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Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Converting Printed Envelopes

Why do people convert printed envelopes?

There are several reasons. The printing is not limited because of a ready made envelope. Take a bleed for instance. You can't bleed ink to the edge of a preconverted envelope and be consistent with a high level of quality due to grippers and variation in sizes of envelopes. This is why if you want a bleed you must wrap the image around the side an 1/8". This allows for variations from blank to blank on converting due to the cutting die that cuts many sheets (200) at a time. You are going to have movement in the stack.
Another reason is due to large quantities or high level of quality where a sheetfed press fits better in the process versus say a jet press.
Converting after the printed process is also used some when embossing, foil stamping and color register emboss would leave a debossed image on the envelope.

Articles related:

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
All Digital Printing is not the same.

Most people have no idea what all the phrase "digital printing" can encompass. There are numerous quality levels and technologies that fit into that category. First of all, there is black and white digital printing and color digital printing. Black and white is almost always toner based machines such as copiers, Docutechs and Digimasters. Because it is toner based, quality is somewhat limited although the Docutech and Digimaster do a decent job for 600 DPI. Mostly used for text and line art they will do halftones to limited quality.

Color Digital Printing encompasses anything from color copies from a color copier to desktop printer to high end digital presses that can cost a half million dollars. You have toner based machines like the CanonCLC, IGen3 and Nexpress and then you have liquid ink presses such as the HP Indigo and DI presses.

All of these machines are trying to get as close as the offset look as they can. The toner based machines are going to have the layered toner look. The IGen3 and Nexpress do the best of this class. You will still see where one toner color has gone over another toner color and it is at a higher level but for most customers it is definitely acceptable. The liquid ink machines do a better job of offset look.

The DI(digital image)presses are offset presses so they win the contest on offset look. They cannot do variable data printing nor do they have the ink carrying capacity of larger offset presses so there are issues on certain jobs. The DI presses can do spot colors. The HP Indigo does a good job of simulating offset quality and does variable data printing. It is also the only digital press that does true spot colors besides the DI presses. The HP Indigo's limitation is in size at 12.5 x18.5" while the others will feed a larger size.

This gives you a little background to decide what kind of digital press you need to run your print job. Because they are not all made equal.

Here are references to some of the high end digital press manufacturers:
HP Indigo
Nexpress
IGen3

Also Read:
Variable Data Printing
Indigo Digital Press Inks
On Demand Printing
Digital Printing PMS Colors
Should my Job be Printed or Photocopied

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Alterations in Printing

Printing a brochure, postcard or other printed product is an expensive project. There is no reason to make it more costly than it has to be. An alteration in a print job is where there is a customer change that is a billable item beyond what was originally quoted. These can be avoided by dealing with a knowledgeable printer and giving them all the information they need when providing you a quote for theprint project.

When you provide the artwork try and provide them a laser and folded dummy. Make sure you have proofread very well and are confident everything is the way you want it. The printer is going to show you a proof and if you find something that is incorrect you will mark the proof and send back to the printer. If it is an oversight on your part and it is pretty simple the printer will probably not charge you.

Let's say you need to take a comma out. The printer will have to rerip but unless it is a real time consumer most times you are not looking at additional charges. If you want to change photos, do color corrections or other more time consuming things you will be charged an alteration and need to see another proof. If you get on press before seeing an issue it will be even more expensive. Just remember that proof your being shown is for your and the printers protection and should be looked at very carefully so additional costs are not incurred.

Related Article:


Also Read:
What is a Page to a Printer
Offset Printing-What does it Mean?
What is a Press Check?

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
What is a Press Check?

So you've given your first brochure, pocket folder or other print job to a printer you have seen a proof and everything looks fine. You approve the proof and the printer asks you if you want to press check.

A press check is where you actually go to the printers facility and approve the color on the press sheet. It is not the place to be double checking typos, rewrapping, wrong pictures ideally. While it is nice to still catch problems this is an expensive stage to correct things. The things to expect on a press check are an arrangement of time to be there. Try your hardest to be there on time because these presses many times charge 100's of dollars per hour and if they are waiting on you at some point there might be an issue of you being charged more $$$. That being said this is a manufacturing process and many times the printer may not be exactly ready when you get there. A good printer tries to keep this to a minimum but it will happen from time to time.

You will either view the sheet in a viewing booth or out on the actual press. It depends on the printing company. You will have the color proof that you signed off on to compare to the sheet and can make some color adjustments on press to match or change the color to what is pleasing to your eye. You do have equipment limitations as to how much you can change the color on press.

You also need to check for imperfections in the printed sheet such as hickeys, etc. Circle those and draw a line out to the side to make sure they are evident. Many times if you have a good press person they can be helpful in helping you achieve the final result you want. Most press checks will last between 10-60 minutes and you should be given a copy of the press sheet you have signed off on.

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company, Dallas, Texas


Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Overs and Unders in Printing

Many people don't understand when a printer says he can deliver +/- 10% of the quantity ordered. In other words, if you order 10,000 brochures the printer could deliver as few as 9,000 or as many as 11,000 and charge you accordingly with the order being called complete. Many customers don't understand this or feel it is excessive.

This practice is not as prevalent as it once was in the past. The theory is that printing is a manufacturing process that has standards but on any given day machines perform differently or difficulties either unknown or known can affect waste %'s. Sometimes a printed job goes better than planned and you may end up with more finished product than ordered and vice versa. The printing industry adopted that as a standard many years ago. In truth, we have many customers that are not bothered by overs and unders on their printed products and so we will bill using overs and unders. Then, we also have many customers that say they will not accept overs and unders and we also accept that. We usually will build in more waste %'s at times on no unders depending on the number of processes a job will go through.

If this is a concern to you talk to your printer going into the relationship or job. Most printers will work with you. If your talking to one that won't, go find another one. Communication is the key to a good relationship in life. Be reasonable and treat people with respect and 99 times out of 100 you can work it out to a mutual satisfaction. That works in printing too!

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company

Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Variable Data Printing

Variable data printing is also called "one to one marketing" or "personalization" .
Variable data printing is where either text, images or both change from impression to impression off the press. So the first one will say Dear Buzz and the very next impression could say Dear Jane. The picture on mine could be of a car and Jane's picture could be of a truck.

There are actually several levels of variable data printing. The first simple level is where the salutation or name changes on each copy. Fairly simple but doesn't increase your level of return greatly from a mass direct mail. The second level of variable data printing is versioning where you might have different levels of variability for different markets. This can involve text and picture changes based upon what segment it is going to. Then you have full variability printing where the text and pictures can change totally from copy to copy.

All three of these are done by having a base design programmed to show what will change and then a database that will actually drive the changes of the fields that will change. It is very important to get a knowledgeable printer involved early in the design process to help in producing a successful product.

The returns for variable data printing vary from double the normal return on the first level to 10-15 times the return on fully variable. It depends on the data and the relevancy but it is a very effective tool to increase your ROI on your mailings.

Demo Variable Data Printing

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Labels and Stickers


Yellow BorderAudio version for this article: "Labels and Stickers" (for people with visual disabilities or impairments). Yellow Border
Printed labels and/or stickers have many choices when it comes to the types of adhesives and backers you can choose from. The adhesives come in permanent, removable, low tack. Permanent adhesive labels are meant to stick and stay there. If you try to pull them up the paper of the label should tear before the adhesive releases.

Removable labels are meant to go down and stick but should be able to be pulled off the area that you have placed it on without the paper ripping or leaving paper from the label on the surface. Low tack is a type of removable label that can be used as static clings or other type of easily removable sticker. All of these types of printed labels can be affected by moisture or weather. If you are using outside or in areas that are affected by moisture or big weather changes make sure and talk to your printer about that.

There are adhesives made for those purposes. Labels can come on sheets or in rolls and can be kisscut or not. Kisscutting allows the printed label to be peeled off more easily. Labels come in uncoated, coated, cast coated, vinyl, and metallic substrates for many uses.

Related Articles:


See also:
- Labels and stickers as printed promotional products - Directory ODP

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company, Dallas, Texas
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Ganging Print Runs

When you have multiple pieces that are all on the same paper and same ink colors you can sometimes gang or put multiple pieces up on the same press sheet. This saves on makeready, setups, plates and washups and can save $$$ if you are comfortable with some of the limitations that you might have.

As an example let's say we are printing 8-8.5x11 brochures printed process on both sides. Our quantity that we want of each brochure is 5000. If a printer has a 40"(full size) press he can put all 8 of these brochures up on the same run. There is some potential real savings in doing this but there are some drawbacks. First of all, if you have all the brochures up on the same sheet and they are different families of colors let's say a blue color, a green color, a purple color, a red color and a yellow and orange color. Because these brochures are being printed in CMYK process screen mix you probably will have some compromise on matching any one of those colors of brochures on press.

If you have critical colors that you need to match too ganging pieces is not a very good idea. A printer should ask you if ganging is OK and tell you before he does it. Let's say that the blue and the purple brochure are next too each other or stacked. Blue and purple in CMYK are predominantly made of cyan and magenta in different screen %. If you want to make the blue brochure bluer you are going to either take out magenta or add cyan. This will also affect your purple brochure color as well.

If you don't have a product or corporate color or varying shades of skin tones that you must match ganging will save you money. The other drawback would be if you want to reprint just part of the brochures. You need to be prepared for possibly paying more if you only print one or two of them. It is a good option but it does have its limitations.

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Indigo Digital Press Inks


Yellow BorderAudio version for this article: "Indigo Digital Press Inks" (for people with visual disabilities or impairments). Yellow Border
The HP Indigo is a brand of digital press that uses a unique liquid ink called ElectroInk. The ink like other toner based machines use an electrical charge to control the location of the print particles. The advantage to this liquid ink over the toner based machines is the particle size is much smaller with ElectroInk. At 1-2 microns this gives sharp images, better solids and uniform gloss or layering of the ink. It doesn't look like a color copy it looks more like a lithographic offset printed sheet. The ink comes in a concentrated tube of paste and is loaded in to the ink tanks and mixed with oil to become a fluid mixture. The HP Indigo being a true digital machine can do variable data where images and text can vary from sheet to sheet. The HP Indigo is also the only digital press that will run true spot colors for branding and PMS matching. The press can also run hi-fi color which adds orange and violet to give more intense colors and a larger range of matching PMS colors. The HP Indigo comes in up to a 7-color digital press configuration.

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company, Dallas, Texas
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Starting Small, Growing Big.

New businesses sometimes make mistakes in buying their first printing jobs for their new business. First of all, I suggest starting off small. Digital Printing has enabled you to have that opportunity. You don't have to print 1000's of Letterheads, brochures and other printed collateral. Most times we find that new businesses will change something before they reprint anyway. You are going to have ample opportunities to spend your money on many things. Do the minimal you need to do to get you through the first 3-6 months. That gives you a good test. Your going to learn a lot of new things that you didn't know about your market, your competitors and potential new business. Your printed collateral will need to reflect that new knowledge. The other thing you should consider is that although you want your printed material to look nice don't over analyze it. I have seen people work a solid week on the look of their stationery. Don't get me wrong it needs to look nice but spending a great number of hours on trying to create just the right piece is usually not hours well invested. Go out and get business. That needs to be your big focus. After you have come up with an original design you like, move on to more important things. It is the person and the idea behind the letterhead that lands business and keeps food on the table. Believe in yourself. Just one printers thoughts.

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
On Demand Printing


Yellow BorderAudio version for this article: "On Demand Printing" (for people with visual disabilities or impairments). Yellow Border
The term on demand printing is used to describe printing brought into the JIT(just in time) world of inventory reduction and management. On demand means just that when there is demand you produce it and ship it to meet that current demand. The term in printing really took hold with the onset of the Xerox Docutech and digital printing. It has grown to encompass both color digital print and black and white digital print. Many times, it is incorporated with a Print Procurement Systemto enable internet ordering and tracking.

This enables the production of very small quantities to meet immediate demand. The rise of on demand printing enables customers to cut down on obsolescence through changing information on literature and marketing materials. The normal order is produced and shipped within hours or days. Some printed products lend themselves to this form of printing and others don't. It enables customization of literature to meet local or regional needs and can encompass variable data printing. This digital part of the printing industry is the fastest growing segment due to its ability to react to short lead times and possible cost savings.

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company, Dallas, Texas
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
What is a Page to a Printer.


Yellow BorderAudio version for this article: "What is a Page to a Printer" (for people with visual disabilities or impairments). Yellow Border
A page to a printer is one side of a sheet that is the finished size of the document. This is true whether ink is printed on both sides or one. So if the finished size is an 8.5x11 sheet that represents 2 pages whether they have ink on them or not. That same 8.5x11 sheet that is printed front only should be communicated as a 2 pager printing front only. This is done because if you look at a book one sheet of paper represents two sides or two pages.

So an 11x17 sheet that folds to 8.5x11 would be represented as a 4 page finished size of 8.5x11. If you have a brochure that finishes at 5x7 but unfolded it is 15x7 it would be called a 6 pager with a finished size of 5x7. A catalog that is 8.5x11 and has 8 sheets of paper and prints on both sides of the sheet except for the back cover would still be called a 16 pager.

Basically, there are two defining terms a sheet of paper which has two sides that are called pages. It is not necessary to know this when talking to your printer but the more everyone is on the same page in communication the less chance for problems.

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company, Dallas, Texas
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Printing Metallic Inks


Yellow BorderAudio version for this article: "Printing Metallic Inks" (for people with visual disabilities or impairments). Yellow Border
When someone is printing metallic inks they are trying to get a metallic look or a shine or lustre that is not possible through printing of normal inks. This is accomplished by actually putting metallic particles in the ink so they reflect light. If you are printing a brochure or a postcard with metallic ink there are several things you should consider.

First of all, metallic inks look best on a coated sheet. The coated sheet gives you the best ink holdout and will show the most lustre or metallic look. Printing metallic on an uncoated sheet will show less metallic look and may not even look metallic at all. The low ink holdout on your brochure,postcard or pocket folderon uncoated sheets allows the particles to be absorbed by the sheet thus not giving the level of reflection wanted. If you want to print or see what a metallic ink will look like on uncoated sheets, I would strongly recommend doing an ink drawdown so you can see what it will look like on press.

Metallic inks are also opaque inks which mean light doesn't pass through them very well. This can cause issues when printing with other inks due to trapping issues. You want your printer to use as minimal amount of trap as possible. The metallic inks can give you a halo effect with other inks due to the overlap or trapping. This true opaqueness can also present issues if you are printing screens of metallic inks. Many times you can not get the desired effect from printing a screen of metallic. Experienced designers are good at overcoming this and planning jobs around that opacity. The novice who wants a shiny look often will mistake foil stamping for an ink. Metallic inks while shinier than regular inks will not have the same reflection qualities as foil.

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company, Dallas, Texas
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Full Color Printing


Yellow BorderAudio version for this article: "Full Color Printing" (for people with visual disabilities or impairments). Yellow Border
When you look at printing search terms on the internet full color commercial printing comes up fairly high on the list. What does full color printing represent to a commercial printer? To a commercial printer, full color printing is printing in CMYK. These are the 4 basic colors that a printer uses to reproduce a color photograph. CMYK represents Cyan(C), Magenta(M), Yellow(Y) and Black(K). Cyan is similar to a bright baby blue and magenta is close to a pinky red. Being a male it is hard to describe colors this way but that is how I would describe them. A colored picture is broken up into dots of these four colors. These dots are arranged to represent as close as it can to a continuos tone picture(photograph) in varying sizes and percentages. This is what full color printing means to a commercial printer.

See also:
CMYK No-No
What is Rich Black?
Trapping in Printing

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company, Dallas, Texas
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Printing Postcards

Printing postcards and dealing with the post office doesn't have to be scary. There are multiple sizes you can mail of printed postcards. Sizes vary from as small as 4.25"x6" to the most common large size is 6"x9". Other sizes are used and large sizes will go over 6"x9". Make sure that your thickness of paper is at least .009" or to say another way nine thousands of an inch thick. If you are using coated paper use at least 80# matte cover or 100# gloss cover. Some mailing companies have difficulty with gloss stock so check with who will be addressing and mailing. If you are doing the addressing at the same time as printing on a digital press(variable data printing) that is a non factor. If you are printing on uncoated paper 80# cover would be sufficient to meet .009" thickness.
If you want to print on gloss but your mailing company does not address on gloss you can use C1S(Coated one side)paper and they can address on the uncoated side.

On mailing you can choose First Class and Standard Mail. First Class mail will be quicker and more consistent delivery but will be more expensive. Locally it will be delivered in 1-3 business days and if you are mailing from one coast to the other budget 5 days. Standard Mail takes longer to deliver and is not as predictable on when it will deliver. When mailing nationally budget 10-14 days although locally it will be much shorter usually. Bottom line if you have time sensitive information first class will give you a better chance of success even with higher costs.

Postcards that are mass produced usually are funded by an indicia in the top right corner and sorted with zip code sequence and CASS certification. The funds are deposited in the account of the indicia holder and must be present at the time the mail is dropped. It is customary for the postage to be paid before the drop date. If you do not own an indicia most mailers and printers have one although if you are a non profit it would be worth having one in the long term to save on postage.

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Commercial Printing and PDF Workflows.


Yellow BorderAudio version for this article: "Commercial Printing and PDF Workflows" (for people with visual disabilities or impairments). Yellow Border
PDF workflows have the ability to streamline commercial printing and enable more throughput in automated commercial printing PDF workflows. PDF file submission in commercial printing has grown exponentially over the last 3-5 years. The open architecture and the ability to show online proofs and ease of file submission has made PDF workflow for commercial printers a must.

PDF's(Portable Document Format) ability to be a cross platform file that can be used as a print, web or other digital means has given the strong rise to wide adoption. In the past, printers were either given the native file or a postscript file. Those files were ripped, trapped and imposition done creating many times very large files that were cumbersome and time consuming to deal with. When changes were made the multiple step process had to start over. A pdf workflow eliminates many of those multiple steps by only dealing with the pdf file. A proof can be shown over the internet and all dealings are with a smaller file with less time for trapping, ripping and imposition. Commercial printing PDF workflows have become a necessary step in streamlining the printing process.

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company, Dallas, Texas

Also see:
Software Programs in Printing
Online Print Procurement
The prevalence of occupational dermatitis in the UK printing industry

Aims: To quantify occupational ill health resulting from dermatitis in the UK printing industry and to explore links with particular processes and activities.

Methods: Approximately 2600 members of the Graphical, Paper and Media Union living in Nottinghamshire were sent a self completion questionnaire. A sample of respondents, both those who reported current skin problems and those who did not, were invited for a short dermatological examination.

Results: The overall response rate was 62%. A total of 1189 respondents were directly involved in the printing industry and categorised according to work in pre-press (25%), printing (46%), or finishing (42%) processes. A total of 490 respondents (41%) self reported having a skin complaint at some time. Prevalence was highest in males (43%) and those working in printing (49%), in particular those who cleaned rollers and cylinders or who came into contact with substances containing isocyanates on a daily basis. The most commonly affected areas reported were the fingers and webs between the fingers. Twenty six per cent of the 490 reported a current problem on the hand. Reported symptoms included itching (61%), rash (58%), and dry skin (56%). Although certain printing industry substances were thought by respondents to aggravate their condition, constant washing and friction was most often cited. Reported use of protective equipment and cleansing products was generally high, particularly by printers. Clinical examination confirmed the high self reported prevalence and also identified a substantial proportion of mild cases which were not reported. The overall prevalence of occupationally related skin complaints is estimated to be 40%.

Conclusions: A much higher prevalence of dermatitis has been identified than from routine surveillance schemes. The use of good quality records from unions with high membership facilitated access to workers across a range of company sites and printing processes. Validation of self reported symptoms through clinical examination was shown to be essential. The importance of non-chemical causes of dermatitis was highlighted. The findings point towards the need for the development of effective and acceptable risk reduction strategies, in particular to reduce water contact and friction.

See the full article? Click here

An article by:
E J Livesley(1), L Rushton(2), J S English(3) and H C Williams(3)

(1) MacMillan Information Project Manager, North London Cancer Network, Grays Inn Division, Royal Free Hospital, Pond Street, London NW3 2QG, UK
(2) Institute for Environment and Health, University of Leicester, 94 Regent Road, Leicester LE1 7DD, UK
(3) Department of Dermatology, C Floor, South Block, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Trapping in Printing


Yellow BorderAudio version for this article: "Trapping in Printing" (for people with visual disabilities or impairments). Yellow Border
If you hear a printer use the term trapping, they are probably not talking about trapping beavers.

The term trapping to printers means printing ink over ink. If you look at a printed piece that, let's say has a black solid panel and inside that panel there is red text. You may or may not see a small white line between the black and red. If you see this white line, it is probably because the printer did not trap the job properly.

In this scenario, it is necessary for the printer to increase the width of the stroke of the red text so that it actually overlaps the black background slightly. Because the black background is a darker color, your eye does not see the red text as being bolder. The amount of overlap is very slight, approx .006" and is absolutely necessary for colors that appear to touch each other. There are several reasons why it is necessary.

As precise as printing presses are, they are not perfect but an even larger reason is the movement of the sheet of paper as it travels through the press. When paper travels through a press a tremendous amount of pressure is applied to the sheet. In addition to pressure, moisture is also introduced to the sheet. Paper will stretch with pressure and actually swell with moisture. The .006" of trap is needed to cover for these variables.

Written by Jay Atkinson
jay@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company, Dallas, Texas
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
What is rich Black?

In printing the term rich black represents printing 100% of black and some combination of another color behind that black to give it a more dense rich black color. This way on the printing pressyou don't have to push the black ink beyond a certain comfort level.

It also will help cover up impurities in the paper or ink like hickies. A good rich black can be accomplished by 100% black and say 50-70% of another color. The black will dominate the other colors. You will get a slight cast towards what ever color you are printing behind the black. Say a blue cast with cyan or red cast with magenta. Do not exceed a total density % of all colors over 280% as that is not reproducible in printing. Just a thought for your brochures, postcards and flyers.

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
CMYK No-No.

Here is something that we see beginning designers do that is not reproducable in the print world. Let's say someone is trying to print a solid or rich black. Did you know there is a maximum density % that can be reproduced when you add all of CMYK % together. The maximum is 280%. Anything above that basically turns into mud and will never dry or look right.

I would recommend not even getting near the 280%. You don't need it to reproduce a color. This happens when people create a color instead of picking a PMS colorand converting it. Most software programs that convert PMS colorsuse the standard conversion %'s from Pantone or close to it. When people manually go in and manipulate those % is when they can get in trouble. You would think printing black as 100% Black, 100% Cyan, 100% Magenta and 100% Yellow would gain you a very dark rich black. It doesn't it produces mud that won't look right and never dry.

CMYK inks


If you are printing a brochure or postcard and want a rich black you can accomplish that with 100% black and some % of cyan and/or magenta. I would not even recommend putting yellow in it. If we are choosing we will do 100% black and 50-70% cyan and leave it at that. I like a dense blue black though. Some want to add a % of magenta and that is fine. The only rule of thumb is don't exceed a maximum of 280% combined density of a combination of colors.

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Digital Printing PMS Colors.

Most knowledgeable printing veterans even believe that you can't print PMS colors when printing digitally. Most believe you must convert all PMS colorsto CMYK to print digitally.
HP3050
On most digital presses or digital machines this is true. Neither the Nexpress or the IGen3 will do spot colors.

There is one machine that actually does spot colors. The HP Indigo family will print PMS colors as true spot colors. The HP3050 in particular comes in up to 7-colors and will produce either hi-fi color or spot colors for true branding or matching of spot colors. While not cheap this is available to match that specific PMS match for demanding clients. This machine is the only non-toner based machine and that gives it the possibility of mixing base colors to match PMS's. Just thought you should know. You can do digital printing PMS Colors.

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
A chronological production of Pocket Folders.

Some printed products such as pocket folders that have multiple steps of production require more planning when tight deadlines are involved. Let's look at the pocket folder versus say abrochure. Both of these products will initially start in prepress with the files being preflighted, trapped, imposed and proofed. The pocket folderwill however need a dieline that shows the place where the diecutting occurs. The brochure will not need a dieline.

Once both proofs have been approved the pocket folder needs a steel rule die made from the dieline. All things being equal the press part of either product is about the same time.

The postpress part is where things start being really different. The brochure conceivably can be trimmed, folded and done at that point. If the brochure needs to be scored it will require one extra step.

The pocket folder needs to be diecut with the steel rule die from the dieline. Then the diecut pocket folder will need to be scrapped out of the diecut sheet. Nicks will need to be sanded and then the pocket folder will be ready to be glued. Most likely the final fold of the pocket folder will be done by the gluing machine. If the pocket folder has capacity pockets many times the pocket folder will have to be hand glued to keep the integrity of the extra capacity pockets and spine.

Because of these extra steps it is nice to give 2-3 extra days to produce a pocket folder over say a simple brochure.

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Online Print Procurement System

Online print production workflows have gained considerable ground in popularity as their versatilities have grown to accomodate more corporate needs. Here are some of the models that are being used for these systems:
-Collateral Management System
-POP/POS Campaign System
-Stationery Management System
-Print on Demand System
-Inventory Management System
-Campaign Launches
-One to One marketing

These systems range from very simple limited systems to enterprise wide systems with full reporting capabilities and inventory tracking. It depends on the needs of the end customer as to which system is the best one for their needs.

For this article we will talk primarily about a corporate enterprise wide system with full blown capabilities in placing orders, tracking and reporting capabilities. As companies have more needs to go global with multiple sites and the most current up to date information in their literature they need a system that multiple locations or agents can access one central system that insures graphics integrity and corporate graphics standards.

Let's take an example. A Dallas company that has mutiple agents all over the country that are trying to tailor literature for their specific location or region. These systems have templates set up with graphic rules that insure the information that the corporation wants to keep static. The template is then set up so other areas of the piece have the ability to be customized per the users needs.

A PDF proof is produced for proofing online right then and once the user approves the proof the ordering, payment and shipping information is filled out. Corporate in Dallas can still have approval rights on these orders based upon a number of parameters. The order can be tracked via the site and reporting from inventory to sales to specific department or agent use can be generated. These systems can be used via any web portal and can be attached to the actual corporate web page or intranet system. This is just one example of use.

Here are a list of some of the uses:
-Direct to Enterprise
-Direct to Purchasing Group
-Direct to Regional Group
-Distributor/VAR Model
-Direct marketing Model
-Agency Model
-Co-Marketing Model
-Independent Agent Model

These systems help reduce printing costs, reduce time to market and reduce the number of steps in the printing process. They also cut down on obsolescence of literature and inventory.

Here is an example of one for Credit Unions to market themselves: The SuperMarket

See also:
All Digital Printing is not the same.
Variable Data Printing.

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Coatings or Varnishes

Coatings and/or varnishes are used for different reasons in printing jobs. One reason you use these processes is to protect the ink or sheet. Another reason is to give the paper or ink a higher gloss or lustre look.

Varnish is the oldest of the processes and is actually a type of ink. It seals and protects the inks and is on the low end of the amount of gloss or lustre it can produce. Varnish is probably the easiest to apply in a spot area. In other words, just over say a picture or graphic but not on the rest of the sheet. You can apply wet trap or putting it over the ink while the ink is being applied wet. This can reduce the effectiveness of the lustre. You can also dry trap which is applying the varnish by running back through the press after the ink is dry. This is more costly.

Varnish also can gas ghost which is described as trapping the gases of the inks from escaping thus giving a ghost image from the other side of the sheet. Not good when you are printing a 2-sided brochure.

Aqueous coating is the most common way of coating sheets present day and it is a water based coating that usually is applied overall. It has more gloss than varnish and the printed sheet can be handled almost immediately to cut, score and fold your printed products. UV coating is a solvent based coating that is the shiniest of the three processes. It carries environmental requirements in handling but will give the most protection of the three. Usually applied overall it also can be spot UV'ed. It needs special driers attached to the press with UV driers and requires special inks as well.
Products can be handled very quickly after passing through the drier. These are the most common way of coating printed products. All three of these coatings can be done in gloss, satin or dull coatings.

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Offset Printing - What does it mean?


Yellow BorderAudio version for this article: "Offset Printing - What does it mean?" (for people with visual disabilities or impairments). Yellow Border
The term offset printing or offset lithography is one of the most common methods of commercial printing today. The image to be printed is put on a plate (most commonly an aluminum plate) which is mounted to a cylinder on the printing press. The image is then transferred (or offset) to a blanket cylinder first (a hard rubber cylinder), and then the blanket cylinder transfers (or offsets) the image to the sheet of paper that is being printed.

In other processes of printing, the image is normally transfered directly from the carrier, which can be a relief plate, cylinder, die, etc. to the substrate being printed.

The fact that the image is offset first to a blanket and then to the substrate is the unique factor that defines offset printing.

Written by Jay Atkinson
He can be reached at jay@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company, Dallas, Texas
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Sizes of Printing Presses.

Although not totally comprehensive here are the most common sizes of offset presses:

- Small Format size is 14"x20". Common presses in this size are the Heidelberg GTO.

- Half size presses are 20"x28". The Heidelberg in this size would be the Speedmaster74.

- Full size presses are 28"x40". The Heidelberg in this size would be the Speedmaster102.

Other press manufacturers that have the same sizes would be Komori, Mitsubishi, Ryobi.
Why the different sizes? Over the years press sizes have adopted to smaller press runs and less manpower to run the presses.

Low quantities less than 10,000 press sheets is ideal for the small format presses and half size presses and will have lower costs than a 40" press. Full size presses are made for longer runs with multiple ups or larger size pieces such as posters over 20"x28".

The press manufacturers have even tried to adopt to the on demand market with DI(direct imaging) presses that actually image plates on the presses. The downfall of these presses is they can't do variable data pieces where text or pictures change from impression to impression.

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Brochure: A definition.

A small booklet or pamphlet, often containing promotional material or product information.
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[French, from brocher, to stitch, from broche, knitting needle, from Old French, spit, needle. See broach1.]

Brochures come in many shapes and sizes. Simplified it is a piece of paper with ink printed on it. Usually promoting a company, product or idea it can be folded, diecut, saddle stitched or any of a number of binding options. Usually a brochure is made of just a few sheets of paper. Printed products that are more pages are usually called catalogs or magazines. Paper weight can vary from fairly light to cover weight paper. As the paper gets heavier the brochure needs to be scored to aid in the paper not cracking on the fold(s).

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Picking a Printing Company.

While it is not as critical as choosing who you are going to marry, choosing a printer does hold similarities. My wife loves the "Bachelor" TV Show so since she loves it, I must also show enthusiasm toward it. It is always interesting to see who is going to crack under pressure. Last night I was trying to write this article and thought of how funny it would be to be picked as a printer this way. What could I say that would keep me in the running.

How does someone make decisions to use a printer. I've seen all types of ways in the 20 years I have been doing this. Most people go about doing it in a logical fashion. Do they trust the person they are talking too? How long has that company been in business? How long has that salesperson been at that present company? If they have been at 4 companies in 10 years you might want to think twice on giving them a rose. There in it for themselves. How knowledgeable are they about printing?

Many salespeople have been selling printing for 10 years and still don't know much. I still learn something every day after 20 years. How well does the companies equipment fit your needs. Is it a good fit? Do they do both offset and digital so your covered on a multitude of quantities. Do you decide on price? Price is a consideration but if you are the "Bachelor" is looks the only factor you consider?

Try meeting the friends approach and ask for some references but also realize they aren't going to give you a bad one. It at least gives you a chance to talk to someone that deals with the company. Samples are always a good idea but any printer can pick good samples just like they are going to be on their best behavior on the first date.

Go visit their plant. That will usually give you a pretty good idea of fit. Kind of like meeting the family you get to see the whole clan. Remember, those are the people that will be producing your job. Most of all, how do you feel about your contact can you depend on them to watch your project all the way through? Can they catch up on that late running project and see problems before they happen?

I would always choose a family business. They have an invested interest in their name!

Those are a few thoughts on selecting a printer. Or you can do it like one person I know and choose who drives the coolest car and wines and dines the most. Not that I'm bitter. Anoybody have a TicTac?

Written by Buzz Tatom
He can be reached at buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Kisscutting in Printing

When printers talk about kisscutting they are not referring to anything to do with kissing. Kisscutting is a type of diecutting primarily done on label stock. It is designed to make it easy for the label to come off the base stock and can be cut in any shape or form wanted. It uses a steel rule die like diecutting. The only difference is the pressure is adjusted to cut through the first layer and not the base. Thus the name kisscutting. It is only enough pressure to kiss the paper enough to cut through the first layer. This enables labels to be easily removed from the base.

Related Articles:

Written by Buzz Tatom
He can be reached at buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Diecutting in Printing

Ever wonder how printers cut odd or irregular shaped products like pocket folders out of paper? It is a process called diecutting and it uses a steel rule die to actually cut through the surface of the paper. The steel rule die is made of cutting rules and scoring rules. Scoring rules are metal with a rounded edge where cutting rules are metal with beveled sharp edges. These are usually mounted on a base made of wood.

The common products that are diecut are: pocket folders, door hangers, store signage and brochures to name a few. Any product can be diecut in any shape you can dream up in your head. We have diecut cowboy hats, popcorn, cars and many other non conventional shapes. This is done by mounting the steel rule die on the platen of a diecutting press. The platen is a flat surface that can be locked down to hold the steel rule die. The paper is then fed to make contact with that platen and pressure is applied to cut through the paper. Nicks are usually put in the sheet to hold the diecut portion in the rest of the sheet so it does not fall out in the press. The diecut piece is then removed from the press in lifts and the diecut piece is "scrapped out" of the remaining sheet.

A few of the most common diecutting machines are: Kluge's, Heidelberg Windmills and Cylinder presses.
Related Articles:

Written by Buzz Tatom
He can be reached at buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Interesting results can be achieved, and there can be considerable savings when printing only two colors if Duotones are incorporated into grayscale photographs. A Duotone is the process of mixing two colors together within the same photograph in order to increase the tonal range of the picture.

The shadow areas normally carry the darker color of ink and the mid-tone to highlight areas normally carry the lighter color of ink. If a duotone is built correctly, and the correct PMS colors are used, sometimes it is hard to distinguish a two color duotone from a four color photograph.

In the old days of printing (I am talking about only 10 years ago), the creation of duotones was a darkroom technique that was done by “commercial printers”.
Most duotones today are created in Photoshop by a multitude of designers and can produce a very wide range of results. This is because of the numerous settings within Photoshop that can be used. For more information on how to create duotones in Photoshop please click here.

Written by Jay Atkinson
jay@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
"Folding of Printed Products"

Here are a few thoughts on folding brochures or any other printed products. Paper always has a grain direction. Folding with the grain direction will give you a cleaner fold with less cracking. We all have seen brochures that are cracking on the folds. How do you reduce cracking? Folding with the grain will help.

Also, if you are dealing with heavy paper(let's say over 100# book) you need to score or crease the paper with a machine to help train the fold to prevent or minimize cracking. Our rule of thumb is a brochure on 80# book may or may not need to score. Anything heavier than 80# book or any weight of cover will need to be scored. Scoring will minimize cracking but will not always eliminate it on the printed product. Cracking on printed products is most noticeable when there is ink over the folds. Especially darker inks.

Scoring can be done on a letterpress or on the actual folder or other machines that crease the paper. Letterpress scoring is the best quality score you can do. On cross grain folding, I would highly recommend scoring of some method to reduce or elimininate cracking.

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Print or Photocopy?

This article could also be called digital printing or offset printing. Photocopy is an old term that primarily describes black on white copy work. The business has evolved into color as well.

The digital printing is mostly done through copier machines on the low end and digital presses on the high end. The term printing is usually associated with offset printing on presses that have to be set up, put in register and adjusted to get to the right color. Although the technology has become automated making offset presses more competitive in getting a job ready to be run in a shorter period of time you still have more fixed material costs on setting up for a printing press.

That is the beauty of digital presses is realistically there is very little or no set up time or material costs to run a job. Their downfall is they run on a small sheet and at one speed with the maximum speed being slower than the top speed of an offset printing press. All things being equal short run jobs of 500 -1000 press sheets or less will normally be more cost effective on digital presses and as you go above those quantities it becomes better to print on an offset press.

Quality is also a consideration to consider. Offset printing for the most part will give you a better quality job. Digital printing has improved significantly over the last 5 years to the point of it being hard to tell the difference between offset and digital. That being said pictures and solids are still not reproduces quite as well digitally.

Time is the other consideration. How quickly do you need it? This question can also help you determine whether digital or offset is better. If you need something that afternoon or the next day digital printing is known for quick turntimes. Offset printing because of the different steps it still goes through will normally take longer.

In summary if you need 50 of something overnight do digital printing. If you need 100,000 of a high end brochure and aren't Daddy Warbucks the job should be printed offset.

See also:
On Demand Printing
Types of Digital Printing Machines
What is Offset Printing?

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company
Posted by: Buzz
Promotional Products: Quality vs Quantity


Promotional Products are effective tools to promote your business. Whether you have a grand opening, prospecting for new clients or thanking existing clients there are factors that you should consider before picking an item. How many are you going to need to handout?

Are you going to be at a trade show and are handing out thousands of items indiscriminately to attract traffic or is your business the type that you land fewer deals but they are larger accounts and you have a finite number of prospects that you really want to impress people with. How are people going to use the products?

One of the most effective promotional items are items that will be used every day or many times and will be a constant reminder of your logo. Promotional Products can be a few cents a piece or you can spend hundreds of dollars on individual items. Fit the product to the market and to your business.

Are you a cutting edge technology company? Then use a promotional product that represents that cutting edge. What business are your customers in? What do they do all day? If you think about you will see similarities that can help you decide on the right promotional item. There are search databases that can help you on product searches based on themes, budgets, materials and many other key attributes.

Go to http://odeecompany.logomall.com/ . There you can enter search parameters and see what you come up with. Define your customer and that will help you with deciding on what promotional product will give you the best return for your money.
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Executive Gifts with the highest quality, by The Odee Company
Posted by: Buzz
Ad Specialties or Promotional Products, which is correct?


The imprinting of a logo or message on a product is what we are talking about. People in the business will use both terms.

Promotional Products is the most used term in today’s vernacular.
Ad Specialties was the original term that was used to describe this $17 billion industry. Some of the products imprinted are: Wearables, Pens, Calendars, Drinkware, Bags, Desk/Office Products and Magnets to name a few.

The industry name was changed to better reflect the business in 1993. At that time, the industry association name was changed to Promotional Products Association International(PPAI). People that have been in the industry for many years will be more apt to use the words Ad Specialty but they both mean the same thing.

Written by Kathy Tatom
kathy@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company - Ad Specialties Provider



Related pages:
Promotional Items (wikipedia)