-scale operations.


  • Efficiency: Flexographic printing is fast and efficient for mass quantities.
  • Quality: Thin and flexible inks allow for high-quality prints.
  • Various Inks: Water-based or solvent-based inks offer customization based on desired effects.


  • Initial Setup: Setting up the printing plates can require some time and effort.
  • Complex Designs: Extremely intricate designs might not be suitable for this method.

4. Offset Printing: Precision and Detail Enhancement

If dealing with medium to large batches, offset printing offers precision and consistency. By using metal plates coated with ink to transfer images onto a rubber blanket and subsequently onto polyethylene, this method provides detailed and realistic prints. The fine and smooth ink used ensures unparalleled results, granting space for intricate designs and unique effects.


  • Precision: Offset printing offers detailed and realistic prints.
  • Consistency: Consistent results are achievable across multiple prints.
  • Diverse Effects: Different colors and effects can be utilized for versatile designs.


  • Cost and Equipment: Initial costs for setup and equipment can be higher.
  • Medium Batches: Might not be as efficient for very small or very large quantities.

5. Rotogravure Printing: Scaling Up with Distinctive Quality

For exceedingly large quantities of poly mailers, rotogravure printing shines. This technique employs engraved cylinders filled with ink to directly transfer images to the polyethylene. Known for its speed and reliability, rotogravure printing produces sharp and vivid results. With deep and rich ink, the process lends itself to creating intricate designs with exceptional quality. You can also use different types of ink, such as UV-curable or eco-friendly.


  • Quality: Rotogravure printing produces sharp and vivid prints with unparalleled quality.
  • Speed: Fast and efficient for large-scale production.
  • Ink Variety: Offers options like UV-curable or eco-friendly inks.


  • Scale Requirement: Most suitable for extremely large quantities, not ideal for small runs.
  • Complex Setup: Initial setup and cylinder engraving can be intricate and time-consuming.

Selecting the Right Method: Considerations for Success

To choose the best method for printing on poly mailers, you need to consider several factors, such as:

  • Batch Size: If you only need a few poly mailers, you can use inkjet printing or screen printing. If you need hundreds or thousands of poly mailers, you can use flexographic printing or offset printing. If you need millions of poly mailers, you can use rotogravure printing.
  • Print Quality: If you want high-resolution and realistic prints, you can use offset printing or rotogravure printing. If you want vibrant and crisp prints, you can use screen printing or flexographic printing.
  • Cost Efficiency: If you want to save money on ink and equipment, you can use screen printing or flexographic printing. If you want to invest in quality and durability, you can use offset printing or rotogravure printing.
  • Environmental Impact: If you want to reduce waste and pollution, you can use water-based or eco-friendly ink. You can also choose compostable poly mailers instead of plastic ones.

In Conclusion: Elevate Your Shipping Game

Printing on poly mailers offers a remarkable opportunity to elevate your brand and customer experience. By adopting the right printing method, you can transform ordinary envelopes into captivating showcases of your brand’s identity. This investment not only sets your shipments apart but also contributes to a lasting impression and increased brand awareness among your customers.

Maxwell Hua

Maxwell Hua | WHpack

Rapid Manufacturing Expert

I’m Maxwell Hua from WHpack, who has been focusing on the Courier Bags business for more than 10 years. I will always be committed to writing articles about the logistics industry, hope this will help you!

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