Types Of Printing
Print materials are essential for many business operations and aspects of our personal lives. While a home or office printer can do things like print letters and reproduce images, this is typically not enough for a professional-quality print job for customers who need rush printing in large amounts at affordable prices. You need someone with professional printing equipment for your business needs. For printing needs like business cards, posters, order forms, receipt blanks, professional-quality advertising materials, and business letterheads, you need the services of a professional printing company.
Types Of Printing Products
For customers who have not dealt with a printer before, knowing what printing services or products they need can be overwhelming. Here is a brief rundown of what a professional printer offers with some thoughts about the advantages and disadvantages of each. Remember that you do not need a Fortune 500 printer for your business cards, direct mail printing, greeting cards, postcards, or marketing material. You need a print shop that offers the products that you need. And, you need someone who is available to their customers as part of a team and can deliver their products in a timely manner.
Print & Graphic Design Services
You may want quality printing of a professional business letterhead, eye-catching business cards, personalized postcards, or glossy advertising flyers that do the job of bringing attention to your business. If that is the case, you may wish to use a graphic designer. Many times the most cost-effective services are those provided by the printer company itself and the cost may be discounted in order to get your business. And, depending on the type of printing that you need, such as full color printing or unique design elements, there may be more to the design process than if you were doing the setup on your PC for digital printing.
Digital printing is great for short printing runs and jobs in which the content has to be modified within the print run. It is the printing method of choice for the vast majority of business needs. For example, if you are printing a form letter for direct mail that goes out to a thousand customers and you want to personalize the address, name, and a few other details, digital printing is exactly what you need. Even full color print runs of anything from postcards to business cards, to glossy brochures can be done quickly without a lot of costly setup. Digital printing runs have little or no waste involved and they are the quickest and most cost-efficient way to print small to medium quantities.
Inkjet printing and xerography (laser) are the two main technologies used for digital printing. For posters, short runs of books, rush printing, and signage, inkjet printing is used. Xerography or laser printing is used for brochures, short printing runs of books or other documents, and direct mail. For short printing runs, digital printing is more efficient and cheaper than offset printing. For large printing orders, this reverses as digital printing is much more expensive. When you need business cards, personalized postcards for advertising, simple black and white or full color printing for the vast majority of your business needs, this is the way to go.
When you need the best quality and need to print a lot of items, consider a printer who offers offset printing. Offset printing is also referred to as lithographic printing. It is an ideal choice for print runs of high volume. It produces the best print quality by using plates that are passed through water and then inked. The ink adheres to the images and text while the non-image and non-text areas of the plate are still moist from the water.
This method requires preparation of plates that are used again and again. There is an “upfront” cost of designing the printing run for customers and making the plates. But, with large volume runs, the cost benefits are impressive. The downside of this method is that when you spot an error, you typically need to stop everything and make a new plate! Here is where having someone who works as part of your team is important to get the setup right!
Offset printing is used for products like newspapers, magazines, posters, brochures, and pretty much any job that requires top quality and high volume. And, when high quality and large numbers are paramount, it can be used for other standard printing jobs like full color advertising materials, business cards, personalized postcards, and more. There are two types of offset presses. One is called sheet-fed in which individual sheets of paper are fed into the printer. This is the method you commonly in videos how newspapers have traditionally been printed.
The other is a web press in which a huge roll of paper is continuously fed into the printer and then cut afterward. Depending on the specific needs of your print job, the printer may choose a sheet-fed or web press approach. If you have a need for high quality and large volumes of printing, this is an excellent method. It also requires a printer with the right equipment and skills.
Which Service Should You Use?
You can use the information we have provided to choose a printing method for your job and also choose the printer based on which method or methods they offer. With our information as a guide, you can present your job to more than one printer for their suggestions and their price quote. Many printers can do a good job on simple business cards, postcards, and other jobs. But, when you need excellent quality for a complicated printing job, you need someone with a higher skill set and may need to shop around a bit.
The printer that you choose will be one of the printers near you that provide the best printing job at the best price and in the most timely manner no matter if you need rush printing, standard printer products like postcards, business cards, or full color greeting cards at reasonable prices. And, you need a printing company that works with you as part of your team!