The print is right, come on down!
Who are you targeting?
The first thing to determine is the end user, who do you want to attract with your printed literature, leaflets etc, are you selling a high end product to a niche market or are you just highlighting your business and the services it offers? It may seem an obvious place to start but many businesses will only consider the cost without looking at the bigger picture. Imagine selling a £10,000 watch but produce a brochure printed on a cheap takeaway feeling paper – instantly this will put people off and they will assume that the quality of your product will reflect the quality and feel of your marketing material!
Consider the quantities you’ll need. You may think it’s strange to hear a printer say this but make sure you don’t order too much!! Yes paper can be recycled and yes of course all of the paper we use comes from sustainable resources, but you don’t want your store rooms and cupboards full of unused printing, after all it’s costing you money just being sat on a shelf!! Just like in digital marketing it is crucial when starting a print campaign to set clear goals, identify your target market and order accordingly. If you’re not quite sure or too busy to think about it we’d be more than happy to share our expertise, it’s all part of our ‘above and beyond’ approach.
Digital or conventional?
You may not know but there are many different printing techniques to choose from so it is important to choose the best suited, there are too many to include here so we’ll just focus on the 2 most common methods. Top of the list is conventional printing mostly referred to as litho printing, litho (or lithography to give its technical name) uses the CMYK colour process and ink. Most suppliers now use water based inks but some still use oil based inks so if you are looking to get an environmentally friendly brochure printed you should be aware of this. Litho is perfect for larger runs but can also be used for smaller runs if planned effectively. Digital printing has increased and improved incrediblely over the last 5 years and is ideal for short runs and quick turnarounds. This method of printing uses dry toner rather than actual ink, think of a digital printing press as a ginormous photocopier and you’ll not be far off the mark. The finish of digital printing can tend to be shiny due to the ‘fuser fluid’ used to adhere toner to the paper so if you have chosen an uncoated or matt paper finish then you would be wise to avoid the digital printing process.
There’s not much between these methods in terms of benefits etc but the largest difference is the paper size that can be used. Digital presses tend to go up to over-sized A3 (SRA3) whereas litho presses can go up to B1 (1020 x 720mm) sheet sizes, this is where the careful planning to save costs comes in!!
Print ready artwork
We’ll end with artwork even though actually it should be the first thing you need to consider before sending anything to print. Making sure your files are suitable to print from and contain what a printer will demand is very important if you want to avoid delays and artwork rejection. You may think having bleed and trims are just witchcraft , you may not worry about having Pantone colours in your files, you certainly won’t be worrying about which black you’ve used, but wait, printing can be dangerous and if your files aren’t set up correctly you could get a very unexpected end result. Don’t even get us started on low resolution, pixelated images, this subject demands a blog post all of its own!
We can help.
Completely confused? Don’t worry, we help small business owners every day choose the right print solutions for their budget and customers so do contact us if you need to discuss your printing needs.