Pros and Cons of Gravure Printing for Business

pros and cons gravure printing for business printers

Gravure printing was invented in 1890, and it's been used ever since when companies need a big job done fast with high quality and vibrant color.

Is gravure printing right for you? Read our quick summary of gravure printing to learn everything you need to know.

What is Gravure Printing?

Gravure printing is also called rotogravure. It is a printing technique in which acid, lasers, or diamond styluses are used to carve an image into a copper-plated cylinder. This process is somewhat similar to 3d printing for which generally these best 3d printers under 500$ are used. However, in this case the cut lines of the cylinder hold ink which are transferred to paper that is pressed against it.

The lines cut into the cylinders are of different depths, which allows the process to print colors at the precise vibrancy desired.

What is Gravure Printing Used For?

Gravure printing has many interesting properties and benefits. The carved cylinders can be used over and over again without the image quality degrading. This makes gravure printing a perfect choice for high volume print jobs that insist on a quality image.

Once the cylinders are prepared, gravure printing also works faster than almost any other method, making it an ideal choice for large jobs that need to be finished quickly. 

If that wasn't enough, commercial gravure printing provides that quality, reusability, and speed all while using up less ink. In other words, it is faster, better, and cheaper, all at the same time!

On top of those advantages, gravure printing also provides incredible versatility. If you need continuous-tone images, only gravure printing can provide them at high volumes and high speeds.

The graven cylinders are durable, so if you make an image that you'll re-use, again and again, you may only need to order the printer cylinders once!

There's a reason that gravure printing is reserved for large jobs, though. It takes some time to prepare the cylinders. While that initial time investment will be more than made up when the cylinders speedily print out huge quantities of products, if you only need a few units, other printing methods can finish the job before the cylinders are even prepared.

The cost of the cylinders can also make gravure printing a more expensive choice if you only need a few printed units. So for small jobs, stick to another printing method. For large jobs, nothing beats gravure printing for speed, quality, and affordability.

Baldwin and other companies can help you get the kind of print process enhancements you need to enjoy all the benefits of gravure printing.


A photogravure is a variation in gravure printing. Instead of carving images into the cylinders itself, it carves images onto copper that is then wrapped around printing cylinders.

Photogravure can get a printing job started faster while still providing quality images. It is often used for smaller print jobs.

The Best Printing Method for Your Company

We hope you enjoyed this summary of gravure printing. But, only you can make the decision on which printing method is best for you and your customers. It's time to print perfectly!

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