Over the years, printing has evolved due to addition of new technologies to the printing process. This is why your business should never be limited by a printer to sticks to only one type of printing service.
In this post, we take a look at the different printing services your business can use to deliver cost-effective and high quality prints.
Digital Printing Services
If you’re looking to get high quality prints quickly, digital printing is certainly the way to go. Over the years, this printing service has become increasingly popular because of its unique features of high-quality outputs and speedy printing process.
With this service, you don’t need to wait for plates to be prepared and it doesn’t require a setup process like the offset printing. Additionally, digital printing is eco-friendly and combines a time-saving benefit with a cost saving one.
This type of service can be used for both low volume and high volume jobs. However, it is more popular with short run projects printed on flat, thin medium. Some of the uses of digital printing include brochures, flyers, photos, promotional items, postcards, forms and documents
Digital printing can also be used for variable data printing, such as individual mailing labels or personalized sales collateral, short printing runs of books and other documents.
We have also included a checklist to help you with your next digital printing project. This checklist will ensure your project is ready for print.
#1 Prepare Your File Format
The first step is to consult your printer to know which type of file they require. Ideally, the files should be uncompressed. You can use a TIFF file which is usually of higher quality. Other options include the AI or PSD files. However, if you’re printing any document greater than 11×14, you should avoid using a JPG file because these type of files will produce a low quality print.
#2 Fix Your Aspect Ratio and Print Size
The aspect ratio is the ratio of the width to height of the print. It is important to get this right because if your aspect ratio doesn’t align with your printed product’s dimensions, you will find some of the design cropped out in the final version.
However, before you determine the aspect ratio, you need to determine your print size. The size of the print will then determine how you will adjust your aspect ratio to ensure the appearance of the project on the screen is comparable to the physical print.
#3 Know Your Paper Type
This aspect is similar to what you do if you are using an offset printing service. When using the digital printer, it is expected that you explore different paper options which includes textured, linen, matte, glossy, acid-free, luster, archival paper.
You can ask your printer for their recommendation on the best type of paper for your project. During the discussion, you should let the printer know your goals so that you can get the best recommendation and if they don’t have the ideal paper, they can source for the type of paper you want.
#4 Determine if your print needs a border
If you are planning to put the print in a frame, you will need to leave an extra space for the border. You can use a quarter inch all the way around but you can go for a larger border. However, a larger border may affect the overall size of your print.
#5 Choose the right finishing option
Different prints require different printing option. These include options such as stacking, booklet making, perfect binding, tape binding, hole punching and mailing.
#6 Request for a final proof
Although some print companies will charge an extra if you request for a single proof but it is better to spot an error on one print than to discover the error when the large-scale print project has been delivered.
Offset Printing Services
- When it comes to printing quality, offset printing is known for its high quality prints. It is also an excellent choice for high volume print runs. This type of printing service makes use of plates that are run through water and then ink. Offset printing can be used on almost any type of printing on paper from brochures, posters, newspapers, magazines, etc.
The advantages of offset printing include:
- It provides a cost-effective method of printing large quantities
- You can use different paper types with custom finishes for this type of printing
- It allows you use special custom inks such as metallic and Pantone colors
- The print produces the highest possible quality, with excellent detail and color fidelity
Overall, if you’re working on a project that runs into hundreds or thousands, or are using a specific, brand-centric Pantone color, offset printing is clearly the way to go.
If you’re looking for the ideal print for your plastics or grocery bags, Flexography is certainly the way to go. This type of printing service is quite versatile and can print on various bases making it one of the fastest growing printing processes.
This method uses flexible relief plates that can be stuck to a printing cylinder. It can be used in the printing of food packaging, plastic bags, gift wrap, wall covering, magazines, newspaper inserts, etc.
Screen Printing Services
Screen printing is also known as silk screening. It is one of the most versatile forms of print reproduction. Basically, the process involves transferring the ink to a base excluding the areas that are blocked by a stencil. This type of printing can be used on paper, plastic, metal, fabric and glass. It is also the most popular method when it comes to printing on mugs, clothing and billboards.
Gravure Printing Services
Gravure Printing is also an excellent printing service especially if you’re looking to print high quality and high volume materials such as magazines, mail order catalogues, brochures and other long run publications. This service utilizes direct contact between paper and an etched copper plate making it quite expensive.
You can use the gravure printing process for items such as gift wrap, wallpaper, plastic laminates, printed upholstery, and vinyl flooring. It can also be used on artworks and prints, photographic books, high quantity postage stamps, and promotional materials.
Now that you know the different printing services and what you can use them for, you can decide the option that is best for you by assessing the pros and cons and determine the service that best suits your business.