Commercial Printing Tips

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What are some printing business statistics?

Printing Business Statistics

The United States' government estimates that there are about 70,000 shops in the printing business that are in operation, and that doesn't include silk screening companies – with the screening companies the number reaches 100,000. The printing business, however, could also be considered a small business, with over 80 percent of the printing shops that are in operation employing 20 or fewer employees. Over 60 percent of the printers employed in the US are from just ten states: California, New York, Illinois, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, Michigan and Massachusetts, but there are numbers of printers and print companies throughout the entire United States. Among companies in the US, printing business is definitely one of the most widespread and diverse businesses in operation today.

What are some facts about custom printing?

Custom Printing 101

Custom printing can do a lot for your business. Choosing to have custom printing done can really be a boost to your advertising, and depending on what you get printed, it can be cost effective as well. Having direct mailings custom printed on an offset press, along with fliers, brochures and even business cards can all lend a professional look to your business.

Should I use a commercial printing company to print my own t-shirts?

Printing T-Shirts Through a Commerical Printer

People have always wanted to stand out from the crowd. Among the latest trends is printing t-shirts with popular jokes or lines from a movies on them. There are websites that offer individuals the opportunity to create their own t-shirts for reasonable prices. Often, people find that others like their shirts and would buy them for themselves.

If you are thinking of printing and selling t-shirts, you should do analysis to determine whether you would be better off with a commercial printer or an in-house solution such as a silk-screening machine. Commercial printing is suggested if you will be producing large amounts of product. Smaller silk-screening systems simply cannot handle the load of excessive printing.

There are many commercial printing companies that offer cost-effective printing on t-shirts, sweat-shirts, and other clothing. Be sure to ask them what methods of printing that they employ and how many colors they can support. Commercial printing companies will want your business and be very helpful if you directly contact them to ask about your needs.

What is the history of printing?

Printing – A Short History

Printing as a commercial venture started many years ago. Before we had mass marketing via the Internet or phone, mailing printed material was about the only way to get your message out there to your prospective customers. The oldest known printed document comes from Korea, and is dated to the year 751 - but it wasn't until Gutenberg developed the European version of the printing press in 1440 that commercial printing became a real option. Today's printers use much more sophisticated technology than that of antique movable type printing presses, and now digital printing presses that can run directly off of computer files are the norm. Offset printing (and digital offset printing) use printing plates and ink, and can be created directly from a digital file.

Are some printers better than others?

Some Printers Have No Business Printing At All

Depending on your printing needs, you should carefully research what printer you are going to buy. Some printers have no business printing at all. If you are in the market for a new printer for your home or business, take advantage of the many product review guides that are available online and in magazines.

What should you look for?

• Well, resolution is an important factor in choosing your business printing or personal printing solution. Resolution is the quality with which your printer will render prints - and the higher the resolution, the better your printing will be. Also keep an eye out for network capabilities.

• If you are looking for a business printing solution, you will probably want a printer capable of being networked to multiple computers or sources.

• Lastly, there are many multi-function printers that may be of use. Printers are often combined with scanners, fax machines, and copiers. If you could use any of these additional functions, think about these multi-function options, as they are often not much more expensive than a standard printer will be.

Choose the printer you buy carefully. Some are better than others, and some have no business printing a single sheet.

What are the different custom printing services?

Different Custom Printing Services

There are many different types of custom printing services available. Some custom printing services mostly offer just paper products, of which there are many. Paper products include business stationery (such as letterhead, note cards and business cards), calendars (of which there are many different styles), brochures, catalogs and inserts. All of these custom printing services are available in black and white or color – but full color printing is really where custom printing can show off. Other companies print onto items – such as mugs, pens, key chains and other giveaway items. A combination of paper and other material custom printing services can offer your business the best range of advertising and visibility.

What are the best methods of commercial printing?

The Best Methods of Commercial Printing

There are several types of commercial printing available to businesses. Some are better than others, but in the end it is a matter of need. To determine the best method of commercial printing for your specific needs, it is best to know about them all. There are five main types of commercial printing, and here are their short definitions.

• Flexography – A relief printing process, flexography involves printing specifically with rubber and uses a direct image transfer. Flexography is good for long printing runs which, combined with its lower costs, makes it a good choice for commercial printing.
• Gravure (Intaglio) – Instead of rubber, Intaglio printing utilizes copper or chrome plates. This is most commonly used for newspaper and other extremely long-run printing. Costs are very high for this type of commercial printing and it should only be chosen for those needing very large quantities of a single print.
• Screen Printing – Most commonly used for clothing, banners, and other fabric printing, screen printing is a method where ink is passed through a nylon or polyester film. The ink bleeds through into a pre-set design. Screens can wear, so this type of printing is not recommended for projects requiring a gross amount of prints.
• Lithography – Most children learn about lithographs in school art class. Lithography is also low-cost option for commercial printing. Either paper, aluminum, or polyester is used in this process and it can be used for short or long runs, depending on the content of the print.
• Digital – The most cost-effective commercial printing solution available today. Recent digital printing advances make for fast, clear printing that does not require high costs or heavy machinery. Digital printing is best for color jobs, but not recommended for very long printing runs.

Now that you know more about the different processes available in commercial printing, I hope you will be better equipped to choose which type is right for your business.

Should I use a network for my business printing?

Network Your Business Printing

For companies with many employees, managing your business printing needs can be a difficult task. If you are looking to make it a little easier, consider utilizing a single point network printing system.

• With a networked printing system, you can manage your inventory of paper much more easily (this makes for less waste and easy re-stocking so you are never without).

• Without having to purchase several machines, you can spend appropriately on a network printer than is multi-functional (this can enhance your business printing abilities).

• With a better network printer, you will also, no doubt, be able to print a much finer final product. For letters to customers or clients, you should present as pristine an image as possible. These better printers typically print at a much higher quality than typical desktop printers.

For these reasons and many more, networking your business printing may be the smartest move you can make.

What is a 'relief process' in commercial printing?

Origins of Commercial Printing

Ever wonder how books and newspapers were printed before there were the enormous printing presses that exist today? One of the oldest ways that commercial printing was performed is referred to as the ‘relief process.'

The relief process simply means that words, or a design, are first carved out of wood or another surface. The words or designs are raised and when ink is applied, they can be used as a printer. The relief process was originally used in commercial printing, but today is more used in many common printing devices that you don't typically think of as ‘printers'. Think of a rubber stamp.

The relief process was especially good for early commercial printing because of the consistent prints that it produces. Because of its ability to perform only shorter printing runs, over time it has been phased out. If you are looking for a commercial printing solution, look into advanced digital, or off-set press (lithographic) commercial printers. .

How do I choose the right printing facility?

Choosing the Right Printing Facility

One other printing issue that can be as important as finding the cheapest printer is finding the right printing facility for your needs. For example, if you know that you're only going to be making a few color or black and white prints, you might not need a printing facility at all; an inkjet or laser printer in your home or office may be sufficient. If you are going to need many items printed, such as brochures, catalogs or other promotional items, you may need to find a printing facility that offers offset lithography (offset printing). This method of printing allows a company to produce many more items in a shorter period of time, by using different inks and “plates” to print the document. Finally, if you're in need of raised ink items, such as business stationery, you'll want to look for a printing facility specializing in thermography (thermal ink printing).

How do I choose from so many commericial printing services?

Choosing the Right Commercial Printing Services for Your Needs

Finding the right commercial printing services for your needs is a matter of: A. Knowing what your needs are, and B. Asking the right questions to the right people. Among the most important questions you should ask yourself are:
• What are your needs when it comes to commercial printing services?
• Will you be printing on paper or another material?
• What quantity of printing will you be performing?
• How often will your materials change?
Important questions to ask potential providers of commercial printing services are:
• What methods of printing do they offer?
• Do they offer design assistance?
• How long is their turn-around time on an average job?
• What examples of similar work can they provide you with?

When looking for commercial printing services, don't spend too much because you knew too little. Ask yourself and the printer the right questions and you can find the right fit for you.

How expensive are commercial printing services?

Time & Money - The Costs of Commercial Printing

Most businesses utilize commercial printing services for everything from marketing materials to business cards. If you are looking for commercial printing services and are wondering what costs you should look out for, the answer is simple: time and money.

The monetary costs associated with commercial printing services will vary based on many factors. First, there are no mandated costs for the industry. The company you choose will price their commercial printing services as they see fit, and because of this, it is important to shop around for the best price available.

The dollars you spend will also depend on your printing needs. Are you printing in multi-color? How large are your prints? What quantity of prints will your job require? These are a few of the many factors that will influence the total monetary cost of your printing.

When it comes to commercial printing services, time is also a cost that you should keep a close eye on. Most commercial printing requires meeting with pre-set deadlines. Missed deadlines can often result in monetary losses that can be detrimental. When you are choosing a company that provides commercial printing services, be sure to check their references to ensure that they do not have a nasty habit of missing deadlines. This is a cost you want to avoid, well… at any cost.

Should I do my own business' printing or should I do it out of house?

Business Printing - In House or Out of House?

In House or out of house? Take a close look at your business' printing needs. Most look to copy shops to assist them with their printing. However, too many businesses end up spending way too much, over time, than if they had simply decided to do their printing in house from the start.

From small business to big business, expenses can become overwhelming. A smart businessperson will try to spare themselves from any unnecessary expense. Carefully examine your needs and think of the long-term when choosing your business printing solution. It is an expense you may be able to reduce.

How do I get the best bid?

Bid, bid, who's got the bid?

Always, always, always get multiple bids. Perhaps your cousin Ernie knows the manager of the shop on the corner and has always been pleased with the results, but that's Ernie.
Small and large printing companies have turnover and policy changes and even though somone you know got a good deal a few months ago, check it again. Especially since last year's natural prices have not only driven up the cost of construction, they have affected another product formed from trees -- paper.
Get at least three bids and listen to the staff as they prepare your bid. Do you feel comfortable handing your project over to them? Do they sound competent? More importantly, do they make you feel that your project is important to them as well?
Get it in writing and make sure it is the person who normally does the bids and not someone fully trained in their pricing.

How do I prepare files for a printing company?

Preparing Digital Files For a Printing Company

Although many printing companies will accept nearly any file format you can give them, there are still some companies that have preferred file formats and specifications. When choosing to work with a printing company, it's important that you prepare your digital files in a way that your printing company can use them. For many printers, it's as simple as saving your digital file as a PDF (portable document format). This format of file contains all the information (graphics and fonts) that a printer needs to produce your file, and is easily opened on any computer. PDF writers are now open-source (free) so it should be easy to download one that will suit your needs. Another way is to ask the printing company what file format they want, and use that format if possible – this will save you time and trouble in the long run.

What are commercial printing services?

Commercial Printing Services

Commercial printing services tend to differ from smaller printing companies in that they deal in quantity per order. Often, getting something professionally printed can mean that you need a large number of prints or product, and with a short professional turnaround time. Commercial printing services can offer this type of printing – and they can give you discounts for larger print runs. The difference between small, in-house printers and commercial printing services is usually not just the capacity of their printers, but how the ink itself is transferred to paper. Commercial print companies often use offset printing versus the inkjet or laser printing found in offices or small print shops. This can allow the commercial printer to produce many more items in a short amount of time.

What are the advantages to online printing services?

Online Printing Services

Businesses used to have to settle for local printers, no matter what their prices – today, Internet printing allows printers to offer many more services at cheaper prices. Many online printing services are also able to print from a variety of different digital file types – such as all of the Microsoft Office suite, Quark Xpress and the Adobe family of products. This can be much less time consuming than the old way of having to make sure that your digital file to be printed was in your commercial printer's preferred format, and dealing with such obstacles as color separation and registration.

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Guru Spotlight
Joe Wallace